Atonement, huh?
The word has never crossed my mind, not once.

— Sawashiro to Adachi, Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Jo Sawashiro (沢城 丈, Sawashiro Jō) is the main antagonist of Ryu ga Gotoku Online and a secondary antagonist in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

He is the captain and treasurer of the Arakawa Family as well as one of the lieutenants of the Omi Alliance. In Ryu ga Gotoku Online, he is also the patriarch of the Sawashiro Family and is known as one of the Four Kings of the Omi.



Yakuza: Like a Dragon: Although Sawashiro appears to have a solid build, this is not a substantial factor in combat due to his reliance on weapons. His short brown hair is usually slicked back, though not styled in his younger days. He has brown eyes. He has a faint scar on the left side of his forehead.
Ryu ga Gotoku Online: Sawashiro has a muscular build which allows him to effectively incorporate techniques from boxing into his fighting style. In the '90s, he wears his unkempt, black shoulder-length hair pulled back. Some time after 1998, his hair is cut slightly shorter with a section of it bleached white, and it is slicked back in a neater hairstyle save for some loose pieces of white hair. He has light blue eyes.

By 2018, he has multiple scars all over his body; a large scar on his face going through his left eye, as well as three more across his torso. He is also missing a part of his left ear.


Sawashiro's tattoo in Ryu ga Gotoku Online

Ryu ga Gotoku Online: Sawashiro's tattoo covers most of his back and ends just above his thighs. It depicts a dragonfish (龍魚, ryūgyo), the in-between state of the koi in the legend of a koi that arrives at the top of a waterfall is rewarded for its tenacity by being transformed into a dragon. The tattoo represents his devotion to Masumi Arakawa, who he views as the 'dragon' he aspires to live up to.


Yakuza: Like a Dragon: Sawashiro's attire prior to 2019 consists of a dark gray suit worn over a violet shirt, a patterned maroon tie, and light brown dress shoes. By 2019, it consists of a dark gray crocodile-skin suit worn over a snakeskin waistcoat, a black shirt, a violet tie, and dark brown dress shoes. The Arakawa Family crest pin adorns his lapel in both of his appearances. He is also sometimes seen wearing black leather gloves, mainly the first time Kasuga encounters him after his release from prison and in Kasuga's imagination afterwards.

As a teenager, Sawashiro wears a dark-colored bomber jacket over a black sweater, jeans, and black gym shoes. In his twenties, he wears a patterned button-up shirt, dark dress pants, and dark brown leather shoes, as well as a necklace with a rectangular silver pendant.
Ryu ga Gotoku Online: Sawashiro's signature suit consists of a white jacket with light snakeskin lapels with a white pocket square, worn over a dark shirt, a black patterned tie, white dress pants, and a dark snakeskin belt.



Yakuza: Like a Dragon: 2000-2019

Chapter 1: Light and Shadow

During the events of Chapter One, Sawashiro is first seen when Ichiban Kasuga returns to the Arakawa Family office, with Mitsuo Yasumura following Ichiban leaving the nightclub with Masato Arakawa's money. Ichiban tries to pass the money off as that of a debtor, and Sawashiro figures out that it is Masato's money. After this, he slams Ichiban against the wall, and gets a knife, clearly intending for Ichiban to cut off his own finger via yubitsume for taking Masato's money and passing it off as the collected sum. This is stopped when Masumi Arakawa enters the room, stopping Sawashiro just before Ichiban cuts off his finger.

This is the last interaction that Ichiban has with Sawashiro before Ichiban heads to prison, though he is said to be the one that killed the Sakaki Family man, the murder that Ichiban accepts to take the fall for Sawashiro. This is later revealed to be Masato Arakawa himself that killed the man.

Other Media

Ryu ga Gotoku Online

That being said... my loyalty is unshakable. In my own way, I am devoted to Masumi Arakawa. [...] That man... experienced the hardships of running a third-tier family... and now look at him. The Tojo Clan's been crushed completely, and as far as the Omi's concerned he's the first of his class. At this rate, there's no doubt in my mind he'll end up in the chairman's seat. Can you imagine a success story more thrilling? I took him to the top, no matter what I had to do to get him there. That's my loyalty.
If you still have objections to that—
—You're welcome to stop me by force... Ichiban Kasuga.
— Sawashiro to Kasuga, Ryu ga Gotoku Online

Fighting Style

Yakuza: Like a Dragon: Sawashiro is proficient in various martial arts and excels in the use of weapons in particular. Of these, his primary fighting styles are Vile Blade (慙愧流, zanki-ryū, lit. "Shame Style"), a hard-hitting style which utilizes sharp-edged weapons to inflict Bleed on his opponent and Cane (ステッキ, sutekki), a more defensive, retaliatory fighting style. Although a vicious bare-handed fighter as well, he does not take his opponent seriously when fighting unarmed, and as such it is his least powerful style.


  • The katana Sawashiro uses in Yakuza: Like a Dragon is identical to Okita Souji's.
  • Sawashiro's primary fighting style in Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Vile Blade, shares its Japanese name, Zanki-ryū, with a school of techniques originally featured in Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan!.
  • Sawashiro's secondary fighting style in Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Cane, is a more refined version of Yu Nanba's fighting style.
  • In Ryu ga Gotoku Online, Sawashiro establishes the Sawashiro Family office in what appears to be the Hakuho Clan's former office.
  • Despite the fact he specializes in inflicting the Bleed status effect, Sawashiro is very particular about staining his clothes with blood in both games he is featured in.
  • Sawashiro's favorite bar is The Owl.


Ryu ga Gotoku Online

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

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