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Kaoru Sayama (狭山 薫, Sayama Kaoru) is the deuteragonist of Yakuza 2/Yakuza Kiwami 2, and a minor character in Yakuza 3 and Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. She is the lead detective of the Osaka Prefectural Police's Sotenbori District Organized Crime Division popularly known as the Yakuza Huntress.



Sayama wears her black hair pulled back in a messy, low bun (in Yakuza 2), or in a messy updo where her hair sticks out in a ponytail-like style (in Yakuza Kiwami 2). In Yakuza Kiwami 2, she has a small beauty mark below her lip. Ryuji mentions that Sayama bears a strong resemblance to their mother.


Sayama wears a black pantsuit over a white dress shirt, black high heels, and wears a silver chain necklace with an amethyst pendant around her neck.


Sayama is an incredibly determined and intelligent person, who refuses to back down from her goals once she's set on them. Her most passionate objective in life is finding out the truth about her birth-parents, regardless of how difficult or painful the discovery might be.

She believes that to survive in the police force as a woman, she must build a tough outer shell, and appears to be highly competitive in her field. She appears to be insecure about her Kansai accent, speaking in the more formal Tokyo dialect after she and Kiryu travel to Kamurocho. Her accent returns briefly during her date with Kiryu in Sotenbori.[4] She has a bit of a playful side to her as well, which is shown only to people she becomes close with.

Sayama holds the title "Yakuza Huntress" among her peers for the drive she showed in targeting the Organized Crime division since she first joined the force, as well as for her intense pursuit of members of the criminal underworld. She also hates yakuza; as such, Sayama initially shows hostility towards Kiryu, but over time, she warms up to him to the point of later developing strong romantic feelings towards him.


SPOILER WARNING: Plot details for Yakuza 2/Yakuza Kiwami 2 follow. (Skip)

Sayama is the daughter of Jiro Kawara and Suyeon Jung. After her mother was killed by the Jingweon Mafia for defecting, Kawara gave her away to his friend, Tamiyo Sayama, who raised her as her own. When she was a teen, Sayama overheard part of a phone call where Tamiyo blamed the Tojo Clan for Sayama losing her parents (as, unbeknownst to Sayama at the time, the Tojo were the ones who'd carried out the Kamurocho Christmas Massacre that led to Sayama's mother defecting from the Jingweon). Due to overhearing this call, Sayama became determined to discover what happened to her birth parents and how the yakuza was connected to it.

In the interest of pursuing this mission, Sayama joined the Osaka Prefectural Police, initially joining the high-tech crimes unit at age 20 while still studying programming at technical college. Due to her excellent grades and skill with cybersecurity tools, she was placed on a special fast-tracked career tier and promoted to detective as soon as she graduated from college. During her career, she broke a record by getting promoted to assistant inspector in just four years, before receiving a transfer to the prefectural police's Organized Crime Division's Sotenbori Section at her request. Within the Organized Crime Division, she was successful enough to be promoted to her section's lead detective post within a year of joining.


Yakuza 2/Yakuza Kiwami 2: 2006-2007[]

In December, Sayama arrests a yakuza boss for extortion and, after he hits one of the officers taking him into custody, she tacks on a charge of resisting arrest. Later that day, Sayama convinces her superior, Tsutomu Bessho, to let her take over the mission to place Kazuma Kiryu into protective custody to avert a yakuza war in case he dies while in Osaka, telling him she is only interested in the job to humble the condescending Tokyo Police.

Sayama prepares a detachment of police officers for the mission, who rush over once they receive reports that the peace talks between the Tojo delegation and the Omi leadership have devolved into a violent brawl. Upon arrival, Sayama interrupts a fight between Kiryu and Ryuji Goda. Sayama drives Kiryu away from the scene and stops outside Sotenbori to explain the terms of the protective custody to him. However, she is interrupted by a sniper shot. Wounded, she tells Kiryu to take her to Aoi, after which Sayama is left with her surrogate mother, who pulls the bullet from her shoulder and patches up her wounds before letting her sleep to recover.

When Sayama awakens, she and Kiryu discuss her shooting, with her ruling out the militant Go-Ryu Clan as the culprit. They learn the sniper who fired the intimidation shot was sent by Omi Chief of HQ Ryo Takashima, and that Kiryu has a bounty placed on him by the Sengoku Family; they leave Osaka to prevent further attacks. Upon arrival in Kamurocho, Sayama almost passes out from the strain of her wound. Kiryu takes her to the abandoned bar Serena for recuperation. After feeling better, Sayama tells Kiryu that her obsession with the Tojo Clan stems from her suspicion that they killed her birth parents, but wants to find out the truth in case they are still alive. Kiryu cautions her against digging up a buried past, as he had recently learned a dark truth about his own.

