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Gertrude Yorkes and Old Lace from Runaways commission
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Prosthetics maker Shintaro Hayashi noticed a change in the clientele at his Tokyo-based company, Aiwa Gishi, about a decade ago. In Japan, a stunted pinkie signifies membership in the yakuza, or Japanese mafia. In a ritual known as “yubitsume,” yakuza members are required to chop off their own digits to atone for serious offenses. The left pinkie is usually the first to go, though repeated offenses call for further severing. As a result, those who get out, have a hard time finding work because of the stigma attached to those missing fingers. That’s where Hayashi comes in.The doctor molds silicone prosthetic pinkies, made to seamlessly mask the amputation. Priced at nearly $3,000 each, the fingers are carefully painted, to match the exact skin color of the client. Former yakuza members, who make up 5% of Hayashi’s business, often keep several sets of fingers for different seasons – the light skinned version for winter, and a tanned look for summer.