Anton Kusters may be the first, and only, Westerner to ever document the Yakuza.
The brilliant photographer, who spent over two years of his life gaining the trust of the Yakuza and documenting them, put his efforts in a book earlier this year entitled “Odo Yakuza Tokyo.”
The book, which under any circumstances, is riveting and full of arresting photographs, also contains an essay into the photographer’s journey with the Yakuza. The photographs bear witness to the infamous tattoos, the guarding of the Yakuza bosses, and the essay picks up on cultural customs, such as the cutting off of a finger as an apology.
It’s difficult to summarize the subject matter of the book, or even the author himself, since both author and book are to be admired and acknowledged as witnesses to a culture few know anything about. Nothing about this project should be taken flippantly, or dismissed.
The book has been sold out since July, but many of the photographs can be found on Kusters’ site.