Last night, one of the biggest celebrities in Japan, Shinsuke Shimada, abruptly stated he was leaving the entertainment industry. Shimada, a comedian and talk show host, is the Japanese equivalent of a David Letterman or a Jay Leno—if either of them appeared on six prime time shows and produced music albums.
The country's collective jaw dropped at the news, and the announcement—in one of those typical press conferences that fetishize apologizing and bowing—came more of a shock than the Prime Minister's decision to step down. He even resigned from his advisor post at Street Fighter IV developer Dimps. The reason for Shimada's decision? The yakuza.