For playable characters such as Kazuma Kiryu, Haruka Saramura and Goro Majima, see their entries on the Character Index page.
The Tojo ClanThe Tojo Clan is one of Japan's largest crime organizations, with over 10,000 employees and several families, and many of the main characters and their families belong to it. The main clan of the games, Kiryu's former employer and the most unhealthy place to work in the universe (over 8 onscreen lieutenant deaths and counting...). Makoto Tojo is named as the founder of the clan, with Takashi Niihara serving as the Second Chairman, who was succeeded by Masaru Sera, and followed briefly by Kazuma Kiryu and Yukio Terada. Yayoi Dojima served briefly as an Interim Chairman before her son Daigo Dojima took the mantle of the Sixth Chairman, a position he's retained up until 6 where it's then taken over by Sugai, who rules as acting chairman with Someya as his right hand, because Daigo is sent to prison at the beginning of the story and with most of the family heads either dead or jailed as well.
Voiced by: Ryuji Mizuki (Yakuza), Toru Okawa (Yakuza 0, Kiwami), Alan Dale (Yakuza, English version)
Introduced in the first game as the third Chairman of the Tojo Clan, who is seen as a phenomenon for reaching the rank of chairman while being just in his 40's. After Sohei Dojima's murder, he managed to rebuild the shattered organization and remains in power after ten years, and has many young followers. Unfortunately for him, he's killed in the beginning of Yakuza shortly after Nishiki reveals that 10 billion yen was stolen from the clan, which Sera himself played a part in, along with Kazama and Yumi, which sets off the plot of the first game.
He also appears in the prequel Yakuza 0, where he is the President of the Tojo Clan's Nikkyo Consortium, an organization that does most of the Clan's dirtiest work behind the scenes. He's among those after the Empty Lot, but his motivations are unclear.
- Big Damn Heroes: He saves Majima and Makoto from an enraged Sagawa in 0.
- The Don: As the third Chairman of the Tojo Clan, he is one of the biggest crime lords of his time.
- The Dreaded: He was the former head of the Nikkyo Consortium, a group that does the dirty work of the Tojo Clan.
- Genius Bruiser: The first game shows him as more of an intelligent individual, but Yakuza 0 shows that he's also a very competent fighter.
- Good All Along: In Yakuza 0. Not only is he trying to protect Makoto as well, but he's working with Kazama to prevent Dojima from becoming Third Chairman of the Tojo Clan, which Kazama believes Sera is better suited for.
- Good Is Not Nice: Despite being a well-intentioned man on Kazama's side, he's not without any moral scruples as shown by his Cruel Mercy towards Lao Gui. He himself admits himself as such.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: In Yakuza 0, he's revealed to be in cahoots with Kazama, who is setting Sera up to be the Third Chairman of the Tojo Clan. He tries to protect Makoto on his own merits and ultimately gains the rights to the Empty Lot. When the first game comes around, he sends a hitman after Kiryu (although a Kiwami-only sidequest reveals Sera expected Kiryu to survive and only sent a hitman just to keep away other possible hitmen) and was then in cahoots with Jingu. Sera even tried to have Yumi and her baby Haruka killed, just to keep a promise. Shintaro intervenes and snaps him out of it, and the two conspire against Jingu along with Yumi.
- It's Up to You: In his will, he leaves the name of his successor blank, allowing Kazama to name who will become the Fourth Chairman of the Tojo Clan.
- Killed Offscreen: He's killed shortly after the clan discovers the 10 billion yen was stolen, but his death isn't shown.
- Plot-Triggering Death: His death early in the first game sets off the power struggle for the Tojo Clan leadership and the hunt for the missing 10 billion yen.
- Posthumous Character: In the first game, he only appears in one short scene before he's killed. He still appears throughout the game in flashbacks, which explore his character and reveal that he played a much larger part in the game's story.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: One of the very few yakuza patriarchs to actually be a fairly decent guy.
- Saved by Canon: His death in the first game sets up most of its plot. So, of course, that means Yakuza 0's shocking chapter turn where he gets shot doesn't actually kill him.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Literally. Realizing just how much Jingu went off the deep end is what drove Sera to conspire with Kazama/Fuma and Yumi to engineer the theft of the 10 billion yen that the Tojo Clan was laundering for Jingu to try and bring him down.
- SNK Boss: In Yakuza 0. While in the story you have access to various healing items, preventing you from getting your ass kicked by Sera's perfectly placed counters and combos, the Climax Battle against Sera is a lot more difficult since you have no items to heal, he dodges combos up to two hits and counters you by his own very damaging combos. It becomes a battle of patience as you basically use his own medicine against him. When he attacks, counter.
- Weak, but Skilled: He's not as physically capable as the other bosses in Yakuza 0. However, he more than makes up for it with well-placed counters and combos that would throw the player off guard.
Voiced by: Naomi Kusumi, Michael Madsen (Yakuza, English version)
The Patriarch of the big and powerful Shimano family, who are one of the backbones of the Tojo clan under their ruthless leader. Futoshi is big, nasty and shamelessly uses greater events to grab himself greater power. Like his sworn brother Sohei Dojima, he's wild and violent, holds a grudge against Kiryu for Dojima's murder, and has sworn revenge. He's also Majima's boss.
Shimano appears in flashbacks in Yakuza 2, showing that he was involved in the Jingweon incident. He also plays a small role in Yakuza 0. Following the Ueno Seiwa hit, he punishes Majima for disobeying orders and has him tortured in a cell called "the hole", before expelling him from the Tojo Clan and having him exiled to Sotenbori in Osaka. There, he has his sworn brother Sagawa of the Omi Alliance watch over Majima and keep him in line.
- Ax-Crazy: Shown to be this in the flashbacks of Yakuza 2, showing his involvement in the Jingweon Massacre and gleefully killing off its members.
- Bad Boss: An utterly ruthless boss who doesn't hesitate to perform Yubitsume on those who fail him. Yakuza 0 shows that he'll even have those who defy him tortured and exiled, even after they've already lost an eye. He even has Majima manipulated as an Unwitting Pawn as part of his gambit to get the deed to the Empty Lot.
- Bald of Evil: He even has a scene in the first game where it's getting a trim.
- Batman Gambit: In 0, he chose Majima as Makoto Makimura's hitman because he knew he wouldn't go through with it, with his real plan being to have them develop a bond so that she would come to trust him and thus be naturally willing to sell Shimano the Empty Lot.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: Shares the position of Big Bad of the first game alongside Nishikiyama and Kyohei Jingu. Unfortunately, he's the first of them to get offed in pursuit of the 10 billion yen.
- Big "SHUT THE FUCK UP!"
- Blood Brothers: To Sohei Dojima and Tsukasa Sagawa. It's more a formality as he doesn't seem to care for them that much.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Yakuza 0 shows that after Majima lost his eye, Shimano expressed his disappointment in him by having Goro chained up in a cell and tortured for a year.
- Combat Tropes
- Car Fu: In the original game, if he grapples you in his second battle, one of his mooks shall prepare to pummel you with a car if you don't break free.
- Katanas Are Just Better: On his second encounter.
- Mighty Glacier: In Kiwami, he uses the awkward Mr. Shakedown moveset, and while he doesn't deal nearly as much damage, he does have their Super Armor.
- Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: As part of his intimidating appearance.
- Disproportionate Retribution:
- Performs Yubitsume (finger amputating) on one of his subordinates for failing to kill Kiryu, as well as the fact his barber accidentally cut his scalp. To make it worse, rather than just cutting off the pinky finger, he cuts off both the forefinger and middle finger of his poor employee.
- After his second defeat at Shibaura Wharf, he throws a grenade at Shintaro and Haruka out of pure spite, forcing Shintaro to shield Haruka against it.
- Expy: He's a bald and ruthless crimelord whose seemingly fat appearance conceals the muscle he has underneath his suit. Shimano's basically a yakuza version of The Kingpin, though he lacks The Kingpin's more honourable traits.
- Evil Eyebrows: He's got some very thick and bushy eyebrows.
- Fat Bastard: Played straight in the original but subverted in Kiwami, where once he takes off his shirt it's shown that he's heavily built and has solid abs.
- Flunky Boss: The second fight against him has him fight alongside members of his clan. However, Kiryu gets his own backup.
- Gonk: He has particularly exaggerated features compared to most characters in the series, most notably his sunken eyes and bushy eyebrows.
- Graceful Loser: When Majima informs him that Sera acquired the empty lot, Shimano seems nonplussed about it. He instead decides to play the Long Game and stay in Sera's good graces for now, confident that he'll get his chance sooner or later.
- Guttural Growler: Particularly in the English dub courtesy of Michael Madsen.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He's known for his violence and hot temper, as his poor subordinate found out the hard way.
- Killed Off for Real: He's gunned down by Terada after his second fight in the first game, but not before he throws a grenade that kills Kazama/Fuma.
- Large and in Charge: He's a massive brute who also happens to be a major crime boss.
- Leitmotif: "Pray Me" in the first game, remixed as "Pray Me - Revive-" in Kiwami.
- Like a Son to Me: In his own twisted way, he claims that he sees Majima as a son at the end of 0, justifying the various miseries he inflicted upon him as his way of turning Goro into a proper "weapon".Shimano: They say if you love your child, you let him see the world.
- Manipulative Bastard: He's been orchestrating Majima's actions in Yakuza 0 from the get go. The order to kill Makoto Makimura? Shimano knew Goro could never bring himself to murder an innocent civilian and would instead do everything in his power to help his would-be target, right down to falling in love with her. All of this was to ensure that Makoto would feel genuinely indebted to one of Shimano's own and then willingly hand over her rights to the Empty Lot to him, thus securing Shimano's victory. Everything went according to plan, except for the last part; the rights end up falling into Sera's hands instead.
- Moveset Clone: In Kiwami, he shares the same moveset of Mr. Shakedown from Yakuza 0 when he's not armed.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Compared to the other characters that look realistic and Japanese, his exaggerated features almost make him look cartoonish in comparison.
- Purple Is Powerful: He wears a purple suit and he and his family are known to be frighteningly dominant in the Tojo Clan history.
- Recurring Boss: Fought twice in the first game.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Shintaro's blue.
- Revenge: In the first game, he wants revenge against Kiryu for the murder of Dojima.
- Say My Name: "Kazuma!" "Terada."
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Even if you included the english dub of the first game, he is quite foul in his language.
- The Starscream: In 0, he conspired to take the rights to the Empty Lot for himself. When he used the power and influence it carried to become the next chairman of the Tojo Clan, he would offer up half of the Tojo's territory to the Omi Alliance for his own profit.
- Stout Strength: He's built like The Kingpin — looks fat with his suit on, but raw muscle underneath.
- Tattooed Crook: See below.
- Tiger Versus Dragon: Has the tattoo of a tiger in contrast to Kiryu's silver dragon.
- Unskilled, but Strong: In the remake, he fights using the Mr. Shakedown moveset from 0, which means he just swings his arms around awkwardly hard enough to knock Kiryu around.
- Subverted when he brings out the Katana, where he shows proper, dangerous skill with it. Better knock it out of his hands fast.
- Villain Has a Point: During Nishiki's chapter in Kiwami, he's approached by Shimano, who suggests Kazama isn't as kind as everyone makes him out to be for giving Nishikiyama his own family with men who were out of control and had no respect for him. He also points out that Yakuza are still criminals despite the structure and ideals so Kiryu being a patriarch killer does give him much more street cred.
The Dojima FamilyWhat was once the largest and most powerful family in the Tojo Clan, headed by Sohei Dojima. While much of the family's success is owed to his right hand man, Shintaro Kazama, Sohei's role is not insignificant. However, the family didn't survive the death of its ruthless patriarch, and was broken up shortly afterwards.
Voiced by: Hisao Egawa
The Patriarch of the Dojima family. Ruthless, violent and greedy, Dojima will stop at nothing and use whatever means to get what he wants. His death kicks off the first game when he suddenly has Kiryu's and Nishiki's childhood friend Yumi kidnapped and tries to have his way with her, but he ends up getting killed in cold blood by Nishiki instead. As killing one's Oyabun is seen as the worst offense a yakuza can take, Kiryu takes the blame and goes to prison for ten years to protect his friend. Sohei is survived by his wife Yayoi and son Daigo.
