The itching was almost unbearable. The starched Arrow shirt chafed against the new irizumi tattoos that covered Takahashi from waist to collarbone, the final stage of a five year initiation into the Sumiyoshi-Kai family of Yakuza. The thought of his four thousand years of Samurai lineage did little to relieve his discomfort, and he longed for his uncle Kenji-san to arrive so he could order a drink.
As though summoned by the thought, Kenji-san parted the noren in the doorway. The hostess chirped a greeting, showed him to the back booth where his nephew sat waiting.
Kenji took a seat, his face wooden. “I notice you did not get up when I came in, nor did you bow.”
“My uncle will remember that we are now equals in the brotherhood. Honorifics are reserved for the oyabun.”
Kenji-san laughed and slapped the table. “You see? I knew you’d be a natural.”