Melody




ISBN-13: 9784770030429
Publisher: Kodansha International, 192pp
Pub. Date: May 2007
Translator: Louise Heal


As the title suggests, Yakuza Moon is a memoir of Shoko Tendo, who is a gangster's daughter. In this book, Shoko tells her readers about her childhood, and her life revolving around the yakuzas. Having a yakuza father is tough, aside from this uncontrollable fact she also has to endure the abuse she suffered especially when her father came home drunk in the middle of the night and creates chaos in the house.

Shoko later gets herself involved with the wrong crowd, and became a yanki (juvenile delinquent). During her teenage years, she ditch school, sniff thinner and gets high on speed. When she became older, she got involved either with gangsters who treated her badly or married men who treated her as a kept woman.

Finally, she told herself she wanted to be her own person again, and that was when she had her body tattooed, to symbolize she is being free. She has also became a stronger person after the death of her parents, and is not afraid to put her past behind and be a new person again.

There was a sentence she quoted which I liked:
"Now that I’m alone, do I warrant a full moon? Have I finally overcome my weaknesses and grown up? I’m heading along a new path in life, but if it turns out to be a dead end, I guess I can start over with the next full moon.”
I applaud her bravery after reading this part. Indeed it takes a lot of courage for a person to accept his past and decide to start his life anew.

Yakuza Moon isn't an easy read in my opinion; I have mixed emotions reading this autobiography as there were times I was annoyed that she was degenerating herself, but yet at the same time I also felt sorry for her for behind her rebellious mask, I think she is just an ordinary woman craving to be loved.
6 Responses
  1. This sounds like an interesting book to read, Melody. Thank you for the review. I imagine she had a difficult life, but I am glad she was able to turn it around for the better.


  2. Melody Says:

    Indeed it's interesting, Wendy! I also get to learn a few Japanese culture through this book. I too am glad that she has decided to be a better person.


  3. Alice Teh Says:

    I must say I am very attracted to its cover. That's some beautiful body art. The story sounds as good as it looks too. Thanks for the book review, Melody!


  4. Melody Says:

    Hi Alice! I agree; the cover is the first thing that attracts me to this book initially. The artwork is beautiful, although it is a painful procedure (at least this is what I learnt from the book). Though a little dark in some ways, I find this book can be quite an inspiration to some.


  5. Rhinoa Says:

    Sounds interesting and I love the cover artwork and tattoo. If only I had a design that big that I loved to get done.


  6. Melody Says:

    Hi Rhinoa! I agree the artwork and the tattoo is beautiful. I wish I have the courage to do it, even though the design is small. LOL.