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Characters / Yakuza

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A list of characters from Sega's Yakuza series of games and the tropes they embody. This page contains the list of main playable characters, recurring enemies and characters from spin-off titles. Due to the series' large cast, other characters are sorted by the game they debuted in, listed below.

Character-Specific Pages

By GameJudgement

Since wiki policy forbids spoiler-tagging trope names, beware of unmarked spoilers on all pages.

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Main Characters

    Kazuma Kiryu 
Kazuma Kiryu

Voiced by: Takaya Kuroda (Japanese), Kenji Nojima (Young, Japanese), Darryl Kurylo (English)

Portrayed by: Kazuki Kitamura (live-action film)

"Ready to die? Step up!"
Kiryu as he appears in Kiwami 2.
Click here to see Kiryu as he appears in Yakuza 0 .
Click here to see Kiryu as he appears in the PS2 games. 

The Dragon of Dojima, fourth Chairman of the Tojo Clan and our hero. Big and scary, but very kind, loyal and gentle as long as you don't get on his bad side.

Kiryu was raised in the Sunflower orphanage along with his closest friend Akira Nishikiyama and the woman he's always loved, Yumi Sawamura. Raised by Shintaro Kazama, he and Nishiki followed in his steps and joined the yakuza under the Dojima family in hopes to help the man who raised him. Three years later in 1988 at the age of 20, he was framed for murder and learned that the Dojima Family was seeking to obtain the Empty Lot where the murder took place, which was needed for them to gain control of the Kamurocho Revitalization Project. Seeking to prove his innocence, he teamed up with a Real Estate businessman named Tachibana and they tried to clear Kiryu's name while preventing the Dojima Family to get the Empty lot since it would mean having Sohei Dojima as a future chairman, something Kazama feared. After the last of Dojima's lieutenants, Shibusawa, the would-be Dragon of Dojima, tried to get rid of Kazama's followers in the Dojima Family, he faced Kiryu in a final battle and was defeated and incarcerated. For losing the Empty Lot race to Masaru Sera, Sohei Dojima was disgraced and lost almost all his influence and power.

Kiryu eventually returned to the Dojima Family where he became feared and celebrated as "The Dragon of Dojima". Things seemed to be working out well until one night in 1995. After a collection, Kiryu learned that his childhood friend Yumi had been abducted by Dojima, who was still known for getting anything he wanted, including women. Knowing the consequences if he dared to interfere, he went out to stop him. By the time Kiryu got to his office, he found that Nishiki was already there, and had murdered Dojima for trying to force himself on Yumi. Knowing the consequences Nishiki would face and what he would lose, Kiryu took the blame for the murder and went to jail for ten years to protect his friends.

However, he discovered that Yumi had lost her memory and disappeared after the incident, and after his release, that his closest friend had now become his bitter enemy, and ten billion yen was stolen from the clan. Seeking his friends and answers, he discovers Haruka, a young girl who is looking for her aunt Yumi and holds the key to the missing money. Kiryu fights to protect her at all costs, but loses everyone important to him in the ordeal, leaving only Haruka to keep him going. It's during this time that he's granted the title of Fourth Chairman of the Tojo Clan, but quickly gives up the position to start a new clean life with Haruka.

After a year of peace, the Fifth Chairman is murdered by his former colleagues, the Omi Alliance, and Kiryu finds himself pulled into another conflict that's part of a larger scheme involving the Korean Jingweon mafia. After putting an end to it, he and Haruka decide to leave Tokyo and move to Okinawa where he runs an orphanage, but even then he continues to be pulled back into the life he thought he left behind. By the fifth game, he's left the orphanage and has become a taxi driver in Fukuoka, going by the name "Taichi Suzuki", but fate continues to call him back into action once more. Following the game's events, he's arrested and serves a three year jail sentence. He returns to the orphanage to discover that Haruka had left long ago and that her whereabouts are unknown, until he's told she was hospitalized after being struck by a car. He also learns about the existence of her infant child, Haruto, and the truth behind everything lies in Hiroshima.

See his character page here.

    Haruka Sawamura 

Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya (Japanese), Debi Derryberry (English, 1)

Portrayed by: Natsuo (live-action film)

"The man who brought me up was once what they call Yakuza."
Haruka as she appears in Kiwami.
Click here to see Haruka as she appears in Yakuza 4
Click here to see Haruka as she appears in Yakuza 5

Kiryu's adopted niece and Yumi's daughter Also raised in the Sunflower Orphanage, she first encounters Kiryu while she's searching for her aunt Yumi and her mother Mizuki, but is hunted by the various yakuza gangs for her connection to the missing ten billion yen. After the ordeal, Kiryu takes her under his wing and decides to start a new life with her, but the poor girl constantly finds herself pulled into the conflicts her "Uncle Kaz" is involved in.

Appearing in every game alongside Kiryu (except the prequel), she ages throughout the series and has a different appearance in each game. In the first game and its remake (2005), she's merely nine years old, and by the fifth game (2012), she's sixteen and has already moved out to Osaka on her own to pursue a career as an Idol Singer. She's one of the five playable protagonists in Yakuza 5. At the end, performing in front of a huge audience, she's no longer able to bear staying away from those she considers family and reveals the truth behind her upbringing and the man who raised her.

She returns to the orphanage following Kiryu's arrest and lives peacefully with the other orphans until it's discovered where she lives and the news goes viral. Fearing how she could affect the others living there, she leaves the orphanage without informing anyone of her true whereabouts. She's soon hospitalized and put into a coma after being struck by a car in Kamurocho for unknown reasons. When Kiryu is freed from prison, he learns of both incidents and begins to investigate the incident. His only link to the truth is her infant son, Haruto and photo of Haruka in Hiroshima, which naturally takes him to Hiroshima to learn what happened and who is Haruto's father. She's stated to be nineteen years old as of Yakuza 6.

  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: In 6, she has a roughly one-year old son at the age of 19. This is one of the biggest shocks Kiryu faces when he finishes his prison sentence.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the main games, she's a Non-Action Guy who's playable segments involve becoming an Idol. In Ryu Ga Gotoku Online, she can kick as much ass as her dear old Uncle Kaz.
  • Affectionate Nickname: The localization has Haruka refer to Kiryu as "Uncle Kaz".
    • In the original Japanese, she refers to him as "oji-san", literally meaning "uncle". In Japanese, it's not uncommon for children to refer to strangers who are older than them as "uncle" or "big brother" or "big sister", so this is how it started for Haruka and Kiryu in Yakuza 1, making its use in that game not an example. In every other game, Haruka continues to call Kiryu "oji-san", making it her nickname for him, thus playing the trope straight.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Played with. She eventually settles down with Yuta Usami, whom she seemingly first fell for after seeing him beat the shit out of a paparazzo for stalking and taking photos of her. While he is a yakuza, he means well and is shown to be a Nice Guy who would go to great lengths for her, and Yuta states their shared backgrounds drew them together. Being raised by Kiryu, she also knows that yakuza can be good people, and he also taught her that the heart of a person matters most.
  • Ambiguously Bi: In 5, she can play air hockey at a hot spring, and like the male protagonists, she can stare at the female opponent's chest to fill up her HEAT gauge faster.
  • Bare Your Midriff: The idol outfit she wears for "Loneliness Loop" in 5 shows her midriff.
  • Big Eater: Dialogue between her and Kiryu in 5's Premium Adventure describe her as this. Kiryu can tease her saying this is why they should open a restaurant together.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Whenever she feels the other kids at the orphanage are in danger, she won't let anyone near them. Just ask Mine and Hamazaki.
  • Bound and Gagged: Happens just about every time the poor girl gets kidnapped.
  • Break the Cutie: The games aren't necessarily kind to the poor girl, from being shot, slapped, kidnapped, and a lot of characters have been killed in front of her eyes. But for everything she's gone through, witnessed and suffered, it hasn't broken her. In the fifth game, she's bullied by her rival idols even after tragedy strikes, and while some realize she's a danger magnet, it's also made her stronger in the face of it. Then she gets hit by a car in the sixth game that triggers the game's plot.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated:
    • In Yakuza 2, she turns down an offer to become a star to stay with Kiryu.
    • In Yakuza 5, circumstances change and she becomes an idol in an attempt to support Morning Glory, as it was having money trouble. At the end of the game, she retires during her debut concert, feeling her success and rise to stardom was not worth leaving her loved ones behind.
  • Cool Big Sis: Although she served as Kiryu's second-in-command at the orphanage, the other kids see her as the big sister in the family and look up to her. In one of the substories in Yakuza 5, when Taichi writes a fan letter to her under a pen name, it's clear who he's referring to when he says the people who left were like father and mother to them, indicating she graduated to Team Mom status.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: The countless run-ins she's had with the Yakuza as well as the ensuing beatdown by her adopted father Kiryu has done much for her ability to maintain her composure in tense situations in which other kids her age would have probably shown signs of hysteria. Lampshaded by Katsuya in 5 when Kanai is unable to intimidate Haruka into immediately handing over Park's letter.
    Katsuya: The adopted daughter of Kazuma Kiryu himself. The girl's seen enough yakuza to last a lifetime. Tell me, what happened when you threatened her? Did she cower in fear and hand over the letter? She didn't, did she? Quite the opposite. She dug in her heels harder than ever. Simply put, you're just not scary enough. Haruka Sawamura thinks you're a joke.
  • Cute Bruiser: In a trailer for the non-canon Ryu Ga Gotoku Online, Haruka joins the other legends of Kamurocho and takes out some yakuza thugs entirely by herself, and is a recruitable unit within the game itself.
  • The Cutie: Her role in the series, and really provides the heart of it. There are times where she tags along and asks for things to buy, and it's hard to resist. And when people hurt her, there's hell to pay. It's also notable that the world has thrown enough crap at the poor girl to strip her of every shred of naiveté, but none of her kind, cheerful and optimistic nature.
  • Daddy's Girl: Haruka greatly adores her adoptive father. She's learned a lot from Kiryu, and just like him she won't back down when push comes to shove. Several characters in the fifth game recognize her at this, and realize she's not to be underestimated considering who raised her.
  • Damsel in Distress: She has a tendency of getting kidnapped throughout the games, usually to lure out Kiryu.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Declared as such by Yakuza 5, and Mirei Park is determined to keep the public from learning the truth of Haruka's past, knowing it would destroy her image and her career as an idol. She even goes so far to convince Kiryu to leave the orphanage and sever his connections with Haruka and the orphans so no one finds out.
  • Designated Victim: Aside from getting kidnapped often, a lot of bad stuff happens to the poor girl. Even when she's playable, she can't escape from this.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: In the first game she snuck out of Sunflower Orphanage and went to Kamurocho all alone to find her Missing Mom, but grows out of this when Kiryu takes her in. In Yakuza 6, this may partly have been why her relationship with Yuta progressed as quickly as it did, as until then she had kept her distance from the Onomichi residents and left behind everyone she loved to spare them grief on her behalf.
  • Deuteragonist: Of the first Yakuza, for all intents and purposes. It can also be argued that she serves as this for Yakuza 5 as much of the plot revolves around her idol career, especially toward the end as everyone fights to protect her from being assassinated.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In Yakuza 3, she slaps Yoshitaka Mine, a Yakuza boss who's about as tough and deadly as her adopted father but without his morality. When Mine slaps her back, she simply gives him a Death Glare.
  • Didn't Think This Through: At the end of Yakuza 5, after spending the whole game hiding her Dark and Troubled Past from everyone including her fans, she reveals the truth behind her upbringing at a concert attended by thousands. She admits early on in Yakuza 6 that she got caught in the moment and wasn't thinking when she spoke to all those people, or consider the greater consequences of her actions.
  • Dude Magnet: As an idol in 5, she garners a lot of male fans that compliment and admire her looks, especially during the handshake events.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: She was very savvy about Kamurocho's night life in the first game, having quickly grown accustomed to the city to the point of not being phased much by its weirdness and in fact ended up taking a liking to some of its seedier aspects (gambling in particular). This trait is sort of phased out in proceeding entries where she's still Wise Beyond Her Years but doesn't really have an interest in anything related to the criminal underworld (save for the optional "Haruka's requests" segments where some of her requests can get pretty out-there). She can't access any gambling-related establishments when she's playable in 5, not even a Mahjong parlor, though granted she has her idol reputation to worry about.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: One of her HEAT Moves in 5 is called "Charming Cuteness", the effect of which is to lower the opponent's HEAT Gauge, and it can be used on both men and women.
  • Family of Choice: With Kiryu and the Sunflower Orphanage. In Kiryu's case, he could've potentially been her father had everything with Yumi not gone to hell in a handbasket in the first game, and happily steps up to the role for her regardless as an honorary uncle and father figure. Haruka for her part is quite Happily Adopted and loathes actually being too far from him if she can help it, which makes a fair amount of homesickness for her in 5 and spurs her hasty choice to forfeit her career right before she makes it big.
  • Friendless Background: Moving to Sotenbori at age 16 and focusing primarily on her idol career has left her little time to make any friends at school after six months when her story arc begins.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: When she's playable in 5, she cannot order alcoholic drinks since she is a teenager, and thus not of legal age.
  • Happily Adopted: She accepts Kiryu as her family and father figure, and at no point expressed any concerns or angst regarding his background or being taken in by him. In Yakuza 2, she gives up the chance to make it big so she can be with him. In Yakuza 5, when she can no longer bear to be away from those she considers her family, namely Kiryu, she forfeits her career as an Idol Singer.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Revealing her ties to the Tojo Clan's ex-fourth chairman, Kazuma Kiryu in 5 has resulted in her becoming the center of attention on news outlets and social media and most definitely not in a positive light. Her fears over her poor standing in the public eye preventing the other orphans from succeeding in any field where "living situation" and "public standing" matters is a major factor in her leaving the orphanage in 6.
  • Hidden Depths: The first game shows that she has a natural penchant for gambling despite only being nine years old.
  • Idol Singer: Her goal in 5 is to become one. When one realizes that she's voiced by Rie Kugimiya, it brings to mind another role she did. Or another. Although her career is short-lived in canon, she dons her idol uniform once more in Yakuza Online, but now kicks some serious ass in it.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Although Haruka grew up with Kiryu and the orphanage kids, who she considers family, she yearns for this when she moves to Osaka on her own. People at her school are afraid to talk to her because she's an Idol, which takes up most of her time as it is, leaving her incredibly lonely and eager for friends. The focus of her side story and some substories involve people trying to be her friend for the right and wrong reasons, some who have no friends themselves.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Kiryu before he adopts her, as well as with Akiyama in 5 where they share a chapter together.
  • Kid Detective: A sidestory in 2 shows her to be pretty perceptive and analytical for someone so young, and when she's joined by Akiyama in 5, their shared chapter involves her doing a lot of detective work with him.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: She ends up gaining a legendary reputation after her stint as a playable character and is referred to as a "legendary idol" who appeared out of nowhere and disappeared just as quickly in some DLC / cameo items in future games. Of course, like her adoptive father, her fame is very controversial with her being admired and reviled in equal amounts.
  • Light Is Good: Often depicted wearing white. Note that her red and white color scheme matches her adoptive dad's maroon and grey one.
  • Little Miss Badass: Downplayed. Hasn't thrown a single punch in the entire series for obvious reasons, but she won't back down when threatened. In 3, she stands her ground against Mine when he comes to tear down the orphanage, and proceeds to slap him when he insults Kiryu. When he slaps her back, she simply gives him a defiant Death Glare in response. When Kanai is demanding she give him the letter she's carrying in 5, she doesn't even flinch when she refuses. She was also quite clever in her earlier appearances, and even had a good eye for gambling when she was nine!
    • Played straight in Yakuza Online where a trailer shows that she's learned a few tricks from Uncle Kaz and can take down some thugs and gangsters like the rest of them.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: To Kiryu to an extent though it somewhat goes both ways as well. In the aftermath of the climax of the first game, many of Kiryu's closest friends and family have died and when surrounded by a group of cops who see him responsible for immediate mess, he's just about ready to go back to prison and spend the rest of his life there. Date has to shake him out of it and remind him that Haruka has also lost all of her family, with her mother having been mortally wounded by her horribly ambitious and murderous father who also perished during said climax. While Date emphasizes how much she needs him, a lot of games make it clear that Kiryu's something of a Death Seeker with Haruka's influence being major reason he hasn't completely given up in the face of unavoidable conflict and misery.
  • Living Lie-Detector: Nothing gets past this girl, especially not from Kiryu or the other orphanage kids.
  • Made of Iron: Downplayed compared to the male characters, but at the age of 9 she recovered rather quickly from a gunshot wound to her arm and as an adult, she was able to survive a head-on collision with a car and her grip on Haruto remained firm enough afterwards to the point where he was left uninjured. Haruka herself was put in a coma for a few days because of it, but received no long-lasting injuries.
  • Magical Girl: If you take her to the IF-8 station in Yakuza 5, she gets to play through the street battles just like the other protagonists rather than her usual dance gameplay, and she fights with a magical wand.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: When she's playable in 5. For starters, she doesn't even engage in street brawls, and random encounters are disabled entirely. Instead, she engages in dance battles which are completely optional and the tasks she does for her Road to Fame sidestory often prompts if she needs a repeat on how the minigames work before engaging in them. In addition, she also cannot order at bars and enter Hostess clubs, due to not being of legal age.
  • Morality Pet: Mostly for Kiryu, who tries to change some of his habits in order to raise her right. Expect to see some of the other characters' better sides if she happens to be around.
  • Most Writers Are Adults: Even at the age of 9, she was arguably more mature than a decent amount of the adults in the cast. Granted, going through that much trauma before you're old enough to drive would do that to you.
  • Navel Window: In 5, the Climax Heat outfits she wears all have one.
  • Nerves of Steel: It's frankly astonishing how well she deals with all the incredibly dangerous situations life throws at her. While later games suggest that her traumatic past experiences with the Yakuza have toughened her up considerably, she was already pretty strong-willed in the face of danger as far back as the first game.
  • Nice Girl: Predominantly in the fifth game, where she innocently tries to be positive and friendly with everyone she can, even those who wrong her, and several rival idols find themselves irritated by her "goodie two shoes" behavior. As Park points out though, she's not naive about the realities of the world.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: At the end of Yakuza 5, in a heartfelt speech she reveals the truth about her upbringing and the man who raised her. It comes back to bite her hard in the beginning of Yakuza 6, potentially affecting everyone else at the orphanage, which leads to her running away to Hiroshima, where she gets herself into even more trouble.
  • No Social Skills: Downplayed. Between a fairly traumatic childhood and taking care of other orphans at Morning Glory, by the time she's on her own and pursuing an idol career at the age of 16, she hasn't had a lot of time to really socialize and make friends with other highschoolers. As a result, she finds herself feeling awkward and out of her depth when dealing with other kids her age. Exemplified in the "A Normal Life" substory which has her invited to an outing with some highschoolers on the street who recognize her from TV. No matter how well it goes, she feels exhausted and wonders if the difficulties she has keeping a conversation going means that she just isn't meant to fit in with other kids. Thankfully another classmate, Yui is there to talk to her about it and reassure her that she's fine the way she is.
  • Number Two: She's Kiryu's second-in-command at the orphanage, being the oldest of the kids.
  • Obliviously Beautiful: In the fifth game, Haruka tells Park that she doesn't really think she's pretty, even though many characters point out how cute she is and attributes it to her popularity as an idol. Many other idols and dancers are clearly jealous of her looks, and it doesn't help that she's genuinely kind, which only irritates them more.
  • Official Couple: By the end of 6, she and Yuta end up together and form a proper family with Haruto.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When she gets out of Morning Orphanage and sees Goh Hamazaki out of Okinawa Penitentiary No.1 in the fourth game. She's utterly horrified.
    • She panics when she browses social media and sees that her actions caused Morning Glory to come under fire from the press in 6.
  • Only Sane Woman: She becomes this when some of Kiryu's willingness to forgive people or eagerness to fight becomes questionable, and balances him out when he overdoes it. As she puts it, even he can be scatterbrained at times.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Her quest to find the mother she never met is what brings Kiryu deeper into all the intrigue during the first game after he gets out of jail.
    • It's because she doesn't want that to happen again (Referring to Kiryu, of course) that she retires from the Idol business at the end of Yakuza 5.
  • Plot Coupon: She has one in the first game, which is why everyone's trying to grab her. She learns of another one in the fifth game that also lands her in just as much trouble.
  • Plucky Girl: Considering everything she goes through in the series, it's amazing she still turned out to be so sweet and cute as a button in Yakuza 5. Anyone else would've been scarred for life.
  • Promoted to Playable: In the fifth game, she's given her own playable storyline about her idol career, although she engages in "dance battles" unlike the others.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: In Yakuza 5, she wears black tights under a jean miniskirt in her casual outfit. She wears this same outfit in Yakuza 6, but her legs are left bare.
  • Protectorate: Mostly in the first game for Kiryu given her Plot Coupon, though targeting her is a very quick way to piss off the protagonists. She also becomes this for Akiyama in the fifth game, and everyone by the end of it.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Purple. She's usually blue throughout the story (with one notable exception being when Hamazaki returns), but she'll quickly become red when doing activities with her.
  • Sailor Fuku: As part of her school clothes in 4 and Dead Souls.
  • Satellite Character: It's hard to claim otherwise, but she's one to Kiryu, providing him (and the series) with a Lighter and Softer balance. Even in the fifth game when she's grown up, independent and living on her own, several characters recognize her as "the girl raised by Kiryu", as well as his Achilles' Heel.
  • She Is All Grown Up: As the games take place in real time, Haruka ages appropriately throughout the series. Puberty has made her almost unrecognizable by the third game, and she's become much more independent and confident in her role as big sister over the orphanage. By the fifth game, she is a 16-year old high school student, and even teases Kiryu about having a boyfriend in Premium Adventure mode, which nearly gives the Dragon of Dojima a heart attack. She's nineteen years old during the events of Yakuza 6, and also has a kid, who Kiryu is also very protective of.
  • Shipper on Deck: In 2, she's pretty encouraging of Kiryu getting together with Sayama.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only playable female character in 5, as well as in the whole Kiryu saga.
  • Stepford Smiler: Tries to reassure an imprisoned Kiryu that she's handling the attention of the media well after she revealed her ties to the Tojo Clan's fourth chairman in 5. One lonely night on the Morning Glory beach spent browsing social media and reading about how the people feel about her and the orphanage has her break down into tears and believing that she's a burden on them due to her choice.
  • Tag Along Kid: From 1 to 5, after which she is no longer a kid. Still among the younger characters in the cast, though.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: In the fourth game, she completely loses it when Hamazaki appears and wins Kiryu's forgiveness and trust overnight, considering what he did to him in front of her eyes in Yakuza 3's ending. She refuses to forgive him, but things change when Hamazaki dies and she realizes he gave his life up to help Kiryu.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Takes a massive one in a trailer for Yakuza Online, where she's depicted as a Cute Bruiser who's clearly taken a few notes from her Uncle Kaz and can kick as much ass as any of the others. And thanks to being voiced by "The Queen of Tsundere" herself, when Haruka the Idol puts on her serious face, yes, she can be downright terrifying.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: At the end of Yakuza 5, despite Park's efforts to hide the truth of Haruka's past from the public, Haruka reveals it in front of thousands of people, which predictably turns into a scandal by the time Yakuza 6 rolls around. Despite telling Ayako she'll be moving closer to Kiryu, she instead runs away to Hiroshima without telling anybody, becomes pregnant and gives birth to Haruto, as the result of a one-night stand with Yuta without using protection, who happened to be the son of a Chinese mob boss (granted, neither of them were aware of that fact), which puts much of the sixth game's events into motion.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Her chapters in Yakuza 5 don't involve any fighting at all, instead she engages in rhythm-based dance battles.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: It is possible in most titles to bring Haruka out on the town during Premium Adventure, with some challenges being offered if the player can fulfill her requests. Several optional conversations can be had for each of the cities present in 5 if the player travels to them.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: In her early appearances, where she's more clever and mature than one would think, knows more about what happens in the red light district than most are comfortable with her knowing, has an eye for gambling, and she's the one who brings Kiryu up to speed on what's changed since he's been in prison. The second game even dedicates a substory to her untapped detective skills.
  • Yakuza Princess: Downplayed as Kiryu isn't even in the Tojo Clan anymore, but she's treated with respect by its members, as they know she means the world to him. By the fifth game, everyone is willing to put their lives on the line to protect her.
  • Younger than They Look: Haruka's model changes as she ages, averting the trope for the most part, however in 6, her 16-year-old model is used for her at age 19.

