Daimon of Kudo-kai
|Territory||Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan|
|Criminal activities||Protection racketeering, drug trafficking, unlawful involvement in public works and other legitimate businesses, among others|
|Allies||The Yonsha-kai (Dojin-kai, Taishu-kai, Kumamoto-kai)|
The Kudo-kai (工藤會 Kudō-kai?) is a yakuza group headquartered in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka on the Kyushu island of Japan, with an estimated 630 active members. An article by the Independent newspaper refers to the Kudo-kai as an affiliate of the Yamaguchi-gumi, but that is false. The Kudo-kai has been a purely independent syndicate ever since its foundation, and has caused numerous conflicts with the Yamaguchi-gumi (at least on eight separate occasions in 2000; at least one Yamaguchi-affiliate boss was shot to death by the Kudo-kai in 2000). The Independent article may mean "Kodo-kai".
The Kudo-kai is the largest yakuza group in the Kitakyushu area, and like other yakuza groups based in the northern Kyushu region, it is noted for its extremely militant stance, by using the likes of machine guns and hand grenades in their activities. The Kudo-kai is regarded as the best example of Kyushu yakuza who strongly oppose the police, get angry easily, and "fight with pride".
The National Police Agency's official report refers to the Kudo-kai as a "particularly nefarious group". One notable incident happened in March 1988, while feuding with a Chinese mafia syndicate attempting to enter the Kitakyushu area, the Kudo-kai attacked the Consulate General Fukuoka office of the People's Republic of China, which had nothing to do with the mafia, with shotguns and a dump truck.
The Kudo-kai is a member of an anti-Yamaguchi fraternal federation, the Yonsha-kai, with three other northern-Kyushu based organizations, the Taishu-kai, Dojin-kai, and Kumamoto-kai. The Yonsha-kai had been known as the "Sansha-kai" until 2005 when the Kumamoto-kai joined it. The Kudo-kai is the principal member of this federation.
In 1987, the Kudo-kai annexed the Kusano-ikka, a Kitakyushu-based yakuza clan which had frequent violent conflicts with the Kudo-kai until then. The Kudo-kai was registered as a designated yakuza group under the Organized Crime Countermeasures Law in 1992.
Hideo Mizoshita became the third president in January 2000, and he died on July 1, 2008 at the age of 61. His funeral was held on July 6 of that year, where the attendees included many yakuza magnates from all over the country, such as those from the Sumiyoshi-kai, Inagawa-kai, Soai-kai, Matsuba-kai, Kyokuto-kai, Aizukotetsu-kai, Sakaume-gumi, Azuma-gumi, Asano-gumi, Kyodo-kai, Goda-ikka, Shinwa-kai, Kyosei-kai, Kozakura-ikka, Kyokuryu-kai, Okinawa Kyokuryu-kai, and even Kiyoshi Takayama of the Yamaguchi-gumi, and possibly some Russian or Italian or Mexican yakuza magnates.
In June 2011, following the 4th president Nomura's promotion to the Grand President (sosai), the 4th number-two (rijicho), Fumio Tanoue, became the president.
The Kudo-kai's illegal activities have allegedly included protection racketeering, drug trafficking, unlawful involvement in public works such as public construction projects, and in legitimate businesses such as commerce and trade. See Nuclear power in Japan.
According to a Wall Street Journal article appearing February 2, 2012: "Like many Japanese gangs, the Kudokai even maintains its own public headquarters, the Kudokai Hall — a four-story, fortresslike white building surrounded by tall walls, barbed wire and security cameras — that sits in the center of Kitakyushu, a city of one million residents."
Attacks on civilians
The Kudo-kai is notorious for not hesitating to attack katagi civilians, or ordinary civilians, notably, the Kudo-kai has attacked; the Kyushu Electric Power president's house and the Saibu Gas chairman's house located in Fukuoka with grenades (alleged cases), a bar managed by an anti organized crime campaign leader with a hand grenade, future Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Shimonoseki house and office with molotov cocktails on several occasions, among many others with grenades or firearms. The NHK Broadcasting Center received a threatening phone call from a man claiming himself to be a Kudo-kai insider after the NHK television network made a nationwide broadcast about the series of gun attacks on the office buildings of the Saibu Gas allegedly done by the Kudo-kai.
