- Men like you and me, our lives aren't really our own. There's always someone in need of our help, always someone in need of our protection. I spent the last few years fighting that fate with all I've got, but now I think I'm ready to accept it. We need to accept our fate. Too many people depend on us.
— Kiryu to Saejima, Yakuza 4
His legendary ascent through the ranks of the Tojo Clan earned him the nickname "The Dragon of Dojima" (堂島の龍, Dōjima no Ryū). He was the fourth chairman of the Tojo Clan and previously managed Morning Glory Orphanage.
|SPOILER WARNING: This section contains minor spoilers for Yakuza 1/Kiwami. (Skip section)|
Kiryu is the honor-bound dreamer of the dark Yakuza world. He is not the type to judge others and is generally accepting of anyone who is friendly towards him. He lives by a strict code of honor and holds a very strong sense of justice. While he is extremely kind and goes out of his way to help civilians, he considers himself a Yakuza at heart, commonly using violence above words, so long as it is justified.
He generally lets his actions and mannerisms speak for him when possible. He tends to be the listening ear to the world, giving advice in response to his environment rather than seeking out conversations. He is wise but certainly not all-knowing, and generally means well for those around him, which makes him surprisingly pragmatic and well-liked.
Kiryu loves kids and shows himself to be a relatively competent caretaker to the children at Morning Glory Orphanage, with some help from Haruka Sawamura. He is genuine and understanding, bonding with the children through shared experiences. He tries to treat them all as fairly as possible and goes out of his way to keep them all safe and happy, whether that means putting on a wrestling match to cheer them up, or refusing to sell the land even in the face of a large sum of money.
He sees the world in a more idealistic sense than a realistic one, though as Kiryu gets older, the realities of life start to sink in and he gains a soberer (but still rather idealistic) view of the world, especially after he is forced to leave the orphanage.
Kiryu tends to open up significantly around those he is comfortable with, though the people who he considers "friends" are few and far between.
Kiryu appears to be somewhat awkward when it comes to romance, and aside from Yumi Sawamura and Kaoru Sayama does not display much interest in pursuing women. When faced with a potential relationship with Mayumi, he repeatedly turns her down. When asked about it by his employer, Yotaro Nakajima, he is unable to come up with a reason why.
Kiryu has a muscular build, a result of his way of life and his daily routine in prison rather than any concentrated effort to achieve this physique. He has more upper body mass than lower due to his use of immensely heavy weapons.
TattooKiryu's tattoo covers most of his back and ends just above his thighs. It depicts a dragon grasping a pearl, imagery that symbolizes power, wisdom, protection, and balance in Japanese culture.
Ferocious and brave protectors, dragons are typically associated with hot-tempered individuals, though Kiryu's silver-colored dragon also suggests purity of heart. At the time Yakuza 0 takes place, only the outlines of the tattoo have been filled in, but it is seen in its completed state in the rest of the series.
Utabori is the tattoo artist who designed Kiryu's dragon, and it is his signature that is displayed on the left-hand side of the design (歌彫). Within the pearl is the Sanskrit character for the year of the monkey, relating to Kiryu's Chinese zodiac year (1968).
Throughout most of the series, he is seen donning his trademark outdated suit, consisting of a light grey blazer, suit pants, and a maroon shirt with an upturned collar. His shoes and belt are a white snakeskin pattern.
In Yakuza 0, he starts out wearing a plain black suit and a gold chain. After he and Nishikiyama shop for a "civilian" outfit, he wears a white pinstriped suit over an orange, chain-patterned dress shirt. He is later given 'vanity' glasses in order to appear non-threatening when working as a representative of Tachibana Real Estate.
While residing in Okinawa, he is typically seen wearing a red and orange patterned button-down shirt with cream pants and brown loafers. There are a few other additions to his wardrobe in Yakuza 5. He is commonly seen wearing his taxi-driver uniform, consisting of a dark waistcoat and red tie over a white shirt, with matching pants and a pair of black dress shoes. When not at work, he wears a light grey jacket with double-breasted pockets and a zip collar over his uniform. While in his apartment, he wears a grey hoodie and matching track-pants.