    Goro Majima 

Goro Majima

Voiced by: Hidenari Ugaki (Japanese), Mark Hamill (English, 1), Matthew Mercer (English, Like A Dragon; current)

Portrayed by: Goro Kishitani (live-action film)
Majima as he appears in Like a Dragon.
Click here to see Majima as he appears in Yakuza 0

The patriarch of the Majima family, formerly the "Mad Dog of the Shimano Family" and all round crazy dude. Known to be completely unpredictable and untamed, he is none the less highly respected for his skill and deceptive intelligence. Once the captain of the Shimano family until the man's demise, the Majima Family are as loose in their allegiances as their unpredictable Patriarch. In the second game Majima turns them into a (mostly) legitimate construction company, though they are no less dangerous because of it, and is talked into returning back to the Tojo Clan in the third game.

Majima is always eager to seek a challenge and only respects strength. In the first game, he's a constant hindrance in Kiryu's quest, only interested in fighting him as a rival and couldn't care less about the missing ten billion yen. He becomes something of an ally onward, shown to be immensely loyal toward those who win his respect, which is only earned by besting him in a fight. With the exception of games where he's playable, he's fought in almost every game as a boss. By the fourth game, he's toned down quite a bit, and it's shown that he was extremely tight with his sworn brother, Taiga Saejima.

The beloved Ensemble Dark Horse of the series, Majima was finally Promoted to Playable in the non-canon Dead Souls. He is also one of the two main playable characters in the prequel Yakuza 0. After being excommunicated from the Tojo Clan after the failed Ueno Seiwa hit, Majima is given another chance to make a name for himself in the Japanese underworld.

See his character page here.

    Ichiban Kasuga 

Ichiban Kasuga

Voiced by: Kazuhiro Nakaya (Japanese), Kaiji Tang (English)

"I've been waiting for a shot like this!"
Ichiban as he appears in Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Click here to see Ichiban in the year 2000. 
Click here to see Ichiban as he appears in Yakuza Online

The protagonist of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, taking place after the end of Kazuma Kiryu's saga.

Ichiban was born on New Year's Day, 1977. Born and abandoned within the soapland by a prostitute, he was adopted by the Shangri-la soapland manager Jiro Kasuga, who named him "Ichiban". Jiro raised the young boy with various prostitutes and gave him a loving home in the red light districts of Kamurocho, up until his death. As a teenager, Ichiban ignored school and any semblance of a career, and instead opted to pick fights with punks and lift money off of them to help the locals. He eventually ended up biting more than he could chew after beating up a member of the Yakuza, whom then came for revenge. At the hands of their torture, he attempted to threaten them with a bluff by using the name of the Arakawa Family.

This worked all too well, and now believing they had a valuable hostage on his hands, the Yakuza contacted the Arakawa Family in an attempt to extort money from them. Ichiban was sure that this was the end of him... but then none other than the head of the Arakawa Family, Masumi Arakawa himself, showed up for the exchange. Instead of calling Ichiban out on his bluff, the seasoned gangster instead decided to help the young man out of his deadly predicament, and played along with the charade, even taking responsibility for Ichiban's actions by cutting off a part of his little finger without any hesitation. Humbled by this display of fearlessness, the Yakuza immediately released Ichiban with no further questions asked. Moved by Arakawa's sacrifice and strength, he insisted on pledging himself to the Arakawa Family, and approached Arakawa for a hundred days until the old man finally accepted him into the family. Despite that, Ichiban failed to be a successful Yakuza due to his goodhearted nature, only spared from the worst due to his claim as a member of the Arakawa, and Masumi's constant leniency towards him.

However, on December 31, 2000, the Arakawa Family became implicated in a murder of a member of the Tojo Clan. Not only that, the murderer was Arakawa's own son, Masato, who was a civilian with no ties to the Arakawa Family but Jo decided to take the fall hoping Ichiban would make the sacrifice to protect Arakawa's son. If this case went the way it was going, the Arakawa Family would have to be disbanded. In order to keep the family alive, and seeing the event as an opportunity to finally pay back Masumi Arakawa for saving his life, Ichiban agreed to take the blame for the murder. The next day, January 1, 2001, his 24th birthday, Ichiban Kasuga turned himself into the local police.

Eighteen years later, Ichiban's sentence was up and he was released from prison, expecting a grateful reunion only to be met with silence and his Patriarch taking control of Kamurocho as the clan captain of the Omi Alliance and Masato had passed away. Meeting his father-figure for the first time, he was met with a gun aimed at him and was shot...

When he came about to his senses, he ends up waking up in Yokohama's Isezaki Ijincho red light district in a dumpster, surprisingly alive but now exiled from his home. Determined to rise to the top again, he and an unlikely band of misfits must now take over Yokohama and get the happy ending he hoped for.

His default job is Freelancer, which is a powerful scrapper class designed to overwhelm enemies with single-target attacks. He later trades out this job for the much more powerful Hero job, which focuses on him using a baseball bat for wide-hitting swings and devastating blows. His personal skills revolve around using his charisma to get his way in battle, like buffing his allies or convincing enemies to fork over items.

See his character page here.

    Shun Akiyama 

Voiced by: Kōichi Yamadera

"Money changes people's lives. I just like to see it happen up close and personal."
Akiyama as he appears in Yakuza 5.

The first of the three new playable characters starting from Yakuza 4. A moneylender known as "The Lifeline of Kamurocho." He's famous for helping those nobody else will, and uses strange tests for applicants in lieu of charging interest or collateral. Once an up-and-coming financier, he was betrayed by his bank and left homeless, until he got caught in a literal rain of money related to the events of the first game. After some clever investing, he opened Sky Finance and became the man he is today. He's also friendly with the Tojo family and generally just a nice guy. He returns in Dead Souls to witness and take part in fighting the zombie outbreak, and in Yakuza 5, where he opens a new branch of Sky Finance in Sotenbori only to discover the death of a colleague, and helps Haruka discover the truth behind it.