Dojima is furthered explored in Yakuza 2 through flashbacks, which reveals he was the one who called for the Jingweon Massacre, a move which resulted in his rise to prominence. He returns in the prequel Yakuza 0 which depicts the family at its prime, and is eager to get his hands on the Empty Lot needed for the Kamurocho Revitalization Project, which would land him the position of the Third Chairman of the Tojo Clan. With Kazama in prison, he puts his three lieutenants up to the task to make it happen.
- Ambition Is Evil: His ambitions are matched only by his cruelty and eagerness to use violence to achieve them.
- Asshole Victim: We knew he was this after he tried to rape Yumi, as well as his actions that drive the plot of Yakuza 2, but after everything he's done in 0, it's hard to feel any measure of sympathy towards Sohei when he's offed by Nishiki.
- Big Bad: Of Yakuza 0.
- Non-Action Big Bad: As he is a strategist and not much of a fighter, it is his top three enforcers and the hired killer who are fought as bosses.
- Blood Brothers: To Futoshi Shimano, as both are ruthless, violent, and willing to resort to any means to get whatever they want. Dojima however hates Shimano and Shimano is not above betraying him.
- Break the Haughty: The final act of 0 is essentially this to him.
- The Chessmaster: How he's normally described.
- The Don: During the 80's, he was the head of the most powerful families of the Tojo Clan. After the events of 0 however, he became little more than a figurehead.
- Evil Genius: He's among the Tojo Clan's most ruthless and cunning leaders. When Makoto approaches him, willing to give him the rights to the Empty Lot in exchange for the heads of his three lieutenants, Dojima reveals that the bureaucrats heading the Millennium Tower's construction didn't even know of the Lot's existence, and would proceed with the construction as long as it remained a secret, which meant killing Makoto.
- Greed: His main defining trait. We get to see how far he is willing to go in 0.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Once almost all powerful in the Tojo Clan, he falls from grace after he lost the race to the Empty Lot and lost his 3 best men. By the time of the first game, he's left clinging on to his glory days.
- Mister Big: In a series where most characters of authority are tall and physically fit, he stands out by being short and fat.
- Necessary Evil: His schemes are what helped the Tojo into becoming the powerhouse it is in Kanto and even after his death the Dojima carries weight (his wife and son are put in charge of the Tojo clan during and after crisis) but his methods and greed were actually frowned upon by the rest of the clan. 0's plot is mostly about how no one wants him as Chairman because then he can't be rein in.
- Power Trio: With both Kazama/Fuma and Shimano in regards to the Jingweon incident flashback in the second game. He was the brains and leader.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: He gets killed for trying this with Yumi.
- Sinister Shades: Always shown wearing large sunglasses.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: He's an ugly, dwarfish man while his wife Yayoi looks like a classical Japanese beauty.
- Would Hit a Girl: He doesn't do so directly, but he makes his stance on the matter crystal clear in 0; as he states himself even women and children should know that "yakuza are not to be fucked with". Also his first proper introduction in the series is trying to rape Yumi with rumors that he does that a lot.
- Your Cheating Heart: Despite being a married man, he had his way with many mistresses behind his wife's back. She knew about it yet still remained faithful to him.
Voiced by: Orine Fukushima (Yakuza, Yakuza 2), Mio Kouchi (Kiwami, Kiwami 2)
Introduced as Sohei Dojima's Vengeful Widow, who nurses a grudge towards Kiryu for killing her husband and directly challenges him in the first game after he's released from prison. However, after he beats down her mooks, she quickly comes to realize that he took the fall for someone else, and Kiryu promises to tell her the truth once he's settled everything.
She plays a much larger role in the sequel, where she becomes the Interim Chairman of the Tojo Clan following Terada's death, and tries to guide it through one of its darkest hours when the Omi Alliance wages war against the clan along with the Jingweon Mafia. Kiryu offers not only to negotiate with the Omi Alliance as part of Terada's will, but also tracks down her son Daigo, believing he's the one who should lead the clan. Once Daigo is willing to step up and lead, she steps down and allows her son to take the mantle of the Sixth Chairman of the Tojo Clan, and has been absent from the series since.
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: Looks remarkably young for her age, enough to get Shindo's attention.
- Action Girl: All the more notable for being one of the few examples in the yakuza world. Don't underestimate her skill with that sword she carries, and she's the only Tojo chairman who manages to last an entire game without being killed or injured.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Despite cheating on her and being a ruthless bastard, she's only had her eye for Sohei Dojima and remains faithful to him even after his death.
- Ascended Extra: She appears briefly in the first game in a substory that can be easily missed. She plays a significantly larger role in the second game's main story.
- Beauty Mark: She has one under her lip on the right side.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: She disappeared from the series following the second game, but still appears in the remakes.
- The Don: In the second game, she stands in as Interim Chairman of the Tojo Clan following Terada's death, until her son is named as the Sixth Chairman.
- Damsel in Distress: When Shindo betrays the clan in the sequel, he tries to have his way with her.
- Iron Lady: Just because she looks traditional on the outside, she's a force to be reckoned with and is more than just a yakuza's widow. She's fearsome in her own right who even Kashiwagi would give a wide berth.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Her Weapon of Choice and doesn't hesitate to pull it out on anyone. She tosses it to Kiryu to assist him during his fight with Shindo.
- Kimono Is Traditional: She sports a kimono and a geisha hairstyle, giving her this vibe. But a delicate flower she isn't.
- Lady of War: She's an effective leader who will pull out her sword and scare the ever-living hell out of anybody who challenges her authority, and tells her men to take no prisoners when Sengoku's men invade Kamurocho.
- No Accounting for Taste: Sohei Dojima was an utterly vile, repugnant man who — among his numerous acts of atrocities — regularly cheated on his wife with reckless abandon. Yet somehow, Yayoi still loves him enough to try avenging him after his death. One has to wonder just what this woman ever saw in the guy to begin with.
- The Queenpin: Oh yes, son. Oh yes. Yayoi led the Tojo clan through one of its darkest hours, and kept the families together through sheer force of personality.
- Quickly-Demoted Woman: She's not counted among the Chairmen of the Tojo Clan, despite having guided it through one of its darkest hours. Still, it's impressive that she managed to attain leadership at all. Once Daigo steps up, she relinquishes her position and allows him to take over the clan. Justified as she was interim Chairman and not an officialized one.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: When members of the Tojo Clan call for war immediately following Terada's death, she believes it should be avoided instead, considering it's not in the Clan's best interest in the state that it's in.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Look at Sohei, then look at her. It's a mystery for the ages how these two ever managed to click, let alone got hitched...
- Unexpected Successor: She was only acting Chairman because of circumstances but given that she was the widow of a fallen from grace patriarch it's quite a pull.
- The Unfought: She challenges Kiryu directly in the first game armed with a sword, but backs off once Kiryu takes down her mooks and realizes he wasn't her husband's real killer.
- Vengeful Widow: Enough to challenge the Dragon of Dojima directly and armed with a sword.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After her son takes over the Tojo Clan, she effectively disappears from the series.
Nishikiyama FamilyOne of the youngest Families formed by Akira Nishikiyama after Dojima's death with Kashiwagi's blessing for his service to Kazama. The family at first proven to have no respect towards him as the viewed him as a bootlicker. Due to Nishiki's hardships they would became one of the most ambitious and traitorous when Nishikiyama finally begins asserting control in a ruthless manner. Following Nishiki's death, its members house a tremendous grudge against Kiryu, and their Patriarchs often defies the Tojo's authority and attempts to kill Kiryu at the first opporturnity as a result of the arrogance of the newfound power they get in both games (by absorbing Shimano's family and in the sequel, recruitimg Mine, a skilled moneymaker to the Tojo) which never ends well (for them). Disbanded as of the fourth game.
Voiced by: Kazuhiro Nakaya, Michael Rosenbaum (Yakuza, English version)
Portrayed by: Claude Maki (live-action film)
Known as "Nishiki" to his closest friends, he's Kiryu's best friend who joined the Dojima family the same time his friend did. Also raised by Shintaro Kazama in the Sunflower Orphanage, while Kiryu joined the yakuza to repay and help the man who raised him, Nishiki was more interested in rising the ranks and making it to the top unlike his uptight friend. He was one of Kiryu's strongest allies during the events of Yakuza 0, and while his loyalties were challenged, his role in the situation earned him standing in the Dojima family and allowed him to climb the ranks along with his blood brother.
In spite of that, Nishiki also suffered an inferiority complex toward Kiryu, whom many others seemed to favor. He even had strong feelings for Yumi Sawamura, who grew up with them in the same orphanage, but her affections were aimed only toward Kiryu. He also has a sister, Yuko, who grew ill and he was struggling to support. One night in December 1995, Yumi was suddenly kidnapped by Sohei Dojima. By the time Kiryu got there, he discovered that Nishiki had already murdered Dojima in cold blood to protect Yumi from an Attempted Rape at his hands. As killing your Oyabun is considered one of the worst possible offenses for a yakuza, it would have been all over for him, but considering Yuko's deteriorating health, Kiryu made a snap decision and took the fall for his friend and went to jail for ten years.
Shortly afterward, Yumi lost her memories and disappeared, and in spite of his efforts Yuko succumbed to her illness. With all of those closest to him gone, Nishiki abandoned his ideals and pursued his ambitions, leading him down a road that would eventually lead to his downfall. He's a changed man by the time Kiryu leaves prison, eager to get the 10 billion yen and get everything he wants, including Yumi, control of the Tojo Clan and his life, while proving himself superior to his old friend.
- The Alleged Boss: Kiwami showed that back when he was starting off as a boss of his own gang, he was incapable of commanding respect among his men, who saw him as a lowly suck-up who got Kicked Upstairs. This in-turn made him look weak to other bosses. By the time of the main game however he's capable of commanding fierce loyalty from his men that continues even after his death.
- All Love Is Unrequited: He's always loved Yumi, but she's always loved Kiryu instead.
- Always Someone Better: Kiryu is this to him, especially when it came to Yumi. Kiwami takes this further, showing that he was given his own family as a means to get Kiryu back into the Tojo clan, but everyone made it clear they respected his old friend instead, and he was a nobody in their eyes.
- Ambition Is Evil: Perhaps his most defining trait. In the first game, following Dojima's murder and the race for the 10 billion yen, Nishiki would stop at nothing to reach the top of the yakuza world, even if it meant betraying and sacrificing those closest to him, believing it was the only way to gain control of his life, get what he wanted, and be respected in the Tojo Clan. Explored further in 0, revealing that Nishiki had always been fueled by a desire to reach the top, but mostly to reap the riches of the lavish yakuza lifestyle.
- Animal Motifs:The nishikigoi is the fish on his tattoo and his namesake, as well.
- Bad Boss: He has no problems executing goons, though unlike Shimano he usually has a reason behind it.
- Bash Brothers: He and Kiryu were once like this, and we get a good look at it in 0.
- Berserk Button: Do whatever he tells you to do. Make a mistake and he will empty his gun's clip on your dead body. And as poor Reina and Matsushige found out, don't say something that makes him feel useless.
- Big Bad: Portrayed as such in the first game, although the honor goes to Jingu.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: Shares this with Shimano and Jingu in the race to who gets the 10 billion yen.
- Big Damn Villains: He stabs and kills Jingu before the politician can finish off Kiryu, taking the bullets instead.
- Blood Brothers: With Kiryu.
- Boss Banter: Specifically from the English dub."Bring that shit, Kazuma!"
"10 years in the joint made you a fucking pussy!"
"Were you someone's prison bitch?"
- Childhood Friends: With Kiryu and Yumi, who all grew up in the same orphanage.
- Cynicism Catalyst: Following Kiryu's arrest and Yumi's disappearance, the death of his sister took away the last of his remaining idealism, leaving only ambition to keep him going. Although the death of his ill sister was one of the many factors that led to his Despair Event Horizon, his story in Kiwami reveals that his failure to save Yuko was what ultimately threw him over the edge.
