|Prey For Me
Pt. XII: The Yakuza
by Dvora Sosan ©
Over coffee Jack and Kim discussed their strategy for questioning the yakuza. Jack had told Kim about the meeting he and Caitlin had with Nobura Isaka, the senior advisor to the oyabun, and Kazua Masuda, the murdered Miyuki Huang's computer guru.
"Jack?" Kim asked coyly, "you seem very fond of Caitlin. The way you talk about her."
Jack laughed. "Yes, Kim, I am fond of her. I'm also very fond of you. Something about beautiful young women who are smarter than me and sexually uninhibited that gets my attention."
"Well, I'm very fond of you also, Jack." With that Kim rested her hand on this thigh under his robe and began to move it slowly upward.
"Now you behave!" Jack joked. "We have to get down to business here before the trail gets too cold."
"OK, OK. Back to the yakuza. When I worked for the Review-Journal I did a few investigative reports on the yakuza influence in the casinos here in Las Vegas. The yakuza have been much more clandestine in their activities since the Lockheed scandal in 1976. I was just a wee toddler then but you may remember it and I did do some extensive research on the matter."
"I do remember that episode. It came to light in an U.S. Senate committee hearing on multi-national corporations. A guy named Kodamo Yoshio, who had close ties with the yakuza, allegedly negotiated between the underground world and the Japanese politicians and businessmen. Former Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei became implicated in the scandal. Kakuei was bribed by Yoshio, acting secretly on behalf of Lockheed. That's it in a nutshell I believe."
"Right, Jack. Since then the yakuza are much more careful. I doubt this Nobura Isaka is going to volunteer much information."
"We'll see about that, Kim. I'm going to see if I can get in touch with him now and set up a meeting with him for later today. I have the number of his office in Las Vegas. While I'm doing that, why don't you check the Missing Persons Index on line and see how many more women have mysteriously disappeared with our Harley riding 'locusts.' OK?"
"You got it, Jack. Did I mention that Winston Churchill called the German Nazis and their military machine 'locusts' on occasion? Didn't you say our Harley riding dudes wore German army helmets? And wore the Iron Cross, 1939 swastika style?" Jack looked puzzled at that revelation.
Kim got on line and Jack made some phone calls. Half an hour later both were finished and resumed their discussion.
"Kim, Nobura Isaka will meet us here in Vegas at seven tonight. He has an afternoon flight. This is interesting. He wants to meet us at Mexican restaurant called Lindo Michoacan. Ever been there?"
"Sure have. Best Mexican food in this city but I wonder why not a Japanese restaurant. Curious. What's up with that?"
"Yes, curious, Kim, but I guess we'll find out why later today. What did you find out?"
"Well, I couldn't help but read your e-mail messages." Kim snickered. "Listen to this one. I'll read it. 'TRANSLVANIA (IT) - Two attractive young women have disappeared while vacationing in the Transylvanian Mountains. Their garments have been found stained with partially digested blood and bat and human saliva. This and similar occurrences are causing international concern. Detective Iulia Popescu of the Transylvanian Police has concluded that the missing people are now slaves to the infamous Count Dracula ... Does this news article frighten you? WE INVITE YOU TO COME TO TRANSYLVANIA ... The expedition will spend several days exploring the Translvanian Mountains, home to the bloodsucking Master of Midnight.' There is a phone number to sign up for the trip. Maybe we should go. Isn't our Lilith a vampire? Perhaps that is where she went."
"Kim, I think she went to the desert. Now what did you find out on the Missing Persons Index?"
"There are eleven more women who have mysteriously disappeared under circumstances similar to the others. I have sent e-mails and requests for police reports and other additional information."
"I knew there would be more, Kim. Please put together a summary when you get everything together. We'll investigate some of the new ones when we get a chance. Right now we should stay on the trail of Lilith until it gets cold. Which it will I do believe. Like I said I think she is long gone. She got what she wanted. The Golden Wedge of Ophir is now in her suitcase. What more can you tell me about the yakuza?"