  • Affluent Ascetic: One of the richest characters in the setting, but he lives pretty modestly, spending most of his time sleeping on the couch at his dingy little office and reading magazines. Somewhat justified since he keeps most of his massive supply of money locked up in a safe and only really uses it for his job as a money lender.
  • Anti-Hero: Downplayed but he starts to edge into this territory in Dead Souls since he's a lot less hesitant than you'd expect to grab lethal fire arms and start opening fire on the zombified masses. To his credit, he does try to warn them and seems somewhat shaken by the whole ordeal. Still, compare this to Kiryu who treats having to Mercy Kill his first zombie as an incredibly somber and psychologically strenuous ordeal.
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: It's not said exactly how much Akiyama made of his initial million, but it's enough for him to casually loan out tens of millions of yen to perfect strangers without charging interest or even usually bothering to collect.
    • Later in the game, it's shown he has 100 billion yen!
  • The Ace: He's a natural at fighting, singing, dancing, understanding and socializing with people, and especially financing since he graduated with a Business degree at the top of his class at Toto University. While he's not exactly the only example in the series being a Yakuza protagonist and all, he's also got far less emotional baggage than the others who tend to be varying degrees of Broken Aces making for one of the most cheerful and charismatic characters in the series. His status as the most consistently wealthy of the bunch probably helps.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In a minor but still notable instance, a somewhat infamous conversation he has with Hana was altered in the remaster of 4 (albeit only in the English version), specifically the one where she expresses concern over possibly being raped by a bunch of tough yakuza hanging around Sky Finance only for Akiyama to uncharacteristically laugh at the idea of that happening. Instead, she's worried about the yakuza getting their thuggish hands on someone delicate like her with Akiyama instead laughing at the idea of her being delicate. Still rather callous but his skepticism is justified when it's later shown that she's an Action Girl who doesn't have any trouble dealing with random thugs herself.
    • Akiyama also uses some transphobic language to describe the employees at "Drama Queen" in the original, which was revised in the remaster.
  • Badass Baritone: His voice, as provided by Kōichi Yamadera, sounds charming and smooth to listen to.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Wears a nice maroon shirt with black pants.
  • Battle Strip: He and Tanimura are the aversions among the male playable cast. Akiyama never tears off his shirt at any point to fight anyone. Then again, he's not a Yakuza.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's probably the nicest guy in Kamurocho, but he won't hesitate to break some teeth if he needs to.
  • Blood Knight: Not nearly as much as other characters though. While he sees his early tutorial fights in 4 as a waste of time, he gets a bit more excited when up against Ihara who's at least more feisty than the usual street punks. He even remarks that he might even enjoy the fight this time.
    • Subverted for the Coliseum Matches in 5. His character profile notes that he's never all that excited about participating despite doing so anyway at the player's behest.
  • Breakout Character: Of the new Yakuza 4 characters, he's got the most screentime in follow-up games. While he and Saejima prove important enough to return in 5, Akiyama got a stint as a playable character in Dead Souls, and is a central character in 6, whereas Saejima was Demoted to Extra while Tanimura was Put on a Bus.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Is too lazy to clean his office leaving it a complete mess and often forgets about or delays collecting loan payments to goof off. However, he's also a business graduate from a top-level university and knows where everything in his office is to the point where he knew something was off when the books on the shelf hiding his vault were out of order.
    • He also has no known history of formal training in martial arts or just experience with street fighting like most of the cast prior to 4 but is naturally gifted with agility most men would die for and can kick ass with the best of them. It's possible he's self-taught due to having to deal with rival money lenders and the rough environment of Kamurocho, but it's never explicitly explained. An optional conversation in 4 that Akiyama can hear after his tutorial fight has two people speculating if he knows Capoeira. His actual fighting style seems to be closer to Taekwondo but again it's unclear.
  • The Champion: He becomes Haruka's in Yakuza 5 after her chapter takes a tragic turn and she needs a little muscle in Kiryu's absence.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: While it's expected of a Yakuza protagonist, in the finale of 4, during the dynamic intro for the Final Boss fight against Arai, Akiyama uses a suplex throw to send the muscular, visibly larger man flying throw the air several dozen feet away until he ends up landing on a lower platform of the Millenium Tower rooftop. One must wonder if he relies more on kicking techniques just to keep from injuring foes too much with his powerful arms.
  • The Charmer: Smug, sassy, but ultimately kind and probably the most charismatic and socially adjusted of the protagonists while having the largest selection of hostesses to romance in 4. While half of those hostesses are employees of his hostess club, he had to personally scout for and recruit them in the first place which takes its own kind of charm. There's even a substory in which he's challenged with scouting for and acquiring the phone numbers at least 3 different women to work at his hostess club under a 5-minute time limit. If you do well enough, he can get up to 5.
    • Subverted in terms of the actual story of 4. A chunk of his chapters is spent trying to woo Lily but despite how well they get along with one another, he doesn't get together with her at all, especially not after she passes his test for a loan and he reveals that he knows that Lily's the Serial Killer that's been targetting Shibata Family affiliates.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: One of the nicest people in Kamurocho, but he owns and frequents the most popular hostess club in Kamurocho, and his tests for his female clients often seem to include becoming a hostess for a period of time and/or going on a date with him. He can also romance the most hostesses of the four protagonists in Yakuza 4.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Wears primarily black with a mauve blazer but is the nicest and most light-hearted of the main characters.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Comes with being arguably the most lighthearted out of all the Yakuza 4 protagonists.
  • Death from Above: His unique mechanic in 5 allows him to do aerial combos and his Meteor Strike Climax Heat is a nasty curb stomp from about ten feet in the air.
  • Demoted to Extra: Downplayed. Between 5 and 6, he's become a supporting character and NPC with sporadic appearances in the main story rather than one of the main playable characters with major significance to the game's plot. Compared to what happened to other major characters like Majima, Daigo, and Saejima, he got off easy really.
  • Drunken Master: Has the unique "Boozer's Lore" upgrade in 4 which boosts the power of his attacks when he's drunk. One of the heat actions he can learn by fighting Kiryu's data with Minamida's IF7-R arcade machine is "Essence of Pole Dancing" which requires him to be drunk to be able to use it. He also has it in 5 though Shinada can also learn it.
  • Dueling Player Characters: He and Tanimura team up against Kiryu in the fourth game, mistaking him for one of Katsuragi's men. Since it's his chapter and...well...its Kiryu, they get their asses handed to them. They fight again in Yakuza 6 one-on-one when they disagreed on how to handle Haruto. Once again Akiyama lose, this time without even making him break a sweat, and he admits that while he can't fight him at full strength due to his doubts, it's clear Kiryu wasn't really pulling all the cards in his sleeve.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first time we see him he's lazing around in his office and has to be nagged by his secretary to even bother making his collections. Shortly afterwards we see him casually drop in on a Yakuza family's office and when he leaves to go buy beer to share with the homeless the boss of said family comes out of the bathroom where he was hiding. Everything about Akiyama's personality is shown here: he doesn't particularly care about money despite being a loan shark, he has enough influence that a Yakuza boss hides from him and that he lives up to his nickname as the Lifeline of Kamurocho given how he interacts with the likes of the homeless.
  • Excellent Judge of Character: The tests he assigns to clients are very specialized, generally being based around their personalities and capabilities. He specifically has them perform activites that a person like them would find difficult with clients asking for larger sums of money getting tasks they specifically would find especially challenging. He often discusses the reasoning behind his test with Hana, highlighting the client's flaws and displaying an uncanny talent for determining a person's character after a single conversation alone.
    • Double Subverted with regards to Arai. While he openly questions his ability to judge people's character after everything that Arai's done, he learns towards the end of the game that Arai truly is dedicated to his vision of justice. That said, he's not about to let Arai get away with stealing 100 billion yen from him for the sake of said vision.
    • In general, he considers himself a poor judge of character since he claims to have been betrayed so much in the past but if so he's clearly wised up considerably since then.
    • In 5, he manages to get an idea of the sort of man Naoki Katsuya is from a single meeting and conversation alone, rightfully identifying him as hiding his true emotions and passions under a cold, ruthlessly professional veneer as a businessman.
    • Later in 5, he notices there's something off about Haruka after waking up in the aftermath of Katsuya retrieving her from Kanai. Akiyama correctly surmises that Katsuya contacted her about handing him Park's letter and that she's hiding that fact.
  • Extremity Extremist: He fights almost exclusively with kicks, though he's not entirely averse to using his hands.
  • Foil:
    • To Tanimura. He wears red to Tanimura's blue, fights with kicks vs punches and grabs, and they have opposing views on money. Akiyama could care less about throwing away millions of yen on a whim while Tanimura will extort shady business for money and is willing to risk his life in a Russian Roulette game on a 3 million yen payout to gather money for the Asian Gateway. They even have opposing titles with Akiyama is known as 'The Lifeline of Kamurocho' while Tanimura being known as the 'Parasite of Kamurocho'.
    • In many ways Akiyama is who Yoshitaka Mine from Yakuza 3 could have been had the latter not gone down a dark path. Both men are highly intelligent investment bankers with Yakuza connections and extremely skilled fighters who used money as a crutch. The major difference is that Akiyama realized how futile his single-minded pursuit of money was and developed compassion after his homelessness, deciding instead to use his moneymaking skills to help people. Mine never got over the fact that he was using money to compensate for his own self-loathing and lonely poverty-stricken childhood trauma, and his one human connection (Daigo) was so toxic that it nearly led him to kill Daigo.
  • Fiction 500: It's revealed near the end that he has over 100 billion yen! To put it into perspective, that's over 937 million USD!
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
  • Forceful Kiss: Gives one to Lily the night after her first day trying to complete Akiyama's test for a loan. She actually returns it with the two embracing one another though they awkwardly seperate afterwards. Akiyama himself wonders she didn't make any sort of attempt to pull away though she admits that it "felt right".
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Once an ordinary, if highly promising Investment Banker that became destitute and homeless after a series of tragedies and failures. Now he's the most infamous loan shark in Kamurocho, and later the entire country of Japan, with the strength and fighting skill to clash with and fight on par with some of the strongest, most dangerous people around like the Amon Clan and well... Kiryu.
  • The Gadfly: Does seem to enjoy teasing and messing around with others. Sometimes he gives certain tests to people he doesn't think really deserve his loans just to derive amusement from seeing them struggle with a task that seems easy but they're very unlikely to actually pass due to their own limitations. This can be seen with the tests he gives to Shiobara during the "Layoff Already" substory.
    "He's just so astoundingly clueless. Don't you want to see how it all ends?"
    • Also has shades of this during his confrontation with Daisuke Minami of the Majima Family at Akiyama's own hostess club. When Minami tries to put off conversing with Akiyama for the sake of singing more Karaoke, Akiyama picks up the remote and stops the song before Minami can get any lyrics out infuriating him. While Akiyama apologises, trying to play it off as pressing wrong button due to the dimmed lighting, Minami unsubtly threatens him with Akiyama's response being to simply smirk and even chuckle quietly to himself.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Despite being loaded and throwing around millions of yen at the drop of a hat, Akiyama apparently only limits his expendable income to what he gets from side quests and thugs.
  • Good Is Not Soft: His brutality towards random street punks and yakuza who pick fights with him is expected for a protagonist in this series but there's also his attitude towards his clients. As he puts it "I don't give people money because I feel sorry for them". He'd be happy to give desperate people money but he won't mince words if they fail and don't understand why they had. In one substory, he meets a women seeking a loan for living expenses after her child and her left her household due to an alcoholic and violent husband wrapped in gambling debts. Akiyama offers her the challenge of getting a job in 3 hours. When she fails to do so and is turned away, she gets indignant and claims to have asked all sorts of restaurants and stores around town but was rejected due to her age and them having enough help. He then bluntly asks her if she ever considered the red light district and how a place like a massage parlor probably would have accepted her. Though she's adamant that she could never stoop to working in the sex industry, he remarks that the challenge was simply to get hired no matter what and if she didn't have the will or desperation, she wasn't getting the money. A later substory has him give the same challenge to an older women with a smaller time limit due to the amount for the loan. Tellingly, while she doesn't actually get hired, she was still determined enough to get any job and begged hostess clubs around town, even offering to clean the bathrooms, so Akiyama decided that she passed and gave her the money.
  • Gratuitous English: He says "Thank you" to Hana at the end of Part 2 of his chapter in 4 after getting back to Sky Finance and being given some water.
  • Groin Attack: The aptly named "Essence of Loin Reaving" heat action: He gives a back heel kick into a thug’s crotch from behind before hammering him with an overhead backflip kick to their head.
  • Guest Fighter: His Dead Souls incarnation appeared as a DLC character for the Japanese version of Binary Domain.
  • Guns Akimbo: His preferred unique weapons in Dead Souls. While lacking in firepower compared to the others' weapons, his pistols have unlimited ammo just like the default sidearms.
  • Hand Behind Head: A fairly common reaction of his to all sorts of situations even done in anger at one point.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Downplayed. He considers himself a poor judge of character despite lots of evidence to support the opposite. He's also pretty frank about knowing plenty of people stronger than himself after defeating a Victory Road challenger who's itching for a strong opponent.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Subverted. Everything about Sky Finance screams red flag, from offers of limitless loans with zero interest and little to no deadline for paying it off, to the total lack of background and credit score checks and the owner being a frivolous, sleazy-looking playboy with ties to the yakuza and only one employee in his pigpen of an office. No one in their right mind would think to take out a loan there unless they really have nowhere else to turn. Despite this, Akiyama's business really is all it purports to be (if you pass his tests, at least) and he is a geniunely good and down-to-earth guy as far as Yakuza protagonists go.
  • Humble Hero: Doesn't seem to think much of himself despite being one of the series' most sucessful in terms of finances, an all-around people person, one of the greatest fighters in the cast, and one of the most respected members of the the Kamurocho community and later multiple criminal organizations across Japan.
  • Idiot Ball: He keeps his entire fortune in apparently an unlocked vault in his office instead of at a bank. Unsurprisingly it ends up getting stolen by the police. Granted it's because he doesn't trust banks (he used to work for one that fired him after framing him for embezzling all of the stolen money from the first game) but still, it's a remarkably boneheaded thing to do.
    • However, with the money he's throwing around for his business, and his reaction to said theft, and how he gets rid of it all without a problem in the end, it's very likely he just doesn't care at all. He has so much money, and makes so much money, it's lost all value to him.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: With the exception of 0 and Like a Dragon, he's become a major player in every game released after his debut.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: He describes himself as "ugly crying" when Arai helped saved him and his newfound windfall from the Millennium Tower explosion from the homeless hunters.
  • In a Single Bound: While the chase segments on rooftops show that all the Yakuza 4 protagonists apparently have superhuman jumping abilities able to clear massive streetwide gaps between buildings with relative ease, Akiyama will actually weaponize this for his Meteor Strike Climax Heat, taunting an enemy to strike him only to disappear from view by taking a huge leap just before he's struck.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: His martial arts skills are never touched upon. He just happens to be a world-class fighter, despite his background being a stock trader and then homeless guy. Consider Kiryu who's spent years fighting and training, Saejima who's lived a similar life of violence and building his own physical strength, or Tanimura who's a trained officer of the law and has to regularly deal with violent criminals on the streets. Compared to them, Akiyama's life isn't much different from the average civilian and yet he can somehow keep up with them.
    • When questioned by Saigo about his insane physical ability and whether he ever played any sports, Akiyama claims that "the last time [he] kicked a ball was in middle school" leading to Saigo to conclude that he's just naturally gifted.
    • Given that Arai uses a similar, if not identical, fighting style during their final duel and Akiyama states that Arai had to save him from homeless hunters before the story began, it's likely that Arai either taught him or Akiyama emulated his fighting style out of respect.
  • Instant Expert: During a substory in 5, the fancy footwork he employs in battle attracts the attention of an Osakan street dancer who then challenges him to a Dance Battle despite Akiyama's protests that he has no experience in dancing whatsoever. If Akiyama accepts, he decides to emulate some of Haruka's moves that he saw from TV and will be about as skilled as she is despite Haruka training for at least 6 months to get as skilled at dancing as she is now.
  • Irony: Despite having such a huge amount of money, it is surprisingly hard for Akiyama to acquire cash for him to use in 5 the minigame-focused series of sidequests that other playable characters have so he'll have to scrounge for money via other methods such as fishing or beating up thugs on the streets, neither of which are particularly reliable methods of acquiring money.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Specializes in them to a greater degree than the rest of the cast, and has several for different situations, like while he's grabbing an enemy or gloating over a downed foe. One of his Climax Heat Actions in 5, "Meteor Strike" has to be activated while he's taunting.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: He's not bad-looking by any stretch but the stress from his past homelessness and his more disheveled appearance is a stark contrast his his clean-shaven youth. During his investment banker years he was borderline Bishōnen or Hunk territory.
  • Jack of All Stats: With an emphasis on speed, since he's not squishy enough to be a Fragile Speedster. His individuals strikes may not hit very hard, but he does so many of them that they add up quickly. Similarly, this describes his role in Dead Souls, as while his unique weapons don't hit as hard as the other characters, he benefits from infinite ammo due to using handguns. With easy to learn mechanics and as the closest gameplay-wise to Kiryu, it makes a lot of sense for him to be the starting character to play as in both 4 and Dead Souls.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Sports a pretty impressive jawline and is pretty good-hearted and selfless overall. It's especially apparent how sharp it is in a photo of him in his younger years when he was clean-shaven.
  • Leitmotif:
    • "Speed Star" in 4. As a boss fight, he shares "Smile Venomously" with Kiryu and Tanimura.
    • "Affected fight" in 5.
  • Kneel Before Frodo: After defeating Kamon Kanai for the final time, the the two of them find themselves surrounded by an army of Yakuza headed by some of the biggest yakuza names across the country. While Captain Watase of the most powerful yakuza clan, the Omi Alliance tells Kanai that his actions have made him an enemy of all yakuza in the country, he compliments the noble efforts of Akiyama and his allies and kneels before him with the other yakuza patriarchs and soldiers following suit. Akiyama keeps his cool through it all and simply hopes to himself that Kiryu can wrap things up back at Tojo HQ.
  • Launcher Move: Can perform air combos Rival Schools-style in 5.
  • Loan Shark: A weird subversion: he loans out money with no interest and no collateral on the condition that people pass a Secret Test of Character. However, like regular loan sharks, he is very, very good at beating the crap out of people; in his case, though, it's usually either rival loan sharks or muggers looking to fleece him.
  • Limit Break: His Climax HEAT techniques in 5:
    • Final Drive: An overhead spinning axe kick which launches airborne enemies downwards.
    • Meteor Strike: As the name implies, it's a Meteor Move where Akiyama leaps high into the air after avoiding an enemy's punch and then landing with a curbstomp onto his foe's face.
    • Killer Kick Combo: Akiyama launches a brutal 11-hit combo culminating with a spinning axe kick to the face.
  • Living Legend: He's already notorious as the eccentric yet surprisingly reliable loan shark known as the "Lifeline of Kamurocho". The finale of 5 sees him trying to take down an army of Kuroha Family yakuza led by a massive knife-brandishing brute all on his own while cheerfully toying with the idea of becoming a Town Legend if he overcomes these impossible odds. Not only does he manage to hold his ground, he lasts long enough for various yakuza around the nation to come to his aid and ensure his victory. The man spearheading this effort, Omi Alliance big wig Masaru Watase, even goes out his way to have everyone kneel to Akiyama as a form of respect for his noble efforts effectively making him the most famous money lender in the nation.
    • Unfortunately, all that renown comes back to bite him in the ass when the new Saio Triad comes to town and start seeing him as a threat. This forces him to shut down Sky Finance and go into hiding as a homeless man once more.
  • Meaningful Name: The meaning of his first name "Shun" has various connotations of "speedy" or "a fast person", and his combat style makes him the series' resident speedster.
  • Mellow Fellow: Probably, the most laid-back of the protagonists in the series. He always seems able to keep his cool no matter how dire the situation or how upset or worried he actually is.
  • Mistaken for Gay: While he's eyeing up the Drama Queen bar that Lily claimed to have worked at, a nearby Okama sees him and assumes he's also into men. While the Okama doesn't believe Akiyama's simply thinking about Lily and that he's in denial, Akiyama takes it in stride.
  • Morality Chain: In 6 he tries his best to keep the highly emotional Kiryu from going off the deep end and acting against his better judgment, such as when he decides to kidnap Haruto and later on plans to murder Iwami and Sugai. It doesn't really work, as Kiryu is so set in his ways that he's willing to beat the shit out of Akiyama in order to do what he believes is right.
  • Mr. Exposition: Towards the end of 5, a good chunk of his screentime is spent trying to put pieces of the plot together out loud for the sake of not just helping his allies understand but the player as well.
  • Mr. Imagination: Downplayed. After Hana leaves Akiyama near the end his chapters, all substories in which she's necessary become unavailable. In the endgame, in which you're supposed to be able to complete all substories, the game developers rectified this by having Akiyama "reminisce about Hana-chan" if you examine the desk in his office, bringing her back in his mind, and allowing the player to complete any unfinished "Hana substories" and even sing Karaoke with her. Strangely, this only works if the "Hana substories" haven't been completed yet. If you already have, you'll have to wait until the postgame, Premium Adventure Mode to be able to sing with Hana again.
  • Narcissist: Played for Laughs. The karaoke Imagine Spot that most characters have singing Baka Mitai involve them reflecting mourningly over a significant photo from their past, usually depicting past loved ones or at a least very good friend. While already often played for laughs with the loved one being a minor character in their overarching plot, Akiyama's Imagine Spot has him staring sadly at a photo of himself but as a hobo. This juxtaposed with the content of other characters' photos makes him come across as the most self-absorbed of them all. Then again, the lyrics of the song are about how the singer feels like they've been a fool and Akiyama admitted that the money he lost trying to prove his innocence over the incident that lost him his job drove him homeless in the first place. Him looking at a photo of himself in those darker days fits when the song's about self-reflection upon past mistakes. Doesn't exactly justify why he happens to have a photo of himself from those days on hand though.
  • Nice Guy: Though he can be mischievous and snarky at times, he's generally one of the nicest, friendliest characters in the cast. With a little shopping, his niceness can get to the point where half of Kamurocho's vendors and homeless guys will gladly help him out in a fight.
  • Odd Friendship: Akiyama took Haruka under his wing for a good chunk of Yakuza 5 - the shy yet spunky idol and the lovable loaf have a good relationship, with him being one of the few adults she trusts and him protecting Haruka during her coma in Yakuza 6.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Downplayed. Though he's a veritable One-Man Army and one of the series' best fighters, he tends to be treated as somewhat outclassed by the more ludicrously strong Kiryu and Saejima who are heavily implied to be fairly even matches to one another. Even Majima probably has a better track record against Kiryu than Akiyama with the Majima Everywhere system in Kiwami allowing Majima to get countless wins against Kiryu and not have it count as a game over for the player. Meanwhile, Akiyama straight up loses to Kiryu the two times he canonically fights him in spite of one of those instances having him backed up by fellow One-Man Army Tanimura though the other instance has him claim he couldn't bring himself to fight full-power against Kiryu due to the circumstances. It also doesn't help that the games tend to limit Akiyama's moveset compared to Kiryu's. That said, it doesn't stop a skilled player from subverting this and defeating Kiryu as Akiyama albeit in certain instances of uncertain canon.
  • Out of Focus: Goes from being one of the main playable characters in 4 to being playable but serving as something of a Supporting Protagonist for Haruka in 5 to being an unplayable side character in 6 to not appearing at all in Like A Dragon.
    • With regards to 5, Akiyama doesn't even show up in the part of the game focusing on Haruka and him until chapter 3 of the 4 chapters in said part. He also doesn't get any sort of optional questline like Kiryu getting taxi driving missions, or Saejima getting missions that involve hunting wildlife in the mountains. Instead, only Haruka gets optional quest lines in those chapters, relating to her idol career.
  • Perma-Stubble: As a sign of how slovenly he can be.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Unique among the series' protagonists is that his character model tends to be grinning by default even in the midst of combat. It goes well with his cheerful, laid-back personality. Even in cutscenes he tends to have a little smirk on his face, so long as shit hasn't hit the fan too badly and sometimes even when it has.
  • Pocket Protector: At the end of "4", Munakata, realizing how utterly screwed he is with Date's newspaper exposing his corruption, grabs the gun Arai dropped and shoots him. Turns out he had a nice thick stack of yen in his coat to save him.
  • Progressively Prettier: His model as of 6 makes him look younger and more handsome than the ones used in 4 and 5, despite his being older in that game than the previous two.
  • Put on a Bus: After having been featured as a main character in just about every game since his introduction, he's completely absent during the events of Like a Dragon. Then again it's not like there's any specific reason for a moneylender like him to be involved in the game's plot.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Performs this motion in a number of in-game cutscenes in 5, especially during substories. While he's not the only character to do it, his variant is particularly exaggerated with how far his head tilts.
  • Rags to Riches: He was living on the streets after losing his job as a banker. Luckily, he was right near Millennium Tower when a bomb was set off on its 60th floor, and he managed to snatch up some of the money that fell, using it to start Sky Finance and get a second chance at life.
  • Rapid-Fire Kicks: His basic combo ends in a series of inhumanly fast kicks in succession referred to as "Slash Kicks". In general he's consistenly had the most fast-paced fighting style among the protagonists in the series with only Rush style Kiryu from 0 and Kiwami rivaling him in speed.
  • Really Fond of Sleeping: Frequently shown sleeping, usually on the couch of his office, though he also used to snooze on the streets of Kamurocho as shown in a flashback to his homeless days.
  • Red Baron: The Lifeline of Kamurocho, after his reputation as the last chance for people in deep financial trouble to save themselves if they were rejected by every other moneylender in town.
  • Red Is Heroic: Wears a mauve jacket and is one of the main protagonists from 4 onwards.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Saejima, Hana and Shinada's red. Ironically, he wears a red jacket, as mentioned above.
  • Respected by the Respected: Apparently the yakuza are more lenient with Sky Finance being a rival moneylender because of how good of a fighter Akiyama is. Arai notes this after seeing Akiyama wipe the floor with a somewhat tough Ueno Seiwa goon. Gets taken further in the finale of 5 when hundreds of yakuza from clans across the country bow their heads to him in gratitude including the powerful Omi Alliance who is noted to have never bowed their heads to anyone before. Deconstructed in the next game, where the Saio Triad hunts him down because of this standing.
  • The Rest Shall Pass: For a decent chunk of the finale of 5 Kiryu and Akiyama work together to wittle down the army of Kuroha Family yakuza led by Kamon Kanai but when he gets a call from Daigo about the danger the Tojo Clan Officers at Headquarters are facing, Akiyama encourages Kiryu to go forth and save them while Akiyama remains in Theater Square to hold the line against Kanai's forces all on his own. Despite seemingly being exhausted just a minute ago, he recovers enough to wryly comment on how if he somehow manages to overcome such unlikely odds, he'd become a town legend.
  • Riches to Rags: Downplayed: in 6, Akiyama was forced into hiding as a result of escalating violence between the Tojo Clan and Saio Triad. To that end, he sold off his business and returned to living on the streets. By the end of the game, however, he is planning to reopen his office and resume business.
  • Secret Test of Character: How he decides if his clients are deserving of a loan or not.
  • The Smart Guy: Definitely has this role in Yakuza 5, often devising plans and strategies for the team and as well as usually being the first one to put together parts of the villain's plan so he can explain it to his allies.
    • In the ending for Yakuza 6, he doesn't buy the story behind Kiryu's fate.
  • Smoking Is Cool: He certainly seems to smoke a lot. Possibly moreso than any other protagonist considering how stuffed his ash tray in the office tends to get. Deconstructed since it's implied that it's affecting his physical stamina. It's outright become a Running Gag in 5 all the times he's out of breath during vital moments and complaining about how he should quit smoking.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Though most of the cast is black-haired and brown-eyed, Akiyama in particular is considered attractive in his own way on top of being relatively tall and often dressing in darker clothing than other the protagonists.
    • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He's also one of the snarkiest protagonists though he's rivaled if not surpassed by Shinada in 5 in terms of snarkiness.
  • Token Wholesome: A rare male example in 5 amongst the other playable male characters seeing as how he's the only one that never performs a Battle Strip at any point in the game not even when participating in the Coliseum matches.
  • Trash of the Titans: He really can't keep an office clean without Hana around.
  • Unkempt Beauty: A male example to some extent. He's definitely disheveled-looking but he also has little trouble romancing the greatest number of hostesses in 4.
    • A couple characters in the story also refer to him as "pretty" albeit in a mocking manner.
    • In the same game, Mack the photographer even mistakes him for a washed-up pornstar.
    • In a substory in 5, a highschooler seems to dig the way he pulls off the "disheveled look".
  • Uncle Pennybags: The real reason he runs his loan business. He wants to give people money for free, he just wants to make sure they deserve it. He even says it himself, as in his page quote.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The end of 6 has Akiyama plan to re-open Sky Finance but his office in Kamurocho doesn't appear to be up and running in any later games. It's possible he simply re-opened in a different location in the city or maybe even took to running the office in a different city altogether like the Sotenbori branch he had in 5. In any case, with Like a Dragon being the first new game in the main series timeline to not feature him at all, we have no idea how his business is going or what the man himself is even doing these days.
  • Willfully Weak: Even though it's not likely he'd win if he did actually did try harder, his boss fight in 6 is pretty passive compared to other fights and he doesn't even have his usual taunt. Instead if there's a lull in the combat, he holds his hands up and tries to tell Kiryu to calm down and stop even though this leaves himself vulnerable. It supports his claim after the fight that he can't bring himself to fight his hardest against his friend Kiryu.
  • With Catlike Tread: During a substory, he attempts to trail one of his client while she's undergoing one of his tests to monitor her success. When they next meet, she tells him that she know that he was following her and that he'd make for a terrible detective.
  • The Worf Effect: He may be a One-Man Army in his own right, but the games make it clear that physically he's not quite in the same league as Kiryu, as he is defeated by him in both 4 and 6 (despite tagging with Tanimura in the former).
  • The Wonka: Downplayed. He's not really that weird as a person, especially considering the sort of people Kiryu encounters, but he's regarded as eccentric by many, particularly Takashi Kido who relays to an underling how strange his business model is. He offers loans to people with nowhere to go, often people who've been turned down by other lenders who've suggested Akiyama's credit company, Sky Finance. While he has Hana run a background check on them, he'll give money to anybody so long as they show their determination to getting the loan money and using it to turn their lives around. Thus he comes up with specialized tests that tend to be more difficult the more money clients ask for. Perhaps the most peculiar thing about his business practices is that his loans are no interest, no collateral. He doesn't make a single cent off of Sky Finance and yet he's one of the wealthiest members of the cast though owning other businesses like Club Elise presumably helps. Kido also ominously notes that anyone who's ever borrowed from him has never asked for another loan from him again. Kido theorizes that his past clients want to "stay as far away from that nutjob as they can". Akiyama himself believes that he gives people not just money but the motivation to turn their life around so that they'll never have to borrow money again. In any case, he's a very wealthy man despite these quirks and the apparent "success" of Sky Finance has attracted the attention of several rivals. His tutorial fight even involves the disgruntled employees of a rival company.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: In one of the fifth game's substories, he encounters a group of schoolgirl bullies who try to pressure a girl into prostitution so they can use the money to go party. When one of the girls calls her brother and his gangster friends to take care of him, Akiyama gladly takes his anger out on them instead, saying he has a thing against hitting girls.
  • Younger than They Look: He's only 32 in Yakuza 4 but is viewed as much older by a variety of characters, with one NPC even wondering he has grandchildren despite being just three years older than the youthful looking Tanimura. His rather disheveled appearance plays a part in this, but the stress of going bankrupt and living on the streets also likely aged him quickly.
  • Your Size May Vary: Downplayed. His official measurements from the Coliseum in 5 apparently put him at 178 cm tall making him one of the shortest playable characters in the series but he generally doesn't seem that much shorter than the likes of the 184 cm tall Kiryu at all usually being close to the same height as him, especially in gameplay. Hell, the aforementioned Coliseum has a number of supposedly taller fighters that clearly aren't shorter than him at all though that may be more of a problem with their proportions rather than Akiyama's.

