Shoko Tendo is a survivor, and this book is her tale of surviving years of domestic violence. It’s definitely not for the weak hearted. Having said that she relays a tale of abuse, which is narrated in a voice that speaks in the voice of the battered who found redemption in her inner strength. As a survivor of childhood abuse she spends her life looking for love, and accepting fleeting affection paid for in blood and violence.
Ms. Tendo was involved with Yakuza, from her father to numerous other relations. Her experience with the gangsters from her father who beat her after coming home in a drunken state. Than she had a series of unfortunate relationships with Yakuza, where she was their mistress. She was treated horribly by them. The other men she was involved with took advantage of her as well. So almost universally almost all the men she was involved with were negative. There was one relationship she has with a Yakuza who does care for her and treat her with respect. Her pattern with men is reflective of survivors of abuse, where they have low self-esteem and poor boundaries in her relationships.
The Yakuza world that is portrayed by in this book is illuminating. The gangsters in this book are largely see their careers end in debt. Her father for example is a high roller, who enjoys flashing cash. Tendo than describes how they get in to bad money-making schemes, that ultimately fail. Than their debts make them have to “quit” the Yakuza. Than they become persons non gratis, and they become victims of their old acquaintances. This cycle is repeated by a few of the Yakuza she knew.
This book is ultimately triumphant, as she recognizes her resilience, and she decides that enough is enough. That catharsis makes this book worth it. I was very moved by her journey, I recommend this book for anyone who wants to get a picture of life for women in the Yakuza world.