- Despair Event Horizon: Took this pretty damn hard after he killed Dojima to save Yumi as Kiryu goes to jail, Yumi suddenly vanishes, and his ill sister dies. From that point on, he decides to ditch his ideals and complete his transformation into the Evil Counterpart.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Kiwami shows this is one of the major reasons he ended up Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, as he was given his own family but none of his underlings or anyone else around him showed him a shred of respect. For them, it was all about Kiryu.
- Evil Counterpart: He's pretty much a more ambition-filled Kiryu that will do anything to be at the top once he hits the Despair Event Horizon.
- Evil Former Friend: Not just to Kiryu, but his ambitions lead him to become this to many others.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: His hairstyle in the past is neatly parted in contrast to his slicked-back hair in the first game. Kiwami shows the very moment when the change occurred.
- FaceHeel Turn: Underwent a big one by the time Kiryu got out of prison.
- Fallen Hero: Considering what role he played in the events of 0, and how he ended up in the first game, Kiwami makes it very clear that he's become this.
- Fatal Flaw: His inferiority complex towards Kiryu and desire for respect and recognition led him down a very dark path that ultimately left him miserable and alone, and resulted in his death.
- Final Boss: Of the first game.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Upon joining the Tojo Clan, he was known as capable fighter but was nothing to write home about. By the end of the first game, he was a powerful patriarch who had committed horrifying acts and was willing to burn bridges with his friends, all for the sake of his ambitions.
- Green-Eyed Monster: He has always been envious of Kiryu for winning Yumi's heart.
- Heel Realization: After killing Jingu and being shot by him, his last action is to take responsibility for everything he had set out to do by detonating the bomb on top of the ten billion yen.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He saves the others by killing Jingu, but takes a bullet in the process. He decides to finish what he started and detonates the bomb near the ten billion yen, which then rains down on the streets of Kamurocho and into the hands of its people.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: He's become extremely smug and cocky in the ten years Kiryu was gone, but he's always had an inferiority complex toward him that comes out hard when the two finally confront each other. Kiwami shows that his entire career after Dojima's death consists of people constantly comparing him to Kiryu.
- Informed Flaw: The Tojo clan regards Nishiki as useless even though his actions in "0" show that while not as strong as Kiryu he's still pretty good in a fight and is more savvy when it comes to the Yakuza lifestyle.
- In Yakuza 0, at the end he prevents Kiryu from beating Shibusawa to death, telling his friend that If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him. We all know how that turned out years later.
- In Kiwami, everyone hyped Kiryu to no end for killing Dojima. It was an unforgivable act, but made such an impact in the Yakuza underworld. Nishiki hates that everyone hyped Kiryu for something he did, not Kiryu.
- I've Come Too Far: The second reason why he jumps Jumping Off the Slippery Slope in Yakuza 1 and Kiwami. He originally felt like he could redeem himself after killing Dojima. But after killing Matsuhige, he realises that he already killed, his hands are soiled with blood and was never going to be redeemed. Once this realisation hits home, he stops holding back and will now stop at nothing to get to the top.
- Kubrick Stare: Throws these akin to Anakin Skywalker in every cinematic he appears in, making him look more sinister.
- The Lancer: To Kiryu in 0.
- Legendary Carp: His tattoo is of a Nishiki Koi fish swimming in the river. Like the legend, Nishikiyama is fighting an upstream battle to become a dragon himself, to be something better than his former friend Kazuma Kiryu, the Dragon of Dojima.
- Leitmotif: "For Who's Sake" in the original game. It gets remixed as "For Buddy" in 0, and once again for Kiwami, and his expy in Ishin gets yet another remix called "For Your Sake."
- Light Is Not Good / Man in White: In the first game, he's a villain who wears a white suit.
- Meaningful Name:The "Nishiki" "錦" in "Nishikiyama" "錦山" composes the first kanji of the word "Nishikigoi" "錦鯉" which is the name of the fish on his tattoo.
- No Respect Guy: Is treated as such in the flashback segments. He's disrespected by his own men, is constantly being compared to Kiryu and his looked down upon by people like Shimano.
- Properly Paranoid: At one point he says that after betraying Kiryu he decided he couldn't trust anyone. So he knew about Jingu using him as a (supposedly) Unwitting Pawn all along; he was spying on his own supposed allies the whole time. When he reveals this to Kiryu he reiterates that he doesn't trust anyone.
- Redemption Equals Death: After he's beaten, he kills Jingu and detonates the bomb covering the ten billion yen, knowing it will kill him.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Early on, he's the blue to Kiryu's red, but it switches by the events of the first game.
- Sequential Boss: He's fought right after Kyohei Jingu.
- Skyward Scream: One dramatic scene in Yakuza 0 ends with him doing this.
- Start of Darkness: The night he killed Dojima and the events that followed gradually changed him for the worse.
- Sympathetic Murderer: Considering how much of a bastard his boss, Sohei Dojima was and the fact that he was trying to rape Yumi, one can hardly blame Nishiki for doing what he did in that no-win situation. His second murder counts too as the victim was practically begging for it. Sadly, he becomes less sympathetic following his Start of Darkness...
- Tattooed Crook: A nishiki carp, in contrast to Kiryu's dragon. It's also meaningful if one hears about the story that if a carp reaches high enough in a waterfall, it will become a dragon, which fits Nishiki's ambition to reach the top of the Tojo Clan and surpass Kiryu.
- These Hands Have Killed: He has a moment like this after murdering Matsuhige where he looks at his bloodied hands and deciding that he doesn't mind killing. He even uses Matsuhige's blood to slick back his hair into the hairstyle he sports in the present.
- Took a Level in Badass: From being unable to command the respect of his own men and forced to literally bow to them, to becoming the head of one of the most powerful families of his time. Unfortunately, he Took a Level in Jerkass as well.
- In terms of fighting skill, in the late 80's he was a pretty decent fighter but not on Kiryu's level. Following the latter's imprisonment, Kiryu is told by Utabori that he'll lose to Nishiki unless he grows stronger, and Nishiki's bio in Yakuza 2 even describes him as being Kiryu's equal.
- Undying Loyalty: To Kiryu, in Yakuza 0. After that, well ...
- The Unfavorite: Shimano implies that Kazama only made him patriarch in order to try and get Kiryu back as no one found any use for Nishiki. There isn't enough cutscenes with Kazama and Nishiki or explanation as to why Kazama didn't help with Nishiki's sister to really refute that.
- Unwitting Pawn: To Jingu, who only used Nishiki as means to plunge the Tojo Clan into civil war. However, Nishiki revealed that he was aware that Jingu was only using him, and never trusted him from the start.
- Villainous Breakdown: Gets two of these.
- One flashback where he finds two of his subordinates who had inadvertently killed the fake Mizuki and completely lost it, killing both of them and emptying his whole clip on one of them.
- After Kyohei Jingu has been defeated, he appears before Kiryu and Yumi, where his inferiority complex and envy toward Kiryu come to light, and reveals that he learned never to trust anyone since the incident ten years prior, not even Jingu. When he claims he'll use the ten billion yen to take over the Tojo Clan, win Yumi and finally be in control of his life, Yumi tries to snap him out of his delusion.Yumi: What good will that do? Changing your fate that way won't make you happy. You're just running from things you don't want to face. If you really want to change your fate, doesn't that mean you have to accept the suffering...And in spite of that, face it head on instead of running away? Just like Kazuma and Haruka!
Nishikiyama: SHUT UP! Why can't you acknowledge what I've achieved?!
- Villainous Legacy: Even after his death, his clan continues to plague Kiryu as recurring antagonists for quite some time.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Kiryu as shown in 0. They roast on each other on everything from food to clothes.
- We Used to Be Friends: He used to be Kiryu's best friend and brother-in-arms, but by the time Kiryu gets out of prison, Nishiki has undergone his Start of Darkness and has not only turned rather bitter and angry, but he has also allowed his latent jealously of Kiryu to get the better of him, causing him to turn against his old friend.
- Would Hit a Girl: In one of the new scenes in Kiwami, Reina freaks out after Yumi goes missing and calls him out for failing to protect her, and thinking she considers him useless, he strikes her down with a slap.
- Wrestler in All of Us: In his fight, one of his moves is a vertical suplex.
Voiced by: Takafumi Yamaguchi (Yakuza), Tomokazu Sugita (Kiwami), Daniel Capellaro (Yakuza English version)
A former member of the Dojima family who joined the yakuza out of admiration for Kiryu, becoming his faithful younger "brother". Following the family's dissolution after Dojima's murder, he joins the Nishikiyama family as a mole for Kazama/Fuma and remains a loyal ally to Kiryu throughout the ordeal of the game.
- All Men Are Perverts: He enjoys going to soaplands, and in the expanded prologue for Kiwami, he's nothing but a full blown pervert eager to get Kiryu laid. When Kiryu needs a lot of money from him later on, Shinji convinces himself that he's finally become one with the pleasures of the red light district and gladly gives him whatever he needs, when Kiryu is just trying to get Yumi's stolen ring back.
- Badass Longcoat: Sports one after Kiryu leaves prison.
- The Cameo: 16 year-old Shinji appears in Yakuza 0 during a sidequest where he tries to kill Kiryu out of hatred for the yakuza.
- Dark and Troubled Past: His appearance in 0 expands on his history, giving him a hatred of Yakuza due to them destroying his family by tricking his father into a loan and then beating him when he couldn't pay, in turn leading to his father beating him until Shinji snapped and hit back. This lead to Shinji joining a street gang to get away from the depressing sight of his alcoholic father.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: In Kiryu's.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Downplayed. One substory in 2 has Kiryu beat down a pair of thugs impersonating him and Shinji, partially out of anger that someone's impersonating his dead junior. Later games in the story feature less reference to Shinji as Kiryu moves on from his friend's death.
- Hero-Worshipper: After saving his life in 0 Shinji decided to enter the yakuza and follow Kiryu's footsteps.
- The Lancer: Becomes Kiryu's in the first game, although he acts more behind the scenes.
- Missing Mom: His mother left him and his father behind at the first sign of trouble with her husband's loan debts. Given the Yakuza's methods this was a smart choice, but the fact that she didn't bring Shinji with her says a lot about her character.
- The Mole: Shinji joins Nishiki's family as a mole working for Kazama, and remains loyal to Kiryu after he's released from prison.
- Undying Loyalty: To Kiryu. 0 reveals this is due to Kiryu saving him from a small-fry family of Yakuza and inspiring him.
- With Friends Like These...: In 0, someone in the street gang he runs with sells him out to a small Yakuza family to save their own hide.
Voiced by: Tomoyuki Dan (2), Taichi Setogawa (Kiwami), Takahiro Kageyama (Kiwami 2)
A lieutenant of the Nishikiyama Family who eventually becomes its second patriarch, living up to the family's growing reputation by being an overly ambitious jerk. He appears briefly in the first game, leading the ambush against Kiryu in Serena's back alley. He appears again in the sequel as the family's patriarch, holding a grudge against Kiryu for the fall of their leader.
- Ascended Extra: In the first game he appears leading a gang of mooks, but returns as the patriarch of the Nishikiyama Family in the second, and he's not happy about the circumstances behind his promotion.
- Cowardly Boss: In the second game, he'll usually run off when he's taken enough damage.
- Flunky Boss: In your first battle with him, he's surrounded by several mooks.
- Evil Is Petty: Refuses to provide support for Kiryu out of spite for what he did to the Nishikiyama Family.
- Hate Sink: In the second game, he seems to have absolutely no redeeming qualities. He betrays you later on and you're going to love kicking his ass again.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Holds Yayoi Dojima hostage, and tries to have his way with her.
- Insane Troll Logic: Not only does he think he'll become the next chairman of the Tojo Clan after he's sold it out to Sengoku, in which several Tojo members are killed, but he compares his lust for Yayoi to Kiryu and Nishiki both fighting over Yumi in the first game, thinking he and Kiryu are Not So Different.
- Jerkass: Especially in the sequel.
- Jerkass Has a Point: While the context behind it doesn't give him any justification, Shindo does have a point in saying that Yayoi has no reason to remain faithful to her late husband, considering how he constantly cheats on her.
- Katanas Are Just Better: His Weapon of Choice.
- Killed Off for Real: Following his defeat and expulsion from the clan, Shindo goes for a gun but Daigo shoots him dead.