    Taiga Saejima 

Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama (Japanese), Ron Yuan (English)
Saejima as he appears in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
Click here  to see Saejima as he appears in Yakuza 4.

New playable character number two debuting in Yakuza 4. An ex-yakuza who infamously gunned down 18 yakuza in a noodle shop, and has spent 25 years in death row. After he learns he was set up, he breaks out of prison and returns to Kamurocho to find out what happened to his old family and why he was abandoned on that fateful night before the police catch up to him again. He was set up to take the fall by Katsuragi of the Ueno Seiwa clan, who was the real killer. He is the oldest and strongest of the four protagonists, and by the game's end, he's brought back into the Tojo Clan and made the boss of the Saejima Family.

He also returns in Yakuza 5, turning himself in for the events of the previous game, but near the end of his sentence, learns that there are forces out there trying to prolong it, and escapes once again. In Yakuza 6, he returns to jail again to fulfill his previous sentence.

  • All for Nothing: Downplayed, in that learning that the Ueno Seiwa hit didn't truly kill the intended target and his Sasai boss ended up losing the family in the aftermath due to the whole thing being a setup utterly eats at Saejima after realizing his twenty-five years of prison time were one giant waste of agony. However, he doesn't actually regret following the order itself, solely because orders were orders and he'd have it no other way on his honor as a yakuza.
  • Animal Motifs: The tiger. Naturally, he and Kiryu end up fighting after they've barely spoken.
  • Anti-Hero: Established as one of the darkest in the series from his massacre of an introduction to the rest of his character arc consisting of trying to have his revenge on his old Oath Brother Majima, believing that he had betrayed him all those years ago. Still, he proves to have a surprisingly strong moral core underneath it all particularly during his Shaming the Mob scene.
  • Badass Baritone: Not the deepest in the cast but he does speak with a low and intimidating tone that lends itself to some impressive roaring when he really gets going, courtesy of Rikiya Koyama. Also applies to the English dub of Like a Dragon, provided by Ron Yuan.
  • Badass Longcoat: He's always wearing some sort of beaten old coat that reaches down to his knees. Starting in Yakuza 6 and all future Dragon Engine games, he switches to a shorter though no less badass Alpha Industries N3B parka.
  • Badass in Distress: He's captured in the climax of Yakuza 4 along with his step-sister Yasuko. They catch up while Kiryu comes to their rescue.
  • Bald Head of Toughness: He's shaved from 5 onward ever since his internment in Abashiri Penitentiary where all the inmates have been given a close shave. Out of all of the protagonists in the series, he is the strongest in terms of raw physical strength, having developed his Charles Atlas Superpower of immense strength and durability in jail. Notably, he is the only protagonist besides Kiryu able to pick up motorcycles and in one cut scene, stops a moving car with his bare hands before moving out of the way.
    • Barbarian Longhair: In 4 and his prologue in 5 as well as said game's imagination segments with Himura.
  • Better the Devil You Know: In 5, he States this almost word-for-word with regards to the relationship between the Police and the Tojo Clan. The Tojo Clan may be a powerful criminal syndicate but at least the Police know how to easily communicate with them and keep them on a leash. All bets are off if the Tojo Clan allows the Omi Alliance from the west to roll in and take control of Kamurocho.
  • The Big Guy: He's the strongest guy of the bunch and one of the tallest.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": When the crowd boos at him for not killing his first defeated opponent at a tournament deathmatch, then he gives them a touching speech about how murdering people traumatized him after the 1985 incident, and he sees his victims' dying faces every night in his dreams.
  • Blood Brothers: To Goro Majima, stretching back to their early careers in the Sasai Family of the Tojo Clan.
    • And seeing what Majima goes through in Yakuza 0 to return to the Tojo Clan in case Saejima would eventually return, Majima is very fond of him too.
    • Unofficially, he seems to consider Goh Hamazaki and Shigeki Baba brothers. Originally they got close to him solely to manipulate and exploit him, but they ended seeing him as a brother as well.
  • Blood Knight: Downplayed. Unlike Majima, he doesn't immediately try to twist situations into a fight when there's no reason to but he does seem to enjoy butting heads with strong enemies like Kiryu or Majima. When Jo Amon once again tries to challenge Kiryu to a fight to the death in 4, Saejima's eager to tag along to see a guy tough and scary enough to make Kiryu take the situation seriously.
    • Otherwise Subverted in terms of the many life-or-death conflicts he keeps getting in, even apologising to enemies like Saito who most certainly doesn't deserve it. In particular, he remembers his massacre of the 18 Ueno Seiwa men as in his own words "a fucking nightmare", taking absolutely no joy in ending the lives of others and even brought to tears when openly talks about how awful of an experience it was.
  • Boots of Toughness: When in civilian clothing he always has one. Gotta make sure those stomps to the face hurt.
  • Car Fu: Saejima’s the only one strong enough to lift and swing motorcycles and scooters as if they were bats.
  • Celibate Hero: To a degree. Saejima probably would if he could, but he has far more important things to do with what little time he has.
    • He has a bit of a freak out when he sees Haruka. This is what tipped Kiryu off that he spent time in prison as, "you had the look of a guy who hadn't seen a woman in a long time".
    • If you try to enter a hostess club while playing as him in Yakuza 4, he'll straight-up refuse, saying that he's not interested. Of course, given that he's currently on the run from the police, going to a hostess club wouldn't be a bright idea.
    • In Yakuza 5, while he can win over the voluptuous Kaguya, he finds her to be more of a pain and doesn't express much affection for her. It's pretty much stated that their "private time" wasn't intimate, but rather spent talking about what his dreams and aspirations were. Not that it stops him from fantasizing about her in the hot springs and checking her out in air hockey.
  • Charged Attack: He can charge up his Finishing Moves to hit even harder. He also has to charge them in order to access his powerful Double Finishing Blows.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: He's had a very long time to work on his natural strength in prison. Most of his fighting style revolves around his sheer muscle, and he's the only playable character outside of Kiryu in 0 and Kiwami, and Kaito in Lost Judgment, to be able to pick up motorcycles and smash people with them.
    • It gets even more absurd in Yakuza 5 where one of his HEAT actions has him punch the ground so hard it knocks opponents off their feet by causing a MINI-TREMOR. Goro Daimon would be proud.
    • There's also a scene where he nearly gets run over and briefly stops a moving car with his bare hands before rolling out of the way.
    • And who could forget the time he ripped a huge metal exhaust pipe as thick as a tree off of a wall with his bare hands and swung it around at the goons surrounding him before dropping it on the one poor schmuck he missed.
    • He can also unlock the ability to rip signposts and electrical transformers out of the ground.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Weapons, walls, enemies in any conceivable position... if it exists, Saejima has a finisher for it.
  • The Comically Serious: Maintains his gruff demeanor even when he's trying to tame a pair of stray cats by meowing in 4. 5 also has him lay the smackdown on some punks while dressed as Santa in a substory.
  • Cool Old Guy: Despite being in his 50s he's still a force to be reckoned with.
  • Cruel Mercy: Makes a promise to Kosaka not to kill anyone that's part of the conspiracy that seems be targetting Saejima and his allies so that they can receive proper justice in prison. He still plans to make them wish he had with Kugihara in particular receiving the most brutal beatdown.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Black shirt, pale green tailcoat, snowfield camouflage trousers, black military boots and he is on the light side of the characters in the entire series.
  • Desperation Attack: 4 grants him access to quite a few Heat Actions that he can only use at low health.
  • Dueling Player Characters:
    • He faces off against Kiryu after he broke out of Okinawa Penitentiary No.1. They fight each other again in the fifth game to lure out the game's mastermind. Notably, for their rematch, the player has control of which character they want to use, although it has no effect story-wise.
    • In Like a Dragon, he takes on Ichiban and his team alongside Majima after catching them infiltrating the Omi HQ.
  • Dual Boss: In Like a Dragon, he fights alongside Majima. More specifically, he steps in after you reduce Majima's health to 50%.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: During the events of 4, he had long hair that reached his shoulders. After going back to prison in 5 to make amends for the past, he has his head shaved.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: A lot has changed in the 25 years since Saejima was put away. He's even more Hopeless with Tech than Kiryu, as he doesn't know what a CD-ROM is, nor does he even know how to use a cell phone. While Kiryu and Akiyama both use their phones to capture Revelations, Saejima pulls a massive log out of Hammerspace and chisels a wood sculpture instead. At least he improves enough to be able to use a cell phone by the time 5 rolls around, even engaging in some blogging for his Revelation.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Choleric
  • Friend to All Children: For a self-admitted bad guy and convicted mass murderer, Saejima sure has a soft spot for kids (Yasuko mentions he was planning to become a schoolteacher before he became a gangster to support her kidney operation). One substory chain in 4 has him help an orphan repay his debt to a loan shark who kidnapped his older sister.
  • Gentle Giant: He gives this vibe, especially in Yakuza 5, since he softened up quite a bit.
  • The Ghost: Aside from a few brief flashbacks, he doesn't make any sort of physical appearance in 0 despite being Majima's primary motivation for still trying to get back into the Tojo Clan's good graces. Justified since he's in prison and in order for Saejima's plot in 4 to make sense, Majima cannot visit Saejima and explain his actions.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He's civil and pleasant to friends, allies, and the average civilian but wreaks brutal destruction on anyone who brings unnecessary harm to him or any of the previously stated categories of people.
  • Good Old Ways: Saejima's general reaction to just about everything, especially the state of the yakuza. That said he does wonder during at the end of one of the substories in 4 if he was simply ignorant to how ruthless yakuza always have been.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: The man has no issues with picking enemies up and using them to hit other punks. He gets even more techniques for this in 5 with his Tiger Puppetry ability.
  • Heroic Build: The guy’s absolutely shredded, giving even Kiryu a run for his money. 25 years in prison didn’t dampen his brick house physique any either.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Usually averted but his age combined with the 25 years spent in prison does contribute to certain antiquated views on proper male behavior. At one point in 4 during the Dojo sidestory, he has the opportunity to give student Hideo Sugiyama advice on how to ask a woman out. Apparently, the ideal answer is to tell him to say to her "Make me breakfast every mornin, woman!" with Saejima's justification being that it's the sort of line that men have used for generations and will surely still work now. Sugiyama gets motivated at the thought of having a nice breakfast every morning with his crush and even learns a new ability.
  • Hidden Depths: He's a pretty good singer.
    • When he was a young boy, he wanted to become a school teacher. Needless to say, that didn't end up happening.
    • His conversations with Fukushi from the Dojo can have him admit that he used to love watching a certain robot anime back in the day. It helped him see how even bad guys can have their own purpose and sense of justice.
  • Homeless Pigeon Person: Saejima himself as well as most of his friendly contacts as a consequence of only being playable in games where has to escape from prison and become a fugitive of the law.
  • Honor Before Reason: His duty to his family and allies takes priority over his own safety and happiness, and he'll fully admit this. Even if he has nightmares and agonizes over the lives he was put into prison for, it was still the order laid on his lap and that's that.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: To a lesser extent than Akiyama but he's still become an important character in the series and making several appearances in games after his debut.
  • If I Do Not Return: In 5 during the Hunting arc, when he goes after Yama-oroshi, he tells the villagers that if he dies fighting against the bear, to tell Deputy Warden Kosaka that he's sorry he didn't keep his promise.
  • Immune to Flinching: He gets two abilities in "5" that make him this in Heat mode: "Stability" from the Soul tree and "Herculean Spirit" from Tendo's training.
  • Informed Attribute: He's inaugurated as the Patriarch of the Saejima Family in The Stinger of 4 but we're never shown a single member of this Yakuza family aside from Saejima himself and no one ever talks about what they do either so it practically doesn't exist at all. An argument can be made for Shigeki Baba from 5 being a member since Saejima unofficially considers him an Oath Brother, but the game ends with him planning on turning himself in to the police so he's in no position to be contributing to any Yakuza families.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: Like Majima, he speaks with a fake kansai accent despite being born in Tokyo. Unlike Majima, his voice actor was actually born in Kyoto which means he has authentic Kansai intonation, whereas Majima's accent is notably really hooky (originally unintentionally, but the writers figured it works well for his character anyway).
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Saejima's beatdown/torture of Kugihara in 5, mangling his arm so badly that the snow turns red. It's brutal and bloody, but feels so good.
  • Large Ham: He holds nothing back when he sings, but have him do "Lively Interjections" on Rouge Of Love and he goes even further.
  • Laughing Mad: Unchacteristically starts laughing wildly in 4 when Kiryu tells him return to prison peacefully since that might make the courts go easier on him. The reason is because he absolutely cannot return to prison since he's been on death row for 25 years and all that awaits him is a swift execution.
  • Leitmotif:
    • "Massive Fire" in 4. It returns in Like a Dragon whenever Ichiban Summons him.
    • "Hailstorm" in 5. As a potential boss fight in the same game's story "The maximum ill luck" will play either while fighting him as Kiryu or fighting Kiryu as him, meaning they share this leitmotif.
    • In Like A Dragon, he shares "Recieve You The Hyperactive" with Majima when assisting him in their shared boss fight.
  • Limit Break: His Tiger Essence Climax HEAT attacks in 5:
    • Tiger Essence of Bashing: Saejima leaps into the air while taking hold of his opponent and plants them with a modified flying Tombstone Piledriver.
    • Tiger Essence of Blitzing: Saejima charges his way through a group of enemies ala a football player before grabbing the last man, tossing him upwards and slamming him down.
    • Tiger Essence of Shockwave: A massive Ground Pound which knocks all nearby enemies off their feet.
    • Raging Tiger Cyclone: His Poundmate Special in ''Like a Dragon; Saejima bursts out from a manhole, catches the cover, starts spinnning hard enough to create a tornado that picks up surrounding debris and cars before tossing the the cover at the enemies (and sending the tornado at them along with it).
    • Blade Kill: His Combination Attack with Majima in their boss fight in Like a Dragon. Saejima swings Majima around while the latter has his knife extended to attack all party members before tossing him at Ichiban. Majima then proceeds to fly right by and bounce off a wall to knee Ichiban in the back of the head while Saejima gut punches him.
  • Living Legend: Convicted of killing 18 yakuza in a noodle shop has made him one in the eyes of the underworld. Unfortunately, it also paints a huge target on his back.
  • Magikarp Power: His Mighty Glacier fighting style alongside his very slow attack speed makes him really weak in the early game, especially in his prison break segment of 4. But once you upgrade his attack speed, Charged Attack, and Immune to Flinching abilities, he becomes a walking bulldozer who can overpower even bosses in a battle of attrition.
  • Magnetic Hero: Has a tendency to turn prospective antagonists trying to take advantage of him into strong allies because he treated them with respect and even calls them "brother" at times. Hamazaki in Yakuza 4 and Baba in Yakuza 5 end up on the side of the heroes' because of this.
    • In 5 he also becomes pretty close friends with all of his cellmates at Abashiri Penitentiary. It probably helps that all of them are surprisingly decent people for convicted felons. Even the cold, no-nonsense, yakuza-hating Deputy Warden Kosaka comes to respect and trust Saejima a rather great deal to the point where he arranges for Saejima to break out of prison with Baba in order to uncover the deadly conspiracy that's causing trouble for the prison.
  • Manly Men Can Hunt: His unique sidequest in 5 has him take up hunting, with his ultimate goal being to hunt an extremely dangerous bear.
  • Manly Tears: During his speech to the crowd chanting for blood in the Underground Coliseum.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Just like Kiryu, he can unlock the ability to grab downed enemies by the legs and then swing them over his shoulder which he can do multiple times until the enemy runs out of health. Just like Kiryu however, it's ineffective on minibosses and bosses who tend to immediately break free from attempts to grab them by the legs while downed. One of his Heat Actions in 5 also amounts to grabbing an enemy by the face and swinging them over his shoulder repeatedly in order to knock away all the other enemies surrounding him.
  • Mighty Glacier: He's the slowest of the main playable characters, but can deal a ton of damage. While attack speed upgrades mitigate his slowness, his inability to perform a basic Quickstep or quickly roll back to his feet when getting knocked down combined with having upgrades that give him more Super Armor and defense in Heat mode means he's best played as a tank. Notably, when Kiryu tries to grab a heavyset sumo-type enemy he gets pushed away instantly, but Saejima can actually grab these guys like any other mook (with a certain upgrade) which is a testament to his monstrous strength.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He gives Kido advice that if he wants to climb the ranks, he must seize an opportunity when he sees it. This ends up causing Kido to pull a Face–Heel Turn, resulting in Saejima and Yasuko getting captured by the villains, and Yasuko getting fatally wounded by Katsuragi.
  • Noble Demon: He may be more of a Yakuza than the other protagonists to the point of performing a hit when ordered to but he tries his best to live as a dutiful, honorable man and genuinely seems to be a good person at heart.
    I'm just livin' the life me and my bro chose to lead. That's what bein' a yakuza's really about. People think we're criminals or whatever. But I'm proud to be part of somethin' bigger. Honor and duty. That's what it all means.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: At least two of the major villains he's faced in his two playable experiences have been significantly younger than him: Takeshi Kido in 4 and Shigeki Baba in 5.
  • Older than They Look: Like Majima and Kiryu before him, by the time he shows again in Like A Dragon his features are far less harsh and he loses a lot of his more noticeable wrinkles, either due to graphical changes or finally not being forced into prison again. This despite him being 53 at that point.
  • Perpetual Frowner: His default expression is a frown or a slight scowl and it’s pretty rare for him to ever smile. Justified considering his circumstances in both Yakuza 4 and 5. He looks much more cheerful in Like A Dragon.
  • Promotion to Parent: After his mother died, Saejima had to be responsible for both his own and his stepsister Yasuko's welfare, as his father had left the family early on.
  • Punny Name: His first name "Taiga" sounds like Tiger.
  • Put on a Bus: He appears very briefly at the beginning of Yakuza 6, and isn't seen again until the end of the game, discussing with Majima and Daigo how to handle Kiryu's apparent death and the Yomei Alliance.
    • At one point early on in Like a Dragon, Adachi tells Ichiban that after the Omi Alliance took over Kamurocho in the wake of the diminishing Tojo Clan, the heads of the Tojo took their leave from the city while a still image shows the backs of Majima, Daigo, and Saejima as they leave through the gates of Kamurocho. They don't make a reappearance until much later in the game while Ichiban's crew is trying to sneak into the Omi Alliance HQ.
  • Rated M for Manly: Aside from being a hulking giant and stone-cold badass, there's also Saejima's way of capturing Revelations in 4. Since he doesn't have a phone nor camera (or a journal like Tanimura), he carves elaborate sculptures out of chunks of wood. With a chisel, in a few seconds, while roaring.
    • Unfortunately, this also means he's too manly to try karaoke or woo some hostesses. In Yakuza 4, anyway.
  • Red Baron: 18-Count Saejima, after being convicted of 18 counts of murder during the Ueno Seiwa hit. He is still occasionally referred to this way even after it's revealed he wasn't the actual killer, since regardless of his gun being loaded with rubber bullets without his knowledge, the determination and badassery it takes to pick a fight with 18 high-ranking yakuza by yourself and win is still the real deal.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Goh Hamazaki, Kiryu, Yasuko, Shun, Majima and Masayoshi's blue. He changes to blue in 5.
  • Remember the New Guy?: He's actually Majima's best friend and they were a huge influence on each other in their early yakuza days. Funny that Majima never mentioned him. Probably due to Maijima's unwilling role in Saejima's frame up. He is mentioned more often in the prequel Yakuza 0 to make up for this.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: The Ueno Seiwa hit is often brought up as an example of his badassery. Also, in 6 you can bring up that time Saejima fought a bear as a topic of casual conversation in Cabaret Clubs.
