A handful of golf courses in Fukuoka Prefecture have refused to add a certain checkbox to their applications for fear of their lives.
In recent years, there has been a growing trend among golf courses all over Japan to include a new field on their application form. This space contains a checkbox next to the pledge that the applicant “does not belong to an organized crime group.”
According to the West Golf Course Manager Federation, all of the golf courses in Northern Kyushu’s prefectures of Oita, Nagasaki, Saga, and Kagoshima have included the pledge. However, in the remaining prefecture of Fukuoka, only 14 of their 49 courses have done the same.
The reason for this occurred 16 years ago when high-ranking people believed to be connected to the Kudo-kai yakuza clan were denied entry to a certain golf club in the city of Kitakyushu. Shortly after, a manager there was found dead with a knife in his chest. Since then, other nearby golf course managers have been hesitant to refuse service to anyone who looks connected.
Police and other courses have reached out hoping for more unity among the golf industry in Fukuoka. However, the hold-outs are remaining firm saying that unless they get significant police protection, they aren’t putting their lives on the line for a checkbox. Logic would dictate that there is a huge difference between turning away a mob boss to his face and employing a ridiculously easy to circumvent question on your application form, but it would seem they simply aren’t taking any chances.
The West Golf Course Manager Federation stands with them, admitting that “circumstances in each region must be considered uniquely.”
What I think we can all learn from this is that yakuza appear to be incapable of lying on an application form. While some are able to resort to murder, exploitation, and extortion to achieve their goals, dishonestly checking a box on a golf course application form is something they are forbidden to do for some mystical reason.
I guess it’s one of those weird things like how vampires are unable to enter your home unless you invite them in or playing chess with Death can extend your life.
So, if you ever run afoul with organized crime in Japan, try to get them to sign an application saying they promise not to hurt you. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but it just might save your butt someday.