8-9-3

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Yakuza Numbers: The Worst Hand

What is the origin of Yakuza?

Numbers.

Ya Ku Za means 8-9-3, a losing combination in a card game (called Oichokabu) usually played with a deck of hanafuda (Japanese Flower-card game).

Ya = yattsu (eight)
Ku = nine
Za = san (three)

yakuza_numbers_893_explained

 

A player’s score in Oichokabu is decided by adding the scores on several cards and using only the smallest digit.

8 + 9 + 3 = 20 = 0 points
“8-9-3” means “no points” or “useless”

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Editor in Chief Mehdi Chourou