This 1960s collection has images that are taken from the popular cinematic genre of yakuza, a kind of film noir, which depicted the lives and activities of the Japanese mafia. The stills were hand-coloured in Japan before being exported and shown in cinemas across Thailand. There is a surreal mixture of comic surprise and sinister fury in the faces of the characters. And the costumes? Who can say no to a trench coat and black fedora combo? Not I.

Japanese mafia, photography, film noir, Project B

Project B: Japanese Film Noir


Project B, Japanese film noir, Japanese mafia


Project B, Japanese Film Noir, Japanese mafia, photography

This piece was originally written by Maisie Skidmore.



Project B

PROJECT B specializes in a fascinating world: vernacular and anonymous photographs culled from the lively margins of history. We discover and preserve exceptional vintage photographs from unknown photographers and make them available inlimited edition prints for home, retail and commercial interiors. We also offer rare original images and artifacts to collectors. 

Our work is a culmination of more than 30 years’ experience in the fields of fine art, photography, folk art and material culture. By bringing together the best practices of collecting, curating and publishing, PROJECT B pays homage to the mysterious power of the anonymous photograph to transcend time and enhance the spaces we live in today.