"The yakuza are usually traced back to the early seventh century in feudal Japan. Some say they were the kabuki-mono, the crazy ones. Eccentric samurai. Others say the first yakuza were the kabuki-mono's enemies, the machi-yokko. The name yakuza originates from their gambling activities. They were actually hired by the government at one point to steal money from workers via gambling. In a card game similar to blackjack called hanafuda each player gets three cards and the last digit of the total counts as the number of the hand. A hand totaling 20 is the worst possible, a score of zero. A zero combination 8-9-3 is phonetically ya-ku-sa and hence the name. Gambling was always the vice of choice of the yakuza but of course they became involved in other activities such as prostitution, drugs, money laundering and you name it. Tattoos and cut off little fingers are often distinguishing characteristics.
"Let me take you to more modern times, not that things have changed all that much. After World War II the feudal system of course was destroyed and a Constitution written by the foreign conquerors governed Japanese society. Japanese products flooded the West. Televisions, computers, cars and then the yen in the last fifteen years. The yakuza are now involved surreptitiously in business and government. The Nazis who escaped went underground in South America. The yakuza stuck around and became more powerful than ever. Incredible!
"Here is a quote from a book I used as a source when I was doing my investigative reports for the Review-Journal. The paper has a web site and all the articles are on line. I printed the ones I wrote so I could remember what I said. The book is Japan: The Blighted Blossom and author Roy Thomas writes, 'More than half of Japan's mobsters are supporters of the nationalist wing of the LDP (Liberal-Democratic Party) and are indistinguishable from the neofascist cliques which increasingly thrive within the party. During the 1980's, under the premiership of Yashuhiro Nakasone, the number of such groups increased. It is estimated there are now about 120,000 right-wing conservatives with yakuza ties.' A principal theme of this book is that the same individuals who were war criminals then became the gangsters that actually run Japan.
"Not only were the yakuza so arrogant as to attempt to buy into casinos in Las Vegas out in the open, they even talked of buying Hawaii. Really! The Lockheed scandal and similar disclosures forced them to hide behind fronts and middle-men. They do have a substantial presence in Vegas today. Of that there can be no doubt. That's where the money is. Of course, they are much more visible in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
"Jack, I simply have to tell you this story. It so reminds me of our Lilith. The story of Yoshiko Kawashima, known as the Eastern Jewel. She was a Manchu princess, Chinese. When her father was killed she was adopted at age eight by a Japanese spy in Manchuria, Naniwa Kawashima. At fifteen Naniwa's elderly father seduced her and a year later began an affair with Naniwa. I mentioned her in one of my articles and quoted from A History of Japanese Secret Service, 'she was strikingly attractive, with a dominating personality, almost a film-drama figure, half tomboy and half-heroine, and with this passion for dressing up as a male. Possibly she did this to impress the men, or so that she could more easily fit into the tightly-knit guerrilla groups without attracting too much attention.' Hey Jack, maybe our Lilith dresses as a man at times. Nobody seems to see much of her except when she is executing one of her executions."
"That is certainly a possibility, Kim. It makes sense. No one has seen her other than at the scene of the murders."
"This Eastern Jewel girl-boy played a major role in espionage activities on behalf of the Japanese in World War II in Manchuria and China. She was said to be Japan's most effective spy until she was caught in the act in Peking in 1945 by Chinese counter-intelligence officers and tried and executed. The untold story is that she was apprehended at the scene of a murder of a Japanese double-agent. His penis had been bitten off and all the blood had been drained from his body. Now doesn't that just sound too familiar?"
"Kim, I don't know how it is I keep meeting up with beautiful women who are incredible story tellers. Keep telling, please."
"Since you insist, Jack. Just as the Nazis, the Japanese think of themselves as the master race and are descended from the gods. Japanese officials signed the Tripartite Pact in Berlin on September 27, 1940 in the presence of Adolf Hitler. Japan endorsed Germany's and Italy's mission to rule Europe and they likewise supported Japan's similar mission in Asia. Jack, some say the yakuza, particularly in this country, have maintained close ties with the underground Nazis who escaped to South America.
