Prosthetic Pinkies for the Yakuza

June 10, 2013 | Marina Galperina

Watching a former member of Japan’s notorious Yakuza mafia snap off his pinkie prosthetic is terrifying.

It’s not nearly as terrifying as his soft-spoken account of “yubitsume” — the Yakuza punishment for disgraced gang members which requires them to chop off their own fingers. He slammed a chisel through this one. This one didn’t break off, so stomped on it until it did.

Say one of your subordinates got caught using drugs or you failed the Yakuza Code in some way, but you’re out now and you’re trying to get a sales job, or get married. Or maybe you’re not out but trying to keep a low profile, without those easily identifiable markers of underworld involvement.

That’s where Shintaro Hayashi of Tokyo-based Aiwa Gishi comes in, specializing in seamless, custom-molded silicone prosthetics for various lost appendages, but lately, pinkies for gangsters. The digits are $3,000 a pop and require maintenance and repainting every three months — to match prosthetic skin tone with the changing seasons. Naturally.


(Photo: The Australian)