During his stay in Hiroshima in Yakuza 6, he wears a variation of his standard attire, with no blazer and the sleeves of his shirt rolled up.
|SPOILER WARNING: This section contains spoilers for Yakuza 0, 1/Kiwami and 2/Kiwami 2. (Skip section)|
Shintaro Kazama, Captain of the Dojima Family - and later Patriarch of the Kazama Family - was considered the trio's foster father, and served as both Kiryu and Nishikiyama's primary motivation for joining the yakuza. Though initially opposed to the idea, Kazama eventually allowed the two to join the Dojima Family alongside him, due to their determination and resolve during their fight with him.
One of Kiryu's earliest misadventures occured on Christmas Eve, 1980, when Kiryu - out of concern for Kazama - follows him to a raid on the Korean Jingweon Mafia. While there, Kiryu interrupts Kazama's negotiations with two Jingweon members. In the confusion caused by Kiryu's sudden appearance, Kazama is forced to protect Kiryu by killing one of the operatives.
By the time Kiryu is 27, he he has climbed the ranks and gained some notoriety, the dragon tattoo on his back earning him the nickname "The Dragon of Dojima". Kiryu had been working his way towards starting his own subsidiary group within the Tojo Clan, but that dream is dashed when he takes the fall for the murder of the Dojima Family Patriarch, Sohei Dojima. In order to protect both Yumi and Nishikiyama, he orders them to run, and is caught red-handed at the scene of the crime, sentenced to ten years in prison. Shortly before his release, he receives a letter from Kazama, prompting his return to Kamurocho and leading to the events of Yakuza/Yakuza Kiwami.
The year is 1988, and Kiryu is a low-rank member of the Dojima Family working as muscle for a debt collector. While on a collection run, Kiryu roughs up a man in the Empty Lot, taking the owed funds after he's laying beaten on the ground. Later, while out with Akira Nishikiyama, the two overhear that the man had been murdered. Kiryu is summoned to the Dojima Family office by Keiji Shibusawa, Daisaku Kuze, and Hiroki Awano (the three Lieutenants of the Dojima Family, and Kiryu's superiors) who accuse him of the murder. Kiryu learns that the man had died from a gunshot wound, and not as a result of the injuries inflicted upon him, to his relief. This motivates Kiryu to attempt to prove his innocence and find the true killer, rather than simply taking the blame and turning himself in, as was demanded by his superiors.
During this time, Shintaro Kazama - who at the time is the Captain of the Dojima Family - is in prison for an unrelated incident. Taking advantage of Kazama's incarceration, Sohei Dojima, the Dojima Family Patriarch, seeks to dethrone him using his ties to Kiryu, blaming the murder on his incompetence.
However, Kiryu refuses to sit by and allow Kazama to take the fall for him, and instead travels to the Dojima Family office to request to be expelled from the family. He plans to continue his investigation into the murder as a civilian without having to worry about the politics of the yakuza. After winning a fight against Kuze - who wants Kiryu executed for what he views as insubordination - Dojima agrees to expel Kiryu.
At a loss about where to begin with his investigation, Kiryu decides to accept an invitation to meet with Tetsu Tachibana at the latter's office. Tachibana informs Kiryu that his company, Tachibana Real Estate, and the Dojima Family are having an all-out war over the acquisition of the Empty Lot. The lot happens to be standing in the way of a major redevelopment project planned in Kamurocho - the building that would become the Millennium Tower. Kiryu agrees to side with Tachibana in this war, and begins a new life as an employee of Tachibana Real Estate.
Kiryu works alongside Jun Oda - Tachibana's right-hand man and a senior employee of the company - to attempt to locate the owner of the Empty Lot. A majority of the Dojima Family members are not pleased that Kiryu has begun to work with the enemy, and they begin to attempt to use intimidation tactics on Kiryu, from blackmail to attempted murder. The threat becomes so great that Nishikiyama attempts to kill Kiryu as an act of mercy in order to spare him from torture and an inevitably painful death. Unable to kill his sworn brother, Nishikiyama is left behind by Kiryu, who distances himself from Nishiki, saying that they can no longer be brothers now that Kiryu has been expelled.
Upon Kiryu's return to Kamurocho, he finds his apartment burned down and Dojima's men flooding the city searching for him. Kiryu is eventually cornered by Kuze and forced into another battle before being rescued by Tachibana and escaping to a wharf on the outskirts of the city.
