Daily Archives: October 18, 2008

Kobayashi Akira Kicked Out of PGA for Yakuza Links

Kobayashi AkiraActor and singer Kobayashi Akira (69) has been kicked off the Japanese pro golf tour following his recent partying with an organized crime boss. As reported here earlier this month, Kobayashi and four other top enka singers were revealed to have taken part in a golf event to celebrate the birthday of Goto Tadamasa, a top yakuza gang boss, and attended a party afterwards. The five have already been banned from appearing on public broadcast network NHK, and it seems the media are finally clamping down on the ties between celebrities and gangsters that have been known for decades but rarely mentioned. Kobayashi, a keen golfer for many years, was given an honorary PGA membership and officially became a pro on the senior tour last autumn. He took part in four events, but will not be allowed to do so anymore.