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The curious death of anti-yakuza lawyer Toshiro Igari

By Zach Arnold | September 2, 2010

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On Thursday, news broke that NHK will once again broadcast Sumo telecasts live after promises by Sumo’s governing body that they had severed all ties with the yakuza. One person who had not been impressed by what was happening as far as Sumo’s ‘clean-up’ process was concerned was 61-year old former prosecutor Toshiro Igari.

Igari, who became famous for his various television appearances attacking the yakuza along with books that he wrote in the past on the subject, was one of Japan’s most ardent attackers of the way that yakuza did business in the country. At the end of August, he was found dead in a residence in Makati City (the financial district of Manila in the Philippines). Police initially ruled the death a suicide and said that both of his wrists were slit open due to a ‘cutter knife’ and that tablets (pills) were found near his body.

Of course, given his spirits (which were reportedly good) and the amount of powerful enemies he developed over many years, there is great skepticism that the death is a suicide. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that a new book by the late Mr. Igari was set to come out about new yakuza cases that he was working on or investigating. One source with knowledge of the book claims that Mr. Igari was ready to discuss his involvement on a seven-lawyer team that was working on behalf of former MMA power broker Miro Mijatovic, who was suing Dream Stage Entertainment and legally going after parties involved in PRIDE for what had happened to him over the many years in the MMA business. The ghost of PRIDE’s past still lingers. Mr. Mijatovic was the former Japanese agent for Fedor Emelianenko & Mirko Cro Cop.

Mr. Igari was very critical of the police investigation that went on in Japan regarding the main players behind PRIDE. It is unknown if the new book he had been working on will be published.

Topics: Japan, MMA, Media, PRIDE, Zach Arnold | 3 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

3 Responses to “The curious death of anti-yakuza lawyer Toshiro Igari”

  1. [...] I wrote an article about the curious death of anti-yakuza lawyer Toshiro Igari. Igari, who was a very famous anti-yakuza crime-fighting lawyer and ex-prosecutor, was found dead [...]

  2. [...] do. Don’t believe me? A person who was instrumental to Miro’s lawsuit, Toshiro Igari, lost his life because he took on powerful people who didn’t want to do anything about corruption. He lost [...]

  3. [...] During the last year, there have been reports from a variety of news outlets and publications that have revealed shocking new details regarding the fall of PRIDE FC. In February 2012, the debut episode of Spike TV’s MMA Uncensored aired a segment with an interview conducted by veteran MMA journalist Dan Herbertson that showcased Miro Mijatovic—former manager of Mirko Cro Cop and Fedor Emelianenko. Mijatovic revealed how his extortion by the yakuza led to the criminal investigation that had PRIDE pulled off of Fuji TV in 2006. Rick Wallace of The Weekend Australian Magazine produced a general-interest feature about Mijatovic’s involvement in the fight game that was published on December 8, 2012. Prior to this, lawyer and anti-yakuza crusader Toshiro Igari’s final book, dealing with Mijatovic’s management of Cro Cop and Fedor, and Mijatovic’s criminal complaint against DSE’s yakuza owners, was published posthumously following Igari’s death in August 2010. [...]