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False fingers for ex-Yakuza

Yubi-tsume (指詰め) — the practice of chopping off a little finger as an act of penitence — has been going on in the Japanese underworld for many years.

Recent anti-gang laws have persuaded many of Japan’s Yakuza that life would be easier on the straight and narrow. However, it can be difficult for them to find an honest job. Their trademark tattoos (irezumi; 入れ墨) are widely frowned upon, and many establishments will refuse to serve — let alone employ — anyone bearing them. But at least tattoos are easy to cover up. Missing fingers are more of a problem.

This has resulted in a flourishing prosthetics business.

Video by ABC News

Here’s another news item on the same subject by the Australian ABC. You’ll have to click through for the video as they don’t allow off-site embedding. But here’s a nice screenshot:

Prosthetic pinkies for digitally deficient delinquents

A selection of prosthetic pinkies

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Header image: Corridor in building at Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社) in Miyajima, Japan. Photo: Frank Gualtieri.

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