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Weekly updates

In April 2009, Belgian photographer Anton Kusters was granted exclusive access to one of the world’s largest criminal syndicates, the Yakuza. For two years, Kusters had the opportunity to live amongst a family who controls Kabukicho, Tokyo’s red-light district. While it is known that the Yakuza’s operations go beyond prostitution and include drug trafficking, money laundering, gambling and bribery, they are still able to coexist within the community and operate their businesses, which is astounding to me.

At the conclusion of the Yakuza project, Kusters work was published in a photography book entitled ODO YAKUZA TOKYO, followed by an installation exhibit that travelled around the world for two years. The Economist has since revisited the project, publishing a short documentary titled Inside the Syndicate, with added narration from Kusters. The feature offers incredible insights into the Yakuza, which we found altered our previously conceived expectations and perceptions of the criminal network.

You can view Inside the Syndicate and more of Anton Kusters work in our gallery above.

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