Tachibana appeals to the Tojo Clan with the promise of handing over the deed to the Empty Lot along with an extra ¥1,000,000,000 (¥5,000,000 in advance, with the other half promised afterwards) in exchange for Kiryu's safety. This allows Kiryu to travel to Sotenbori with Oda to meet with the owner of the deed at Camellia Grove.
There they meet with Masaru Sera who has Makoto Makimura under his protection. However, Shibusawa has discovered their wherabouts and he and his men attempt to kill Kiryu and Makoto while they are on their way back to Kamurocho. After throwing them off their trail and hiding in a warehouse, Makoto tells Kiryu that Oda is not to be trusted, which leads to him holding Makoto at gunpoint. Makoto stabs him in the leg with a blade concealed in her cane, leaving Oda vulnerable to an attack by Kiryu. After coming clean about the truth of the situation, Oda allows Kiryu and Makoto to escape while he stays back to hold off Shibusawa and his men.
Laying low back in Kamurocho, Kiryu meets up with Tachibana, who explains that Kazama, knowing Kiryu, had anticipated these very actions, and he and Tachibana had been working together to find the Empty Lot owner, with Kazama attempting to stop Dojima from obtaining more power, and Tachibana simply wishing to reunite with his sister, Makoto.
During their meeting they are discovered by the assassin Lao Gui - who Tachibana suspects is the true killer that Kiryu has been searching for - who shoots Kiryu non-fatally, and leaves the two with no other options, forcing Tachibana to surrender.
Kiryu wakes up in Little Asia, nursed back to health by Chen, who gives Kiryu information on where Tachibana has been taken. On his way there, Kiryu runs into Nishikiyama, who had been promised a promotion if he killed Kiryu. Nishikiyama, still unable to abandon his former brother, chooses to side with Kiryu, and the two face off with the Dojima Family members together.
It's too late by the time they reach the building where Tachibana is being held captive, and find him half-conscious, struck in the head with a sledgehammer. Kiryu and Nishikiyama fight off Kuze and his men, and Kiryu rushes to Tachibana's side, who in his dying words reveals that Dojima had been the true mastermind all along, framing Kiryu in an attempt to push Kazama into action. Kiryu tearfully tells Kuze that he'll destroy every last one of Dojima's men if Makoto comes to harm. He picks up Tachibana's lifeless body and carries him outside to where his sister waits.
Not long after, he is contacted again by Sera, who relays to him that Shibusawa has found Makoto, and Dojima has awarded him with Kazama's former position of captain. Shibusawa has begun to purge any of Kazama's loyalists from the family; most notably Kiryu and Nishikiyama.
Kiryu faces Kuze one last time, who after being defeated, reveals that Shibusawa intends to raid the Nikkyo Consortium's HQ, intending to kill Makoto - who is being held there - and cement his authority.
Upon arriving at the Consortium's headquarters, Kiryu and Nishikiyama are met by Kashiwagi, who brings with him the rest of the family members still loyal to Kazama. Kiryu faces off with Shibusawa, who intends to make his mark by killing Kiryu. In a blind rage, Kiryu savagely beats up Shibusawa, infuriated at the pain and suffering he has caused, and nearly strikes a killing blow, but is stopped at the last moment by Nishiki.
Kiryu is finally cleared of all charges, and makes the decision to return to the Dojima Family under renewed oaths, much to Nishikiyama's surprise.
At 27 years old, Kiryu has just completed his final job as a member of Dojima Family, collecting money from Peace Finance Company. In several days, he is to be promoted to have his own small family, Kiryu Family which will be working as a small division of the Kazama family. To celebrate his promotion, he, along with Akira Nishikiyama, Yumi Sawamura, and Reina threw a party at Serena.
However, on the following morning, Kiryu was informed that Yumi has been kidnapped by Patriarch Dojima. By the time Kiryu arrived at the scene, Nishikiyama was already there. He murdered Patriarch Dojima and Yumi went into a deep shock. Knowing Nishikiyama's younger sister was in a hospital bed, Kiryu volunteered to take the fall for Nishikiyama, allowing the other two to escape.
