You might remember us mentioning Tokyo Vice author Jake Adelstein, the Jewish-American fellow who was once a crime-beat reporter in Japan, for his interview with several Japanese mafia bosses and members comparing their experiences with those depicted in Sega's Yakuza series.

Adelstein has put out a new article on Yakuza 3, this time highlighting some interesting content that Sega cut from its U.S. localization. The deleted scenario follows the game's hero, Kiryu, as he tries to learn how to speak in English from foreigners running an eikawa ("English Conversation") school.

"What’s not well known is that a number of english conversation schools were and are still run by anti-social forces, some of them essentially being yakuza front companies. There are numerous ways these schools can be used as a semi-legal con-game. One is the use of attractive women/handsome guys who approach the Japanese mark and encourage them to believe that by joining the school that he/she will be able to date the person who solicits him.

The other approach is to browbeat the student into paying a huge initial registration fee up front and then refusing to return the money if the student decides to quit. Others make the 'victim' part of the game by embroiling them in a pyramid scheme, after they’ve paid a ridiculous amount of money for their “contract”, by offering them a percentage of the fees for anyone else they can get to enroll in the school."


Yakuza 3's eikawa storyline takes that approach, and Kiryu soon finds out he's being scammed. Around the 8-minute mark in the video above, you'll see how Kiryu gets his refund from the yakuza -- by beating them with lamps and an huge flatscreen TV (which magically fix themselves after the battle)!

"I don't expect realism from a video game but the cut sequence detailing Kiryu’s bad experiences with an English conversation school scam has elements of truth that make it interesting," comments Adelstein.

You can read more about the yakuza's eikawa history on Adelstein's blog. The author will actually be taking part in a discussion about “Yakuza in Popular Media & Real Life: Cracks & Chasms” on March 16 (6:30) at New York's Japan Society before a film screening of Onibi-The Fire Within, so check that out if you're in the area!

[Via Kotaku]