As leader of a yakuza – or Japanese mafia – gang, Goto earned a fortune through protection rackets, white-collar crime, drugs and prostitution, and would bulldoze any business that resisted him.
But his life will take a decidedly austere turn when he begins training to be a priest in a temple in Kanagawa prefecture south of Tokyo on April 8 – considered to be Buddha's birthday in Japan, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper reports.
Speaking about his reinvention, the 66-year-old said: "Buddha will make me his disciple and enable me to start a new life."
Goto, who labeled the 'John Gotti of Japan', was expelled from the Yamaguchi-gumi - Japan's largest and most infamous yakuza organization - last October, after a furious row with his superiors over his conduct.
He reportedly upset his seniors amid media reports that he had offered information to the FBI in return for permission to enter the US for a life-saving liver transplant in 2001.
In his deal with the FBI, Goto reportedly gave up vital information about yakuza front companies, as well as the names of senior crime figures and the mob's links to North Korea.
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