Aka to Kuro
Red and Black
Artist: Katsura Komachi
Everything that wasn’t done in Volume 1: Chapter 0 (the start of chapter 1 that was added in tankou release) and Extra — Mediafire (labelled c0)
Volume 2’s Extra — Mediafire (labelled c3.5)
It was also raining the day I met Yamato Bidou. Yukio, the son of the second-in-command, learns from the boss’ son Yamato that his father doesn’t have long to live. “I don’t want your father’s, I want to exchange sakazuki with you, Yamato.” Yukio falls for Yamato, who is full of determination to take on the burden of the Bidou group despite being a high school student, and unofficially exchanges sakazuki with him. The two of them, both born into gangster households, are certain this is the meeting of a lifetime but…
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Yakuza: also known as gokudō (極道, “the extreme path”), are members of transnational organized crime syndicates originating in Japan. The Japanese police, and media by request of the police, call them bōryokudan (暴力団, “violent groups”), while the yakuza call themselves “ninkyō dantai” (任侠団体 or 仁侠団体, “chivalrous organizations”). The yakuza are notorious for their strict codes of conduct and their organized fiefdom-nature.
Yakuza tattoos: Back in the old days, Yakuza were the only people in Japan that would get tattoos. So if you were spotted with a tattoo, one immediately thought you were in one of the Yakuza gangs. When a Yakuza gets a tattoo on their backs, normally they start with an outline, which means they have just entered the group and have not earned the right for it to be colored. Once the design is colored in, if their entire back is covered, this usually means that they have provided significantly to the group and have earned the tattoo like a badge of honor. In the past, the color red was especially deemed as manly in Japanese tattooing because of the harmful pigments it contained.
Yakuza tattoos would normally not cover the underarm area, because the inner arm is one of the most painful areas to be tattooed (along with the inner thigh), and two, in the past, criminals received punitive tattoos that covered the arm’s inner area. That’s why tattoo enthusiasts in the late 19th century would leave that section open, to show that they were not covering up punitive work. In short, this became a way to show one was tattooed out of free will. The Japanese Yakuza also believe that tattoos are private, and so they’ll commit to full body suits that can’t be seen above any collars or cuffs. In the Edo period, criminals would get the Tokigawa symbol on the back of their necks to avoid the death penalty. But then the officials would just hack the skin off before they executed them. If you tattoo a family symbol it is a very serious crime, almost as bad as tattooing a first generation samurai symbol.
Kaichou: boss/president/leader. If you consider the Yakuza a business, each of the “kumi” groups would be under a corporation umbrella or association which is the “Kai”. The Kaichou is higher than the Kumicho. Pretty much the CEO of the shindig.
Kumicho: Head of a branch Yakuza Group, listens to the orders of the Kaichou. Usually is also sworn brothers with the Kaichou. This would be the equivalent of a vice president in normal businesses.
Sakazuki: Exchanging sakazuki means creating ties of connection and loyalty between people and groups in yakuza society by drinking rice wine from each other’s cups. During the formation of the yakuza, they adopted the traditional Japanese hierarchical structure of oyabun-kobun where kobun (子分; lit. foster child) owe their allegiance to the oyabun (親分, lit. foster parent). In a much later period, the code of jingi (仁義, justice and duty) was developed where loyalty and respect are a way of life. The oyabun-kobun relationship is formalized by ceremonial sharing of sake from a single cup. This ritual is not exclusive to the yakuza—it is also commonly performed in traditional Japanese Shinto weddings, and may have been a part of sworn brotherhood relationships.
Waka: Young Leader/Future Heir of the group, it can also sometimes mean young master. Usually the eldest son of the head of the Kumi/Kai chou. These can also be adopted sons.
Ichidame: First head. So this usually means the very first person who was the head of the group, whether it is the Kumi or Kai.
Nidame: Second head. This is usually the second heir to the group. Can be blood related or a sworn brother/adopted son.
Sandaime: Third successor in line. Usually is the grandson of the ichidame.
Shateigashira: The sworn brothers of the current Kumicho.