"One of the subjects I wrote about in my articles was the fascination and hatred of the Jews by the Japanese, much like the Nazis. I quoted from numerous books written by Japanese such as Scenario for Annihilation that denied the Holocaust ever happened. Some of the other books were The Secret of the Jewish Power that Moves the World, The Jewish Plan for the Conquest of the World and Japan: Blueprint of Jewish Conspiracy, How Japan's Nucleus Has Intercepted Freemasonry. Oh, Freemasonry you say? Not yet another coincidence.
"The Japanese, because of their Shinto religion and belief that they are ancestors of the gods, are convinced they can do no wrong. For this reason they are oblivious to the unspeakable atrocities they have committed in the past. One such atrocity was the Rape of Nanking. The mentality of the samarai and the yakuza has always been that they can do no wrong and can take whatever they want, including women. Fifty-five years ago our country had the power to reshape Japanese culture. We unfortunately did not and today we no longer have that power. Many Japanese, particularly the yakuza, hold dearly to the traditions of Shintoism and Bushi do and that a samarai never surrenders.
"This mind set has led to recent denials that the Rape of Nanking ever occurred and rewriting history textbooks in Japan to reflect that. I guess history is according to who writes it and truth is according to who tells it. A source I used in one of my articles was Playboy Magazine. Have you heard of that, Jack? I dug out an old article from the October 1990 issue where Shintaro Ishihara, the most popular writer in Japan, in an interview claimed the Nanking massacre never happened. The Japanese government has continued that charade with many public proclamations.
"The Japanese began the bombing of Nanking, which had a population of 1,000,000 at the time, in the summer of 1937. On September 25th the most devastating raids occurred which prompted most of the government officials to vacate the city, leaving only civilians and a force of 100,000 Chinese soldiers to defend Nanking. Some civilians did flee but more refugees from the fronts moved in. On November 25th the Japanese attacked Nanking from several different directions. The Chinese soldiers abandoned their positions on the outskirts of the city and joined the civilians.
"By December 13th the Japanese had overrun the city. The tanks and mechanized forces came the next day. In the next six weeks 300,000 Chinese were tortured and slaughtered. Over 20,000 women were gang raped and many were brutally murdered afterwards. Abdomens were cut open and intestines were squeezed out. Their genitalia were mutilated with bayonets and sticks and other objects. Breasts were cut off. Many men were sprayed with kerosene and burned alive. The Japanese commanders employed killing contests to boost morale. The winners of killing games were the most savage and innovative.
"The perpetrators and participants in the Rape of Nanking who survived World War II went virtually unpunished, unlike the Nazi leaders, except those who escaped to South America. The Japanese have shown no remorse and certainly have not apologized for the atrocities. And guess what, Jack. Your friend Nobura Isaka who we are going to meet soon? He is eighty-five years old now and was a young officer who was there in Nanking. I did the research."
"Kim, I have an idea. What you have been saying suggests a plan to deal with these yakuza. No doubt Nobura Isaka is familar somewhat with your past articles in the Review-Journal. What he doesn't know is that you will be with me and won't he be surprised? I think we should tell him you are going to break a story about the Lilith murders and the yakuza connection unless he cooperates and provides the information we want. Otherwise he will just keep lying."
"Yes, Jack, that sounds like a plan to me. The one thing the yakuza do seem to fear the most is exposure and adverse publicity. I know much more about the yakuza. I know about their ties to the Nazis in South America."
"Well tell me, Kim. The more dirt I have to bargain with the quicker we will find out about the Golden Wedge of Ophir."
"OK, Jack, but remember what I did to wake you up? I could use a little reciprocation here, if you get my drift."
A few minutes later Jack's tongue was between Kim's legs and Kim's tongue was still wagging although she was not as lucid as she had been before. "Jack, your friend Nobura Isaka has friends in Brazil. Did you ever see the movie The Boys from Brazil?"
"No, Kim, I did see American Yakuza though with Nick Davis, no relation, the first outsider having the privilege of joining the yakuza. Great movie."
"Jack, quit talking and go back to what you were doing. I'm close."
"Sit on my face, Kim."
"Well, uh, OK, if you say so."
Ten minutes later Kim flopped on her back, gasping and groaning. Jack wiped his face with a towel.
"Dang, Kim, you sure can squirt."
