“Junki proved himself a consummate brawler, slashing and battling with a ferocity notable even by lower Kyoto’s brutal standards. First he ran with a gang, then he ran his own. He picked up both a collection of knife scars and a nickname derived from the American tough-guy films he loved: One-Eyed-Jack Junki.
He had lost his right eye in an accident when he was three years old. A Buddhist priest had told him, “Junki-san, God has taken your eye and replaced it with his own. You will have a special insight into people.”
But the only thing special about Yoshida’s life seemed to be its difficulty. At 18 he failed the exam for entrance into the university system, the kiss of death for a young person in Japan. A life on the streets awaited Yoshida, a violent and likely brief career shaking down construction workers for the Yakuza, the Japanese version of Cosa Nostra. He decided instead to borrow money from his mother for a plane ticket to America, the land of second chances. He touched down in Seattle on a January day in 1968. The first thing he did was cash in his return ticket. He had resolved not to return home until he had achieved success.”
That’s not the childhood of a typical sauce maker; that’s Kill-fucking-Bill, Say Hello to My Little Friend-caliber. Watch who you fuck with, yo.
Or at least, that’s what someone should have told the Oregon lady who just sued him for $2 million!
I find it quite ironic that a year earlier, to the day, the same news site linked above ran quite a different kind of story on this man: Newsweek names Troutdale’s Junki Yoshida one of the 100 most-respected Japanese
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So what does this all mean to me? Well, I guess I will never be able to market a line of Asian cooking sauces in the Pacific Northwest under my own name. Cosmic Teriyaki Co., LTD., here I come!