While waiting for the appointed time to confront the mysterious people who had kidnapped Daigo Dojima and Jin Goda, Kiryu elaborates what he learned about his past: his surrogate father Shintaro Kazama had killed his parents and raised him out of guilt afterwards. In spite of Kiryu's warnings, Sayama remains adamant to learn the truth. When the time comes, Sayama waits outside the Amano Building in case there is trouble, as Kiryu was instructed to go alone.

Responding to gunfire, Sayama rushes upstairs to find Kiryu, Kazuki, Jiro Kawara and Makoto Date being held at gunpoint by Jinwu Kang. Seeing this, Sayama immediately shoots Kang in the chest, killing him. As Kang had wounded Kawara and Kazuki beforehand, Sayama, Kiryu and Date take them to the nearby clinic of Emoto for treatment. While they wait for Kazuki to heal, two foreigners arrive to check if Kazuki was Kang. Sayama attempts to question them, leading to a brawl, after which they reveal their affiliation to the Jingweon Mafia.

Later on at Bantam, Kawara briefly tells Sayama, Kiryu and Date about the Jingweon and their prior operations in Tokyo during the late 1970's. Soon after, Sayama accompanies Kiryu in visiting The Florist of Sai for footage which will exonerate Date, who had been framed for killing Kang, and for footage which can help them find Daigo and Jin. There, the Florist is interrupted by a Go-Ryu assault led by Hiroshi Hayashi, which Sayama and Kiryu deal with. Afterwards, the Florist is interrupted by a hacker within his team, but Sayama uses her expertise in programming and cybersecurity to retake control over the network and shut out the hacker. The Florist is able to find footage indicating that the prisoners were handed over to the Go-Ryu, who await in Shangri-La.

At Shangri-La, the two fight through Go-Ryu guards and manage to rescue Daigo, but Jin had been taken elsewhere. Returning to Serena, they learn from Osamu Kashiwagi that the Jingweon had supposedly been wiped out in 1980 after a massacre carried out by the Dojima Family in response to a turf war. The police turned a blind eye to the massacre, as they favored the Dojima Family over the Jingweon. Sayama decides to get in contact with the Osaka PD and also see what she can get about the Jingweon from the Tokyo PD.

The following night, Sayama looks after Goro Majima, who repelled an attack by the Sengoku Family in Kamurocho and told Kiryu about the revolt at Tojo Clan Headquarters. Afterwards, Sayama and Kiryu meet with Date, who learned that Bessho was the one who allowed the Jingweon Massacre to happen. Returning to Osaka, Sayama questions Bessho, who justifies himself on the grounds that the police were unable to stop the Jingweon due to them using legal means to rise to power. After Sayama reprimands his stance, he says the massacre had three survivors, one of whom he helped go into hiding: Murai. Bessho tries to dissuade her from following this lead, but she storms off.

Sayama wanders the streets of Sotenbori while thinking on what she'd learned and ends up stumbling on some punks mugging some women in the riverside boardwalk. She intervenes and sends the victims away while she picks a fight with the thugs, eventually joined by Kiryu, who'd come looking for her. After the punks are beaten, some police officers arrive, attracted by the commotion. On a whim, Sayama takes Kiryu by the hand and asks him to run away from them with her, avoiding the officers. Needing to destress, the two hit the town together and end the night by conversing about their lives while drinking beer on a rooftop.

The following day, Sayama and Kiryu locate Murai. With some persuasion, Murai details the fateful night's events and tells them the names of the other two men who survived: Daejin Kim and Yeongmin Ji. However, he also says that besides the three Jingweon survivors the police knew about, the boss' wife, Suyeon Jung, and her baby also escaped the massacre. As Murai describes what transpired, Kiryu realizes he was present when it all occurred. However, before he can elaborate, a group of Jingweon assassins burst in, looking to kill Sayama, Kiryu and Murai. Kiryu and Sayama beat up the assassins, but one of them manages to fatally wound Murai by throwing a knife into his gut, after which they all kill themselves by consuming concealed cyanide capsules.