10 years later, now 37 years old and after his release in December 2005, Kiryu returned to Kamurocho for answers and was told to search for Yumi. However, what was waiting for him was an unfriendly welcome by Nishikiyama. On top of that, the Tojo clan was also in disarray from losing 10 billion yen, which was stolen from a safe after the 3rd Chairman of the Tojo Clan, Masaru Sera, was assassinated.
Kiryu finds himself in the middle of the incident during the funeral of Chairman Sera, being accused of the attempted murder of Shintaro Kazama. While on the run, a mysterious 9-year-old girl named Haruka appears before him during the wake of the incident. She then comes to rely on him as they search for her mother, who was also being targeted by Tojo Clan for unknown reasons.
However, there was a glimmer of light welcoming Kiryu. Makoto Date, Inspector from Kamurocho Police Department's fourth division, agreed to work together with Kiryu in exchange for the truth behind the incident which happened 10 years ago.
The odd team of a former Yakuza, a dishonored inspector, and a 9-year-old girl search for who or what is behind all of the incidents that take place in the middle of Kamurocho.
Yakuza 2/Yakuza Kiwami 2
It has been a year since, Kiryu became 4th Chairman of Tojo clan, resigned from Tojo Clan on the same day, and decided to say farewell to his Yakuza life to live in peace with Haruka.
Now, Kiryu is 38 years old when the fifth Chairman of the Tojo Clan, Yukio Terada, is assassinated on December 15, 2006. To fill in the vacuum of power within the Tojo Clan, Kiryu wants Sohei Dojima's son, Daigo, to take the clan's leadership and prevent an upcoming yakuza families war between Tojo Clan of the Kanto region and Omi Alliance of the Kansai region, which was Terada's wish.
But the young man called Daigo Dojima does not want such a responsibility. Kiryu convinces him to travel to Sotenbori, Osaka. Here he encounters a new enemy named Ryuji Goda, also known as the Dragon of Kansai who is none other than the son of the 5th Chairman of Omi Alliance, Jin Goda.
Ryuji's father wants to avoid unnecessary bloodshed with war and makes preparation for a peace treaty. However, Ryuji does not wish for peace and neither does the majority of members of the Omi Alliance and decides to interrupt the treaty by starting a riot.
At the same time, the Osaka Police Department assigned Kaoru Sayama, an investigator from the police department's fourth division to watch/protect Kiryu from escalating incidents, but got caught up in the riot herself.
The former Yakuza and a female inspector are now working together to prevent the war between two of the biggest Yakuza clans, as well as a mysterious shadow group who seems to be working behind the scenes for some other motivation.
In Yakuza 2, Kiryu works as a host at Club Adam for a side mission and helps to manage a Kamurocho Cabaret Club. In Kiwami 2 however, this was retconned to him managing Osaka's Four Shine Cabaret Club in a side story with the same mechanics as Majima's club management in the Yakuza 0.
Kiryu is now 40 years old, and he and Haruka have moved to Okinawa after the feud with the Omi Alliance and run an orphanage called Asagao in Okinawa.
While their lives were peaceful, it only lasted for a few months when their orphanage received an eviction notice from a local Yakuza family, the Ryudo Family, who owns their land. Kiryu has decided to personally confront the local Yakuza on his own to understand the meaning of the eviction. Despite the clan's threat, Kiryu's strength was superior even to their strongest Rikiya Shimabukuro on streets of Okinawa. Afterward, Kiryu won the verbal charismatic battle with Patriarch Nakahara of Ryudo Family to demand to leave the land alone.
Several days later, Rikiya arrives at the Sunshine Orphanage for a request. Rikiya informs his boss Nakahara's adopted daughter Saki has been kidnapped by her biological mother who could be tied to their rival family; Tamashiro Family. Rikiya begged for Kiryu's assistance to calm his boss Nakahara down and somehow defuse this situation.
After talking with Nakahara who was drunk and filled with sorrow, understanding the situation Kiryu raided into Tamashiro headquarters on his own defeating every member of Tamashiro family and rescued Saki.
When Kiryu has returned to headquarter of Ryudo Family after the rescue, Daigo Dojima, now 6th Chairman of Tojo Clan, walks into Ryudo Family, which surprises both Kiryu and Nakahara. Daigo did acknowledge that it was Tojo Clan's job to research land and productivity of Okinawa for the sake of military base expansion and hotel/resort expansion. For this job, Tojo clan did hire a local group, however, he was informed that their method was very severe and he has personally traveled to Okinawa to put stop to it including Ryudo Family and Tamashiro Family.