"Yeah, well, shit happens. I don't hold back."
"I guess not. You left off, before I so rudely interrupted you, with telling me about the Nazis and Brazil, I think. Whatever."
Kim took up where she thought she left off. "In The Boys from Brazil we have a plot to resurrect Nazism and conquer the world, and this time do it right. Sir Lawrence Oliver plays an old Nazi hunter whose writing gets a young American Nazi hunter interested. Gregory Peck plays Dr. Josef Mengele. Adolf Hitler clones are the theme. A very weird movie."
"Yeah, yeah, I'm sorry I missed it. Now what's the real story?"
"In November 1997 a vault was opened in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which contained more than $4 million in cash, jewelry and gold bars which was alleged to belong to Holocaust victims and brought to Brazil by Nazis who escaped Germany. One Albert Blume, a German who came to Brazil before World War II, deposited the contents of the vault. He was the banker for his Nazi friends who joined him later. This is only one of many such vaults and at one time it contained much more than $4 million in loot."
"I'm sure you have heard of Herbert W. Armstrong, the leader of the Worldwide Church of God until his death on January 16, 1986. Armstrong had rather well-known ties to Japan. In the early 1970's Armstrong started a Japanese department for his Ambassador College in Pasadena, California. He arranged for Japanese to teach Japanese. How innovative! One of those Japanese was Osamu Gotoh who became rather infamous when on June 6, 1975, he was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for transporting very valuable undeclared jewelry. He was released on bail and vanished until powerful people brought pressure to bear to leave him alone. At the time he was in the process of arranging for Armstrong to meet with the Japanese imperial family. And guess who else taught Japanese at Armstrong's Ambassador College. You got it. Our friend Nobura Isaka.
"There is a rather famous photograph of Herbert W. Armstrong with former Japanese Prime Ministers Eisaku Sate, Kakuei Tanaka, Takeo Miki, Takeo Fukuda, Masayoshi Ohira, Zenko Suziki and Yasuhiro Nakasone. All these men were connected to the yakuza. Emporer Hirohito bestowed upon Armstrong the Order of the Sacred Treasure. Need I say more?
"Upon his arrival in California, it didn't take our friend Nobura Isaka long to establish communication with former Nazis in Brazil. He was assisted in this endeavor by a Catholic bishop in Los Angeles and representatives of the Worldwide Church of God. The connection with the Nazis in South America furnished Isaka with a continuous supply of drugs.
"You know, of course, the relationship between the Vatican and the Nazis. The Vatican issued a position paper two years ago when old records began to be unsealed called We Remember, a Reflection on the Shoah where they said they didn't do enough to stop the extermination of six million Jews during the war. Oh, really? Read a book entitled Unholy Trinity by John Loftus and Mark Aarons that exposes how the Vatican smuggled Nazis out of Germany and into South America. The operation was called Draganovic's Ratline and not only landed the fugitive Nazis in South America, but in our country as well, and in Canada, and in Great Britain, and in Australia.
"Viking recently published the book Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, written by British Catholic scholar John Cornwell. Several months ago portions of that book appeared in Vanity Fair. An excerpt, 'The evidence was explosive. It showed for the first time that Pacelli (Pius XII) was patently, and by the proof of his own words, anti-Jewish. It revealed that he had helped Hitler to power and at the same time undermined potential Catholic resistance in Germany. It showed that he had implicitly denied and trivialized the Holocaust, despite having reliable knowledge of its true intent. And, worse, that he was a hypocrite, for after the war he had retrospectively taken undue credit for speaking out boldly against the Nazis' persecution of the Jews.' Get the picture, Jack?"
"Yes, Kim, I get the picture. And it's time for us to head over to Lindo Michoacan and meet Nobura Isaka."
"OK, give me ten minutes to change. How should I dress? Little Miss Prissy?"
"Nah. Dress to kill."
Kim took her overnight bag into the bathroom and came out ten minutes later looking like Miss America. "You like, Jack?" She was wearing a white seamless tank top and a white bandeau as a skirt. Her ebony skin dramatically contrasted with her skimpy white outfit.
