by Low Lai Chow in New Products on Tuesday 16 July 2013

In Japan, yakuza members who commit severe offenses lop off their left pinkies in a ritual known as the ‘yubitsume’, with more digits progressively sacrificed with subsequent offenses. Faced with social stigma when they try to re-adjust back to Japanese society, this has inadvertently led to a high demand for prosthetics in the form of fingers.

As ex-yakuza member Shigeru Takei told ABC News, “If you don’t have fingers, there’s no way to get a sales job.” Prosthetics maker Shintaro Hayashi says about 5% of his clientele ask for this procedure — with regular customers returning three or four times a year as the fake fingers deteriorate from wear and tear or discolor with seasons.