- Laser-Guided Karma: After trying to have his way with Yayoi Dojima, he gets shot dead by her son Daigo.
- Leitmotif: In Yakuza 2, he gets "The Grudge". It gets replaced with "Break Off" in Kiwami 2.
- Nothing Personal: In the first game when he attacks Kiryu outside Serena, he simply says it's on Nishiki's orders. After Nishiki's death, however, it becomes a lot more personal in the second game.
- Number Two: He's Nishiki's lieutenant, and becomes the family's second patriarch.
- Romancing the Widow: He lusts after Dojima's wife and tries to take her for himself in the second game. Technically speaking, he finds himself on the receiving end of her sword for this.
- Smug Snake: He's so blinded by his delusions of taking over the Tojo Clan that he thinks he's unstoppable.
- The Starscream: In the second game, he sells out the Tojo Clan to Sengoku.
- Undying Loyalty: To Nishiki. In the second game, Yayoi orders him to assist Kiryu against the Go-Ryu clan and the Jingweon foreigners, but he refuses considering the damage Kiryu did to the family a year before. They remain loyal to Nishiki in spite of his betrayal, and are more than willing to risk being expelled from the clan for it.
Voiced by: Hidenori Takahashi (Yakuza Online)
A skilled hitman who holds the rank of a sergeant in the Nishikiyama Family and was responsible for Reina's and Shinji's deaths. Following his defeat by Kiryu in the first game, he found himself ridiculed by the other members of the Nishikiyama family and was eventually disowned by them, and forms a group comprised of other disowned yakuza members. He blames Kiryu for ruining his life and has sworn revenge on him for it. He also appears in Dead Souls where he can be recruited as an ally.
- Badass Longcoat: It's red!
- Boss Battle:
- Bonus Boss: He reappears in the third game in the very final assassination sidequest and he is revealed to be the organizer of the hitman organization The Avengers.
- Flunky Boss: He doesn't fight alone, and he'll take shots at Kiryu while he's occupied fighting someone else.
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: He normally runs away from Kiryu if he tries to engage in melee combat and gets a perfect vantage point where he can shoot Kiryu.
- Combat Pragmatist: Doesn't hesitate to use guns in a fistfight.
- Enemy Mine: In Dead Souls, Arase can be a recruitable ally against the zombie outbreak. He bluntly tells Kiryu he'll go after him again once the zombie problem blows over.
- Expy: Wears a red longcoat, red sunglasses, black shirt, black trousers and black boots. Wields two automatic pistols... this is the yakuza version of Alucard. He also fires his guns crazy just like Dante.
- Guns Akimbo: Which makes him an absolute pain to fight against.
- Leitmotif: "Turning Point" in the first game, which later gets remixed to "End Point" in the third game where he is the Bonus Boss. It's remixed again in Kiwami as "Vertical Point".
- Psychotic Smirk: Gives one when he shows Kiryu Reina's bullet-riddled corpse.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Red jacket, black clothes, and a ruthless hitman.
- Sinister Shades: He always sports them.
- Sunglasses at Night: Which is when he's fought.
- Trigger Happy: Nishikiyama's underlings try to wrap things up before he arrives because he tends to go all gun blazing.
Voiced by: Hitoshi Ikeda
A top earner in the Kazama family who is introduced in Kiwami. When Nishiki is given his own family after Kiryu's arrest, members of the Kazama family were transferred over to serve under him. Like the others, Matsushige treats his new boss with nothing but disdain and utter disrespect, thinking Nishiki, more of a junior officer, is beneath him and should be serving under him instead. Out of control and using whatever means necessary to make money, he takes advantage of Nishiki's desperation to save his sister for his own gain and plays an indirect role in her death. He'd much rather serve under someone like Kiryu instead.
- Asshole Victim: Considering everything he puts Nishiki through, it's no surprise that Nishiki ends up killing him in cold blood.
- Greed: He'll use whatever means necessary to get money and it's all he cares about. Although he does get the money Nishiki asked for by taking it from the doctor that was supposed to save Nishiki's sister.
- Hate Sink: Oh boy. The moment he's introduced, you know why Nishiki ended up Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
- Jerkass: A huge one. He acts with total insubordination due to seeing Nishiki as a nobody who got by via sucking up.
- Kick the Dog: When Nishiki gets on his knees and begs him to help him with the money he needs, Matsushige gladly steps on his head and gloats about the position he's in.
- Lack of Empathy: When he walks in on Nishiki mourning his sister's death, all he cares about is getting paid.
- Perma-Stubble: Just short of becoming a Beard of Evil.
- Reality Ensues: Mitsushige's callous disrespect towards Nishiki while still thinking Kiryu would have made a better boss is a solid train of thought considering that Nishiki is an unknown while Kiryu earned his respect from other Yakuza (despite the Dojima incident). When one just rockets to the top like that, one isn't going to gain immediate respect. Likewise Nishiki gets all the respect he needs after gutting a disobedient underling like Matsuhige who shook down other clan's territory.
- Sinister Shades: Always sports them, even at night!
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He manages to get the 30 million that Nishiki asked for... by extorting the doctor that was asking for the money in the first place, which leads to him skipping town and sealing Yuko's fate
Kazama/Fuma FamilyThe 'nice' family, the Kazama Family has been Tojo's main source of successes after their involvement in the empty Vacant Lot Dispute and surviving the ruthless assault led by the Dojima Family led to the appointment of Masaru Sera as the third Chairman. Kiryu's main allies through the games, though they are thought of as somewhat ineffectual due to their focus on the needs of the Clan over their own. Broken up after the death of Kashiwagi in Yakuza 3.
Voiced by: Tetsuya Watari, Roger L. Jackson (Yakuza, English version)
Portrayed by: Sansei Shiomi (live-action film)
Shintaro Kazama (known as Shintaro Fuma in the early English releases) was the Dojima Family Captain and the Patriarch of the Kazama Family. A retired premier hitman for the Tojo Clan, he is considered one of the their most exceptional men in terms of literal strength and strength of character, and much of the Dojima Family's success is owed to him.
A man who is held in the highest regard by most who know of him, he had also established the Sunflower Orphanage where Kiryu, Nishiki and Yumi were raised, who saw him as a father figure. To his dismay, one day Kiryu and Nishiki revealed their intentions to join the yakuza to follow in his footsteps, which lead to a harsh beatdown on them in a failed attempt to dissuade them. But after Kiryu explained his dream of winning the same respect and fame Kazama had achieved, they were both allowed into the Dojima Family. Although Kiryu joined in hopes to help him and repay Kazama for everything he's done for him, Nishiki wanted to climb the ranks of the yakuza world.
Six months prior to the events of Yakuza 0, Kazama was sent to jail after a police raid on a gambling site he led. In his absence, the three lieutenants of the Dojima Family began jockeying for his position as Captain, who were likely involved in selling him out in the first place. However, even behind bars he remains an effective force behind the events that occur.
Some time afterward, Kiryu was kidnapped and tortured by the Snake Flower Triad after the Dojima Family set them up with fake passports for a large sum of money. With Kiryu on the brink of death, Kazama came and rescued him, while taking a bullet to the leg that would eventually require him to walk with a cane. Years later when Yumi is kidnapped by Dojima, he tries to dissuade Kiryu from going after Nishiki, believing he would lose all of them, and found himself unable to help Kiryu during his prison sentence and to prevent Nishiki from pursuing his ambitions. He's incapacitated before he can explain everything that's going on to Kiryu right after he leaves prison, but knows the truth behind Sera's murder, Haruka and her parents and the missing 10 billion yen, finally revealing it all when Kiryu meets up with him again. It's also revealed that prior to Sera's death, he allowed Kazama to name the next chairman of the Tojo Clan, a title he gave to Kiryu.
He's also shown in flashbacks in Yakuza 2, playing a key role in the Jingweon Massacre incident.
- The Ace: Before Kiryu, Kazama was the patron saint of the yakuza. Kiryu wanted to join the yakuza life because of how awesome his adoptive dad looked.
- The Atoner: He killed Kiryu's biological parents in a hit. Given that he places all the children of his targets in Sunshine Orphanage, it can be reasoned he killed Nishiki's and Yumi's parents as well.
- Badass Mustache: Always appears with one no matter his age.
- Big Damn Heroes:
- In a flashback in the first game when Kiryu was kidnapped and tortured by Lau Ka Long, Shintaro comes guns ablazin' and rescues him, having suffered from the wound that forces him to walk with a cane in the present.
- He does this again in a flashback when Jingu and Sera try to have Yumi and an infant Haruka killed, shooting the hitman.
- Big Good: In 0, everyone on Kiryu's side holds him in the highest regard. He sets up the game's events to prevent his boss Sohei Dojima from getting the Empty Lot and taking leadership of the Tojo Clan. Even some of his enemies view him as a cut above the rest, which is partly why they oppose him.
- The Chessmaster: A heroic variation. The entirety of 0 is him using Tachibana, Sera and Kiryu to prevent Dojima from taking over the Tojo Clan. He accounted for everything... except for Majima.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: He dies in Kiryu's after revealing the truth about his parents to him.
- Dirty Business: Kashiwagi explains in the second game that he was clearly against orders from Dojima to carry out the Jingweon massacre. But as Kashiwagi puts it, for the yakuza, the boss' order is law.
- Dub Name Change: His last name was changed from Kazama to Fuma in the English dub, likely to avoid confusion with our hero Kazuma.
- Lost in Translation: Fuma is another reading of the kanjis forming the name Kazama, and it's worth noting that Yakuza 4 onwards use Kazama. According to Scott Strichart of the localization team, Fuma was never correct.
- Easily Forgiven: As he's dying, he tells Kiryu that he was the one who killed his parents. Kiryu forgives him just before he dies, saying that he always considered Kazama to be his real father.
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: While certainly far from evil, Kazama's still a yakuza hitman. He wants Kiryu and Nishiki to both have normal lives as civilians rather than follow in his footsteps as a yakuza, knowing the burden they would have to bear. In fact, a large part of his entire plan in 0 was actually trying to get Kiryu to leave the yakuza life behind by setting him up with an honest job. He's tragically proven right, especially for Nishiki...
- The Friend Nobody Likes: A heroic version. 0 reveals that many of his fellow yakuza, even his boss Sohei Dojima, can't stand him and find him to be the greatest obstacle in their ambitions. That said, there are still many yakuza who hold immense respect for him.
- Give Him a Normal Life: He really didn't want Kiryu and Nishiki to join the yakuza, even if they wanted to follow in his footsteps. It was even part of his plan in 0 for Kiryu to get involved with Tachibana Real Estate so he could learn to make an honest living without the yakuza. It didn't work.
- Guns Akimbo: His method of combat as shown in flashbacks.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He shields Haruka from a grenade thrown by Shimano.
- Hitman with a Heart: He doesn't just help out those he raises; Kazuki credits him for teaching him the ropes to run a business. He really tried to go out of his way to stop the Jingweon massacre, against the orders of his ruthless boss.
- The Mentor: Clearly the mentor figure for Kiryu, and the more sensible of the older characters.
- Mr. Exposition: He's the one who brings Kiryu up to speed about Yumi, the truth behind Mizuki, Haruka and the missing 10 billion yen, and how the game's Bigger Bad is involved in it.
- Mysterious Backer: To Dr. Emoto. Kazama finances the clinic, allowing Emoto to treat people at no cost, but the doctor has never met the man directly.
- Number Two: He's Sohei Dojima's right-hand man, and is largely credited for the success of the Dojima Family as one of its captains.
- Parental Substitute: For Kiryu, Nishiki and Yumi. Kiryu in particular saw him as a father.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Futoshi's red.
- Say My Name: "Shimano!" "Kazuma!"
- Token Good Teammate: Of the Dojima family, the patriarch and lieutenants hated his guts for it but he was just to good at the job to not keep around even if he objects the more evil options.
- Xanatos Gambit: His whole plan in Yakuza 0. According to Tachibana, Kazama predicted almost everything that happened in 0. And in case things don't go as planned, he took steps to ensure that they eventually do.