Later on, Kiryu explains that he unintentionally caused the massacre by following Kazama, who was trying to negotiate with the Jingweon Mafia Boss, and causing a misunderstanding. He says she should kill him to avenge her parents, who may have died then. This infuriates Sayama, who reprimands his shallow thinking, after which she leaves. Hours later, Sayama learns from Tamiyo that Kiryu was injured and went to Osaka Castle to rescue his adoptive daughter, Haruka Sawamura. She arrives there and helps Kiryu return to Aoi alongside Haruka. In Aoi, she finds a note from Tamiyo telling her that her father is still alive. Sayama leaves to gain answers from Tamiyo.

Wataru Kurahashi reveals himself to be Yeongmin Ji and that he has taken Date and the Florist hostage. Sayama takes Kiryu and Haruka to Tokyo by car, during which they are assaulted by a Jingweon convoy. After leaving Haruka in Serena, they confront Kurahashi in the Millennium Tower, where Kawara and Tamiyo are also present. Kurahashi reveals Kawara is Sayama's father in order to catch him off-guard. In the following confrontation, Kawara is fatally injured and Kurahashi is killed. Sayama, cradling her dying father, hears from him his history with Suyeon. He also explains that the reason behind his killings was to honor Suyeon's wish to not let Sayama learn her past, thought Sayama herself is happy to have closure.

A few days later, Date delivers Kawara's cremated remains to Sayama and Tamiyo. After Sayama sees Tamiyo off, Date shows her and Kiryu an encrypted disk he found on Kurahashi on the night of their confrontation. Sayama returns to Osaka to try to decrypt it at their police headquarters after failing to do so with the Florist's equipment. Before she leaves, Sayama says Kiryu was right and that finding out the truth has hurt far more than she anticipated, leading to a fear of finding out more. Kiryu kisses her and tells her that nothing else she discovers will make her any less than she is.

In Osaka, Sayama cracks the disk and finds crucial information: Suyeon's baby from her marriage to the Jingweon Boss is Ryuji Goda, making him her half-brother. Stricken by the realization that she still has one last living family member, Sayama decides to try to approach Ryuji to talk him down from his violent mission to conquer Tokyo. She makes a video telling him about what she learned and explaining her plan to meet with Ryuji to try and stop his war, as well as telling Kiryu about how much he meant to her.

Returning to Tokyo, Sayama is told by Kiryu about Ryuji challenging him. She tries to dissuade him, and when that fails, leads him on a fool's errand to her video confession before leaving to find Ryuji. She finds both Godas atop Kamurocho Hills, but she fails to stop Ryuji and Kiryu from dueling even after telling the former that they are related. After their duel, Yukio Terada arrives and reveals himself to be Daejin Kim. Terada's assault is stopped, and Takashima, who also arrived, is killed by Ryuji. Gravely injured, Kiryu and Ryuji commit to one last duel against Sayama's pleas, even though Terada unveiled a bomb with its countdown activated.

Sayama cradles a dying Ryuji after his defeat, who noted the resemblance to their mother and ponders if things would have been different had he gotten to know Sayama sooner. His last request is to see her smile, which she does for him, letting him die at least a little happy. After, Sayama turns to a battered Kiryu and tries to help him stand up so they can leave, however, he is too weak. Kiryu kisses her and they both wait for the bomb to go off. As it turns out, Terada used a fake bomb, so both Kiryu and Sayama survive. The next month, Sayama accompanies Kiryu and Haruka as they visit the graves of their loved ones in the cemetery.

Yakuza 3: 2007-2009[]

Kaoru,Kiryu and Haruka

Sayama meets Kazuma Kiryu and Haruka Sawamura at the graveyard.

As Sayama meets Kiryu at the graveyard, she tells him that she'll be leaving Japan in order to join a training program for the Metropolitan Police based in America. She suggests that she and Kiryu should follow their own paths for the next few years, but tells Kiryu that she'll be back to Japan one day.

While she plays no further role in Yakuza 3, completing special tasks will prompt a text message from Sayama to come through on Kiryu's phone.

Checking her character profile at different points throughout the game reveals the following lines:

  • "Refused invitation to dinner by handsome American cop."
  • "Rushing out to buy outfit after invitation to dinner by handsome American cop."
  • "Eating at fancy restaurant after invitation to dinner by handsome American cop."

2009 - 2023[]

At some point after 2009, Sayama returns to Japan, though she and Kiryu never meets one another again. In 2016, Date informs Sayama of Kiryu's supposed death, which greatly shocks her.

In 2019, Sayama catches wind of the Great Dissolution, which saw the disbanding of the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance, unaware that Kiryu was alive and also helping to see it through. She switches to working for the Juvenile division in the Osaka Prefectural Police, in order to prevent the creation of new criminals as a result of the dissolution.