  • The Scapegoat: He didn't actually kill anyone during the hit of 1985. All of the revolvers he was given were loaded with experimental rubber bullets. Isao Katsuragi shot everyone at the shop to pave the way for his own promotion, and had his own blood-brother shoot him to make him look like a survivor. Although unlike most examples he really was planning to kill everyone there.
  • Secret A.I. Moves: The data based on him in the IF7-R in 4 has access to a regular quickstep and will even make heavy usage of quickstep attacks unlike the real Saejima who has only has a roll as an evasive ability and is more focused around Charged Attacks and strong grappling techniques. This makes for a noticeably more agile take on the normally rather sluggish Saejima.
  • Shaming the Mob: The mob in this case being rich and bloodthirsty spectators of a deathmatch tournament he's forced to participate in. He lectures them on what it's really like to kill someone. This is combined with What Measure Is a Mook? and "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Even after 25 years have passed since the 18-death hit, Saejima was left traumatized by memories of the event which continued to haunt his nightmares throughout his time in prison.
  • Shoryuken: Has one called the "Great Bomber" in 4 and renamed to "Super Uppercut" in 5. They're basically identical and tied to his charged heavy attack though in 4, he has to charge it twice as long as it takes to perform his Spin Attack whereas in 5 their charge time order has been reversed with the Super Uppercut being his first Charged Attack
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Spending 25 years of his life in prison on top of being one of the older protagonists makes it unsurprising that he shows this attitude at times. In 5 when visiting Kaguya at a hostess club, he'll state that he expects men to fight their own battles but not women.
    • The above becomes ironic during Like a Dragon where he averts this trope by having no problem fighting against female party members with his bare fists. Guess he learned a thing or two after finally being free.
  • Tattooed Crook: A tiger, contrasting with Kiryu's dragon. Incidentally, the tiger in the tattoo is seen surrounded by Japanese Sasa leaves, which is likely a nod to the Sasai Family that Saejima once swore allegiance to.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted in the past, which is a pretty big deal considering other main characters. He’s introduced gunning down a restaurant full of Yakuza thugs and personally executes their patriarch. Even the reveal that it was all rubber bullets doesn’t change that he was willing to murder all those people. Played straight in the present day where the trauma from said shooting means he finds it difficult to take another life. He even gives a speech telling the audience of Purgatory how much they suck for goading him to kill a contestant.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: As stated before, his childhood aspirations to become a schoolteacher obviously didn't pan out that way, not to mention all the traumatic experiences he's faced ever since he joined the Tojo Clan. Still, it's apparently canon that Saejima really did engage in the side-content in 4, helping Sodachi instruct his students in self-defense and turn his dojo from a failing endeavor into a successful and reputable place to learn martial arts. Saejima himself seems to cherish his memories coaching the students as implied by 5 in both substories and during his Imagine Spot while singing Baka Mitai in which he'll gaze sentimentally at a photo of himself and Sodachi smiling in his dojo. In a way, he did become some sort of teacher after all if only temporarily.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: He's not quite the first "Tiger" to Kiryu's "Dragon" (that'd be Shimano), but he's certainly the most prominent and recurring one, being one of the only characters in the series who can actually fight Kiryu to a stalemate. Going with this theme, he also has an equivalent to Kiryu's famous "Tiger Drop" called "Dragon Fall".
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Compared to his initial personality, he's far more mellow in 5.
  • Tranquil Fury: Gives Kugihara a nasty and terrifying lesson in torment in 5 that stains the snow red with blood and leaves his left hand crippled. After everything Kugihara's done to Saejima for the past six months, he'd be justified in this form of revenge and yet Saejima's facial expression barely changes as he stomps Kugihara's wrist to a bloody mess. He also doesn't raise his voice at all as he lectures him on the dangers of picking fights with a yakuza.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Lacks a quickstep for evasion unlike the other characters. Instead, he can only roll around or hop backwards which is significantly slower. He also means doesn't have any sort of evasive attack equivalent to the Quickstep Attacks every other playable character in 4 has.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Saejima's fighting style is based around brute force more than finesse. Even his sword style is unrefined, but considering how absurdly strong he is he doesn't NEED to be fancy.
    • Tellingly, neither of the two training masters he's had in his playable appearances actually try to teach him the skills he learns. One of them mostly has him mining a cave out or shattering rocks with his bare hands before conveniently finding notes on martial arts while the other gets possessed by mountain gods, granting him incredible powers and durability before attacking Saejima. In other words, they primarily just give him opportunities to put his insane strength to use, occasionally inspiring him to utilize those experiences to improvise his own techniques. As opposed to any sort of formal teachings or sparring sessions conducted by a well-trained martial artist.
    • Strong and Skilled: However, this is very obviously an inversion and it's indicated Saejima's fighting style is that way in gameplay because he simply didn't need to display his skills and besides he was meant to be a Mighty Glacier. Overall, this seems to be merely a case of Gameplay and Story Integration and Gameplay and Story Segregation: Saejima is primarily a Mighty Glacier and fights with far less finesse in gameplay but whenever he gets to fight someone really skilled, he can and will display a real amount of exceptional skill and he is also clearly a real Lightning Bruiser and much more acrobatic than gameplay shows him, as action sequences shows he is more than capable of keeping up with Kiryu and even Majima in speed and agility, his fighting data in the IF 7-4 proves he is actually fully capable of quickstep attacks, and the game even shows him shamelessly and effectively using acrobatic moves to neutralize Majima's wild and acrobatic attacks. Not only that, his moves, especially his Heat, while simplistic, are still based on wrestling, boxing, and muay thai, he is even able to use a pressure-point move with his head, his usage of pragmatic weapons is just as competent as Kiryu and while his sword style is unrefined, he displays an Iaijutsu technique that no one else ever showed, which certainly displays a good deal of expertise with real martial arts, and he is certainly competent in the technical aspect as he is canonically able to teach students of a Dojo to become masters of fighting which naturally requires extensive experience.
    • The best way to sum it up is that Saejima's fighting style may not be as polished as many other fighters, his moves are simplistic, he primarily relies on his strength and durability, and his martial arts isn't outwardly as impressive as others, but while he has a straight-up brutish approach to combat, he makes excellent usage of the skills he has in his disposal, he certainly can make good use of his strength and durability for moves that most others but Kiryu can't really do, and he is pragmatic and seasoned enough to make use of the environment just as well as the others. As such, the combination of the excellent skills he has, his insane physical abilities, and his determination overall can still make him a powerful fighter even in gameplay and storywise, all those fighting traits accumulated is enough to put him on a similar fighting level to Kiryu, as displayed by their repeated stalemates where Saejima is capable of matching him in fisticuffs just fine, and as displayed with his scuffles with Majima, he is more than able to beat Majima while clearly displaying some impressive prowess in pitched exchanges and thinking quick and using his superior strength to beat down his sworn brother the right way.
  • Use Your Head: In 5, he gets access to the Tiger Dragon Drop, which, unlike Kiryu's ducking punch, is a massive, stun-inducing headbutt.
  • Villain Protagonist: Skirts closer to this trope than any other protagonist since he proves to be far more dedicated to the Yakuza lifestyle and mindset than the likes of Kiryu. He's introduced in 4 willingly gunning down nearly 20 rival Yakuza on the orders of his boss putting him on deathrow for 25 years until he breaks out of prison aided by the nefarious Hamazaki. He then tells Kiryu that he has no plans of reforming and instead is focused on uncovering the truth behind what went wrong during his 18-person hit and even get some revenge on whoever's responsible. Tellingly, Kiryu initially declines to help him unless he gives him a better reason than just vengeance. Ultimately averted since he doesn't go through with killing any of those who were supposedly responsible for his 25 years like Majima who turns out to be rather innocent or Katsuragi who carries much of the blame but Saejima attempts to spare him anyway considering him Not Worth Killing. When it becomes clear how dangerous the bad guys are, he doesn't hesitate to join in on delivering righteous justice to them.
    • Averted in 5. He doesn't spend much time as a fugitive-of-the law Yakuza before going back to prison both to atone for past crimes as well as to find greater strength worthy of a man trying to be a leading Patriarch in the Tojo Clan. When he's expelled from the Yakuza for unknown reasons, he opts to continue trying to live a good life with people he cares about like his new friends in his cell block at Abashiri Penitentiary. The rest of his story is spent trying to uncover the conspiracy behind the mysterious death of the Warden as well as whoever's sent Kugihara and his cronies to torment and try to kill Saejima.
  • Warrior Therapist: With all the time he's spent in prison, he's had a lot of time to reflect upon his actions the thought process leading up to them allowing him to offer his own brand of advice to those who have had similar experiences, especially fellow yakuza. He even manages to give words of encouragement to fellow Warrior Therapist Kiryu who's in a particularly low point in his life by the time of 5.
  • When He Smiles: Much like Kiryu, he's a Perpetual Frowner. But when he gives a genuine smile, he means it.
  • Worthy Opponent: In Like a Dragon, while Ichiban and his friends ultimately didn't come close to beating him and Majima, the fact that they made the two work up a decent sweat is enough to earn Saejima's respect. As he leaves, he tells Ichiban that he's looking forward to the next round.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Surprisingly, Like a Dragon shows that like Majima he's perfectly fine with getting into fisticuffs with the women in Ichiban's party.
  • World's Strongest Man: Saejima's performance all but confirms he is a very strong contender for both the title of the strongest man and the best fighter, being the only one who has the skill and strength needed to match Kiryu enough to end in a stalemate, being stronger than Majima in this regard as Majima always ends up losing in the end despite putting up a good fight, but Saejima has only ever lost to Kiryu once, not to mention he's also defeated Majima twice. Their physical strength and durability are potrayed to be on a similar level in gameplay, Saejima relying on sheer brute strength and ignoring enemy attacks to take down very similarly enormous numbers to what Kiryu goes through and able to wield huge heavy objects as weapons such as motorcycles, electrical transformers, and tall metal signposts, feats that match Kiryu's own strength. Notably, against Ichiban's crew while Majima is actually bleeding and somewhat sweating, Saejima is shown to be uninjured and unfazed he even stated he was ready to stop holding back, indicating he was confident he could beat them by himself.
  • Written-In Absence: In Dead Souls, his absence is explained as being on business for the Tojo Clan in China.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: His large size, great strength, and reliance on brute force lends itself well to certain wrestling techniques. He seems to have an affinity for clotheslines as it's how he ends his grapple combos. He even learns the unique "Essence of Clotheslining" heat action which lets him toss a floor-bouncing enemy bodily into the air like a ragdoll before slamming them with an absolutely brutal clothesline to the back of the neck, causing them to spew a concerning amount of blood from their mouth.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: He has this reaction in the "A Special Place" substory in "5" when it looks like Sodachi is about to die after succumbing to his injuries after fending off a realtor's goons, but then he ends up passing out and talking in his sleep.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: As expected from being one of the more strength-oriented protagonists in the series, he incorporates quite a bit of wrestling moves. From lariats to giant swings and hammer throws.
  • Younger than They Look: Like Kiryu and Majima before him, his flashback appearance to when he was 20 has him look way older due to his harsh features and wrinkles. He could easily pass for someone in his 30’s or 40’s.

Recurring Enemies

"Hey, you! Everything about you pisses me off!"
Many thugs upon seeing Kiryu peacefully walk past them

Random mooks consisting of but aren't limted to yakuza, punks, hosts, bikers, young hooligans/delinquents, men in black, and nouveaux riches just to name a few. Who constantly go after the protagonists if they're wandering about in their territory for their money or just to find an excuse for fighting them or harass them for fun.

  • Actually Four Mooks: Sometimes a small group of mooks can be appear larger than you think. While earlier encounters normally avert this (i.e. the exact number they are travelling), they start to bring in extra backup as the game progresses (with a maximum of 7-8 enemies popping out of nowhere).
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Prior to the Dragon Engine games, finishing encounters with random street thugs would usually lead to them begging for forgiveness while offering some sort of gift as an apology for starting the fight in the first place. From the first game to 4, this would entail dialogue boxes and in-game cutscenes. In the succeeding games up to Kiwami, these are replaced with a small textbook above the heads of the defeated mooks with a few words usually indicating either forgiveness or shock. The Dragon Engine games excise this entirely and simply have enemies drop items after being defeated.
  • Break the Haughty: Defeating them in battle will cause them to meekly apologize and swear they will not mess with you again. In combat, if you defeat all but one enemy in a group, the last one will recoil back in terror and fall on his ass (pulling out a gun/knife or picking up something like a bicycle can instantly induce a similar reaction), though for some braver thugs it has the opposite effect and makes them enraged instead.
  • Bullying a Dragon: They always decide to pick a fight with someone who can easily hand them their asses.
  • Bump into Confrontation: They will occasionally travel alone without any cronies with them. These types of thugs are not hostile and will not chase you down, but bump into one and....
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Nouveaux Riches wear golden suits.
  • Discreet Drink Disposal: They won't take kindly to Kiryu or any other protagonist going around town while inebriated, even if they wanted a drink as well or not.
    "Hey, you! You're inebriated. And you don't seem to have gotten permission. No one gets to booze it up around here unless I say so! It's time to pay up!"
  • Fat Bastard: Some of the thugs are quite portly, which translates to being harder to throw or interrupt while they attack.
  • Gratuitous English: Sometimes in the fifth game, and the subtitles don't even match what's being said.
  • Hey, You!: In the English version of the first game:
    "Hey, you!"
    "Hey, I'm talking to you, man!"
    • In other sequels:
      "Oi!" [Hey!]
      "Chottomatte!" ["Wait a minute!"]
  • Improbable Weapon User: In Like a Dragon, basic thugs are commonly equipped with a rolled-up newspaper stick and a trash can lid as a Knightly Sword and Shield.
  • I Shall Taunt You: In the English version of the first game:
    "You take me for a fucking fool?! Huh?!"
    "Stupid old fuck!"
    "I'm gonna kill your ass, Kazuma!"
  • Jerkass: They are all rude and unpleasant, to the point that they will confront and pick a fight with you for being in their vicinity. When not going after you, they will pick on an unfortunate passerby instead.
  • Japanese Delinquents: One of the types of enemies you fight in some games. In Sotenbori and Ijincho, they come in Bosozoku variants instead.
  • Jaw Drop: A curious quirk of the generic thugs in 3 and 4 is that certain heat actions may cause their mouths to stretch open to an absurd, almost cartoonish degree as they're getting brutalied. It can be rather unsettling since it clashes with the realistic art style on top of how painful the heat action animations already look.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: In Sotenbori in the second and fifth games.
  • Made of Iron: Pre-Dragon Engine, despite having their faces caved into walls, stomped onto pavement, receiving the most brutal beatdowns and up to including being stabbed or shot. They look no worse for wear other than small bruises and having to limp when leaving. Post-Dragon Engine and this is averted where they stay down for good.
  • Money Spider: They usually give up money after defeat, particularly in 0 where they outright bleed money.
    • Nouveaux riches drop either Gold Plates or several grand worth of yen.
  • Mook Horror Show: As action-packed and thrilling the combat usually is, consider how generic street thugs often fall into a state of panic even sometimes falling to their backs in fear whenever some of their allies are taken out or whenever the player pulls out a dangerous weapon. Not to mention, combat usually consists of blood-filled Curb-Stomp Battles rife with brutal and borderline sadistic methods of hurting people. Enemies that haven't lost all their hp when they get knocked to the ground may even writhe in sheer agony while being completely vulnerable and at the mercy of the player. It's no wonder the protagonists of the series tend to be some degree of Terror Hero and are often accused of not being human after taking out hordes of enemies all on their own.
  • Mugging the Monster: More often than not, they just want your shit.
  • Oh, Crap!: When some of their tougher peers get taken out or the protagonist draws out a powerful weapon such as a sword or a gun.
  • Piñata Enemy: The Rich Bastards in the fifth game and the Nouveaux Riches in 0 and the Kiwami remakes, who drop a lot of money when defeated.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In later games, some will run off and escape from the battle after you've decorated the pavement with their friends.
  • Set Swords to "Stun": Mooks can take dozens of sword slashes, but they'll always be alive enough to apologize after the fight and give you a reward. At least until the dragon engine games where they merely drop loot and remain on the ground presumably unconcious. Probably.
  • Sharply Dressed Men: The generic yakuza and other suited enemies. They are the only enemy group that can brandish either a handgun or a shotgun which they start using later in the game.
  • Silly Reason for War: There are only so many variations of shaking people down for money the developers could write, and some of the casi bellorum eventually degenerate into "I'm conducting a survey about how much people get their ass kicked!"
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: They really should know better than to pick fights with people that look like they could send their sorry asses to the hospital.
    "Where the hell ya from? Ya got guts not to show me proper respect! I'll teach yer dumb ass some manners!"
    "We're having a terrible day. Do you mind if we take out our aggression on you? What the fuck's up with that look on your face?! You must have a death wish, old man!"
    • They also have specific lines in Yakuza 3 if you look at them in third-person perspective.
      "So you're just going to stare at me, huh? I'll give you 3 seconds to get the hell out of here before I make you disappear! One...! Two...! Three...! Oops! Time's up!"
  • Stupid Crooks: Most of them aren't the sharpest tools in the shed.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: At one point in 0, Majima allows a random group of punks to beat the shit out of him since he's too mentally broken to fight back. This kindness doesn't extend to the next time they meet.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: The justification for why the enemies in "Like a Dragon" are so bizarre is that Ichiban is viewing them through the lens of his overactive imagination. To everyone else they're just normal goons.
  • Too Dumb to Live: You'd think that word would get around to not mess with the guy in a light grey suit. Though in the PSP spin-offs it turns out some gangs have their newbies fight Kiryu as a hazing ritual.
    • The player can occasionally talk to mooks who avert this trope. In particular, after crashing Sera's funeral some of the mooks sent to find Kiryu will pretend not to recognize him or just ignore him, figuring it's better for their health.
  • Turns Red: From 3 onwards, thugs who take enough damage may perform an angry animation and gain a slight red aura that's not quite the flashy HEAT aura that bosses and protagonists have. They'll temporarily be much more aggressive until the red aura fades, usually after hitting you enough times.
  • The Usual Adversaries: Random street thugs, goons, and Yakuza members of all sorts. If they aren't hostile to the protagonists for the most petty of reasons, they're probably harassing some other poor civilian which naturally calls for heroic intervention.
  • Underground Monkey: In "Like a Dragon", enemies come in different varieties that get more elaborate as you progress. While they are mostly treated as something of a figment from Ichiban's wild imagination. Some of them look and act mundane enough to at least be plausible
  • Very Punchable Man: Really, these guys only exist just so you can have the satisfaction of either beating them to a bloody pulp or testing out brutal HEAT moves.
  • You Monster!: They will spout this occasionally in place of begging for forgiveness if you beat them, being flabbergasted/stunned at their opponent's strength despite outnumbering them.
    "He's like some monster...."
    "This guy ain't human."
    "He's not like us..."