Voiced by: Shunsuke Sakuya, John DiMaggio (Yakuza, English version)
The Kazama Family lieutenant who would eventually become its second Patriarch, Kashiwagi is Shintaro's right hand man and a very calm, controlled individual with a strong sense of duty and honor, but won't hesitate to bring the pain to those who fail to adhere to the strict codes of being a yakuza. He remains a staunch and loyal ally of Kiryu throughout the series, serving as Chief Director of the Tojo Clan in Yakuza 2 and its Interim Chairman in Yakuza 3. In Yakuza 0, he's put in charge of the Kazama family's business when its patriarch is sent to prison, and Kiwami reveals he tried to mentor Nishiki on building his own family, not realizing the growing ambitions of Kiryu's close friend.
- Badass in Distress: He's captured in the second game along with Daigo and Yayoi when Shindo betrays the Tojo Clan.
- Big Brother Mentor: His bio in Yakuza 0 describes him as being a big brother figure for Kiryu and Nishiki, and plays something of a mentor role for them while Kazama is in jail. He's also described as something of a terrifying one, demonstrated when he punches the hell out of Kiryu after the young yakuza explains his plan to get himself expelled from the Dojima family to prove his innocence after being framed for murder.
- Big Damn Heroes: Brings the Kazama/Fuma family to support Kiryu and his boss against Shimano and his men for all out battle in the first game. 0 reveals this wasn't the first time he's done this.
- Blood Knight: One of the reasons he's fought as a boss in 0, and enough that it terrifies his opponent. He considers his eagerness to fight as part of a yakuza's nature.Majima: Who knew the Kazama family was breedin' monsters like this...
- The Cavalry: TWICE. He rallies the Kazama family against both the Dojima family and the Shimano family.
- The Comically Serious:
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: He dies in Kiryu's in Yakuza 3, following a helicopter attack on his office.
- The Don: Of the Fuma/Kazama family after the events of the first game. He also serves as the Interim Chairman of the Tojo Clan in Yakuza 3 when Daigo is shot.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Gets murdered in the third game when a helicopter shoots up his office.
- Flat Character: He doesn't receive much character development in the first two games, which is perhaps lampshaded in the third game.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: His face is very scarred, but we've yet to discover how he received it.
- Hidden Badass: In the first three games, Kashiwagi operates behind the scenes and usually from a distance. In Yakuza 0, not only is he fought as a boss, showing that he's no pushover, but he has a special attack where he sends Majima flying across the roof with a single punch.
- Mr. Exposition: He serves as one in the second game, informing the cast about the Jingweon massacre that happened several years before, and Kazama's role in it.
- Number Two: He's Kazama's right hand man and takes charge of the business in his absence. He also becomes the Patriarch of the family following Kazama's death.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Perhaps the most level-headed of Kiryu's yakuza allies.
- Sacrificial Lion: In Yakuza 3, he's killed when a helicopter opens fire on his office, showing just how serious and high the stakes are regarding the whole Okinawa resort deal.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Yakuza 0, after being absent from the series for years, he's given a much rougher personality and is shown for the first time that he was a force to be reckoned with. Technically inversed considering 0 is a prequel, meaning that Kashiwagi Took a Level in Kindness by the time the early games came around and depicted him as being far more calm and level-headed.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Yakuza 0 reveals that he has a fondness for Morioka reimen.
- You Gotta Have Green Hair: His hair is tinted green in the early games for some odd reason. Strange, since this is a realistic game series. This was undone in later entries.
The Omi AllianceA powerful yakuza organization that resides in Osaka, the west to the Tojo Clan's east. In the first game, they are working with Akira Nishiki to get the ten billion yen, or so it seems. Since then, the Tojo and Omi clans have been at each others throats with each succeeding chairman of the Tojo trying to negotiate a truce between the two clans, which is always threatened because members within both clans are determined to wage war against the other.
Voiced by: Kenji Nomura (Yakuza, Kiwami, Kiwami 2), Go Shinomiya (Yakuza 2), Gregg Berger (Yakuza, English version)
A lieutenant of the Omi family who first appears to aid Kiryu's enemies, but his true loyalties and agenda remain unknown. He is secretly working for Kazama/Fuma, who convinced him to leave the Omi Clan, and aids them in the endgame. By the end of the first game, Kiryu gives up his own position as the Fourth Chairman and awards it to Terada, declaring him the Fifth Chairman of the Tojo Clan to carry on Kazama's wishes.
Terada returns in the beginning of the sequel seeking Kiryu for advice, hoping to avert a war between the two clans, but is gunned down by his former allies. His death triggers the plot of the second game. He also plays a central part in Majima's campaign in Kiwami 2, the events of which take place shortly after the first game's events.
- 0% Approval Rating: By the second game, he's disliked by practically every family head in the Tojo Clan due to his incumbent leadership. Not helping matters is that he's a former member of the Omi Alliance, the Tojo Clan's rival.
- Batman Gambit: In the second game, his dying wish is to have Kiryu broker peace between the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance, knowing Ryuji Goda would step in and interfere in order to ensure war.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Is this with Ryo Takashima in Yakuza 2. They both team up to bring down the Tojo Clan, though Takashima has his own plans in mind.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: Shares this title with Ryuji Goda and Ryo Takashima in Yakuza 2. He's the ringleader of the Jingweon revenge plot that drives the game.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: During his tenure as the Tojo Clan's fifth chairman, he was proven to be very unpopular among the other leaders due to his morals. Majima pins him as a fake who isn't the saint everyone claims him to be, and is ultimately proven correct as Terada is actually a survivor of the Jingweon Massacre decades before, and plans to destroy the Tojo Clan for it.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: This guy's all over the place.
- In the first game, he's introduced as backing Nishiki when he started his own yakuza family. Then when it looks like he's working with Shimano instead, he isn't, and the same with Jingu. Ultimately, his true loyalties lie with Kazama/Fuma. When he arrives to stop Jingu, he's even betrayed by his own clan.
- In the second game, he's gunned down by his former colleagues to fake his death. The Reveal shows that he's been working against Kiryu and the others from the beginning, having joined forced with Takashima. However, Takashima betrays him and kills him in the end, but by that point, Kim had already double-crossed him at that point.
- Combat Pragmatist: If taking notes from Ocelot wasn't enough, he also takes some from Mr. X in his boss fight, where he runs around with a machine gun while his mooks fight against Kiryu for him.
- The Don: He's named the Fifth Chairman of the Tojo Clan in the first game's ending, a position he maintains for a year.
- Drunk with Power: According to Majima in Yakuza 2, he wasn't the saint everyone made him out to be. During his tenure as the Fifth Chairman, Terada had surrounded himself with yes-men, made poor decisions that weakened the clan and hurt its image, and long-timers like Majima and Kashiwagi were pushed aside and couldn't do much without his approval. He was the reason Majima left the Tojo Clan, although Kiwami 2 expands upon the reason further as he nearly handed off his position to newcomers Ibuchi and Uematsu who were chosen for their money making skills rather than their adherence to the Yakuza code which chafes heavily with older family members. Of course, he always intended to destroy the Tojo Clan out of vengeance.
- Faking the Dead: Pulls this off in the second game. See The Reveal below.
- Flunky Boss: See Combat Pragmatist above.
- Foreshadowing: After his death at the hands of Omi hitmen, Majima finds it odd that the Omi Alliance would suddenly want Terada dead, considering that he had good relations with the Omi during his tenure as Fifth Chairman. This hints that his death was all a setup on his part.
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: Similar to Combat Pragmatist above, he'll often try to get to a vantage point before firing his gun, but considering it's a machine gun, he doesn't always have to.
- Good All Along: In the first game, big time. Then the second game came along.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Although he appears to be a Heel at first, it's ultimately proven that he's a Reverse Mole for Kazama in the first game. In the sequel, he pulls a FaceHeel Turn, but betrays the Bigger Bad before his ambitions can be realized.
- Killed Off for Real: Averted in the beginning of the second game, but ultimately played straight in the end.
- Leitmotif: "Wirepuller" in Yakuza 2, and "The Omerta" in Kiwami 2.
- Plot-Triggering Death: His death at the beginning of the second game kicks off the game's plot. Except that he faked it.
- Redemption Equals Death: He wasn't really a bad guy, but had done enough bad things to qualify.
- The Reveal: The second game reveals that his real name is Daejin Kim and he was a member of the Korean Jingweon mafia that had been massacred by the Dojima family nearly thirty years before. He survived only because of the mercy shown by Shintaro Kazama/Fuma, and faked his death earlier to goad Kiryu into trying to broker peace with the Omi, which would instead ensure war between the clans. He had set up the game's events with the Omi traitor Ryo Takashima, hoping to destroy the Tojo Clan out of revenge for his fallen gang.
- Revenge: As a member of the Jingweon mafia, who were wiped out by the Dojima family years before, this motivates his actions in the second game.
- Reverse Mole: He serves as one for Kazama in the first game.
- Sequential Boss: Along with Ryuji Goda.
- Supporting Leader: He becomes this toward the end of the first game following Fuma/Kazama's death.
- Taking the Bullet: Takes one for Kiryu in the beginning of Yakuza 2.
- Undying Loyalty: For Shintaro Kazama/Fuma. Even after his revelation as a Jingweon agent, part of him feels loyal to the man who spared his life years ago.
- Walking Spoiler: For both games, no less.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He's shot and killed by Takashima when he's no longer needed in his plans, but not before he pulls one last trick from his sleeve.
Voiced by: Shun Sugata
A lieutenant of the Omi Family, he appears in the first game as a minor character seeking to kidnap Haruka for her connection to the missing ten billion yen. He appears in the second game, having left the Omi family but now working under Ryuji Goda. He sabotages Kage the Florist's network and faces off against Kiryu in a rematch. He also appears in Dead Souls.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: And not just any kind, he's the first one that inadvertently starts the outbreak in Dead Souls.
- Ascended Extra: His role in the first game was simply a mook that reveals the yakuza gangs were after Haruka, Took a Level in Badass in the second, and plays an even bigger role in Dead Souls.
- Came Back Strong: In Dead Souls, Hayashi is unwillingly mutated into a mutant zombie and released into the city, causing the zombie outbreak. Fighting him is even tougher as he mutates further, taking on both Kiryu and Goda at the same time.
- Came Back Wrong: Seen this way in Dead Souls as he dies and comes back as a zombie, starting the Kamurocho outbreak.
- Dual Wielding: He uses two pipes midway through his boss fight in the second game.
- Guttural Growler: Has a gravelly voice.
- Leitmotif: "Evil Itself" in Yakuza 2.
- Moveset Clone: In Kiwami, he uses Baba's moveset from 5 as well as being able to swing around furniture similar to Beast style.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Hayashi stands out due to his long head and his tall, lanky appearance, although the lankiness gets downplayed in the remakes.
- Recurring Boss: He's fought as a boss in each of the games he appears in.
- That Man Is Dead: In Yakuza 2, he tells Kiryu this now that he's left the Omi Alliance and works for the Go-Ryu Clan.Hayashi: Hayashi of the Omi Alliance is dead and gone.
- Very literally in Dead Souls.
- Took a Level in Badass: He's really just another mook in the first game. In the second, he yanks two hot steaming pipes from the walls in the room and battles Kiryu with them, and proves to be exceptionally competent with them. He's even more dangerous in Dead Souls.
Tokyo Metropolitan Police
Members of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department that catch onto Kiryu for Dojima's murder. Some are honest investigators who try to stay honest in a world where police are organized gang members while others are self serving thugs with legal powers.
Voiced by: Kazuhiro Yamaji, Bill Farmer (Yakuza, English version)
Portrayed by: Yutaka Matsushige (live-action film)
A scruffy, rather down on his luck detective, Date is one of Kiryu's closest allies. He first met Kiryu when interrogating him for Dojima's murder, but wasn't convinced he was the real killer. Unfortunately, his adamant dedication to the case cost him his position in the Homicide Division as well as his family. He helps Kiryu in the search for Yumi and the missing ten billion yen after he's released from prison. By the second game, he's left the force but is brought in to investigate the truth behind the Jingweon mafia along with his former mentor "Killer Kawara", and becomes a reporter in the third game while watching over New Serena in the fourth for Mariko, a proprietress he's become close to. He's back on the force at the end of the fourth game, and has been there since.
- The Bartender: In the fourth game, he watches over New Serena as Mariko attends to family.