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth: 2023[]

In 2023, Sayama visits Kamurocho, and is invited by Date for coffee. Unbeknownst to her, it was part of Date's plan to allow Kiryu to catch up to several of his old friends. Due to Kiryu's pact with the Daidoji faction, Date sets up a listening device for Kiryu to listen in on their conversation without being spotted.

Sayama reflects with Date on what she has been doing since their last meeting in 2016, also revealing her new job in the Juvenile division. She also mentions being too busy with work to settle down, though she also suggests that a part of her may be waiting for Kiryu to return. Just as Date is about to confirm Kiryu's survival to her, Kiryu stops him, and the two end their chat. Later, Kiryu mentions to Date his appreciation of how well she is doing, and hopes she can fulfill her goals.

Fighting Style[]

Sayama's fighting style appears to be based on standard police combat. This is further reinforced in Yakuza Kiwami 2, where she uses Masayoshi Tanimura's moveset. She has a team Heat Action with Kiryu, which she lands a punch at an enemy and followed by both landing a high kick at said enemy.

While she is shown wielding a gun throughout the game and is a precise shot with it, it is not included in her arsenal during gameplay.


  • Though not by name, Sayama is referenced in Yakuza 4 and Yakuza 5. In dialogue with Himeka Kawasaki, Kiryu mentions that he once fell for "a girl from Osaka" after she tells him that she is from Kansai. In Yakuza 5, according to Kazuhiko Serizawa, the Osaka Prefectural Police is seen as nothing but a joke after Sayama fell in love with Kiryu, though this statement is of questionable veracity, since Serizawa is later revealed to not really be a police detective. All references to Sayama would be removed in the story of Yakuza 6, to the point where Kiryu remembers Yumi Sawamura as the only woman he ever loved.
    • In Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, Kiryu briefly references and acknowledges his romantic relationship to Sayama.
  • Sayama's nickname was changed from "The Yakuza Eater" in Yakuza 2 to "The Yakuza Huntress" in Yakuza Kiwami 2.
  • A few optional scenes with Sayama and Kiryu present in Yakuza 2 have been removed from Kiwami 2, as well as the option to invite her and other characters to various minigames or restaurants.
  • Kiryu has a framed picture of Sayama in his room that can be seen on his desk in Yakuza 3.
  • Sayama is the first character to share an on-screen kiss with a protagonist.


Yakuza 2[]

Yakuza Kiwami 2[]

Yakuza 3[]

Ryu Ga Gotoku Online[]



  1. Known as "The Yakuza Eater" in Yakuza 2.
  2. The given birth year of 1981 is an estimate based on Sayama's age and is not intended as a substitute for an official date.
  3. As Kawara started seeing Suyeon six months after December 1980,[2] Sayama would've had to been born at least nine months later, which is inconsistent with her given age as nine months later would be in March 1982, putting her at 24 during the events of Yakuza 2/Yakuza Kiwami 2.
  4. The given height of 178 cm (5′ 10″) is based on the character model's scaling factor within Yakuza Kiwami 2's data.[3] For Dragon Engine games, this method is believed to be very accurate (±2 cm). However, this is intended as an estimate, not a substitute for an official statistic.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, Settings - Character Profiles - Osaka PD - Kaoru Sayama, Yakuza Kiwami 2 (2017; Tokyo: SEGAWP, 2018), PlayStation 4/Windows/Xbox One/Amazon Luna.
    Lead detective of Osaka PD's Division 4, Organized Crime. Known as the Yakuza Huntress. Although she's only 25 years of age, she is more than competent at handling even the toughest of yakuza...
    — Yakuza Kiwami 2
  2. Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, Yakuza Kiwami 2 (2017; Tokyo: SEGAWP, 2018), PlayStation 4/Windows/Xbox One/Amazon Luna.
    I knew Suyeon would be in danger in Kamurocho. Bessho and I snuck her down to Kansai... I checked in on her about six months later. [...] Before we knew it, we were living together. Then, Kaoru… You were born.
    Jiro Kawara speaking about Suyeon Jung's whereabouts after December 25, 1980, Yakuza Kiwami 2
  3. Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, “character_model_model_data” (.BIN file), Yakuza Kiwami 2 (2017; Tokyo: SEGAWP, 2018), PlayStation 4/Windows/Xbox One/Amazon Luna.
  4. Scott Strichart (@TriggerRedd), September 28, 2019, 4:29 p.m. UTC, https://twitter.com/TriggerRedd/status/1177983714518654977. (Archive)