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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Proposed Yakuza Theme Song

I received this story back on April 1, 2014, but wasn't sure what to do with it. So... it took me a month mostly because it got buried in my e-mail.

It was written by By Jake Adelstein and Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky. Now… I am not familiar with Nathalie-Kyoko, but at least from reading his book, I am familiar with Jake.

Jake is perhaps the top crime journalists in Japan. The fact that he's a gaijin doing a job for a Japanese language newspaper (Yomiuri Shimbun) is impressive, because he not only has to be fully versed in the language, but the language of journalists, the language of the police and even the language of the criminal element.

So… when Jake writes something I tend to pay attention - especially after reading his spectacular Tokyo Vice non-fictional take on a Yakuza story that nearly ended his life numerous times.

So… when I saw the news article: "Japan's Biggest Organized Crime Syndicate Now Has Its Own Web Site and Theme Song", I was intrigued.

I mean… the Yakuza, a Japanese business men's club that some say not only has ties to organized crime, but is organized crime in Japan. And… apparently the Yakuza has been trying to color itself as more of a community organization and less of a drug, gambling, prostitution or anything illegal type of groups, doing charity work such as immediately going in and giving food and blankets and other much needed supplies to those affected by the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake disasters… I'm sure they didn't just fall off a truck. I mean, I have no proof of anything like that. Still, I like that they did it.

So… when Jake (and Nathalie-Kyoko) say that there's a website for the Yakuza and there's a theme song, it sounds pretty feasible.

You can read the story here and apparently see the video and accompanying Yakuza theme song HERE.

And then I remembered that April 1 is also April Fool's Day. I may not know jack, but I'm pretty sure that thanks to the e-mails he and I have shared, that I do know Jake a bit better than I know the Yakuza… even though I have had drinks with a Yakuza city boss and have not had any with Jake… maybe when I go back to Japan soon for a visit.

Jake… how many people do you think you fooled with the story? I'm sure you fooled a lot. I'm just curious.

As an aside, not on April Fool's Day, but back when I was a summer intern with the Toronto Star newspaper, other reporters told me that since I was a rookie, I needed to try and get a fake story into the newspaper… not really, the idea was to fool the city desk editor.

So… since I was a pretty good writer and would never, as a young journalist, try to fool a guy who could fire me for misspelling a word… I concocted a story about a killer goat going on a rampage in a town far west of Toronto.

I wrote up the eight-inch copy and sent it in.

Hours later, while I was sitting at my desk, one of the other reporters comes running up to me to say that they are running my story - on the front page no less - and I had to go over to the city desk editor and tell him it was all made up.

So I did… and oh… the look he gave me… because… I think I had really fooled him… I mean he and no one else ever came over to say "Ha! Got you on the double fake out! Everyone knew it was fake!"… then again… why wool the City Editor not fact check a story or try and get photos of this killer goat? All you have to do is call the police in the area to check the veracity. Had I fooled him that badly?

Perhaps. I spent the next week working the midnight to 8AM shift sitting on the scanner room listening to police and fire calls. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep… so nothing important happened that week. At least not worth writing about.

Oh.. in case you have not been living in a barn for the past few years, check out this cool game: Goat Simulator. It looks killer!

Anyhow.. funny stuff Jake and Nathalie-Kyoko! It was a joke, right? Right. Just double checking.

The Yakuza might indeed have a theme song, but they certainly wouldn't have a web page. Or maybe they would have a web page, but wouldn't have a theme song. But if they did have a theme song, I  imagine it would sound like this, the Ultraseven theme song: The Song of Ultraseven:

So… I'm going to present the English translation of the opening song of the classic Japanese  kid's television show Ultraman Seven, and under each line (in BRACKETS) I will present my proposed lyrics for a Yakuza theme song. Please keep in mind I am not a professional musician.

Actually… I did get paid to play a few times, plus I was a professional music teacher… dammit. Okay… I'm not a professional writer… except I am… so I should be able to be a professional music writer guy thingy, right?  

Yakuza Theme Song (Proposed)
Seven, Seven, Seven, Seven.
(Yakuza, Yakuza, Yakuza, Yakuza)
Seven, Seven, Seven!
(Yakuza, Yakuza, Yakuza!)
Seven, Seven, Seven!
(Yakuza, Yakuza, Shut the hell up! We're a secret organization!)

A Distant star was once his home
(We know exactly where you live...)
Ultra Seven, Fighter Seven.
(Pay your debt! Don't Delay!)
Ultra Seven, Seven, Seven.
(The interest triples every day!)

Onwards to the edge of the galaxy
(March to the end of that big alley way.)
With the Ultra Eye, spark!
(Someone will meet you there to break your legs, snap!)
Seven, Seven, Seven!
(In seven, seven places!)
Seven, Seven, Seven!
(In seven, seven places!)

Dan Moroboshi is his other name
(Do not call us Yakuza you worthless worm! We are just legitimate business men!)
Ultra Seven, Hero Seven.
(Pay your debt! Don't Delay!)
Ultra Seven, Seven, Seven.
(The interest quadruples every day! You heard correctly.)

Defeat the great fire-breathing monster.
(We can save you from your business debt that we probably caused but you can't prove)
Use your Ultra Beam and… strike!
(We'll get you women, sex!)
(brief musical interlude)
Seven, Seven, Seven!
(Who'll serve you booze without a dress!)
Seven, Seven, Seven!
(And you can pay us back real soon. Now. Kooooonoyarohhhh!)

Seven is the number of the miracle man.
(We are happy, friendly potatoes tarnation champion 1957-1943) (????!!!)
Ultra Seven, Hero Seven.
(Hero of the people as you can see)
Ultra Seven, Seven, Seven.
(We'll help you up when you are down, fug with us we'll put you down.)

Go strike, defend our lives and happiness
(Call the police, kiss your wife sayonara)
With the Ultra Hawk, attack!
(Your daughter is pretty. What grade is she in? Yakuza! We were never here.)

I assume that in this song, the Yakuza would be breaking your leg in a total of 28 places, not just seven… I guess I might just find out which is more correct. Crap.

Andrew Joseph


  1. Andrew,
    I hate to tell you this--it's real. :D

    1. Fug.... :(
      Keep up the great work and send flowers to my hospital when you can.