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Japan’s dreaded Yakuza really misses Halloween this year

IIt’s rare for kids to shake gangsters for candy – but until this Halloween, kids in Kobe, Japan, were able to terrorize the local yakuza (Japanese mafia) with a “Trick or Treat!” noisy! And the yakuza obviously loved it. For years, thugs and kids have been eagerly awaiting the annual Halloween festivities at the headquarters of Japan’s largest mob group.

The Yamaguchi-gumi, the country’s largest criminal group, discovered Halloween by accident when students at international schools cheated or treated their desks decades ago. What started as a goofy offer of money from gangsters to appease local children has turned into a time-honored neighborhood celebration.

This decades-long tradition came to an end this year. But ‘Yakuza Halloween’ has not been canceled due to COVID-19 – instead, laws passed by the Hyogo Prefecture Assembly this month now prohibit gangsters from giving out (active) candy children, or allow them to enter their property.

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