Some cats are cute. Some are ugly, but still cute. These cats look like Japanese gangsters. They are scary in the most adorable way possible.
If you've ever seen any Japanese yakuza movies or have played any of Sega's Yakuza games, then you probably know what the gangsters of the Japanese popular imagination look like. If you haven't, here are some yakuza characters from Japanese movies. Note their facial expressions:
When angry, the yakuza of popular culture speak guttural Japanese, roll their Rs, furrow their brows, and leave their mouths hanging open. All of this is done to look tough and intimidating! Not all real yakuza look like this or make these expressions! As mentioned, these are the gangsters of movies and manga, which, in turn, might influence real gangsters.
For the past few years in Japan, some people online have been comparing cats — sometimes their own cats — to organised crime members. They call the cats "yakuza neko" (ヤクザ猫) or "neko yakuza" (猫ヤクザ), with "neko," of course, meaning "cat."
For example, here is a neko yakuza crime family, with each feline given a different position in the organisation.
Then, there's this. The text in this TV news photo states that a 70 year-old, unemployed suspect is wanted for attempted murder and violating Japan's weapons law. Since a cat is pictured at the scene instead of the actual suspect, it makes it seem like the cat is the accused criminal. The accidental image is a wonderful neko yakuza pic.
Here are some cats that remind folks in Japan of yakuza:
The caption reads, "Who you calling a yakuza?"
The cat comparisons to yakuza was even used in a crime prevention poster in Osaka Prefecture. The anti-extortion poster tells citizens not to fear organised crime and not to give into their demands and pay them money.
The black cat, it seems, is representing a Japanese mobster. While it's not a perfect comparison, it sure is cute.