    Amon Clan
From left to right: Jiro, Jo, Kazuya, and Sango.
Kiryu: So is everyone in your clan like this?
So Amon: I will tell you nothing! Except that we will never forget. One day, even if it takes us 17 years to prepare... my clan will defeat you and prove our greatness!
A clan of powerful, mysterious assassins that has existed for generations, and have appeared in each of the main games. The notorious Recurring Bonus Bosses of the series, they are fought once all of the side quests are completed. Their leader Jo Amon constantly targets Kazuma Kiryu with the goal of killing him to prove that he's the strongest, and is joined by his three apprentices in later games. Dead Souls has Kiryu fight against Jo Amon's undead ancestor, Rasetsu Amon, and in the prequel, he fights the previous head of the clan, the elderly So Amon. From Judgement and onwards, the protagonists face another member of the clan, Shin Amon, who focuses his efforts on Takayuki Yagami and Ichiban Kasuga.

  • All-Powerful Bystander: They're amazingly powerful and have access to some pretty ridiculous technology and sometimes what seem to be superpowers, but they generally stay out of the main games' plots.
  • Badass Family: They are a family of powerful assassins and none of them are to be taken lightly.
  • Badass Longcoat: They all sport one, save Noa.
  • Casting a Shadow: Some of them have access to weapons that fire Frickin' Laser Beams made up of negative light or dark energy. Jo and Noa can summon a Kill Sat attack which does a lot of damage, while So can fire one from his cannon, which is usually a One-Hit Kill.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When simply being really fast and tough isn't enough for them, they'll bust out superpowers such as firing explosive umbrellas or even call down an attack helicopter that drop down chairs that can stunlock you.
  • Dark Is Evil: They all wear dark clothes.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: Subverted in Kiwami 2. Jo and his three apprentices can be recruited in the Clan Creator after being defeated, but they make it clear that the only reason they are helping Kiryu is to ensure his demise comes at the hand of an Amon and no one else's. For Jo, he's willing to go under Kiryu's employ to learn the secrets of his strength. And we know this alliance doesn't last.
  • Ditto Fighter: Although they do have a few unique moves of their own, for the most part their moves are taken from other bosses and even the playable characters.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: When Jo Amon and the three Amon brothers first collectively appeared in Yakuza 2, they were completely identical aside from Kazuya and Sango not wearing sunglasses. They also boasted a rather random assortment of weapons and fighting techniques. Later games still have them use the same character models but with more clearly defined distinctions:
    • Kazuya Amon became blonde and now focuses on relatively swift, skillful, relatively mundane, unarmed combat.
    • Jiro Amon now has the longest hair with fighting styles focusing on brute strength and slower, heavier attacks.
    • Sango Amon now wears a wide-brimmed hat and is a multi-talented weapon master who avoids engaging in fisticuffs.
    • Whenever the previous three appear, expect Jo Amon to have some sort of combination of Kazuya's speed, Jiro's strength, and Sango's skill.
    • Zigzagged with the Kiwami 2 remake which gave them their distinctive designs, but they still have weapons and fighting styles based on their original portrayal in Yakuza 2 except for Jo Amon who starts off with a unique katana-centric fighting style before pulling out a second katana halfway through and fighting somewhat more similarly to his first phase in Yakuza 3.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite their underhanded methods, they do have their own professional code of honor and will not go back on their word. In Dead Souls, after Kiryu saves Jo from his undead ancestor Rasetsu Amon, he not only puts their rivalry on hold out of gratitude, but he also gives him access to his Kill Sat weapon.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In the third game, Jo explains the clan's philosophy that killing is the natural order of all living things, and allowing weakness to live on is a sin. Kiryu responds by saying that he's against killing, and he believes that one should keep on living without running away, a recurring theme throughout the series. Jo says that he finds Kiryu's philosophy incomprehensible.
  • Four Is Death:
    • In the second game, Kiryu is challenged by Jo and the three Amon brothers. It's not until he's joined by three others that they challenge him to a rematch in the fourth and fifth games. Whenever they appear, Jo is always the last and fourth to be fought, and is by far the toughest.
    • Subverted in 5 with Noa, who targets Haruka since she was raised by Kiryu, and is simply out to surpass her so she can declare herself worthy of the Amon name.
  • It's Personal: The reason why they keep hounding Kiryu is that he tarnished the clan's reputation as assassins by beating Jo in the first game. Their grudge against him gets worse with each defeat. In the third game, Jo even threatens to kill everyone Kiryu cares for, both before and after his boss fight.
  • Leitmotif: The "Fiercest Warrior" series of Character Signature Songs are most commonly associated with the Amon clan, starting with the original version used for Genjuusai Amon in Ishin, and gaining several revisions and arrangements from then on. Before then, however, all fights had varying themes, and even then Noa and Shin, in their debut appearances ever since the Amons had an established theme tune, had totally different battle songs as opposed to a Fiercest Warrior arrange.
  • Mirror Boss: Most apparent in the fourth and fifth games with the new protagonists, they all fight like whomever character they're challenging. Jo even gains access to Kiryu's Red Heat and Ultimate Heat abilities, and even his devastating Tiger Drop.
  • Moveset Clone: They frequently borrow moves from other bosses throughout the series as well as from the playable characters as noted above.
  • Multiple Life Bars: Exaggeratingly— they tend to have a LOT more life bars than the rest of the bosses, to the point where several colors of life bars are sometimes only used during Amon fights (and recycled several times over in one fight for good measure). In Kiwami, Jo Amon has suspiciously few life bars for Amon standards... because he gets up for another round once you deplete them.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: According to Noa, the Amon Clan holds tremendous power and influence over every industry throughout the world, from entertainment to politics, which allows her to partake in the competitive Princess League at the drop of a hat.
  • Outside-Genre Foe: While battles in the Yakuza series are often over-the-top, there's at least an attempt to stay more or less grounded in reality. With the Amon clan, all bets are off: expect to see glowing beam swords, invincibility shields, Dark•Matter laser beam cannons, Kill Sats, body clones, Interface Screw, levitation, pyromancy, exploding umbrellas floating in midair Gate of Babylon style... it should tell you something that one of the more mundane Amon fight in the series has the enemy dual-wielding giant polearms.
    (Shin Amon teleports himself and Yagami to an electric cage arena)
    Yagami: Wh-What just happened!?
    Amon: Let's not worry about the details.
    • Subverted as of Like A Dragon. All battles in the game are seen through Ichiban's "RPG fanboy filter" and are for the most part silly and unrealistic by default, meaning the Amon fight doesn't aesthetically stand out as much as usual. He can still pull out some pretty crazy tricks, especially in the rematch, but so can you.
  • Palette Swap: Jo Amon and the three Amon brothers all clearly use the same character model whenever they appear, with minor distinctions to keep them from being completely identical.
  • The Perfectionist: They are determined to be the best, the strongest, and must achieve victory at any cost. Then Kiryu came along and ruined all that...
  • Pride: They're all consumed by it, and they always challenge Kiryu over a sense of tarnished pride.
  • Professional Killer: Each one of them. It seems only Kiryu and his gang have survived against them.
  • The Rival: To Kiryu and his circle. Later games introduce different family members for each of the playable characters, including a daughter who serves as Haruka's rival in the Idol circuit.
  • Rule of Three: The names of the three brothers introduced in Yakuza 2 are based on numbers. See Meaningful Name in their sections below.
  • Sequential Boss: When they're fought in the fourth and fifth games. Kazuya is fought first, followed by Jiro, then Sango, and finally Jo. It's the same order Kiryu fights them individually in Yakuza 2.
  • Sinister Shades: They all favor creepy shades, although Sango doesn't in Yakuza 2. They drop a pair upon defeat, which is usually an Infinity +1 Sword of some sort.
  • Sore Loser: They become this from the third game onward. Considering the training they've put themselves through just to defeat Kiryu and his pals, they don't take being beaten well at all, and refuse to accept defeat. Noa seems to be an exception.
  • Speed, Smarts and Strength: The three Amon apprentice siblings can be categorized as such:
    • Kazuya relies on lightning fast close-range attacks. (Speed)
    • Sango prefers to use weapons like guns, or an umbrella, or even non-contact superpowers to fight at a variety of ranges. (Smarts)
    • Jiro from 4 onwards focuses the most on pure brute strength with heavier, slower techniques (Strength).
  • Superboss: They are fought once all other sidequests are completed and are by far the toughest opponents in the game, far above any of the game's final bosses. In Like A Dragon, the player does not need to complete all side quests, as Shin is simply hidden behind the Bonus Dungeon, which does advise the player to hit the recommended level to stand a chance.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Amon clan themselves don't appear in Lost Judgment's Kaito Files DLC, but there is a different Superboss- the "Blood-Drunk Master"- whose post-battle dialogue implies that he was hired by the clan to challenge Kaito (and also that they forced him to wear Wolverine Claws until he was done for some reason).
  • There Can Be Only One: So Amon tells Kiryu that only one can be the world's strongest, and it must be someone within the clan.
  • Training from Hell: They put themselves through all kinds of hell and go to unbelievable and extraordinary lengths for the sole purpose of defeating Kiryu and his friends.
    Jo Amon (Yakuza Kiwami 2): Much has happened since you defeated me, Kiryu. I learned how to kill from the barbarous warlords of Mexico. I studied ancient martial arts from a revered guru in the Himalayas. Swam laps in the frigid Strait of Dover. Tempered my body and mind in the sweltering heat of the Sahara. And now, I have Komaki's ultimate technique in this very book. Kiryu. Defeating you is the sole purpose of my existence. Every moment of the past year has been spent ensuring I achieve that purpose.
  • Wolfpack Boss: The final Bouncer Mission in Kiwami 2, aptly named "Pandaemonium", has you fight against three Amons at once (Kazuya, Jiro and Sango) and a hundred or so Mooks.
  • Worf Effect: Every known member of the clan at the time of Dead Souls gets their asses kicked by Rasetsu Amon's zombie with Kazuya, Sango, and Jiro apparently outright dying to him offscreen after Kiryu rescued them.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: The clan has rules against men fighting women as well as the opposite, which is why Noa cannot directly challenge Kiryu and has to settle for Haruka instead. Averted with Shin in Like a Dragon, who'll also attack your female party members Saeko and Eri when you fight him.

Jo Amon

Voiced by: Kazuki Hosokawa (3 - 5) Yasuhiko Tanabe (0)
"I learned how to kill from the barbarous warlods of Mexico. I studied martial arts from a revered guru in the Himalayas. Swam laps across the frigid Strait of Dover. Tempered my body and mind in the sweltering heat of the Sahara. And now, I have Komaki's ultimate technique in this very book. Kiryu. Defeating you is the sole purpose of my existence!"

The mysterious leader of the Amon Clan. In the first game, he issued a challenge to Kiryu after he completed all the side missions in order to determine which of them was the strongest, and has bore a tremendous grudge against him since. In the second game, he has his three apprentices attack Kiryu while he defeats Komaki and steals his ultimate technique, just to lure Kiryu out to face him. The third game reveals he was behind the commission of the IF7 machine and used it to test himself and gain information on Kiryu. In the fourth and fifth games, his apprentices join him to take Kiryu and the other protagonists down. In the prequel, he fights against Majima on his first assignment, while his father So Amon takes it upon himself to fight Kiryu knowing the threat he presents to the clan. He seemingly meets his end once and for all at the hands of Kenshiro in Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, given his role as a superboss is taken by his relative Shin Amon from Judgment onward.

  • Adaptational Badass: While he was already badass, in Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, he's even moreso. After defeating him, Kenshiro considers him a Worthy Opponent. This is someone who can shrug off a building falling on top of him, and is every bit as powerful as that would require.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Being the leader of the siblings, Amon can use his apprentices' fighting styles at the drop of a hat.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: When he challenges Kiryu in Yakuza 3, Amon threatens to kill one person important to him every month, followed by everyone who knows him if he refuses to accept his challenge. When he's beaten, he says unless Kiryu kills him, he'd eventually kill everyone he loved. Kiryu simply tells him he won't let him, and will fight him again when he's become stronger.
  • Aside Glance: In Kiwami, Jo Amon has more dialogue compared to the original game. He remarks on getting stronger (a reference to Yakuza 0) and looks at the camera while doing so.
  • Attack Drones: In the sixth game, he summons flying quadcopters that can not only stunlock Kiryu but also drop explosive mines.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: In Dead Souls, he appears ready to take on Kiryu as usual, wanting revenge for his students being turned into zombies. But he's upstaged by his undead ancestor Rasetsu Amon, who fights Kiryu for possessing his treasures. Jo decides to put his fight with Kiryu on hold out of gratitude for saving him, but refuses to put an end to their rivalry.
  • BFG: He uses one as a special move in the Clan Wars minigame.
  • Blood Knight: He sought out Kiryu to prove which of them is the strongest, and won't rest until he surpasses and kills him.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • He actually addresses the player when he's approached in Kiwami, telling them what the concept stands for. This leads Kiryu to do an Aside Glance, not realizing he's addressing someone else.
    • His final words in Lost Paradise are to scream "Nagoshi", the name of the series's producer, likely in anger at being killed off.
  • Character Development: In the first game, he's simply the powerful Bonus Boss that's amazed at Kiryu's strength when beaten. In the second and third games, he carries a tremendous and personal grudge to the point where he won't hesitate to go after Kiryu's friends and loved ones. From the fourth game onward, although he still fights Kiryu out of a sense of tarnished pride, he seems more concerned with preserving the honor of his clan.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: In the sixth game, upon defeat he is unlocked as a unit in the Clan Wars minigame. Kiryu invites Amon to join his team thinking he'll be a great addition to it, which would also give him the opportunity to fight many enemies and grow stronger. And if Amon chooses, he can fight Kiryu whenever he pleases. Amon accepts, believing Kiryu will regret it and he's a fool to think the clan can be used that easily.
  • Determinator: He won't rest until he defeats and kills Kiryu, and has practically dedicated his life to it.
  • The Dreaded: In Yakuza 3, he's clearly this to Minamida.
  • Dual Wielding: Most apparent in his earlier fights, whether it's guns or beam weapons.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: 6 gives him a deep voice.
  • Expy: His combat moveset and appearance shall make you believe the unbelievable.
  • Genius Bruiser: He designed the blueprints of the IF7 machine himself.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: His hand-to-hand skills are often identical to Kiryu's strong, direct street-brawling techniques.
  • Graceful Loser: Only in the first game, where he's amazed at Kiryu's strength. In Kiwami, he pretends to be in good spirits but makes it clear Kiryu hasn't seen the last of him, but still isn't completely bitter about his loss. Averted to hell in the later games.
  • Guest Fighter: He serves as a Bonus Boss for Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise. Unfortunately for him, Kenshiro doesn't have the same issues with killing that Kiryu does.
  • Guns Akimbo: He was usually armed with a pair of guns in his earlier appearances, which made him similar to Arase.
  • Kill Sat: He can use one in his fight against Kiryu in Yakuza 4. Defeating his zombified ancestor Rasetsu in Dead Souls has Jo hand this to Kiryu as a sign of thanks. Now enjoy stomping holes in every living thing in sight.
  • Large Ham: Back during his first assignment in Yakuza 0, where he's shown trying to develop a stylish opening line before he takes on Majima.
    Jo Amon: I swear upon the honor of the Amon Clan that I will wipe you off the face of the earth, Goro Majima! No, no, that still lacks flair... My peerless fighting technique shall be the last thing you ever see! Yes, yes, much better.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's incredibly fast and you'll lose a huge chunk of your health bar (or all of it) if you let your guard down.
  • Leitmotif: The third and fourth games give him "Hear This In The Game" though that song also plays in non-canon postgame fights against Yoshitaka Mine. In 5 he borrows "The Maximum ill luck" from the Kiryu/Saejima boss fight. In Ishin, he gets "Fiercest Warrior", which has been remixed for each of his appearances since:
  • Made of Iron: He has by far the largest health bar out of every opponent, and can take an unbelievable amount of punishment. He'll brush off those heat moves like it was nothing.
  • Mind over Matter: Inexplicably in the fifth game with exploding umbrellas no less.
  • Playing Possum: He'll pull this in Kiwami when it seems his life bar is depleted.
  • Playing with Fire: In the fifth game after losing enough health, he'll borrow Kiryu's Red Heat Mode. What distuingishes his from Kiryu's "Dragon Spirit" is that when he Flash Steps to Kiryu from a distance to perform a combo, he'll set the ground blaze as he zips across it.
  • The Power of Hate: In the third game onward, this is what drives Amon's ambition to beat Kiryu and is what makes him such a fearsome enemy.
  • Psycho Knife Nut: Isn't one himself, but he specifically copies Majima's crazy knife techniques when he pulls out a knife in Yakuza 1, Yakuza 0, and Kiwami.
  • The Rival: To Kiryu, who would like nothing more than for Amon to open his eyes and abandon their rivalry.
  • Spin Attack: One of his attacks has him spinning wildly with his arms spread and you'll take a ton of damage if you're caught in it. Whether he's armed while doing this depends on the game.
  • Strike Me Down:
    • After his defeat in the third game, he demands that Kiryu do this to him. He's infuriated when he doesn't, and says he'll start to go after everyone Kiryu loves. Kiryu simply tells him he'll kick his ass again if he tries.
    • He pulled the same thing earlier in Yakuza 0 when he was beaten by Majima, who simply ignored it.
  • Suddenly Voiced: As a character encountered only in sidequests, 6 marks the one time he is given full voice acting.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: His most recurring tactic throughout the series is to chuck grenades at Kiryu at some phase of his many boss fights.
  • Turns Red: Like Kiryu, he has the Red Heat and Ultimate Heat Modes at his disposal, both of which engulf him in a red aura.
  • The Unfought: In Yakuza: Dead Souls, Jo is not fought against at all. Instead, he gets overpowered by his revived ancestor, Rasetu Amon, whom Kiryu is forced to fight against.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After being defeated for the last time in 6 and recruited as a unit to be used in Clan Battles, he's stopped appearing in later entries and isn't mentioned either despite members of the Amon Clan still appearing. While this can be justified by how Kiryu is no longer the main character, one must wonder what he's been up to or if he's even leading the clan anymore. If his aforementioned appearance in Fist of the North Star which was released after 6 is somehow canonical, he may be truly be dead after his loss to Kenshiro.