- Big Damn Heroes: Pulls a huge one at the end of the fourth game.
- Broken Pedestal: Towards Kawara, the mentor he once respected, for killing several illegal immigrants in front of him without an explanation. Date comes to understand him better after learning the truth.
- Cool Old Guy: One of Kiryu's most reliable allies throughout the series.
- Family Versus Career: He became so obsessed with finding the truth behind Dojima's murder and accused murderer that it killed his marriage and destroyed his relationship with his daughter Saya.
- Friend on the Force: Kiryu's, much to the chagrin of his coworkers. He knows he's putting his career at risk by getting involved with Kiryu but never hesitates to help him.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Delivers one to Kiryu at the end of the first game, when he undergoes a Heroic BSoD after losing Yumi, Nishiki, and Kazama, and is more than willing to go back to jail since all those closest to him are gone. Date reminds him that Haruka needs him.
- Hot Blooded Sideburns: Has large sideburns adding to his scruffy appearance.
- Joke Character: In Kiwami, one of the challenges has Date playable to beat up some mooks. However, his moveset is very limited, he gets exhausted after using a combo and based on how he runs, he's either in poor shape or completely hammered.
- The Lancer: One of the most frequent and obvious. He often fights alongside Kiryu whenever he can.
- Light Is Good: Wears a beige tailcoat.
- Living Legend: He's considered one following the events of the first game and his role in discovering who was behind everything. Tanimura also considers him one, but Date isn't exactly flattered by his compliments when they meet.
- Married to the Job: Even though he changes jobs in the third and fourth games, he's still a detective through and through.
- New Job as the Plot Demands: He quits the force in Yakuza 2, but aids Kawara in his investigation of the Jingweon Mafia. Starting in Yakuza 3, Date becomes a newspaper journalist, a position he retains until the very end of 4, while he helps run New Serena on the side in Mariko's absence. It gets lampshaded when Tanimura meets him.Date: "An ex-cop can't be a journalist and tend bar on the side?"
- Odd Friendship: With Kiryu, an ex-yakuza formerly of the criminal Tojo Clan. Date tends to go out of his way to say that the two aren't really friends or know each other well, but their bond and respect for each other is undeniable.
- Papa Wolf: While his relationship with his daughter Saya is not exactly stellar, he will kick the ass of anyone who harasses her.
- Romancing the Widow: In the third game, he's become smitten with Mariko, the widow of a fallen officer who worked under his jurisdiction. He looked after her feeling responsible for the incident, and ended up falling for her. She rejects his advances fearing attachment and that he'd suffer a similar fate, but reconsiders after Date rescues her from her husband's killer.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: He was originally a detective in the Homicide division who interrogated Kiryu following his arrest in the Dojima shooting, and came to suspect that Kiryu was taking the fall for someone else. Despite it being deemed an open-and-shut case, his persistence in investigating the matter didn't sit well with his superiors and they transferred him to the Organized Crime unit as punishment. Throughout the series, he often breaks rules and protocol to help out Kiryu, putting his sense of justice first.
- Secret Keeper: At the end of Yakuza 6, Date is the only one who knows the whole truth behind Kiryu's death, although Akiyama suspects the detective knows more than what he's letting on.
- Tritagonist: Of the first game, as he's Kiryu's lancer throughout and the most important character behind Haruka.
Voiced by: Mitsutake Tanaka (Yakuza 1-4), Masato Obara (Kiwami, Kiwami 2)
A police detective, Sudo is very cool and collected and very much the professional, and was mentored by Date. He's first introduced when his superiors order him to watch over Date in his investigation of the missing ten billion yen and teaming up with Kiryu, a former yakuza. But his sense of justice is shown when he defies his bosses at the end of the first game, and since then has become a staunch ally of Kiryu. He also works with Tanimura in the fourth game.
- Big Damn Heroes: He has his moments, especially in the fourth game. While not so much on the action front, his timing is awesome.
- Broken Pedestal: In the first game, somewhat. He looked up to Date in the years he was mentored by him, but Date's obsession in the Dojima murder case left Sudo with a much weaker impression of him, and he even seeks to thwart Date's investigation of the missing ten billion yen. He becomes a Rebuilt Pedestal in the end.
- By-the-Book Cop: Because of this he serves as a hindrance to Date throughout the first game, but when they discover who's behind everything, his sense of justice comes first.
- Foil: Particularly in the first game, he serves as one to Date, who is breaking all kinds of protocol in his investigation of the missing ten billion yen, while Sudo is playing everything by the book and warns him he's putting his career at risk.
- Foreshadowing: In the first game, Sudo deduces that Jingu answers to someone else, given that it's never revealed what the missing ten billion yen was meant for. This foreshadows the events of Yakuza 4.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Initially defied throughout most of the game. However, upon discovering the truth, he works with Date to thwart the true Big Bad.
Residents of Kamurocho
Voiced by: Miyako Uesaka (Yakuza), Maaya Sakamoto (Kiwami), Eliza Dushku (Yakuza, English version)
Portrayed by: Saki Takaoka (live-action film)
Kiryu's true love, who along with Akira Nishikiyama was one of his closest friends as a child, as the three were raised in the same orphanage. When the guys joined the Dojima family, she came to Kamurocho and began working as a hostess at Serena. Everything in life seemed great until Dojima had her abducted and he tried to force himself on her, but was killed by Nishiki before he could and Kiryu took the blame. Afterward, she lost her memory and disappeared. Kiryu learns from Haruka, who claims to be her niece, that she's somehow related to the missing ten billion yen. She kickstarts all of the events of the first game by stealing the laundered 10 billion yen from the Tojo Clan, and is Haruka's mother.
- Break the Cutie: Shown to be a sweet girl in the prologue of the first story. Then Dojima tried to rape her and watched as Nishiki murdered him in cold blood, which traumatized her and was never the same since.
- Cannot Spit It Out: She has mutual feelings toward Kiryu, but never had the courage to tell him before the night she was abducted by Dojima. In Kiwami, she turns down a customer's offer for a ring which tips him off that she already likes somebody, which Reina later realizes is Kiryu.
- Childhood Friends: With Kiryu and Nishiki, as they were all raised in the same orphanage.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Subverted. She was also in love with Kiryu despite his yakuza ties, and while she couldn't completely remember him following Dojima's murder, she couldn't wait for him and ended with Jingu instead. They probably would've gotten together had it not been for Jingu shooting her. Kiryu confesses his love for her just before she dies, giving her one last moment of happiness.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Poor girl dies in Kiryu's.
- Dude Magnet: Let's see. Kiryu's in love with her. Nishiki's in love with her. In Kiwami, a customer buys her a ring. Majima seems to think she's pretty hot. Dojima tries to have his way with her. Lastly, Jingu has a child with her.
- Easy Amnesia: Averted. She spends a good few years recovering from the horror of nearly being raped and then seeing Nishiki kill Dojima.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: As Mizuki, she has short hair.
- First Love: Kiryu considers her the first woman he truly fell in love with, and Everyone Can See It. Unfortunately, the Dojima murder incident crushed any hopes of them getting together, and while the two still hold a torch for each other when they meet again, she doesn't survive much longer after that.
- Heroic Sacrifice: She takes a bullet for Haruka.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Or rather, Haruka, I Am Your Mother.
- Parental Abandonment: She led Haruka to believe that she was her aunt, and that "Mizuki" was her mother, who Haruka never met. She did this to protect themselves from Jingu.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Tries giving a passive one to Nishikiyama on why he needs to get used to his problems, only for the latter to break her down with an Armour-Piercing Question.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: She's the blue to Jingu's red.
- The Reveal: She and Mizuki are one and the same, making her Haruka's mother, and she's responsible for taking the 10 billion yen from the Tojo Clan, which happens to be Jingu's money.
- Taking the Bullet: For Haruka the second time Jingu tries shooting her.
- Tragic Keepsake: The pendant she gave Haruka has a picture of Kiryu inside, and while she couldn't remember him due to the incident, she remembered parts of him. The ring counts as well, as it was the only present Kiryu gave her. Kiwami shows us the trouble Kiryu goes through to buy it for her.
- Walking Spoiler: Much of the game is spent searching for her, and the circumstances behind her disappearance play a large role in the overall plot.
- Written-In Absence: Despite her importance in Kiryu's and Nishiki's lives, she doesn't make an appearance in Yakuza 0 as she's said to be attending school at the time. Kiryu's not exactly enthusiastic of the idea of her working there as a hostess.
Voiced by: Junko Mihara (Yakuza), Hiromi Tsuru (Yakuza 0), Atsuko Tanaka (Kiwami), Rachael Leigh Cook (Yakuza, English version)
A woman who runs the bar "Serena" during the first game. She's been friends with Kiryu and Nishiki for a long time as Serena was their favorite hangout before Dojima's murder, and she also employed Yumi there as a hostess.
After Kiryu's release from prison, Reina helps him by letting him use Serena as a hideout and takes care of Haruka whenever Kiryu has to go somewhere. Late in the game, it's revealed that she betrayed Kiryu out of love for Nishiki and became his informant. She tries to take responsibility by attempting to kill Nishiki, and while she is rescued by Shinji, the two are killed by Kazuto Arase.
She also appears in Yakuza 0 as the proprietress or "mama" of Serena, where Kiryu meets her for the first time. Despite him being on the run from the Dojima family, she's more than willing to help him because of how much he means to Nishiki in spite of the dangers involved.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Poor Reina really just wanted to be loved by Nishiki, and she ended up getting killed instead.
- All Love Is Unrequited: For Nishiki, whose eyes were always on Yumi instead. In Kiwami, she's the one who recommends Kiryu get Yumi a ring for her birthday. Envious of her reaction when she gets it, realizing how she and Kiryu feel about each other, she brings up her own birthday and suggests Nishiki get her a ring as well, but he doesn't take her seriously.
- Anti-Villain: Revealed to be on Nishiki's side all along. However, she's not malicious at all and tries to atone for her actions once she realises how far Nishiki has gone off the deep end. It sadly gets her killed.
- Assist Character: For Nishiki when Majima fights him in 0. Letting Majima get struck by her attack earns you a trophy.
- The Atoner: After her betrayal is revealed, she tries to make amends by killing Nishiki, the man she loves.
- The Bartender: She runs Serena and allows Kiryu to use it as a hideout.
- Beauty Mark: Has one under her left eye. Her first scene in Yakuza 0 also emphasizes that she's quite a looker.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Reina smokes a slender pipe which slides quite neatly into the "traditional east Asian woman" mold, but the pipe's long slender stem manages to invoke a cigarette holder as well.
- High-HeelFace Turn: Once the truth is out about her, she tries to make amends by attempting to kill Nishiki.
- HeelFace Door-Slam: By the time she decided to redeem herself in some fashion, Kazuto guns her down and she dies during her escape with Shinji.
- Killed Offscreen: When Arase reveals himself, he also brings Reina's bullet-riddled corpse.
- Love Makes You Evil: The reason why she betrayed Kiryu and the others to assist Nishiki.
- The Mole: For Nishiki.
- Nice Girl: In spite of her allegiances, she really did want to help out.
- Redemption Equals Death: To an extent. She does try to redeem herself by trying to kill Nishiki, and it's not shown nor explained how, but...
- Too Dumb to Live: Seeing Nishiki most likely had his marksman with him, going by the bullet wounds in Reina's corpse, it didn't go out so well. Could be justified, as either she as a civilian had no clue just what she's heading into or she may have no intentions of getting out of this alive.
- Shipper on Deck: In Kiwami, once she realizes Yumi likes Kiryu, she pushes him to buy her a ring for her birthday. Granted, she was hoping Nishiki would take a hint and do the same for her, or at least notice her instead.
Yumi's sister, Haruka's supposed mother and the owner of the Ares bar in the Millennium Tower. When Kiryu searches for answers involving Yumi's disappearance, he discovers Haruka, who left the orphanage to find the mother she never met. Kiryu helps her hoping it will lead them to Yumi's whereabouts. Nishiki is also looking for Mizuki for the same reason, hoping locating Yumi will lead him to the missing 10 billion yen. Apparently, Kiryu, Nishiki and Reina had no idea Yumi had a sister.