"Kim, your nipples are sticking right out. You remind me of Kathleen Turner in Body Heat except your boobs are bigger, but same nipples. Yeah, and you have a better tan than Ms. Turner. If you were my daughter there is no way in hell I would let you walk out the door looking like that."
"But Jack, I'm not your daughter. I'm your favorite fuck. Well, one of them anyway." Kim began giggling uncontrollably.
"Let's go girl. I'm hungry, starving. All I had to eat today was, well you know."
"Hey! Me too. That stuff is high in protein, tastes great, but less filling."
"OK, let's go. And no talking dirty. This is serious business."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let's hit the road, Jack."
Thirty minutes later they walked in the doors of Lindo Michoacan and were greeted warmly by the owner Jorge Gonzalez. It was obvious to Jack that Jorge recognized Kim immediately when he hugged her warmly. And then Jack was sure when Jorge said, "Senorita Wright, I'm so happy to see you again. You look absolutely stunning as usual." His face was all broad smiles.
"Hello, Jorge," Kim replied, "and would you please call me Kim. We are here to meet Nobura Isaka. Do you know him? Is he here yet?"
"Yes, Kim," Jorge responded with a look of consternation, "I know him. No, he is not here yet." Jorge led them to a table in a secluded spot of the restaurant. "I'll bring you some fresh guacamole."
"Don't forget the tequila, Jorge," Kim requested.
"Jorge is from the Mexican state of Michoacan," Kim explained, "hence the name of this place. Michoacan derives from the Nahuatl language and means 'fishermen's place.' Jorge was born in the Capital Morelia which was founded in 1541 by the first viceroy of New Spain, Antonio de Mendoza. The city was originally named Valladolid, after Mendoza's birthplace in Spain, but the name was changed after the independence of Mexico."
Kim continued, "Jorge learned the culinary arts at a monastery in Michoacan. The Mother Superior was his mentor. He has told me the story a hundred times. One thing is for damn sure. He is a master chef. Especially with the fish. Try the Filete Relleno. Orange roughy filet, stuffed with shrimp and octopus. Deep fried and smothered with Jorge's own secret Michoacan sauce. I love to eat here! Scrumptious."
Jack chuckled and Kim looked at him quizzically. "What the hell is so funny, Jack?"
"Oh, I was just thinking about something. Are you on the menu, Kim?"
"Don't be a pig, Jack. You already had, well, you know, and not that long ago."
"How could I forget?" Jack continued to laugh uncontrollably.
"C'mon, Jack, share the joke. You are laughing about something you are not telling me about."
"Oh, OK, what the hell. I told you about a young Hispanic lady named Carmelita Sanchez who told me the story of two of the women who mysteriously disappeared, her friends Candace Pike Martin and Roxanne 'Blue Duck' Alexander. I met Carmelita at Kady's Coffee Shop at the Riviera you will recall. What I didn't tell you was that Carmelita went under the table and gave me head right in the place. When you said 'I love to eat hear' it just reminded me of that episode. Sorry."
Kim looked indignant but Jack could tell she was feigning annoyance. "Well, Jack, you certainly are sorry and I'll go under the table and do that for you if you insist. But I already sucked you off once today, you pig!" Kim began giggling at her own sarcastic humor.
Just then Jorge arrived with the guacamole and prepared it before them using fresh hass avocados, jalepeno chiles, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and fresh lime. "Here's the tequila. Don't mind the water bottle. I don't serve liquor here," Jorge cackled. "It's Jose Cuervo." Jack began to laugh again.
"What now, Jack? You are a very silly boy. Tell Kim what your problem is."
"It's just that Caitlin sang Jose Cuervo in a restaurant not long ago."
"Kim sings too!" Jorge exclaimed. "Let me go get my guitar."
"Oh, shit. Thanks, Jack. Jorge will never let me off the hook now."
Jorge was back in moments with the guitar and began to strum. "Jack, this is my favorite song. It's called Michaocan naturally and was made popular by Kris Kristofferson. Sing Kim!" She did, reluctantly, and Jack was in awe of her beautiful voice, as he was with Caitlin's.
