The Kodo-kai (弘道会 Kōdō-kai, Koh-doh-kai) is a yakuza criminal organization based in Nagoya, Japan. It is a secondary organization of the Sixth Yamaguchi-gumi, the largest known yakuza syndicate in Japan. With an estimated membership of 50,000, it is the second-largest Yamaguchi affiliate after the Yamaken-gumi, and operates in at least 18 prefectures.
The Kodo-kai is under close surveillance by the National Police Agency, as the NPA considers the organization to not be a traditional yakuza organization, but to be more like a mafia-type organization or terrorist organization. The Kodo-kai is notorious for its defiant attitude toward the official, and has dispensed with the yakuza's traditional policy of co-operating with the police.
The Kodo-kai has been one of the wealthiest clans in the Yamaguchi-gumi, with an immense working capital estimated at around $5 billion.
The Kodo-kai was founded in 1984 by Shinobu Tsukasa with 24 other members including Kiyoshi Takayama. At this time, Tsukasa became a formal member of the Fourth Yamaguchi-gumi. When the Fifth Yamaguchi-gumi started in May 1989, Tsukasa assumed the position of wakagashira-hosa (one of the third-ranking bosses).
Kiyoshi Takayama was promoted to the number-two boss (wakagashira) in 1989, and to the 2nd president (kaicho) in March 2005. The Kodo-kai expanded under Takayama's administration, and by late 2009 its total membership reached 4,000.
Takayama became a formal member of the Fifth Yamaguchi-gumi in April, 2005, and assumed the position of wakagashira-hosa in June, 2005. And when Tsukasa became the kumicho (Godfather) of the Sixth Yamaguchi-gumi in July 2005, his Kodo-kai partner Takayama was given the position of the wakagashira (number-two boss) on August 8.
Shinobu Tsukasa, also one of the third-ranking bosses (wakagashira-hosa) of the Fifth Yamaguchi-gumi and the founding head of the Tsukasa-kogyo. He would later become the head of the Hirota-gumi and the supreme boss of the Sixth Yamaguchi-gumi.
Kiyoshi Takayama who is the number-two boss (wakagashira) of the Sixth Yamaguchi-gumi and the founding head of the Takayama-gumi, and former chief director (rijicho) of the Ryoshin-kai.
Described as a "financial mafia" by a former officer of the Aichi Prefectural Police Department, the Kodo-kai's activities include banking or investment banking for the criminal underworld. The Kodo-kai is allegedly also very active and powerful in traditional "yakuza-friendly" businesses, such as the real estate business, securities business and show business.
The Kodo-kai's known branch organizations have included :
- Seibu Rengo, based in Hakata, Fukuoka, Kyushu.
- Komatsu-gumi, based in Tokyo. Launched around 1987, Komatsu-gumi have its offices in several districts in Tokyo, including Taito and Minato.
- Koike-gumi, based in Chiba.
- Fukushima Rengo, based in Sapporo, Hokkaido.
- Jido-kai, based in Nagano, Nagano, the largest Kodo affiliate in Nagano Prefecture.
- Omi-ikka, based in Otsu, Shiga. The Omi-ikka was founded in 2003 by the eldest son of Tokutaro Takayama, the fourth president of the Kyoto-based Aizukotetsu-kai.
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- "The "Top Operations" for destroying the Yamaguchi-gumi Kodo-kai, arresting from the kumicho to the number 3", December 17, 2010, Weekly Friday (Japanese)
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- "The Kodo-kai Kyushu top is arrested, relating to the construction works for the Nagasaki University Hospital", June 25, 2011, Yomiuri Shimbun (Japanese)
- "Yamaguchi-gumi Kodo-kai affiliate kumicho is arrested, on suspicion of extorting", January 29, 2011, 47 News (Japanese)
- "Kodo-kai affiliate kumicho is arrested, on suspicion of a car loan fraud", January 21, 2011, Chiba Nippo (Japanese)
- "Nine are arrested for unregistered loaning, the system finance belonging to the Kodo-kai", January 18, 2011, 47 News (Japanese)
- "Kodo-kai wakagashira-hosa is arrested on suspicion of fraud — Aomori, Nagano Police", December 4, 2010, Asahi Shimbun (Japanese)
- "The background of the arrest of the wakagashira Kiyoshi Takayama, is a fierce conflict for the 'Kyoto concession'!", November 25, 2010, Gendai Business (Japanese)