Daigo and Nakahara who finally came to his true senses agreed that he will not touch Kiryu's orphanage land for the time being, and the peaceful life to Asagao returned.
Six months later, another incident takes place. Nakahara was shot by a man who resembles Kiryu's mentor Shintaro Kazama and the deed to the land was also stolen from Ryudo Family's office. In Tokyo, Daigo Dojima was shot by a man who also resembles Kazama according to Kashiwagi, who requested his presence back in Kamurocho.
While still running the Sunshine orphanage, one day Kiryu and Haruka found a man who is washed up onto the beach of their home. The man has a tiger tattoo on his back and calls himself Suzuki and, after being nursed back to health, requests money to travel to Kamurocho. Kiryu suspected this man was an escaped convict and initially, resists his request. But after Haruka convinces him otherwise, Kiryu sent him with clothes and money to Kamurocho after learning the man's true name is Saejima.
A few days later, another man washes up on the beach. This man was Goh Hamazaki, the man who stabbed Kiryu in the stomach with a knife one year ago. Despite their terrible history and strong protest from Haruka, Kiryu nurses him back to health. When Hamazaki recovers, he reveals that he and Saejima escaped together from prison, and the prison he was staying in is a stronghold of all of the underworld money laundering and corruption by using all of the top criminals as their pawns by making inside deals. In the document that Hamazaki had with him, it was revealed that there was a transaction from Kyohei Jingu's account for a sum of 10 billion yen, the exact amount of money that was lost from Tojo Clan back in 2005. It was also revealed that the Ueno Seiwa Clan was planning on stealing the Kamurocho Hills project from the Tojo Clan and selling all of them to an unknown group.
Then Kiryu meets another person in town. Her name is Yasuko Saejima, who was looking for her brother who was transferred in Okinawa. Kiryu suspected something was at work in Tojo clan, and before things get out of control he decided to leave to Kamurocho to figure out what is going on. Against the wishes of Haruka, Kiryu once again steps into the murky underworld of the Yakuza as he leaves Haruka behind to watch over the other children at the Orphanage while he and Yasuko return to Kamurocho to meet up with Date to protect Yasuko from people seeking her out. Heading to the Millenium Tower to seek an explanation from Daigo, he finds that Majima had been arrested and explains that the whole deal with the missing yen relates to the 1985 hit. Returning to find Yasuko, he returns to New Serena only to find Date knocked out by Yasuko and that she had gone to find Tanimura and Akiyama on her own. As they retreat into the sewers to get Yasuko to Purgatory in time, Kiryu faces the duo and defeats them only to learn that Purgatory has been compromised and Yasuko has been captured and Akiyama's fortune taken by Kido who has now aligned himself with Katsuragi.
Using the audit stolen by Hamazaki, Kiryu agrees to a trade-off for the lives of the Saejima as he goes through a gauntlet of Katsuragi's men. Encountering Katsuragi, Kiryu begins the exchange with Yasuko as he hands over the file to Kido. Kido then shoots Katsuragi and reveals his true allegiance was with Arai. However, Arai shoots as well as he suspects Kido was a plant as Kiryu calls him out on his treachery. After the two men take their leave, Taiga decided that it was time to decide the fate of Katsuragi and decided to spare him as he had no allies or assets left and is likely to be cast aside once Arai assumes control of the Tojo with Daigo as a puppet ruler. However, it was revealed Katsuragi had a bulletproof vest and a gun and wounds Taiga. As he attempts to make the killing shot on Taiga, Yasuko shields her brother as she is fatally shot. In one last attempt at redemption, she makes her final murder as she kills Katsuragi. Avenging the Saejima siblings for 25 years of turmoil but at the cost of Yasuko's life.
