Woman Who Led Gang in Japan Dies at 66

United Press International

The woman who at one time led Japan's largest underworld organization has died of a liver ailment, police said Saturday.

Fumiko Taoka, 66, became de facto head of the Osaka-based Yamaguchi-gumi crime organization after her husband, Kazuo, died in 1981. She picked Masahisa Takenaka to succeed her husband as the gang's leader in June, 1984, leading to a division in the group.

Disaffected gang members broke off to form a rival organization, the Ichiwa-kai, some of whose members gunned down Takenaka and two followers in January, 1985, sparking a gang war that so far has left 20 dead from both sides.

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