Whereas the American mob has steadily lost power for decades as all of its members pursued careers as Hollywood character actors, Japan's Yakuza is still totally involved in shit, hardcore. Will a government crackdown make the Yakuza go wild?

Apparently the Japanese construction industry has grown tired of paying a huge fee to the Yakuza every time they want to build a stupid office building or whatever. According to the NYT, the nation's construction industry is worth $362 billion, and the "mob-controlled economy" is worth $242 billion a year—which is, you know, bigger than Microsoft. But now, local governments and developers are working hard to shut the Yakuza out of the construction industry. Can you imagine the fearsome payback that will rain down like fire from Zeus himself?

Last month, police say, a gunshot was fired into the wall of a construction site linked to Takenaka Corporation, one of Japan's biggest general contractors, the fourth shooting at construction sites in Tokyo this year. Although no one has been hurt, the shootings have resonated in a country where guns are almost unobtainable for everyone except gangsters.

A bullet fired into the wall of a construction site. No one injured. This is less violent than the average Saturday night in the Tennessee countryside. Yakuza: get into the movies now, while you still have a reputation.

[NYT. Photo via]