- The Ghost: No one ever meets the real Mizuki because she doesn't actually exist.
- Identical Stranger: She looks a lot like Yumi, except for shorter hair and having a tattoo on her chest, which Kiryu and Reina claim Yumi would never do.
- One is killed midway in the game by one of Nishiki's goons, mistaking her for the real Mizuki, but it turned out to be someone else.
- Long-Lost Relative: Apparently nobody was aware Yumi had a sister. She doesn't.
- Missing Mom: Haruka's mother, who she never met.
- Secret Identity: For Yumi.
- Walking Spoiler: The truth behind her whereabouts are unraveled during the game's climax.
Voiced by: Kudō Shunsaku (1, 2, Kiwami 2), Ryunosuke Karasawa (Kiwami)
A no-nonsense doctor who runs Kamurocho's only hospital, an off-the-books clinic that was financed by Shintaro Kazama. Once the department head of the Touto University Hospital, he charges his clients little to no charge, and even treats illegal immigrants and foreigners with no regard to their status. Kiryu and Haruka first meet him when a boy faints after being given food, and Emoto abandons his current patient to save the child's life. He returns throughout the series as a minor ally.
- Back-Alley Doctor: Subverted; despite running a seemingly shady clinic, he is an actual medical professional dedicated to providing proper healthcare for those who would otherwise not be able to afford it.
- Cigarette of Anxiety: Smokes one after performing surgery on the young boy, considering it was a close call.
- Man in White: He wears a doctor's coat and is also a reliable ally.
- Mistaken for Racist: He is accused of racism after abandoning a Black patient mid-treatment (seemingly killing him) to help a Japanese boy. Turns out it was because the boy had an urgent case of appendicitis, while the Black man only had a kidney stone, which is extremely painful but harmless afterwards.
Voiced by: Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Dwight Schultz (Yakuza, English version)
The mastermind behind the development of Purgatory and the surveillance systems of Kamurocho. Notorious as a Knowledge Broker, his real name is not known, but he used to be a police informant until Detective Date arrested him for selling information on the black market. He helps Kiryu throughout his adventures in the series and other protagonists at the start of the fourth game.
- Big Brother Is Watching: He watches over everyone, including his own family that he abandoned.
- Break Them by Talking: According to a sub-story in Kiwami, this is how he handles any run-ins with the sorts of thugs Kiryu fights throughout Kamurocho. He knows all their secrets, so he just starts spouting the really bad ones until they go away.
- Cowboy Cop: He used to be one, and had some rather unethical methods.
- Disappeared Dad: Has a son named Takashi who doesn't even know about him, and who happens to be going out with a Yakuza Princess. Although he tells Kiryu he's ashamed of his son, he also thinks Takashi's better off without him, and can't bring himself to tell him the truth considering how long he's been absent from the kid's life.
- Dub Name Change: In Japan, he's known as "Hanaya" (which translates to "Florist") or "Sai no Hanaya". In the first game's English dub, he was simply given the name "Kage", although later games added the "Florist" title. Kiwami changes his name into the more-accurate "The Florist of Sai".
- Knowledge Broker: This is his role in the whole series. Whenever something is going down in Kamurocho, there's no doubt that he's one step ahead of everyone else and the go-to guy for information.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: His real name hasn't been revealed, only going by the nicknames mentioned above.
- Put on a Bus: Does not appear in Yakuza 6.
- Meaningful Name: Although its not his real name, "Hanaya" means "Florist" in Japanese, whilst his dub name "Kage" means "Shadow". His full nickname is "Sai no Hanaya", where "Sai no Hanaya" is taken from the Japanese name for Purgatory, "Sai no Kawara".
- Secret Test of Character: His information usually comes at a high price, but if our protagonists can't afford it, he'll usually have them fight and win in the Underground Coliseum to see if they're worthy. But he won't give information to those who kill in the ring. He makes an exception for Majima before the events of the second game, wanting him to take care of Purgatory in exchange for the information Majima needs.
- 10-Minute Retirement: In Yakuza 2, he leaves his position in Purgatory and returns to the police. It doesn't last.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: His chest is always exposed, save for Yakuza 2 where he's back on the force wearing a police uniform instead.
Voiced by: Yasuhiro Mamiya (Kiwami), Gary Anthony Williams (Yakuza, English version)
An African-American expatriate in Tokyo who works as the Florist's bodyguard of Purgatory and holds the reputation as the undefeated champion of the underground fighting tournament. He can speak Japanese but it tends to slip off to some characters. He makes a cameo in Yakuza 4, having turned a new leaf in his life after joining Majima's family to help on the construction of Kamurocho Hills. He also appears in Dead Souls as your drill instructor.
- Badass Baritone: He's given an extremely deep voice in Kiwami on par with Kevin Grevioux.
- Bald of Awesome: He's bald in most of his appearances, and is a helpful guy when he's not in the ring with you.
- The Cameo: He reappears in one of Kiryu's side missions in the fourth game somewhere high up at the Kamurocho Hills construction site where he is punching a steel support beam. He tells Kiryu that losing to him twice throughout ''1'' and ''2'' was his biggest regret and he wants to have a rematch with him.
- Gentle Giant: The guy's a massive hulk compared to Kiryu, but none of the fights against him are personal.
- Scary Black Man: He looks intimidating but deep down he is a very nice man.
- Recurring Boss: There's a good chance if you see him, you'll fight him.
- You No Take Candle: His Japanese isn't very good.Buster: You son of a peach!
Voiced by: Jun Orihara, Ken Uo (ONLINE)The series' resident Old Master and Kiryu's sensei. First introduced as a homeless resident of Purgatory, he witnessed Kiryu fight in the Underground Coliseum and offered to hone his fighting techniques. Recognizing Kiryu's potential, he took him on as a pupil and trained him in the Komaki fighting arts, which includes crucial counterattacks such as the infamous Tiger Drop. He also partakes in the coliseum fights and is not an opponent to be underestimated. In the third game, he opens up a dojo and teaches the Komaki fighting arts to the homeless. The fifth game introduces his grandson, Sosuke Komaki, and the estranged relationship between them. In Yakuza 0, he helped train Majima under the fake name "Sometaro Komeki" in hopes to make him his disciple, but Majima rejected his offer. Years later, Majima would direct Komaki's attention towards Kiryu as a proper student with real potential.
- Badass Grandpa: Take him seriously; he really IS a terrific fighter.
- Barefisted Monk: Hilariously averted. He looks the part, and he seems to greatly prefer fighting with his hands, but he also acknowledges that bare-handed combat is at a distinct disadvantage against swords and firearms. To that end, one of his training sessions involves him blasting at Kiryu with a shotgun for a full minute.
- Disappeared Dad: He left his family years ago and opened a dojo since, which is partially why his grandson Sosuke is out to fight and surpass him. Sosuke's parents were tricked into taking out a huge loan, and while Sotaro was in peak form, he had no way of using his strength to help them out of their situation. Instead, he gave his life savings to his son and disappeared, which is how he ended up homeless.
- Dual Boss: In the fifth game, he's fought alongside his grandson, who is no slouch himself.
- Hidden Depths: In the fifth game, Komaki must be fought in order to raise the level cap from 20 to 25. However, as Haruka doesn't engage in physical combat like the others, he adjusts his skills appropriately, and takes her on in a dance battle.
- Leitmotif: "Blaze" in Yakuza 2. Kenzan gave him "TAKUMI", which has stuck since and has been remixed over the course of the series. Which becomes a Theme Song Reveal in 0.
- Mirror Boss: Although he has a few unique moves of his own, his basic moveset and combos are the same as Kiryu's, and uses the same moves he taught you.
- Old Master: He appears in just about every game to teach the protagonists some new skills.
- Signature Move: Tiger drop, a strong punch to the gut that deals huge damage.
- Technologically Blind Elders: Subverted in that he took the time to learn how to use the internet in order to follow Kiryu's blog, but is none too happy about it.
- Training from Hell: He'll often pit Kiryu against multiple or armed opponents. He also has this reputation among some of his other students, and he often complains they can't take a good few hits unlike his favorite pupil.
- One training session implies that he'd make Kiryu fight an actual tiger if he could get his hands on one.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He delivers a hilarious one to Kiryu when he meets him again in Yakuza 4. He chews Kiryu out for leaving Kamurocho without saying goodbye (again), and for not updating his blog.
- The Worf Effect: In the second game when the Amon Clan appears, he's found beaten by Jo Amon, who steals his ultimate technique scroll just to lure Kiryu out and fight him. Although the third game indicates that Komaki is one of two people that Amon only ever struggled fighting with (the other being Kiryu, naturally).note
Voiced by: Kazuma Kudo (Yakuza, Yakuza 2), Satoshi Hino (Kiwami, Kiwami 2)
A well-meaning but troubled Japanese Delinquent who happens to be the son of the Florist (who he's never met), and is engaged to Kyoka, the Yakuza Princess of the Atobe Family. They're on the run from her family after she stole money from them and tried to skip town with Takashi, who attempted to leave his gang without telling its leader in person. Although he's seen as a worthless punk kid by just about everyone, including himself and his own father, he truly loves Kyoka and he's determined to turn his life around to make her happy.
They appear again in the second game, when Kiryu finds Takashi with another girl, but not only is the kid down on his luck again, but he suspects Kyoka is cheating on him instead. Kiryu introduces him to the Florist, unwilling to reveal his true identity to his son, to discover the truth. She's meeting with her dad for a money loan, and despite his insistence for her to leave Takashi, Kyoka refuses to give up on him.
Takashi appears again in a substory in Yakuza 4, revealing that Kyoka is pregnant, but he now has a stable job with steady income and they're saving up for their wedding. Realizing there's no one on his side of the family to invite, Takashi asks Kiryu to help him find his long-lost father with the help of the Florist, who tasks him with stopping a few troublemakers throughout town. He succeeds, but is told in a note that his father is dead. But realizing the bouquet of flowers are the same ones left at his mother's grave every year, he connects the dots and realizes the truth.
- Batter Up!: He fights using a baseball bat, but Kiryu makes better use of it.
- Honor Before Reason: He tries to take the high road and take the responsibilities expected of him as an adult, but his methods are... not very well thought out.
- In the Back: When he first meets Kiryu, he mistakes him as another yakuza and tries to strike him from behind with a bat.
- Japanese Delinquent: He's part of the B-King gang, but once Kyoka decides to run away with him, he tries leaving them, which doesn't sit well with its leader.
- Parental Abandonment: His mother passed away when he was younger, and he's never met his father. Despite Kiryu's insistence, the Florist refuses to be a part of his son's life thinking Takashi is better off without him.
- Poor Communication Kills: In the second game, he suspects Kyoka is cheating on him and seeing someone at a hotel, but won't tell him anything. She's secretly meeting her father for a loan of money as not to worry him.
- Straw Loser: He tries leaving the B-King gang by texting them. He also has poor luck, can't stand up to anyone, can't maintain a steady job, and everyone but Kyoka (and to a degree, Kiryu) thinks he's a loser. However, by the fourth game, he's turned most of his life around and isn't worried about becoming a father.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- In the first game, he's willing to perform Yubitsume on himself to prove to the Atobe Family that he's willing to do anything for Kyoka. Kiryu reminds him he's not a yakuza.
- In the fourth game, to show he's not willing to back away from anything, he decides to fight Taiga Saejima, which ends as well as you'd expect. Granted, he didn't know who he was, and it was to stop him from beating up on homeless people, which was a set-up by his father that Taiga was completely in on.
- Women Are Wiser: Kyoka seems to have more spunk in her than he does, and she's also smarter than he is.
- Your Cheating Heart: Kiryu suspects he's cheating on Kyoka when he meets him again in the second game, but Takashi suspects Kyoka's cheating on him instead. They're both wrong.
Voiced by: Akina Okada (Yakuza), Ryoko Shiraishi (Kiwami), Nan McNamara (Yakuza, English version)
A high school student who makes Kiryu a suspicious proposition, she is the estranged and rebellious daughter of Makoto Date. A girl who's often looking for trouble, she found herself seduced by the Stardust host Shota into earning money for him to pay off his debts. With Kiryu's help, she discovers what kind of person Shota really is and tries to patch things up with her father. By the second game she's started to turn her life around and has become a hairdresser. She also appears in a substory in Yakuza 4, wanting to introduce her father to her new boyfriend Minoru, a fellow hairdresser who she plans to move in with, but their meeting doesn't go as smoothly as planned.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: On the receiving end of one in the first game by her father, who tells her to have a little more respect for herself.