Licking their wounds at New Serena, Kiryu and company are distraught at how despite Katsuragi's death that the true mastermind has seemingly triumphed over them. With Munakata and Arai still alive and Daigo collaborating with the police, they feel like they could do nothing to stop Munakata's ambitions. Kiryu then receives a phone call from Haruka of Hamazaki's passing and his final message to Taiga to protect the clan at all costs. Inspiring Taiga to fight again with Kiryu and the others. They pay their respects to Hamazaki and Yasuko and begin their counterattack
At Millenium Tower, the whole truth was revealed. Kido was a plant by Daigo as he suspect Arai was a police plant and sought to root him out only to be outwitted by Munakata who reveals his intention to arrest them all and take the money for themselves. Before they can do that, Kiryu and company descend upon them and Kiryu fights Daigo as payback for Majima's arrest and his poor decisions and emerges victorious.
In the credits, Kiryu oversees Saejima's ceremony as a family head in the Tojo with Majima and Daigo welcoming him to the Clan.
He is taken care of by a hostess named Mayumi, who he had rescued from a brawl when he first arrived in Fukuoka. Despite her insistence, he refuses to take their relationship anywhere past casual friends, and Mayumi is frustrated by being treated like a caretaker. His life in Fukuoka is one of loneliness as he struggles to move on without the company of Haruka and his other children.While Daigo is in Fukuoka negotiating a treaty with the patriarch of the Yamagasa Family, he finds himself in the back of Kiryu's taxi. Daigo tells Kiryu about the current state of the Tojo Clan, saying that the current patriarch of the Omi Alliance is on his deathbed with terminal lung cancer and that the alliance between the two clans is likely to falter when his successor takes over. Daigo says that he's doing the best he can as patriarch, but Kiryu remains silent, and Daigo takes it to mean that he has to learn to walk on his own instead of relying on Kiryu or others for support. He drops Daigo off on the side of the road and drives off.
After resolving an issue he had caused between rival companies, Kiryu and his boss, Youtaro Nakajima head out for drinks. The two make their way to Olivier - the hostess club where Mayumi works - where Nakajima's drunken protests rile up two members of the Yamagasa Family, ending with him being left unconscious. After the two head their separate ways, Kiryu heads back to his apartment to reflect on the events of the day.
After work the next day he is met by Yuu Morinaga and Masato Aizawa, members of the Tojo Clan who were running security for Daigo during his visit to Fukuoka. They inform Kiryu that Daigo has gone missing and that the last person he had contact with was Kiryu and asks him to help him find Daigo and return to the Tojo to help prevent a war between the Omi and Tojo which he rebuffs with a fight. Aizawa and Morinaga later show up at Kiryu's house the following day, having gotten into a brawl with Yamagasa men. They learn Minoru Aoyama has taken up being the interim chairman of Tojo Clan and asks for his help fearing that Aoyama will attempt to usurp Daigo.
While going to retrieve his boss Nakajima from a diner Kiryu is met by Kazuhiko Serizawa, an Osakan detective from its Organized Crime unit. He warns Kiryu that he needs to meet with Omi Alliance Lieutenant Watase unless Aizawa and Morinaga act first and cause a war. Kiryu meets with Watase who reveals he has no interest in Daigo and thus doesn't know where he is, but he does reveal a lot of information was leaked by Aoyama. Kiryu rushes to the hotel where Madarame and Aoyama are only to find Madarame stabbed after trying to shoot Aoyama. Aoyama was planning to take over the Tojo Clan and thus frames Kiryu for attacking Madarame and shooting Morinaga. Kiryu fights his way out, but Aoyama sets off the explosives in the hotel and eliminates any evidence.
The following morning, Kiryu finds Mayumi at his apartment as she attempts to consummate her relationship with him but he rejects out of respect of his relationship with Sayama and reveals that he knew the truth that she was spying on him. She reveals that she is Madarame's daughter and was tasked with watching Kiryu as a favor to Daigo to keep Kiryu's life peaceful and as gratitude. He reveals Daigo also was never abducted but has instead gone into hiding as he believed that Aoyama was making an attempt on his life. With Daigo sorting out affairs incognito, Madarame gives Kiryu a letter for Yahata. Kiryu meets with Yahata and shows him the letter ordering the dissolution of the Yamagasa Family. Yahata agrees but he's still intent on fighting the Tojo. Kiryu tears up the letter, saying that the Yamagasa need to remain intact to keep the peace in Fukuoka. As such, he has Yahata call up Aoyama demanding to meet at the docks for a battle.
