As a result of the Epic Games vs Apple trial, some Nintendo documentation has come out into the public. Part of the documentation says that a “Content Provider” in Japan cannot be involved with “Boryokudan,” which is translated as “violence groups” and can be viewed as a reference to the yakuza, or Japanese mafia.
The idea that Nintendo is forbidding its workers from collaborating with the yakuza is making the rounds online, often in a I-can’t-believe-they-said-that way. But it’s not a sign that Japan is overrun with yakuza, nor is it that rare of a request in Japanese documentation. Any major corporation can be expected to do a lot of very specific paperwork to make themselves look as clean as possible, and this is a way for a company to say it won’t be involved in any illegal activities. It’s also seen as a way that society can help police by saying no to crime.
And if you want yakuza safely involved in video games, you can just play Sega’s Yakuza franchise.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.