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|“||I can take another name, and build a new life... But on the inside I'll always have that instinct, no matter how much I hate it. I'm yakuza through and through. Guile only gets you so far in this game. Remember that. You won't get another chance.||„|
|~ Kazuma to Aoyama.|
Kazuma Kiryu is the overall main protagonist of the Yakuza (Ryū ga Gotoku) video game series published by Sega. He serves as a main protagonist and playable character in Yakuza and it’s remake Yakuza Kiwami, Yakuza 2 and it's remake Yakuza Kiwami 2, Yakuza 3 and Yakuza 6. One of playable characters in Yakuza 0, Yakuza 4, Yakuza 5, and Yakuza Dead Souls. and he returns as a minor character in 2020 video game Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Kazuma was the former lieutenant advisor of the Dojima Family in the Tojo Clan until one fateful night he took the blame for the murder of his boss, Sohei Dojima to protect his best friend, Akira Nishikiyama who was the real murderer.
His legendary exploits and infamous back tattoo earned him the title of Dragon of Dojima.
He is voiced by Japanese voice actor Takaya Kuroda, and by English voice actor Darryl Kurylo in video game series. Portrayed by Masakatsu Funaki in Like a Dragon: Prologue film and Kazuki Kitamura in a 2007 film based on first PS2 video game.
Kiryu is a tall, well-built, and muscular man, due to his intensive training and repeated scuffles. On his back to just above his thighs lies a white, grey, black, and red dragon grasping a pearl. His black hair is short and put in a messily slicked back style. Despite his intimidating built, he is considered to be quite handsome, having brown eyes that are commended to be beautiful and attracting girls.
Kiryu is a stoic man, keeping a cold and distant demeanor around most people, and combat-ready when it comes to dealing with enemies but beneath that stance lies a very honorable and just man, who is fully dedicated to protecting both his loved ones and innocents from the darkness of the yakuza world and while he will not hesitate to resort to violence, as he considers himself to be a yakuza at heart and doesn't believe himself to be a hero or a savior, he firmly believes in justice and maintaining morality and has constantly been disgusted with Yakuza who are corrupted with power and revenge and more than willing to put his life on the line to stop their reigns. No matter what kind of peaceful life he has been living, he has always shown himself to be quite willing to fight to maintain order and for just reasons, as his selflessness and willpower means he cannot bring himself to stay on the side lines when people and the world are at risk. He is infamous for being unwilling to kill his enemies, even if he has no qualms severely injuring them.
Kiryu can also be a very kind and compassionate individual. He tends to be forgiving to those who sincerely regret their actions no matter what they are and is reasonable in accepting anyone no matter what they have done or anything about them if they are willing to befriend him. He does open up significantly to those he is close with, though he still keeps a distant demeanor. He quickly develops a strong father-daughter relationship with Haruka and soon shows his strong care for children by being a genuinely understanding caretaker of the Orphanage, bonding with and giving them advice on their experience, treating them fairly and willing to go out of his way to keep them happy. He is also strongly against the idea of hitting women.
Powers and Abilities
Kazuma Kiryu is most well-known for his extraordinary, almost fully unmatched skill and might in battle, being deeply feared and admired by others who knew his abilities. A terrifyingly accomplished martial artist with almost superhuman levels of physical power, Kiryu is perhaps the strongest character in the entire Yakuza series. He is capable of taking out dozens of enemies by himself with ease, having once defeated more than one thousand Yakuza members and cleared buildings full of enemies by himself all while only showing minor to moderate exertion and effort, including defeating the entire Saio Triad by himself, and has bested some of the most dangerous and powerful martial artists in the series, such as Nishiki, Daigo (despite holding back on those two), Kuze, Mine, Tsuneo, (who he utterly defeated without suffering any blows), and the Amon Clan fighters, who went as far as to consider him as the strongest life form, deeming him as the ultimate warrior who they must defeat to become the best. He also has a high win streak against his long-time rival Goro Majima and has stalemated Taiga Saejima multiple times before eventually having a first win in the Victory Road Tournament Finals, and accomplished feats above their abilities, as displayed by defeating Raiden, who he himself considered to be too dangerous for any of his friends to face, including Saejima. He can even overpower an entire group of accomplished warriors without too much of an effort, as shown when he single-handedly overwhelmed Kasuga Ichiban and his friends while holding back, whereas both Majima and Saejima working together while also holding back were unable to defeat them decisively, overpowered Shun Akiyama and Masayoshi Tanimura working together, and with little struggle defeated the entire Hirose family, effortlessly overwhelming them one-on-one with ease. Kiryu's skills are also enough to successfully fight and defeat some of the most fearsome weapon experts of the underworld, as displayed by him stalemating and later besting Ryuji Goda with his katana, defeating the knife-wielding Ed without much effort, and eventually overpowering Toru Hirose, the strongest person in Hiroshima with moderate difficulty.