Instead of having the Yamagasa and Tojo fight, Kiryu proposes he take on Aoyama's forces by himself as that won't be a war and Watase agrees to the terms as a mediator, allowing the Yamagasa family to have Kiryu as their champion. He battles his way through Aoyama's men and savagely beats Aoyama as a warning. Aoyama confesses his ploy wasn't to take over the Tojo but to lure Kiryu out of hiding. Before Aoyama can reveal his master's identity he's shot in the head by Morinaga who was in on the plan from the start. He admits to murdering Aizawa and declares that Kiryu goes to Kamurocho for answers.
Two days later Kiryu meets with Serizawa who informs him they found Aizawa's brutalized body and wonders if Kiryu is going to Tokyo. Kiryu refuses as he was assured that both Daigo and Majima will be to resolve the issue without him, but the detective tells him to listen to the news. On the car radio, Kiryu hears that a murder victim has been found in Sapporo and was identified as Goro Majima. Kiryu makes his decision to go to Kamurocho to confront Morinaga. Then Kiryu dons his grey suit and heads to Tokyo, bidding farewell to the photograph of the children at his orphanage.
As Kiryu arrives in Tokyo, he quickly realizes that he's being followed by none other than Baba who admits that he's an accomplice in the Omi Alliance's plan and that the main objective of the plan was to draw out Saejima and Kiryu due to them being seen as the pillars of the Tojo Clan. However, Baba is not working with Morinaga whose actions in Fukuoka were the doing of him and Aoyama. Currently, three main families are vying for the Chairman position with the Watase, Katsuya, and one other person.
Then Baba and Kiryu see a broadcast saying Haruka's concert has been canceled, making Kiryu even more certain of Katsuya's guilt which Saejima and Aizawa also see. Kiryu tells Baba to relay a message to Haruka and heads off the Kamurocho Hills. Kiryu and Saejima fight their way through the Omi Alliance members separately until they reach Katsuya in his suite with Watase following after. On the roof of the hotel, Katsuya admits he is not the mastermind, but had to trick Kiryu, Saejima, and Watase into showing up in order to lure out the culprit. Saejima fights Katsuya while Kiryu fights Watase. Both Kiryu and Saejima defeat Katsuya and Watase. Then Kiryu and Saejima fight and have a draw. They are then shot by Detective Serisawa who Watase and Katsuya say is Tsubasa Kurosawa, the Seventh Chairman of the Omi Alliance. Daigo shows up to intervene but is shot by a traitorous Kanai. Then later, Akiyama and Shinada then meet with Kiryu and Saejima at New Serena, Akiyama coming to the conclusion that Majima, Katsuya, and Park worked behind the scenes to draw out Kurosawa and that they need to cancel Haruka's concert lest her life is in danger. Kiryu refuses to let that happen and the four plan a way to protect Haruka during her concert. Kurosawa is then met by Majima who was asked to perform one task for him to protect Haruka's life.
Kurosawa's men, disguised as members of the Majima Family, arrived at Millennium Tower and begin opening fire. With Majima at the top of the tower and Haruka's concert underway, Akiyama and Kiryu stayed behind to fend off Kurosawa's men, while Shinada and Saejima go through the tunnels to the Japan Dome with Shinada fighting Baba. Later, Kiryu gets a call and goes to the Tojo clan to find who is the culprit for taking over the clan and killing its members.
At Tojo Clan's headquarters, Kiryu finds Aizawa who is Kurosawa's son among the dead Tojo patriarchs, his legacy, and the culprit. Kurosawa, panicking after his terminal diagnosis returns, wanted to leave Aizawa the entirety of the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance as a legacy, though Aizawa is only interested in besting Kiryu in a battle to prove who's stronger. After an arduous battle, Kiryu emerges victorious despite his wounds opening.
At the concert, Haruka confesses to her audience about her past and how Kiryu was previously a yakuza. She announces she's retiring from the entertainment industry before running out of the Japan Dome. Kiryu collapses in the snowy streets of Tokyo but is found by Haruka, the two of them finally reunited.
After the events of Yakuza 5 in December 2012, 44-year old Kiryu is brought to the hospital after being severely injured when his wound opens up while fighting and then defeating Aizawa. Kiryu was found almost unconscious by Haruka who brought him to the hospital and the police showed up to arrest Kiryu for assault on Yakuza in Kamurocho. Kiryu accepts the fate of being arrested after he woke up in the hospital because he wants to become a new man and wants to live peacefully with the children he had fostered in Okinawa after he returns from prison 4 years later.
