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Tokyo police: Flophouse murder preceded suicide by yakuza-turned-author

Shinji Ishihara
Shinji Ishihara penned a number of books while known as the “Night Yakuza Boss”

TOKYO (TR) – Investigative sources with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Thursday revealed that yakuza-turned-author Shinji Ishihara, who committed suicide in March, is suspected in the killing of a 71-year-old man inside a short-term stay lodge in Toshima Ward last year, reports Jiji Press (Apr. 5).

According to the sources, police plan to send papers on Ishihara, who was 79 at the time of his death, to prosecutors on suspicion of murder and robbery for fatally strangling Kiyomi Kimura, a former taxi driver whose corpse was found inside Komagome Kenko Center on October 25.

Though Kimura’s wallet was found inside a locker at the lodge, police believe that Ishihara also stole a wristwatch valued at 1 million yen from the victim.

Ishihara surfaced as a suspect in the case after his suicide in the Sumida River on March 6. After Ishihara stabbed a male acquaintance in a park, he plunged into the river in intentionally taking his life.

During the investigation into the stabbing and suicide, police discovered that blood found on the pajamas of Kimura proved to be a match for Ishihara.

“Night Yakuza Boss”

Ishihara entered a life of crime as a street thug while still a teenager. By the age of 22, he had become a full-fledged gangster. He went on to serve as a boss within the Yamaguchi-gumi, a period that included multiple prison terms for weapons and assault violations.

Upon his resignation, Ishihara penned a number of books while known as the “Night Yakuza Boss,” including “The Pep-pill Queen of Kabukicho” (2007) and “Yakuza Love Techniques” (2004). Between 2006 and 2009, he regularly appeared on television programs for networks TV Asahi, Fuji TV and NHK.

In 2016, Ishihara told Tokyo Sports that the enactment of nationwide legislation is cutting into the money-making activities of gangs, which is making day-to-day life challenging for gangsters. “You can’t use an alias to play golf or stay at a hotel,” he told the tabloid. “Therefore, young people aren’t entering the world of the yakuza.”