Kiryu's fighting style gradually started as being rather basic yet already quite powerful, mixing wrestling moves with basic street brawling for simple but effective moves, but he quickly develops his versatility by mastering the Rush and Beast Style. The Rush Style has Kiryu display good skill in kickboxing and performing swift attacks while capitalizing on his footwork and reaction to perform accurate and quick dodges, while the Beast Style has him make maximum usage of his brute strength, using the full extent of his body's muscular built and weight to deliver incredibly powerful, block-breaking attacks. He eventually mastered both to the extent where he was able to mix aspects of all three styles into his Dragon of Dojima Style, which mixes both immense power and impressive speed and incorporates full mastery of basic brawling and strong kick-punch and wrestling techniques. He overall appears to have fully mastered Street Brawling, Karate, Muay Thai, Pro Wrestling, Krav Maga, and Judo. Kiryu has displayed such immense talent and prowess in martial arts that mastering new moves and techniques are easy for him and he can even create his own original techniques.
Kiryu in time also learns to use weapons: He starts out being able to perform wide and wild swings with weapons that are fairly decent but simple and after training with Goro and Komaki, his skill with weaponry greatly improves to where he becomes able to wield weapons with much greater ease, skill and displays proficient techniques, rivaling Goro's own skill. Kiryu is also shown to be quite competent in using firearms and can use them effectively.
Kiryu's physical prowess can be considered to be at superhuman levels. His physical strength allows him to completely overpower and handle normal enemies with ease, capable of tossing them around, restraining and slamming them, and leaving them incapacitated with only a few blows, and he can handle even large beasts and animals with ease, as shown when he stopped a charging 3-ton bull dead in its tracks and easily flipped it to the side by grabbing it's horns, manhandled two tigers at once, tipped over a gigantic yamagasa with his bare hands and pushed it with enough force to cause a shockwave, and effortlessly yanked out great white sharks over 5 meters long with only a fishing pole and a single arm and stopped one from closing it's mouth on him before punching it away. Lifting heavy objects seems to be of no problem for him, as he can lift motorcycles and electrical boxes well above his head and casually swing them around and even held up a massive wooden beam. His strength also allows him to overpower even deadly fighters, such as winning a wrestle with So Amon, physically outmatching Hiroya Egashira, and besting Majima and Saejima in terms of raw strength.
Despite his muscular and large body, Kiryu's speed and reflexes are also extremely impressive. At his maximum speed with Rush and Dragon Spirit, he can effortlessly cover great distances with a single dash and dodge and counter attacks with such speed as to leave afterimages. He can move at speeds to appear as a blur and faster than the human eye can perceive and is able to react at such speed as to perceive the surroundings in slow motion. He is even capable of easily reacting to and countering bullets. Kiryu's senses are also incredible and can react to surprise attacks with ease, even when in disadvantageous situations.
Kiryu's durability, resilience and stamina are perhaps some of his greatest strengths: He is capable of being completely unaffected and unfazed by normal levels of blunt force, taking punches to the head without flinching, even injuring Mine from the impact, and being entirely uninjured by having a glass bottle slammed into his back, and can even shrug off high-level fire weapons like helicopter missiles and full-powered shark bites. He is also able to withstand numerous powerful blows from his deadliest enemies and get back up with little damage. He can even survive being shot in fairly close proximity by bullets and remain conscious for a noteworthy period of time. Kiryu rarely seems to get exhausted and even when he does he retains enough strength to perform formidable feats.
Despite his brutish demeanor, Kiryu is actually extremely intelligent. He has proven to have a sharp eye for detail and analysis that allows him to quickly make a breakdown of the current situation in the field of battle and develop proper tactics to dispatch enemies. An exceptional tactician, Goro even stated Kiryu was constantly 10 steps ahead and he is capable of defeating and thwarting some of the most dangerous plots by careful planning and calculation. He is also an excellent businessman, as he was an incredibly successful estate agent and easily and efficiently handled a cabaret club by himself, and can be a skilled technician, able to work on tiny machines like slot racing cars with immense accuracy and can customize them on the fly.
