When talking about yakuza, you’d generally think of Japanese gangster movies with classic male leads. But that does not mean that there aren’t any yakuza movies with a strong woman lead. Follow this article to add some absolute sensational and must-watch female yakuza movies.
1. Sister Street Fighter
Release year - 1974
Synopsis - Li Hong-Long is a female martial artist. One day her brother, Li Wang-Qing, gets taken away from her. Hell-bent on wanting her brother back, she goes on a spree of battles against the drug gang, using her skills to the fullest. This movie is a spin-off of the 1974 movie “The Street Fighter”. It is the first release in the ‘Street Sister’ trilogy.
2. Blind Woman’s Curse
Release year - 1970
Synopsis - Akemi is a yakuza leader. More specifically, she is a dragon-tattooed leader of the Tachibana Yakuza clan. In a rivalry between another clan, Akemi ends up gashing an opponent’s eye. Soon after, a black cat appeared and began to circle the blood from the wound. Wanting revenge for what was done to her, the eye victim heads on a mission. A mission that leaves a trail of dead bodies, all of the dead yakuza girls, and their dragon tattoos skinned away.
3. The Kanto Scarlet Cherry Gang
Release year - 1972
Synopsis - Tsuruji is a beautiful yet somewhat tough geisha, clearly not suitable to lead a group of firefighters. After the leader of the respected Ni Family had passed, and the disappearance of the successor, Tsuruji becomes the leader of the group. But it all comes down to a battle with a yakuza clan that will be the ultimate deciding factor of whether she can or cannot become boss.
4. Sailor Suit And Machine Gun: Graduation
Release year - 1981
Synopsis - Most high school seniors aren’t like Izumi. And, Izumi isn’t like most high school seniors. She is a young girl who has led a yakuza group in her past. After she killed her uncle’s murderer in revenge, her yakuza group was disbanded. Now, Izumi lives the life of an ordinary girl. She goes to school and even works as a manager at a cafe. Unknown to her, something dangerous is coming to her, and Izumi might have to rely on her yakuza ways to battle this incoming situation.
5. Geisha Assassin
Release year - 2008
Synopsis - After the vicious murder of her father, Kotono goes after the samurai responsible and battles them. Kotono manages to beat the samurais one after the other. Everything seems to be going according to plan for Kotono, until three ninjas show up, looking for a fight.
6. Yakuza-Busting Girls: Duel In Hell
Release year - 2010
Synopsis - Asami returns after three years of severe training to become a yakuza hunter. Upon her arrival, she decides to greet her old master, Inokuma. To her horror, she discovers that a local yakuza had turned her master’s place into a gambling house. They had claimed ownership to the entire area, thanks to a cold-blooded killer, Akira. It is now up to Asami to use every bit of her training to defeat the yakuza and take back what doesn’t belong to them.
7. Female Yakuza Tale
Release year - 1973
Synopsis - Ocho, a woman who wants to spend her time peacefully, gets abducted by a yakuza clan that uses women to smuggle drugs. When Ocho discovers that the last boss’s daughter had been kidnapped by Kingpin after he assassinated the last boss, she decides to join hands with the drug mules against the yakuza.
8. Showa Onna Bakuto (Modern Lady Gambler)
Release year - 1972
Synopsis - Fujiko is a wanderer, in search of the man she once loved. The same man that had betrayed her, and destroyed her family and Fujiko’s life. When she finds out that this man has already passed, she becomes aimless. Fujiko goes on to meet Tatsumi of the Horikawa Family. She falls in love with him and the yakuza lifestyle he leads. But when Tatsumi is killed by his sworn brother in a fit of jealousy, Fujiko becomes a ‘Bakuto’, a wandering yakuza gambler, and walks on a road to vengeance.
9. Yakuza Ladies
Release year - 1986
Synopsis - Tamaki is the wife of a yakuza capo, and since the imprisonment of her husband, she has been running the gang with absolute grip. Makoto, her younger sister, gets married to a member of Tamaki’s rival yakuza. Now that the sisters are married to each other’s enemies, they must choose between their gangs and their blood.
10. The Red Silk Gambler
Release year - 1972
Synopsis - Okatsu, the Tiger Lily, is a female gambler who travels between gambling sites. All she carries is a short sword and a pillbox as her means of defense and attack.