There was a time in Japan, decades ago, when socializing with the yakuza was acceptable.
But Shimada is only one of many celebrities with yakuza ties.
He is a well-known figure in the country and on the cover of numerous publications about the yakuza.
It was established in Kyoto in the 1860s according to the yakuza history book Ninkyojuku.
In Kyushu, where the yakuza are deeply rooted, they are not leaving with a whimper, they are leaving with a bang.
It was not that unusual for Japanese politicians to have yakuza ties in the past.
According to the police, there were no yakuza headquarters where the grenade was found.
Jake Adelstein reports on the years-long police investigation—and what it means for the yakuza.
To some extent, the police have even given their tacit support to the yakuza aid efforts.
The season for pineapples (yakuza slang for hand grenades) may finally be over.
traditional Japanese organized crime cartel, literally "eight-nine-three" (ya, ku, sa) the losing hand in the traditional baccarat-like Japanese card game Oicho-Kabu. The notion may be "good for nothing," or "bad luck" (such as that suffered by someone who runs afoul of them), or it may be a reference to the fact that a player who draws this hand requires great skill to win.