Kazuya Amon

One of the Amon brothers who debuted in the second game and the eldest. In his appearances, he's always the first Amon brother to be fought.

  • An Axe to Grind: Wields a pair of them in the second game and its remake.
  • Badass Normal: Relatively speaking he has the most mundane fighting techniques of the Amon Clan never resorting to mystical abilities like the others. Doesn't make him any less of a threat.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Favors fighting bare-handed to using weapons after Yakuza 2.
  • Beard of Evil: He sports a distinctive goatee when he's introduced in the second game. It's gone when he returns in the fourth and doesn't return for Kiwami 2.
  • Dual Wielding: In the second game and its remake, he attacks Kiryu with a pair of axes that are almost twice his size.
  • Extremity Extremist: During his rematch against Akiyama in Yakuza 5, almost all of his attacks are kicks.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Dude is as fast as Akiyama, but hits harder. Oh, he's also impossible to hit with regular attacks while he's in Heat mode. Ouch.
  • Meaningful Name: "Kazu" is a reading of the kanji for "one".
  • Moveset Clone: From the fourth game onwards.
    • His moveset in Yakuza 4 borrows heavily from Yoshitaka Mine's from the previous game.
    • In Yakuza 5, he uses Shun Akiyama's combos, Tatsuo Shinada's slide tackle, and Kan Ogita's leg grapple counter. Technically, his fighting stance, running animations, as well as his quickstep animations are taken from Daisaku Mine from 4.
  • The Rival: To Akiyama.
  • Super Reflexes: When heated up in 4, he can duck and weave around just about all of Akiyama's attacks except Heat Moves. He'll even try to evade attacks that aren't even in close enough to actually hit him.

Jiro Amon

The second of the Amon brothers who debuted in the second game. He's always the second brother to be fought whenever he appears.

  • Barbarian Longhair: His hair's not too long, but it's still longer and shaggier than any other male member's and he often has the most brutal fighting style of the bunch.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Gains one in the fifth game. The copies take damage, but Saejima's attacks will bounce off of them, preventing him from using combos on them.
  • Drop the Hammer: That is also Made of Explodium and can send a guy like Saejima flying.
  • Guns Akimbo: In the second game, he simply attacks Kiryu with a pair of handguns, not unlike Arase or his brother Jo in the first game.
  • Healing Factor: Recovers health while in Heat mode.
  • Implacable Man: If he's in Heat mode he'll just counter Saejima's grapples. In Kiwami 2, when has 1.5 bars remaining, heat moves do not damage him.
  • Meaningful Name: The "ji" in his name means "next", or "second".
  • More Dakka: In Kiwami 2, he uses a machine gun, fighting comparably to Kei Ibuchi though he's far more dangerous.
  • Moveset Clone: Uses Kamon Kanai's fighting style in Yakuza 5.
  • Mighty Glacier: In the fourth game onwards, he's slowest of the brothers, but he hits like a truck on steroids.
    • Ironically his reliance on gunplay in his initial appearance in 2 and its remake meant that he used to be one of the more agile of the Amons in order to keep his distance from Kiryu and safely open fire on him.
  • The Rival: To Saejima.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Throws a grenade at Kiryu as one of his attacks in Kiwami 2

Sango Amon

The third and youngest Amon brother who debuted in the second game, as well as the third to be fought when he appears.

  • BFG: He wields a bazooka when he confronts Kiryu in the second game and its remake. It's actually noticeably smaller and more practical in said remake, presumably so he can actually pull off some surprisingly elaborate combos with it at close range.
  • Counter-Attack: Can use Tanimura's own parry technique against him in 4.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: His boss fight in Kiwami 2 has him swing his rocket launcher around like a tonfa.
  • Improbable Weapon User: In the fifth game, he uses a giant pole with a penguin at the end as a polearm as well as an umbrella that causes explosions on impact.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Downplayed. While he's usually capable at close range too, he tends to rely more on fighting from a distance compared to his brothers.
  • Meaningful Name: The "San" in his name is Japanese for "three."
  • Mind over Matter: Inexplicably in the fifth game with exploding umbrellas no less.
  • More Dakka: Fights with a machine gun in Yakuza 4
  • Moveset Clone: An odd example, but his rocket launcher melee combos in Kiwami 2 are identical to Jun Oda's tonfa moveset in Yakuza 0.
    • The final phase of his boss fight in 5 uses the mystical fighting style of Tendo when he's possessed by a Mountain God. However, he replaces the avalanche attack with one that summons a bunch of floating umbrellas that then get launched at poor Shinada.
  • Parasol of Pain: One Made of Explodium too.
  • Playing with Fire: Somehow gains the ability to chuck fireballs in the fifth game.
  • Power Floats: In the fifth game, after taking enough damage he starts levitating and firing umbrellas like missiles.
  • The Rival: Tries to be this to Tanimura, but he settles for Shinada when Tanimura is a no-show in Yakuza 5.
  • Strong and Skilled: Compared to his siblings. Despite having the sort of strength, agility and endurance you'd expect from an Amon, he never fights directly in basic unarmed combat. More often, he instead displays skills in various weapons instead. Exaggerated in the fifth game where he goes from fighting with a strange pole weapon and an explosive umbrella to suddenly using superpowers to fly around the arena and launch fireballs and more exploding umbrellas.
    • Subverted in his original appearance in the original version of the second game where his only attacks are to swing his huge bazooka at Kiryu to knock him to the ground and to pause to take aim and fire said bazooka.

Noa Amon

Voiced by: Nozomi Nagumo (Yakuza Online)

The eldest daughter of the Amon clan introduced in the fifth game, she challenges Haruka because she was raised by Kiryu and sees her as his daughter. As the clan has an ironclad rule that prevents men from fighting women and vice versa, she's unable to fight him and win back the honor of the clan, and takes her frustrations out on Haruka instead.

  • Black Sheep: She considers herself the disgrace of the Amon Clan because she was born a woman.
  • Graceful Loser: For the most part. Haruka actually gives her some well-needed advice about what it means to be the best upon her defeat. Not only is Noa grateful for it, but the two depart as Friendly Enemies. She's not happy if you beat her again, though.
  • Idol Singer: She's an idol who challenges Haruka in dance competitions. It's too bad fighting Haruka is her sole motivation, given her talent.
  • Kill Sat: This is her primary attack during her dance battle, and the reason you want to keep her HEAT as low as possible.
  • Only Sane Woman: Compared to the others, she seems to be the only sensible person in the Amon Clan after she's beaten.
  • The Perfectionist: She's been raised to believe that you're either the best or you're nothing. She dreads bringing failure and shame upon the clan because she's a woman.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Downplayed. Her red sunglasses give her this vibe compared to the rest of the clan. But she's not really evil, just competitive. And troubled.
  • The Rival: To Haruka. She firmly believes that if Haruka is the best and she defeats her, she'll be the best and therefore worthy of the Amon name.
  • Sinister Shades: Heart-shaped ones.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only shown female member of the Amon clan.

So Amon

The previous leader of the Amon Clan and the father of Jo, who takes it upon himself to face Kiryu in the prequel after seeing him in a dream and realizing he would become a threat to the Amon Clan's reputation as the world's strongest fighters.

Rasetsu Amon

The distant ancestor of the Amon Clan and the first Amon assassin. He was killed in a war many years ago where his vengeful spirit lingered on in Kamurocho's underground system in the Dead Souls spinoff. After collecting several cursed relics, Rasetsu returns as a super-powered zombie, much to Jo's shock.

  • Came Back Strong: Rasetsu was from a time long in the past, but was still considered very formidable. As a zombie, he's lost none of his strength and possesses inhuman abilities.
  • Canon Foreigner: He's only featured in the non-canon Dead Souls.
  • Energy Ball: Rasetsu fires rapid volleys of energy balls that can cause knock back.
  • Invisibility: When Rasetsu gets knocked down, he'll vanish from view until he attacks or is shot enough times.
  • Kill Sat: Can rain black beams of death upon you.
  • Made of Iron: Considering he doesn't stall even after repeated shots from an anti-materiel rifle, this counts.
  • Mind over Matter: When he first appears, Rasetsu sends Jo flying with just a glare before taking on Kiryu.
  • Neck Lift: Will do this to Kiryu if close enough. Not only does it do considerable damage, Rasetsu heals in the process.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Rasetsu is nothing like the mook zombies flooding Kamurocho, He's not even one of the mutant type monsters either, as if that were even necessary.
  • Revenant Zombie: Rasetsu comes back as a zombie, but with all his fighting skills intact. There's a reason why he's the first Amon assassin.
  • Sinister Shades: He didn't have them when he first appears, but after incapacitating Jo, Rasetsu is suddenly wearing them. That's the sign he means business.
  • Super Speed: Despite being a zombie, Rasetsu can move very fast to the point his movement is like a constant Flash Step.
  • Turns Red: Rasetsu will emit a red Battle Aura just before unleashing a barrage of energy balls.

Shin Amon

Another member of the Amon Clan who challenges Yagami during a side quest in the remains of Little Asia. He also shows up in Like A Dragon at the end of the post-game "Final Millennium Tower" dungeon, challenging Ichiban to see if he is worthy of the title of "Dragon."

  • The Baby of the Bunch: This is an Implied Trope, as he looks and sounds like it, but it's never confirmed in either game he's appeared in.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When confronted in the True Final Millennium Tower, he tells Ichiban that if he loses against him, it's on him and leaving negative reviews on the internet will not make anything better.
  • Determinator: Yagami realizes that Shin just wouldn't quit hounding after him even if he defeated him. The trophy name awarded is called "He Just Didn't Quit."
  • Dual Wielding: In Judgement, he'll dual-wield the "VR Double Canes" from the Paradise VR minigame in the second phase of the fight.
  • Easily Forgiven: While Shin initially wants vengeance on Yagami in Lost Judgment for getting him kicked out of the clan, after Yagami beats Juzo he decides that this effectively makes him back in the clan and not only forgives him but decides that they're friends now to the point that he invites him for a round of drinks (which Yagami only replies in bafflement).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Say what you will, but Shin won't stand it if you show your frustrations when he asks someone a question.
  • The Exile: In Lost Judgment, it's revealed that Shin was actually exiled from the clan after losing to Yagami, a supposed no-name compared to the typical Yakuza protagonists. After his twin brother Juzo loses to Yagami, Shin states that by his logic he should now be exiled and takes it as him being back.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: After losing, Yagami simply asks if he can go now. Shin gets annoyed and tells him that this was the part where he asks why Shin challenged him.
  • Fighting with Chucks: In the third phase of his fight in Judgement, he'll pull out red glowing nun-chuks.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: Before his fight with Yagami, Shin somehow transports himself and Yagami into the same hi-tech arena where you sometimes fight enemies in the VR World. It seems to be based on the Purgatory Arena though the only thing outside of the fenced walls are odd moving digital effects.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Just like So Amon, he enjoys dramatic finger pointing.
  • Graceful Loser: Once he's defeated in the True Final Millennium Tower, he congratulates Ichiban as a dragon that has risen to its own legend.
  • Interface Screw: Early in the fight against Shin Amon, he will attempt to pickpocket Yagami's phone to deprive him and the player of the pause menu.
  • Large Ham: Hams it up quite a bit when speaking to Yagami.
  • Leitmotif: His battle themes are "The Last Assassin XIV: Symphony of the Judgment" in Judgment, and "Fiercest Warrior ver. 7" in Like a Dragon.
  • Made of Iron: Juzo sends him flying into the air, where he crashes and creates a sizable pool of blood under him. After Yagami beats Juzo, Shin gets up, none the worse for wear. In his words, he could take a hit from a dump truck and walk it off.
  • Meaningful Name: "Shin" means "new". Fitting, as he seems to be The Baby of the Bunch and has only appeared in games after Kiryu's tenure as protagonist.
  • Moveset Clone:
    • His unarmed fighting style in Judgement is identical to The Unidentified Agent /Andre Richardson's from Yakuza 3.
    • In "Like A Dragon", he uses Kiryu's moveset, complete with stance changes. He can also use moves that Ichiban's party can use, including the Essence of Orbital Laser.
  • One-Hit Kill: His battle in Like a Dragon may have him pull out Fatal Touch or Effigy of Demise when he's low on health. The former only affects one character, the latter will hit the entire party. Including Ichiban.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: More like a Punch Clock Boss in Like a Dragon, as when confronted for a rematch at the Final Millennium Tower he will be seen surrounded by discarded food plates and trash bags while watching TV and is caught by surprise at Ichiban's unexpected arrival. Then he stands up and proceeds to the boss battle.
  • Puzzle Boss: Shin Amon's moveset in Judgment involves him firing barrages of colored laser beams and rings at Yagami that deal heavy damage. If Yagami's current stance color matches the projectiles, getting hit by them becomes beneficial but, if he has a shield on, Shin won't get hurt by normal attacks either. Using the same Ex Action on him more than once will also inflict no damage.
  • Unknown Relative: Can be considered as such since despite being a formidable fighter, his existence was never even mentioned by Jo or the brothers. It’s not even known what Shin’s relationship with Jo, Kazuya, Jiro, and Sango is or why he wasn’t included in their fold despite his fighting prowess. Considering what leads to his fight in Like A Dragon, it's safe to say that he was likely left out because he was one of the more reasonable in the clan.
  • Villain Has a Point: Shin challenges Yagami to a duel, who then points out that kind of thing is illegal to do. He gets called out by Shin for hiding behind the law to avoid taking his challenge despite all the things he's done throughout the game that were legally questionable.
  • Willfully Weak: The vanilla version of his fight in LAD has him at a mere level 80. He doesn't summon the clones of the previous heroes either.
  • Wolfpack Boss: In his rematch version in "Like A Dragon", he can summon up spectral versions of Majima, Saejima and Kiryu to fight alongside him. Taking Amon down won't end the fight, meaning you have to take all of them down.
  • Token Good Teammate: Relatively speaking, considering that he's willing to make a deal upfront with Kiryu, something none of the other Amons, even Noa, have done. By Like a Dragon, Shin is outright working with him, using his strength to see if Ichiban is truly a worthy successor for Kiryu.
  • Trash of the Titans: In "Like a Dragon", if Kasuga goes through the Final Millennium Tower or True Final Millennium Tower to engage Amon in a rematch, he might catch Amon while he's eating surrounded by piles of garbage. Humorously, the trash piles remain present during the whole boss fight.
  • The Stinger: The end of his fight in Like A Dragon ends with him discussing Ichiban with Kiryu, his family's sworn rival, also revealing that the latter had set up the fight to see if Ichiban could truly walk his own path.
  • The Unfought: In the base version of Lost Judgment while he challenges Yagami to a fight once more, it's actually his twin brother Juzo who ends up being the one that gets fought. Instead, "Super Shin Amon" is a DLC fight.
  • The Worf Effect: In Lost Judgment, he gets beaten up by Juzo to demonstrate how much stronger Juzo is by comparison.

Juzo Amon

Voiced by:??? (Japanese), Jeff Schine (English)
Shin's elder twin brother. He takes his brother's place of fighting Yagami in the base version of Lost Judgment.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: The fight is set up like Yagami's about to have a rematch with Shin. Then Juzo shows up and kicks his brother into the air.
  • Battle in the Rain: Teleports himself and Yagami to the rooftop of Seiryo High School at night while it's raining before their showdown.
  • Big Brother Bully: Implied to be this with Shin.
  • Flash Step: Is so fast he moves from one frame to another to send his brother flying.
  • Gradual Regeneration: He does this while also mimicing the little dance that Majima does during the "24 Hour Cinderella" Imagine Spot.
  • Leitmotif: "Lineage Of Clan", a hard-hitting rock piece very reminiscent of "Hear This in the Game" from Yakuza 3, the Amon Clan's original theme before being succeeded by "Fiercest Warrior".
  • Life Drain: One of his attacks has this effect on Yagami should he get too close.
  • Marathon Boss: As is tradition for every Bonus Boss in an RGG Studio game, he's got a monolithic health bar that is especially difficult to take down in the ensuing chaos that is his boss fight.
  • Mirror Boss: In an unconventional sense. Rather than using Yagami's own moveset against him, he instead uses much of the DLC power-ups from the first game, and boy will he abuse the absolute hell out of them during his fight.
  • Moveset Clone: Of Kenya Oshikiri from the same game.
  • No-Sell: If you keep using the same EX Actions on him over and over again, he'll eventually take no damage from them.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: One of his attacks has him attack Yagami with a flurry of punches before ending with an uppercut.
  • Sore Loser: Juzo gets angry at losing to a supposed nobody like Yagami. Shin rubs it in his face for losing and taunts he should exile himself for it. Juzo leaves, swearing revenge on both Yagami and Shin for the humiliation.


    Dead Souls 

Tetsuo Nikaido

A lieutenant of the Omi Alliance who started the Kamurocho zombie outbreak.

  • Broken Pedestal: How Nikaido views Goda when the latter disapproves of the former's methods.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Unleashed a zombie apocalypse upon Kamurocho because Kiryu defeated Goda back in Yakuza 2.
  • Final Boss: Of Dead Souls.
  • One-Winged Angel: Being infected with Thanatos turned him into a superhuman zombie, and then had him mutated into the gargantuan Oikazuchi Omega.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Bent on making Kiryu suffer for what happened in the second game despite never even meeting him before.
  • The Cameo: His Oikazuchi form appears in the last chapter of Judgment's Kamuro Of The Dead minigame.


Voiced by: Shinnosuke Ikehata

An arms dealer who has allied himself with Nikaido.

