Adam Johnson says, the yakuza can trace its origins back to as early as 1612, when people known as kabuki-mono (“crazy ones”), began to attract the attention of local officials. Their odd clothing and haircuts and behavior, along with carrying longswords at their sides, made them quite noticable. Kabuki-mono made a habit of antagonizing and terrorizing anyone at their leisure, even to the point of cutting one down just for sheer pleasure. The kabuki-mono were eccentric samurai, taking outrageous names for their bands and speaking heavily in slang. Their loyalty to one another was remarkable. They would protect each other from any threat, including against their own families. Read more.