"Woke up this morning the border was burning my mind. Things that I seen that I couldn't be leaving behind. Down in this hole in the ground there ain't nothin' to see. But down in Michocan paradise waits for me.
North of the border the bodies are bought and they're sold. Me and a brother was caught turning green into gold. I'm gonna pay for my crime till the day I'm free. But down in Michoacan paradise waits for me.
A rusty car rode across the border I was inside. I had two dogs, my red guitar and my teenage bride. We took a look at a shot in the dark and we found a home. Where the flowers bloom in Michoacan.
A rusty car rode across the border I was inside. I had two dogs, my red guitar and my teenage bride. I gotta clean up my act and go back to where I belong. Where the flowers bloom in Michoacan."
Just then Nobura Isaka walked in, escorted to the table by Jorge's wife, Marguerita. Two yakuza bodyguards accompanied Isaka. He motioned for them to sit at a table nearby.
"Senor Isaka, welcome," Jorge muttered hesitantly. Jack stood up, introduced Kim and asked the senior advisor to the oyabun to sit.
"Here is your sake, Senor Isaka. Sharaku, your favorite." Jorge poured from the bottle into a sake cup.
"Thank you, Jorge," the yakuza spoke softly. Isaka looked directly at Kim. "Sharaku is named for a famous ukiyoe painter who mysterious disappeared, much like the women you and Mr. Davis are looking for. Would you like to try some sake, Ms. Wright?"
"Certainly, Mr. Isaka. Please give Mr. Davis some too. I don't want to be the only one who gets trashed. What's the alcohol content in this stuff?"
"About 17%. Actually, sake is more like a beer than a wine, being fermented from a grain, specifically rice. But it is not carbonated and thus flavor-wise is closer to wine than beer, although distinctly different in taste than either. Sake has been around since the 3rd century and was originally called 'kuchikami no sake' or 'chewing-in-the-mouth sake.' Rice, millet and chesnuts were chewed up by the members of a particular village and spat into a tub and left to ferment. It was an important ritual in our Shinto religious festivals."
"Hey, not too bad, Mr. Isaka," Kim commented as she tasted the beverage. "But let us get right to the point. Where did you get the Golden Wedge of Ophir?"
Jack was taken aback by her abruptness but said nothing. He just stared nonchalantly at Nobura Isaka and glanced over at his men menacingly.
"Ah, Ms. Wright, now why should I tell you anything?" Isaka smiled but seemed unsure of where this conversation was headed.
Kim told him why. She told him she would make sure articles were published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal and elsewhere regarding the yakuza involvement in this and other sordid affairs. "Mr. Isaka, I'm sure you remember my other articles in the paper about the yakuza. I'm just getting warmed up. I no longer work for the paper so I therefore have no master and therefore I have no censors, if you get my drift. If the Review-Journal won't publish my articles, although I'll bet the farm they will, other publications will jump on this story. No matter how much influence you think you have you will never keep the lid on this if I get the ball rolling."
"Mr. Isaka," Jack added, "what happened to your word, the word you gave me that you would help find the killer of your close friend, Miyuki Huang?"
"Yes, Mr. Davis, I did give you my word. I will keep my word. I did not lie to you. I let you uncover this conspiracy for yourself. There were matters of which I was not certain. Better to let you make up your own mind. I also agreed to provide you with whatever assistance you desire. That promise I also will honor. You need only ask, or encourage Ms. Wright to continue to blackmail me. Miyuki Huang and myself acted only as an intermediary in this matter. I am sure you know we act as an intermediary in the matter of money laundering and other transactions for various parties. That is what we were doing in the matter of this Golden Wedge of Ophir. We agreed to arrange this transaction in exchange for $10 million worth of cocaine."
"What?" Kim exclaimed. "If you got $10 million in merchandise what is that thing worth?"
"It is priceless, Ms. Wright. Priceless. Jorge, come here! Jorge knows the details, perhaps better than I do. Jorge, tell them everything. Tell them everything you know."
"Si, Senor Isaka."
The yakuza rose and beckoned his bodyguards. He glanced back at Jack and Kim. "Whatever it is you want or need of the yakuza, you know how to find me."
To Be Continued...
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