The intro of the game starts in the early 1980s, a detective is chasing after somebody and witnesses a murder of a Korean mob boss who says in Korean. And the murderer happens to be Kazuma Kiryu's foster father, Shintaro Kazama (Fuma). After Shintaro Kazama runs off, the mysterious detective checks on the man who tells him in Japanese that his child is in danger just ahead before he dies. The detective heads in that direction and notices a fire and finds the room where a Korean woman is alone with a baby. The woman kills herself, leaving the baby to the detective. Time then moves to a year after Yakuza. Since then, the Tojo Clan has been falling apart and they are on the brink of war against the Osaka based gang, the Omi Family, the gang backing Akira Nishikiyama in the first game. As a last resort, the Tojo Clan requests their former leader, Kazuma Kiryu (4th Chairman) for their help. Kazuma Kiryu and Haruka Sawamuraare living a peaceful life and they visit the graves of Yumi Sawamura, Akira Nishikiyama, and Shintaro Kazama. There, the appointed Chairman, Yukio Terada, a former member of the Omi Family, asks for Kazuma Kiryu's aide. However, the Omi Family quickly act and assassinate their former family member Terada and Kiryu heads out for Osaka to find a peaceful solution and prevent an all out Japan gang war from happening.
In order to protect the Tojo, Kiryu recruits his former comrade Daigo Dojima to replace Terada. However, Daigo decides to accompany Kiryu to Osaka during the clan's meeting to settle a score with the Omi. While in Osaka, Kiryu meets his Kansai equivalent and new rival, Ryuji Goda, the son of the head of the Omi Family, Jin Goda. Though enemies, Ryuji seems to hold a genuine respect for Kiryu and holds him in regard as his equal, hence necessary to vanquish Kiryu for there's only room for one Dragon in Japan. In the aftermath of the meeting, Jin Goda and Daigo are kidnapped while Kiryu is arrested by the detective Kaoru Sayama who is actually trying to keep him safe so that his death will not trigger a war. While working with Kaoru and his old friend Makoto Date, Kiryu learns of a Korean mafia group which is responsible for kidnapping Daigo and Jin. With help of his allies, Kiryu rescues Daigo and learns more about the Korean mafia, Jingweon.
The following story takes place on Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa, where Kazuma runs the Sunshine Orphanage (Morning Glory(アサガオ Asagao?) in Japanese) with his adoptive daughter Haruka Sawamura (she calles him "Uncle Kaz") who accompanied him in the previous episodes and the Movie Version.
Sunshine Orphanage is on a land that is owned by Shigeru Nakahara, the boss of a local yakuza clan or bōryokudan, known as the Ryudo Family 琉道一家 (Ryūdō Ikka?). Nakahara is under pressure from the country's government to sell the land, which is planned to become a seaside resort. When his friend Daigo Dojima, Chairman of the Tojo Clan, is shot, Kiryu must deal with the three gang bosses who arranged the attempted murder.
The game ends with Kiryu succeeding in his mission, and he and Haruka meet to explore the town. Kazuma is confronted by a mysterious man, who is revealed to be Goh Hamazaki, having survived the offscreen attempt on his life. In anger, Hamazaki stabs Kiryu in the stomach, and is subdued afterwards, leaving a critically wounded Kazuma to give dying words to his adopted daughter.
In an after credits scene, the orphanage's children gather to play. As Haruka stands near a man, who the camera turns to reveal a bandaged Kiryu, having survived the stabbing, and he goes to continue running Sunshine Orphanage with Hakura helping him.
Kazuma continues to run the Sunshine Orphanage, but Hamazaki has finally arrived wounded trying to tell him. Kiryu tends to his injuries, asking why Hamazaki has come. Hamazaki says he wants to turn over, having been inspired by Saejima's trust in him. He also reveals what he stole from the prison: a ledger revealing that the 10 billion yen that set off the events of the first game was meant to be used for the prison. The ledger also reveals that the Ueno Seiwa and the police have been planning to get rid of the Tojo clan in order to get Kamurocho Hills and build a new police HQ. Hamazaki goes to the police department to turn himself in, but shockingly Yasuko is already there asking about her brother. Realizing her connection to Saejima, Kiryu and Hamazaki decide to talk to her. They reveal everything they know about Saejima, but are interrupted by Saito. Kiryu beats Saito and his guards and goes to Kamurocho with Yasuko. Hamazaki stays behind and collapses from a gunshot wound.
