The Yakuza (ヤクザ or やくざ?), also known as gokudō (極道?), are members of traditional organized crime syndicates in Japan. Rising to power in the urban centers of medieval Japan as an answer to the intensely hierarchical and honor-bound Samurai, to this day, the Yakuza are known for their clandestine activities and an intricately organized and ritualized criminal culture of their own. A culture perhaps most readily signified by their custom of elaborate ceremonial tattooing and ritual mutilation, such as the cutting off of fingers or fingertips, known as Yubitsume (指を飛ばす, "finger shortening").