The Kudo-kai maintains its headquarters office in Kokura Kita, Kitakyushu and its known offices in two other prefectures. The Kudo-kai's notable "territories" outside of Kitakyushu allegedly include Harajuku, Tokyo, more specifically the Ura-Harajuku area known as "Ura-Hara". The origin of this "ownership" allegedly traces back to the early 1980s, when the Sumiyoshi-kai, the original "owner" of this area, yielded to the Dojin-kai in a conflict in which many of the Sumiyoshi-kai's traditional "territories" were seized by the Dojin-kai. The Kudo-kai was allegedly given this "territory" by the Dojin-kai, and that is the alleged key reason why it was in Kitakyushu where the leading Ura-Hara brand Good Enough's first flag shop opened, and why many leading figures in the 1980s-1990s "Ura-Hara" movement frequently visited Kitakyushu and many of them were actually from Kitakyushu (Toru Iwai, a co-founder of Good Enough, for one), and why the volume of distribution of drugs especially methamphetamines and relatively new drugs such as MDMA in Tokyo has rapidly increased since then. Kudo-kai is known to have sold high-quality, brand-name MDMA drugs made in the likes of the Benelux region, Israel, or Indonesia, not gang-made impure ones.
- 1st president: Genji Kudo
- 2nd president: Takaaki Kusano
- 3rd president: Hideo Mizoshita
- 4th president: Satoru Nomura
- 5th president: Fumio Tanoue
- "EDITORIAL: Drive out yakuza groups", April 17, 2010, Asahi Shimbun
- "2010 Police White Paper Chapter 2 : Furtherance of Organized Crime Countermeasures", 2010, National Police Agency (Japanese)
- "2001 Police White Paper Chapter 4 : Furtherance of Boryokudan Comprehensive Measures", 2001, National Police Agency (Japanese)
- "Japan's mobsters get a big-screen reality check with policeman's film", July 22, 2006, The Independent
- "About the Anti-Kudo-kai Top Convention in the Kitakyushu Area", May 19, 2010, Fukuoka Prefecture (Japanese)
- "Fukuoka yakuza groups tackle police pressure in all-out war", 4 May 2010, The Tokyo Reporter, from Friday May 14, p.22-23 (Japanese)
- "Boryokudan Situation in 2010", April 2011, National Police Agency (Japanese)
- The Sixth Yamaguchi-gumi Complete Databook 2008 Edition : "The funeral of the Fourth Kudo-kai Honorary Adviser Hideo Mizoshita" (p.192–197), 1 February 2009, Mediax, ISBN 978-4-86201-358-3 (Japanese)
- "Kudo-kai", 20 August 2003, Nishinippon Shimbun (Japanese)
- "Hideo Mizoshita profile", Takarajima (Japanese)
- "Hideo Mizoshita of the Kudo-kai dies", 2 July 2008, Fukuoka Kenmin Shimbun (Japanese)
- The Sixth Yamaguchi-gumi Complete Databook 2008 Edition : "The funeral of the Fourth Kudo-kai Honorary Adviser Hideo Mizoshita", p.196's picture, 1 February 2009, Mediax, ISBN 978-4-86201-358-3 (Japanese)
- "Kudo-kai : The number-2 succeeded as the 5th, With a refresh in the executive", June 25, 2011, Mainichi Shimbun (Japanese)
- "Reinforcement of Boryokudan Countermeasures in the Kitakyushu Area", 2009, Fukuoka Prefectural Police (Japanese)
- "The Golden Week in which the Yamaguchi-gumi stands at the crossroads", 25 April 2011, Atsushi Mizoguchi (Japanese)
- "Two Fukuoka biz leaders threatened", 7 March 2011, The Japan Times
- "Mobster firebombs Kitakyushu bar, leaving seven women, two men hurt", 20 August 2003, The Japan Times
- "Mob boss gets 20 for Abe home arsons", 10 March 2007, The Japan Times
- "A phone call to the NHK allegedly from the Kudo-kai, in which it remonstrated against the report", 14 April 2010, 47 News (Japanese)
- "Police of Japan 2011, Criminal Investigation : 2. Fight Against Organized Crime", December 2009, National Police Agency