- Calling the Old Man Out: When she first sees her dad in the first game, she calls him out for constantly leaving her Stood Up, and when he does meet her he's barely interested in her conversations. And he already doesn't see himself as a good father.
- Japanese Delinquent: She introduces herself in the first game by offering Kiryu to a one-night stand, but is clearly uncomfortable with the idea and quickly changes her mind (she tells Kiryu later it would've been her first time). She slips out of this once she starts patching things up with her dad.
- Rebellious Spirit: She has a really rocky relationship with her father, and although she loves him deep down inside, she's also plagued with a lot of internal issues. She gets much better.
- What the Hell, Hero?: When her dad tells Kiryu to butt out of their business when meeting Minoru, Saya calls out him out on his behavior toward Kiryu considering everything he's done to help them.
Hosts and Hostesses
Voiced by: Hiroshi Tsuchida
Portrayed by: Haruhiko Kato (live-action film)
Kazuki is the owner of the host club Stardust. Early in the first game, he's introduced as an ally of Kazama/Fuma, who taught him the ropes on how to run an honest business without borrowing money, which has made his club a target for the yakuza and other money launderers seeking to take advantage of him. To repay his mentor, he assists Kiryu and tells him about how the Tojo Clan and Akira Nishiki had changed in the ten years he had been away in prison. Since then, he has remained as one of Kiryu's most reliable allies along with his loyal assistant Yuya.
- Ambiguous Situation: It is not clear whether or not Kazuki is actually a Japanese man of Korean descent or whether or not his Doppelgänger just tied him to the organization.
- Bishōnen: If the poster outside Stardust indicates anything, he's one of their hosts.
- Discriminate and Switch: It is believed the police are profiling him in Yakuza 2 as a member of the Korean mafia because he's ethnically Korean. He's been replaced with a Korean imposter.
- Doppelgänger: One who was working for the Jingweon Mafia and taking control of Stardust since his absence, due to being kidnapped by the aforementioned faction. He was absent for six months and no one noticed.
- Distressed Dude: Gets kidnapped by the Jingweon Mafia in the second game and gets shot later on.
- Light Is Good / Man in White: He's always depicted wearing white, and never hesitates to help out Kiryu.
- Put on a Bus: Has to leave 2 because he suffers a gunshot wound that he barely survived.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Yuya's red.
- Spot the Imposter: Date and Kiryu try to figure out which one of the Kazukis is the real thing. It's actually Jiro Kawara who does by remembering the voice of the imposter.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Kazuki sees through Date's attempt to manipulate him in 2 and seems quite furious. Subverted as it's not Kazuki at all.
Voiced by: Kenta Miyake
Kazuki's loyal floor manager and a bouncer who is very protective of his club's business, and is willing to throw his life on the line for it. He has a strong hatred for the yakuza, mistaking Kiryu for one and gets into a fight with him, but is Easily Forgiven once he's beaten. Like Kazuki, he remains a staunch ally of Kiryu throughout the series, and is later promoted as the club's manager. The second game reveals that he used to be part of a Moto Gang (or Bousou Zoku as they say in Japan) named "Black Thunder", and when Kazuki is put under Dr. Emoto's care after getting shot by his imposter, Yuya takes care of Stardust all by himself until the third game. He leaves for Fukuoka in the fifth game to start a new life, which doesn't last. He also appears in the sixth game.
- Badass Longcoat: See Japanese Delinquent.
- Bishōnen: He's among the hosts of Stardust.
- Defeat Equals Friendship: After Kiryu beats his head in and learns he really isn't yakuza, Yuya becomes just as much of an ally to Kiryu as Kazuki is.
- Establishing Character Moment: Kiryu walks up, is accused of being a Yakuza (which he used to be), and then is assaulted before he can get a word in edgewise. After his beating, Yuya apologies profusely to Kazuki who had invited Kiryu there.
- Fiery Redhead: Auburn variant.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: He's on the receiving end of this in a side quest in 5, joining a club and refuses to fight back against the yakuza when his bosses cave in. Kiryu socks him in the face and reminds him why he was a bouncer at Stardust.
- Japanese Delinquent: Revealed to be a former member of a bosozoku gang in his sidequest in the second game and he wore a white longcoat.
- Hot-Blooded: He picks a fight with Kiryu just because he looks like a Yakuza.
- Old Shame: He considers his time in the Black Thunder biker gang to be this. His friends disagree.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Kazuki's blue.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: He very much used to cuss a lot in the first game (then again, so did everyone). This tones down greatly in the sequels.
- 10-Minute Retirement: In a side quest in Yakuza 5, he leaves Stardust and Kamurocho to start a new life in Fukuoka, and just so happens to run into Kiryu. And just like Kiryu, this doesn't last.
- Undying Loyalty: For Kazuki and their club Stardust.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Kiryu.
Voiced by: Rina Rukawa (Japanese)
A hostess who works at SHINE.
- Ambiguously Bi: She proudly states herself to be into girls but also mentions she likes buff and manly men.
- Fiery Redhead: Of the auburn variety.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Inverted. More or less the vast majority of her conversations relate to her sexuality in some form.
- If It's You, It's Okay: Has this relationship to Kiryu. Something sexual happened between them during their last few dates.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Is very girly and attractive. Justified as she is a Hostess.
- Platonic Prostitution: How Rina interprets her job. She is very much there to give her clients the experience of a date even if it can go nowhere with men (except for Kiryu).
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Rina is much warmer and more friendly than Yui.
- Wanting Is Better Than Having: Spends a lot of time trying to court a girl, only to be disappointed she is a Lad-ette.
Voiced by: Yui Hatano (Japanese)
A hostess who works at Jewel.
- Batman Gambit: She explains she wants her clients to give her the same necklace multiple times so she can sell the rest and pretend the one she keeps is the one they gave her.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Yui requires a lot of effort to be defrosted.
- Fiery Redhead: Averted as she's quite cool and stoic.
- Freudian Excuse: Had her heart broken by a previous client.
- Irony: Yui is a rather cold and standoff-ish woman because she doesn't want her clients to fall in love with her. Which is, if not exactly so, more or less what her job is.
- Platonic Prostitution: Averted as Yui hates this idea of her job and even dislikes gifts (from Kiryu). Played straight with other customers.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Yui is much more reserved and less friendly than Rina.
- Your Cheating Heart: The last client she let get close found another girl he liked more.
Voiced by: Shinichi Takizawa (Yakuza, Yakuza 3), Ryuta Morikawa (Kiwami), Hiroki Goto (ONLINE) James Horan (Yakuza, English version)
The boss of the Japanese branch of the Snake Flower Triads in Yokohama and the long lost enemy of Kazuma Kiryu. He's hired to have Haruka kidnapped by Shimano for the ten billion yen, but he realizes her value and tries using her as a ransom. The third game reveals that he worked with Goh Hamazaki in the past to take over Yokohama, and is hired by him to kidnap Rikiya. However, Lau cooperates only to get his revenge on Kiryu.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He's the leader of the Japanese branch of the Snake Flower Triads, and he claims he rose to the top by force. It shows.
- Back from the Dead: He returns in the third game after he was believed to be dead.
- Beard of Evil: And it looks evil, to boot.
- Boom, Headshot!: Gets shot in the head by Joji after his defeat in the third game.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He's only loyal to those who pay him for his triad's services. Initially hired by Shimano to steal the pendent, he instead sells it to Nishiki when Shimano was "too cheap to bite". However, he's also working behind Nishiki's back when he holds Haruka hostage upon discovering who her father was.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: He captured Kiryu in the past and intended to torture him to death in response to Dojima giving them fake passports for a large sum of money, believing a more brutal death would send a stronger message to respect the Triads.
- Combat Tropes: After taking a certain amount of damage, he'll change his tactics and weapons.
- The Dreaded: Even Kiryu briefly had cold feet upon hearing his triad's involvement, instantly recalling the time he was tortured by them.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: His skill with a spear and claws are quite strong when using this technique. He also does this a lot without them.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Sports one on the left side of his face.
- Kubrick Stare: Throws one at Kiryu when his fight begins in the third game.
- Leitmotif: "Ogre Has Returned" in the third game, which gets remixed as "Ogre Has Reborn" for Kiwami.
- Light Is Not Good / Man in White: He wears white pants and a white coat.
- Purple Is Powerful: Wears a purple shirt and is highly dangerous towards Kiryu.
- Triads and Tongs: The leader of the Snake Flower Triads in the Yokohama area.
Voiced by: Hiroaki Yoshida, Robin Atkin Downes (Yakuza, English version)
Portrayed by: Toshihiro Nagoshi (live-action film)
A wealthy businessman and politician, Jingu is very tied up in the yakuza and seeks to use their wealth to gain greater political power for himself. He's also the former lover of Yumi Sawamura and Haruka's biological father. The ten billion yen stolen from the Tojo Clan is actually his money.
- Ambition Is Evil: He's gone so far off the edge that the only thing that matters to him is power.
- Big Bad: The true antagonist of the first game, with the ten billion yen that drives the conflict being his money.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: While Jingu is the main villain, he only appears towards the game's finale, with Nishikiyama and Shimano being the ones who drive the conflict.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He turns his back on virtually everyone he knows, and even tries to have his former lover and daughter killed numerous times.
- Climax Boss: He's fought against right before the final battle.
- Corrupt Politician: The sole politician of the first game, and a very corrupt one at that.
- Cowardly Boss: Upon taking enough damage, he flies off in a helicopter, forcing Kiryu into chasing him up the roof.
- Dark Is Evil: Wears all black.
- Deader Than Dead: He takes a knife to the gut by Nishiki and dies right on top of his ten billion yen. And if he hadn't, well, the following explosion certainly would've done him in.
- Evil Laugh: In Kiwami, he does this so often and leaves himself wide open for attack you'd think he was channeling Shao Kahn.
- Expy: He looks and sounds like a Japanese version of Lan Di.
- Flunky Boss: By himself he is quite wimpy but he has a couple of elite MIB members to back him up. Running away from Kiryu whilst trying to get a good vantage point to shoot him doubles as a "Get Back Here!" Boss.
- Greed: "Money and power" is all that matters to him.
- Hate Sink: This man has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. He's a corrupt politician, a scumbag who's willing to throw his lover and daughter under the bus so as to further his own career, and has an annoying laugh to boot. It's suggested by other characters that he did have some redeeming traits once upon a time - which is what drew Yumi to him, but we never see them.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: He used to be a nice guy filled with ideals, but making deals with yakuza eventually led to greed and ambition consuming him.
- Knight Templar: Hoo boy. He justifies everything he does no matter how wrong or twisted it is, and has himself convinced it's all necessary for the sake and future of the nation.
- Large Ham: Perhaps the biggest example in Kiwami... Despite the increased presence of the ever-lovable but totally ridiculous Majima.
- Leitmotif: Kiwami gives him "The Wicked".
- Offing the Offspring: He tried numerous times. See below.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Yumi's blue.
- Red Right Hand: The giant mole on his forehead.
- Replacement Goldfish: It's implied that Yumi fell in love with Jingu out of a desperate need to fill the empty void in her heart that Kiryu had left in light of her amnesia.
- Sequential Boss: He's fought before Akira Nishikiyama.
- Smug Snake: Having a gun in his hand, being backed by bodyguards, and having political power has really gone to his head.
- The Sociopath: Yumi states that he doesn't feel emotions like a normal person does.
- Surrounded by Idiots: He has a small moment on the rooftop. His underlings shooting at the police sabotaged his attempts to claim that Date and Sudo don't have the evidence to arrest him, since at that point they don't need any.
- Would Hurt a Child / Would Hit a Girl: He tried to have Yumi and Haruka killed to cover up his involvement with them to prevent a scandal from breaking out. When he appears before Kiryu, he tries shooting his own daughter twice. Kiryu and Yumi take the bullet respectively, except Yumi doesn't survive.