Reiko Hasegawa

A mysterious scientist who manages to get in contact with each of the protagonists to give them certain tasks in killing the zombies and mutants running amok in Kamurocho's quarantine zone.

  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Tends to be dismissive towards the characters, but is hiding her painful past.
  • Hot Scientist: A researcher who is quite the looker.
  • Mission Control: Technically this. Hasegawa will email you the current entry points to the quarantine zone as well as the establishments that need to be liberated of monsters.

Misuzu Asagi

Voiced by: Chiaki Kuriyama

A JSDF soldier who is stationed in Kamurocho during the zombie outbreak.

  • Action Girl: She's engaged in warfare against the undead just like the rest of the JSDF.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Modeled after Chiaki Kuriyama.

    Kurohyou 1 and 2 

Tatsuya Ukyo

Voiced by: Kengo Tora (Kurohyou 1), Takumi Saito (Kurohyou 2)
as he appears in Kurohyō: Ryū ga Gotoku Shinshō

The main protagonist of Kurohyou, son of Amamiya Taizan/Nogi Tooru, orphaned at an early age after a fire in Champion District broke out, killing his mother and leaving him orphaned with Saeko who was old enough to be considered his legal guardian. Raised by the streets alone, he quickly became violent and temperamental and took up judo classes and excelled in them. Ultimately he get in a schoolyard fight that ends with a student ending up going comatose and Tatsuya being arrested. Sentenced to two years in Juvenile Hall Tatsuya would develop a strong resentment towards authority after his release as he drops out at the age of 17. Doing part time jobs and picking fights with fellow thugs and gangs in Kamurocho like most aimless youth.

Tatsuya soon became a street fighter forced into fighting for the Kuki Family after he supposedly murdered Naoki Toda and stole from him. Tatsuya quickly proves himself and gains the title "Kamurocho's Mad Dragon" for his victories in the Dragon Heat and learns that Naoki miraculously survived and discovers that the events were part of the same fire that killed his mother and how it connects to the politics of the Tojo, the cops and the landowners. He later becomes a professional boxer but returned to the Dragon Heat after a new gang from Osaka calling themselves the Ashura started working for the Nioka family.

  • Accidental Murder: He gets involved in the main conflict of the first game after accidentally beating a Tojo family member to death. Only not really.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the drama, he doesn't actually kill the Tojo member but is framed for it.
  • Animal Motifs: Kurohyou directly translates to Black Panther, so it's pretty safe to say it's his motif.
  • Anti-Hero: He's quite moody and violent for a Yakuza protagonist, especially at the beginning of the first game. Thanks to character development, he does lose his roughest edges by the time of the sequel, but he's not exactly as approachable as, say, Kiryu, Akiyama, or even Seijima.
  • Bash Brothers: Tenma, Tatsuya's friend/rival. Tenma would sometimes be on the receiving end of Tatsuya's beatings but ultimately the only friend Tatsuya has throughout the years. In Kurohyou 2 he regularly fights alongside Ryusho and the other fighters from Dragon Heat.
  • Berserk Button: In Kurohyou 2, the angriest he ever gets is whenever he confronts the people responsible for Makoto's death.
  • Blood Knight: Like every Yakuza main character, he's always up for a good fight, though he takes it even further by outright looking for physical conflict. Before Yakuza 0 came along his heat moves were very brutal.
  • Brawler Lock: Can engage with most bosses with these.
  • Brutal Honesty: He really doesn't mince his words and says what's on his mind.
  • Boots of Toughness: One of his outfits gives him these along with a leather jacket and jeans.
  • Broken Hero: In the Drama, he is shown to be very emotionally unstable, especially after his sister Saeko's death at the hands of his friend.
  • Character Development: The first game is about him maturing from his fights in Dragon Heat, going from one of Kamurocho's many street punks to a much calmer and forgiving person who sympathizes with other people's struggles.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Saeko in the drama was killed by Naoto, a Drama only character.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: It's actually significantly downplayed in the first game compared to other Yakuza protagonists, as he starts out as a legitimately violent thug. However, he does become this trope over the course of the game thanks to Character Development.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: He is only 19 by the events of Ashura, too young to drink liquor at the bar. The Hostess Club Jewel offers a bunch of non-alcoholic alternatives for him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Some of his special Heat Moves against bosses has him use their own styles against them.
  • Identical Stranger: With his slicked back hair, Tatsuya bears an uncanny resemblance to Nishiki.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Averted. In Kurohyou 2 he can buy and put on multiple outfits, although in cutscenes he's always wearing his black tracksuit.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Taizan was revealed to be Tatsuya's long lost father. Sadly, the reunion didn't last long.
  • Man Bites Man: One of his Heat Moves has him chomp on his enemy... while accompanied by cartoon-ish chomp sound effects...
  • Might Makes Right: In a non-traditional sense. Through his experiences, he comes to believe that the key to self-actualization comes through victory, but he also doesn't look down on others by the time he comes to that conclusion.
  • Mythical Motifs: He's known as "Kamurocho's Mad Dragon", giving him the same dragon motif that Kiryu has.
  • Product Placement: His famous black tracksuit comes from the Dresscamp brand.
  • Red Baron: He's also known as "Kamurocho's Mad Dragon".
  • Screw Destiny: He believes in taking his fate in his own hands, and multiple times he actively defies Ryo's prophecies.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: He invokes this at the end of Kurohyou 2, knocking out Yuta, Tamotsu, and Shinji so they can't follow him into the Millenium Tower. Subverted as they follow him in anyways, providing Tatsuya with some much-needed backup.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He's become a lot more level-headed and disciplined by the second game (though not fully rid of his fiery temper), which leads him to acting like a mentor figure to the other fledgling fighters he encounters.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: He was rather enraged by Wardog's tactics during Ashura Hen.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: As per usual with most Yakuza protagonist's he has a few wrestling moves in his moveset, he can do a leg capture, a piledriver, or suplex someone into a railing for instance.

Saeko Ukyo

The sister of Tatsuya and the owner of the pub Scarlet, while she knows about her little brother being a bundle of trouble. She didn't know about how much trouble he got in when he supposedly killed Toda Naoki.

Amamiya Taizan

The resident physician at Dragon Heat, who becomes a mentor to Tatsuya. His real name is Nogi Tooru, and not only is he the holder of Dragon Heat's 9-win streak record, but he's also Tatsuya's long-lost father. He infiltrated the Tojo Clan and became a police informant in the hopes of getting to the bottom of the fire that killed his wife.

  • Climax Boss: He's the penultimate boss, and the one who stands in the way of Tatsuya achieving his 10-win streak.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: He knew from the beginning that Tatsuya was really his son.

Saki Kudo

Taizan's assistant at Dragon Heat. She becomes Tatsuya's trainer and ringside coach.

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In Kurohyou 2. There's no explanation for what happens to her after the first game, and she only gets one mention from Tatsuya.

Ryutaro Kuki

The yakuza patriarch in charge of Dragon Heat, and the boss of Naoki Toda, the yakuza Tatsuya accidentally kills at the start of the game. He gives Tatsuya an ultimatum: achieve a 10-win streak at Dragon Heat, or he'll release the video evidence implicating Tatsuya in Toda's death to the police.

Shozo Takenaka

A detective from the Youth Division of the police. He arrested Tatsuya on grievous assault charges, which landed Tatsuya in juvie.

Tenma Sakaki

Tatsuya's best friend since high school. His parents own a restaurant in Kamurocho.

Masatoshi Tsutsui

The true mastermind behind the conspiracy of the first game. The director of Toto Department Store, he aims to become the next governor of Tokyo. He is the one responsible for the fire 15 years ago that killed Tatsuya's mother and several other people, having ordered Toda to commit the arson before he joined the Tojo.

Ryusho Kuki

Ryutaro's son, and the new patriarch of the Kuki Family after his father's death. He gave up all of his family's territory to the Nioka Family in exchange for Dragon Heat. He recruited young fighters from Kamurocho's youth in the hopes of restoring the fighting ring to its former glory.

  • A Father to His Men: Ryusho cares a lot about the Dragon Heat kids. Nioka describes him as the type who'd give his life for them. After Makoto dies, he drinks himself into a stupor.
  • Encounter Bait: Whenever Tatsuya walks around with Ryusho, enemy encounters are increased.
  • Guile Hero: He shows off his cleverness on multiple occasions throughout the game. The best example is when he confronts Nioka at his own office to blackmail him into turning against Tsurumi. He'd gathered a large crowd of civilians outside the office beforehand, so Nioka wouldn't be able to shoot him and get away with it, as the public would spread the dirt Ryusho had on Nioka.
  • Identical Stranger: Weirdly he resembles Nishitani, when Yakuza 0 would come out 3 years after Kurohyou 2.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's a rough yakuza patriarch, but he has his kind side and gives Tatsuya multiple chances to back out of helping him with the mess he's in.

Shinji Sakamoto

: Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura

One of the new fighters in Dragon Heat and one of Tatsuya's friends. Shinji has aspirations of joining the boxing league and fights in the Dragon Heat to earn money and reputation. After being saved from Ashura thugs, Shinji proves himself in a match to Tatsuya. However his dreams were nearly cut short due to Shinobu beating him in a street brawl and leaving him comatose for a good duration of the game. He comes back after receiving rehabilitation.

  • Brainwashed and Crazy: After receiving treatment at a clinic set up by Ashura and being manipulated by their lies, he becomes bloodthirsty and aggressive. Tatsuya takes a near fatal blow from him to get him back to his senses and he spends a good part of the game rehabilitating.

Makoto Yashiro

: Voiced by: Jun Fukuyama

One of the new fighters in Dragon Heat and Tatsuya's friend. He joined the Dragon Heat to help support his orphanage until the Ashura arrived to challenge the fight ring's members. A lady's man, he gains the romantic interest of Saeko and comes to her rescue when Ashura kidnaps her from her bar. He would die in the rescue, found barely moments with the bomb wired to Saeko rearming as he takes bullets meant for Saeko as Tatsuya come too late to keep him alive.

Saito Tomotsu

One of the new fighters in Dragon Heat and one of Tatsuya's friends. Tomotsu is considered the weakest link for the fact that he has one of the worst losing streaks in the Dragon Heat at 9 losses and zero wins. Face with possible expulsion, his tenth match comes up as he is soon caught between love and finding his own inner strength.

  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After his 10-loss streak, in the game's epilogue he finally wins a match in Dragon Heat.

Yuta Mikami

One of the new fighters in Dragon Heat and one of Tatsuya's friends. Yuta has a lot of issues with his dad, believing that he only cares about money at the expense of his family.

Yasuto Akita

The founder and leader of the Ashura Gang in Kurohyou 2. Working with the Nioka Family, he makes a bet with Ryusho: if his fighters can't beat Ashura's Eight Legions, then Dragon Heat is theirs.

Ryo Nozaki

The true leader of the Ashura Gang in Kurohyou 2. An orphan who grew up with Makoto at an orphanage, he became friends with Akita and his gang who formed the underground fight ring at Ashura. His troubles began when his girlfriend and childhood friend Shizuka died because of Tsurumi Tadashi, who had bribed a doctor to rearrange a liver transplant operation meant for her in favor of his own son, and began plotting revenge.

  • Battle Aura: Besides his heat aura, he has a very unique one that looks like multiple golden tails flaring out of him.
  • Big Bad: As the leader of the invading Ashura Gang, he's this for Kurohyou 2.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Shizuka's death as a result of Tsurumi's scheming. It taught him that money and power is how you get ahead in life.
  • Driven to Suicide: He shoots himself in the head after Tatsuya makes him realize that his rage towards Tadashi was really his own self-loathing over the things he did to save Shizuka, which she would never have approved of.
  • Heart Broken Badass: Shizuka's death was part of the reason he was willing to go so far to plot his revenge
  • Obfuscating Disability: He fakes being blind, but can actually see perfectly fine.
  • Phony Psychic: Ryo has a reputation for being a fortuneteller with 100% accurate predictions. He really has Ashura arrange things to make his prophecies come true.
  • Xanatos Gambit: He has several plans in place to ensure Tsurumi's downfall. First, he arranges things so that Tatsuya is in a position to shoot Tsurumi, though this fails because Tatsuya ultimately relents. Then Ryo shows up at the scene himself with Tsurumi's son Daisuke in tow, and pressures Daisuke to shoot his own father. After Tatsuya intervenes, Ryo's final plan is to release the footage of the rooftop confrontation to the public, ensuring that Tsurumi's reputation is ruined.

Tsurumi Tadashi

The head of police in Kurohyou 2, just like Munakata, he was an assistant commissioner for the syndicate investigation division. Worked with Niota to spearhead Project Pegasus, an attempt to corner the Kuki entertainment racket for Niota. Indirectly responsible for the death of Shizuka, Ryo's lover and childhood friend. He is also part of the investigation group of the Champion Street Arson, the very same one which killed Tatsuya's mother

  • Corrupt Cop: He takes bribes, uses crimes to his advantage and the police force he uses is no better than thugs. He even has his own personal group of assassins to eliminate targets he deems a threat.
  • Driven to Suicide: After Ryo reveals what he did over hacked cameras with the final coup de grace shooting Ryo in cold blood and revealing how he had committed manslaughter by denying Shizuka the liver transplant.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: He's this for both Kurohyou games, being part of the team that killed Tatsuya's mother and the reason the Ashura Gang is invading Kamurocho in Kurohyou 2.

Kozo Nioka

The leader of the Nioka Family, a rival group competing against the Kuki Family in Kamurocho and business partners with Naoki Toda at the Chinese restaurant Choraku as their front. He is from Osaka and serves as the main source of headaches for Tatsuya throughout the series as he has connections in both Osaka and Tokyo, in the first series he was nothing more than a petty loan shark who owns one fighter who Tatsuya must beat. In the second game he becomes much more prominent as he makes a wager against the Dragon Heat in a fight club faceoff with the Ashura, a fight club in Sotenbori as revenge for losing his prized fighter and Naoki's death.

    Ryu Ga Gotoku Kenzan 

Miyamoto Musashi/Kiryu Kazumanosuke

Portrayed by: Kazuma Kiryu (Takaya Kuroda)

  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Very downplayed. He's strong enough to take down multiple foes and even most armed foes with nothing but his bare hands but his actual unarmed capabilities are much more limited than the usual Yakuza protagonist. Excluding attacks that rely on grabbing objects in the immediate area, all he can ever do is a simple 3-hit combo, the usual Grapple Moves and some Counter-Attack heat actions. He can't even perform "Finishing Blows" to easily break guards or knock enemies to the ground. His true worth lies in his mastery of the blade.
  • Blood Knight: Shows early signs of this after killing for the first time.
  • BFS: One of his fighting styles specializes in wielding huge swords meant to be held with both hands. Some of them are simply huge blunt weapons though he still wields them in the same manner.
  • Declaration of Protection: To Majima's sister.
  • Dual Wielding: Wield two swords at once just like the real Miyamoto Musashi.
  • Expy: Of Kazuma Kiryu.
  • Graceful Loser: Accepts his defeat against Kojiro really quickly. Justified since he's worried that Majima's eye injury will kill him so he has to retreat to try and ensure his survival.
  • Historical Domain Character: As noted above, he's Miyamoto Musashi
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Thanks to Marume's advice, he's able to escape from Kojiro with Majima when it's made clear that neither of them have what it takes to defeat him.
  • Master Swordsman: Once again, it's Miyamoto Musashi, though he's not quite such a master initially.
  • One-Man Army: Literal example.
  • Uncertain Doom: Majima himself wonders whether he really died fending off Tenkai's allies or actually survived to live with Ahega.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Pulls one during the finale in order to allow Haruka, Kojiro, and Hidetada to escape safely. It's left ambiguous whether or not he actually died in the ensuing battle.

Majima Gorohachi/Shishido Baiken

Portrayed by: Goro Majima (Hidenari Ugaki)

  • The Atoner: Adopted Ukiyo as a sister to make up for having slain her father in the past as part of their duel and forcing her sister and her to have to deal with their father's debts on their own.
  • Blade on a Rope: Uses a kusarigama after becoming Shishido Baiken. Subverted since he's not actually throwing the sickle-end at enemies but is instead using the weapon properly as detailed below under Epic Flail.
  • Blood Knight: He used to be one until it occurs to him how many lives he's ruined due to engaging in so many duels. Reverts back to this behavior after losing his memory.
  • Confusion Fu: Much like his modern incarnation, he spends most of the fight zipping around the arena at a swift pace to get around Musashi's defences before attacking. As "Shishido Baiken", he's especially tricky since he's expertly relying on a more long-ranged weapon without sacrificing any of his agility or defensive abilities.
    • Downplayed during the initial sparring match with him using wooden katanas. He's much more straight-forward, aggressively going in for the offence which while effective against generic enemies later, just leaves him vulnerable against Musashi.
  • Disney Death: When he finds himself surrounded by armed soldiers on a bridge, he opts to cut it while telling Musashi who's safely on the other side to take care of his sister. Naturally, he survives albeit with his memories gone.
  • Epic Flail: Naturally he wields a kusarigama after losing his memory and becoming "Shishido Baiken", relying heavily on throwing the heavy weight on one end of the chain for long-ranged, heavier strikes while keeping the kama end in his left hand for faster, close-range attacks. One of his attacks makes usage of both ends for a close-range combo.
  • Evil Makeover: We're introduced to him being a fellow soldier working under Marume with the requisite armor. When he resurfaces four years later having lost his memory and become a vicious leader of thieves, he's now sporting an eyepatch for his missing eye, a bandana, and a very flashy snake-skin yukata.
  • Expy: Of Majima Goro. They even have the same family name possibly suggesting they could be relatives several generations part
  • Eyepatch of Power: It's Majima.
    • Eye Scream: Unusually for Majima, he actually spends a decent amount of screentime with both eyes intact until losing one of them to Sasaki Kojiro.
  • Identity Amnesia: Completely forgets everything about himself and his past after he falls several stories into a river after cutting a rope bridge. When Musashi finally reunites with him, he's been living four years as "Shishido Baiken" with no memory of his life beforehand.
  • Legacy Character: After losing his memory, he was taken in by a man named Shishido who led a band of thieves. He forced Majima be a thief as well and taught him how to fight with a kusarigama. At some point he died so Majima took the name for himself as well as his position as the leader of the gang.
  • Leitmotif: "Sneakin' Drive". One of the very few times Majima wasn't associated with a remix of "Receive You"
  • Red Baron: Came to be known as "Killer Gorohachi" due to killing so many swordsman in duels.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Challenges Musashi to a sparring match with wooden katanas early in the game but goes down surprisingly quickly. He's much harder years later when he's fighting with a kusarigama.

Sasaki Kojiro

Voiced by: Shota Matsuda

  • Bishōnen: Very pretty as usual.
  • BFS: His famous nodachi.
  • Climax Boss: He may not be the Final Boss, but he certainly puts up way more of a fight than Tenkai.
  • Leitmotif: "Melody of the Patriot".
  • Master Swordsman: So much that he hands both Musashi and Majima their asses when they first face off against him.
  • Mythology Gag: There's an oar lying around the beach where Musashi has his climactic clash with Kojiro. If you're so inclined, you can pick up the oar to use against him in reference to how it was said that Musahi defeated Kojiro with a bokken (wooden sword) carved from the oar he used to sail to said beach. Due to the way Kojiro has a special Quick Time Event if Musashi attacks him when wielding a large weapon like a BFS or a huge club as well as the heavy damage dealt to Kojiro should you succeed, it's actually a pretty viable tactic to use said oar to do so.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Wears a lot of purple and is Musashi's mightiest and most famous opponent.
  • The Rival: To Musashi as usual.

Alternative Title(s): Ryu Ga Gotoku