At Homeland Akiyama meets with Tanimura, revealing his office is under investigation by the district attorney for coercion due to his tests. He then says he has an idea to present to Tanimura. Yasuko stays at New Serena under the eye of Date while Kiryu goes to Millennium Tower to meet with Goro Majima only to find him being placed under arrest. He says the one who got him arrested was Daigo and warns Kiryu that the Ueno Hit, the 10 billion yen from five years ago, and Yasuko are connected. At the Tojo headquarters, Daigo is meaning with Munakata who presents Daigo an offer: promote Arai to a lieutenant as a liaison within the Tojo and he’ll eliminate the Ueno Seiwa Clan, Arai being revealed as an undercover police officer. At Purgatory Katsuragi has captured Saejima and reveals that Kido is working under him, having taken Akiyama’s 100 billion yen fortune from his secret vault.
At New Serena, Kiryu finds Date on the floor, having been drugged by Yasuko. Kiryu tracks her to Purgatory, but is stopped by Akiyama and Tanimura who he defeats. By the time he gets to Purgatory, Yasuko and Saejima have already been taken. Back as New Serena, the men convene and come up with a plan: Kiryu will meet Katsuragi with the ledger revealing the police department’s involvement in the secret prison in exchange for Yasuko, Saejima, and Akiyama’s money. However Katsuragi demands Kiryu come alone and must fight his way through the entire Ueno Seiwa clan. Kazuma makes it to the top of the construction site and hands over the file with Katsuragi giving Yasuko. Kido looks as if he’s about to shoot Kiryu and Yasuko, but instead shoots Katsuragi. He then gives the file to Arai who shoots Kido. Yasuko and Kiryu free Saejima who reveals Katsuragi had been wearing Kevlar vest like back during the Ueno hit. While Saejima decides killing Katsuragi isn’t worth it, Katsuragi shoots Yasuko in the back in turn kills Katsuragi before dying in Saejima’s arms. At Munakata's office, Arai gives him the ledger though Munakata is angry that Arai didn't get the 100 billion yen. He then orders Arai to kidnap the children under Kiryu's care, but Arai refuses and shoots Munakata with the untraceable gun he had been given.
After each character's stories end, they all meet together to confront each of their antagonists at the Millennium Tower, where Akiyama has put all of his remaining money on top of to lure them there. At the helipad of the tower, each member separates to fight their own enemy, with Akiyama taking Arai, Saejima taking Kido, Kiryu fighting Daigo, and Tanimura fighting the police chief and a large squad of their specialized SWAT members. After they are all defeated, the chief, who has been presented a newspaper already released to the public that reveals his crimes, takes out a gun and shoots Akiyama, seemingly killing him. After the remaining three restrain him, they go to Akiyama's body, which stirs, and it is revealed that the bullet was stopped by his last stack of money in his coat pocket, saving his life. The chief then takes the gun, which was left lying nearby, and puts it against his head. The camera pulls away as he shoots. It is later shown in a newspaper that Munakata committed suicide.
The epilogue, which takes place a few months after the final battle, shows the character's situations after. Akiyama, still working in his loan office, is greeted by an unknown woman, which he recognizes soon after to be Hana, who has lost a large amount of weight following the game's events. Saejima is living through life as a free man and now a yakuza member again, and has gotten over Lily's death, and will go back to prison for 3 more years instead of continuing his life sentence. Tanimura and Date are shown outside of the loan office, and it is revealed Date has rejoined the force, with Tanimura working with him, and that the chief did not shoot any of them, but instead committed suicide to avoid justice. Kiryu is reunited with Haruka, with it being implied he will find a new orphanage owner and live with Haruka, ending the game.
Yakuza 5: Fulfiller of Dreams
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
Yakuza: Like A Dragon
Project X Zone 2
Kazuma Kiryu appears in Project X Zone 2, paired with ex-Tojo clan member Goro Majima.
A former member of the Tojo Clan, a criminal organization based in Kamurocho, Tokyo. He has a tattoo of a dragon on his back and his been called the "Dragon of Dojima".
Although nominally he's a "tough guy", his strong sense of duty leads some to judge him as an easy mark. Still, his rugged masculinity and fighting strength have also won him many fans, and he is one of the most charismatic residents of Kamurocho.
An orphan, Kazuma was raised in the Sunshine Orphange. It was there he started down the criminal path. After taking the rap for a murder perpetrated by his childhood friend Akira Nishikiyama, Kazuma spent 10 years in prison. He was released only to find the Tojo Clan in chaos. After a chance meeting with Haruka, the "10 Billion Yen Girl", he too was pulled into the conflict.
Once the crisis was resolved, Kazuma found himself with the title of Chairman of the Tojo Clan, but he immediately relinquished the position and left to establish the Sunshine Orphanage in Okinawa, where he now raises a group of orphans.