In June 2013, now 45-years old, he is in prison for the crimes he committed in the past and Haruka came to talk to Kiryu about the situation in the orphanage. After that, Kiryu was released from prison in 2016.
Upon returning to the orphanage, Kiryu learns that Haruka disappeared from the orphanage three years ago, in order to keep the orphans safe from the paparazzi who were spying on Haruka. This urges Kiryu to return to Kamurocho to found out what happened to Haruka. In order to do that, he tried to track down Shun Akiyama.
Kiryu first heads to Sky Finance, but he's nowhere to be found. After gathering enough leads, he finally found Akiyama's whereabouts: he's hiding in the sewers in order to avoid the Triads, who have been on his tail due to his connection to the yakuza, especially Tojo Clan. Upon finding Akiyama, Kiryu was greeted with a bunch of Triads, making Akiyama suspect that he's been followed. Both managed to defeat the Triads in a fight.
After exiting the sewers, Kiryu got a call from Date who informed that the police had found Haruka, who is being hospitalized after an accident, urging both men to go to the hospital, only for Akiyama to be prohibited to enter it due to his dirty appearance. Inside, Date told Kiryu that Haruka was protecting somebody which turned out to be her son, Haruto, much to his surprise.
Kiryu intended to take Haruto away with him, much to Akiyama's disagreement because it may harm both Kiryu and Haruto, since Akiyama prefer him to let the child services take care of him until Kiryu regained consciousness, leaving him no choice but to fight him in the children's ward. Eventually, Akiyama accepted his intention, allowing Kiryu to take Haruto away. Later on, Kiryu was informed that the child services office lets him take care of Haruto under Date's personal guarantee.
The scene moves to New Serena where the bar's Mama lends a hand to take care of Haruto, while Date told Kiryu that the police have recovered Haruka's smartphone and that they revealed that Haruka was in Hiroshima for the last three years after managing to locate the location of one of her photo.
Kiryu heads for Hiroshima with Haruto, specifically to a small town named Onomichi. There, he encountered Tsuyoshi Nagumo, a member of a local yakuza family, and met Kiyomi Kasahara, owner of a local snack bar. Both Kiryu and Nagumo got into a fight after Nagumo got pissed at Kiryu acting like a yakuza rather than a civilian.
During the visit at the bar, Kiryu asked if Kiyomi knew Haruka, to which she denies, Kiryu also revealed that the reason of his visit is to find Haruto's father. Upon hearing it, Kiyomi told him that there's an apartment that he can use to stay. Then Kiyomi calls a person named Kazuaki Ino, who owns a small inn. Before his arrive to the apartment, Ino reveals that he and Nagumo have a crush for Kiyomi and also before Kiyomi left to Tokyo they fought each other to win over Kiyomi's love until Nagumo joined the yakuza caused him to visit Kiyomi's bar causing him to be defeated. Then Kiryu arrives to an apartment where Kiryu and Haruto stay while they are in . Then afterwards Kiryu changes Haruto's diapers and then he starts crying Kiryu thinks he is hungry but he was actually sleepy. Kiryu looked for milk but he failed to make Haruto stop crying. Kiyomi came over help him take care of Haruto. Kiyomi explained Kiryu that he was actually tired and helps Haruto go to sleep and reveals that Haruka had been here, being a part of the community until her recent disappearance.
The next morning, Kiryu arrives at Kiyomi's bar; she asks Kiryu to play baseball. He accepts to play as substitute for a member who was unwell. Then Kiryu arrives to baseball background where he met Nagumo as usual he was very pissed and wanted to defeat him which he expressed it by injuring all of the Kazuaki's team named as Satomi Warriors. Then it was Kiryu's turn for batting. Nagumo very pissed threw a ball at Kiryu's face which he dodged in return Kiryu threw his bat at Nagumo's face which he dodged but with a shock in his face due to it being very unexpected. Then Kiryu came towards Nagumo. Then Matsunaga and Yuta teamed up with Nagumo to defeat Kiryu. After trouncing the belligerent players for foul. The Satomi Warriors acknowledges Kiryu's strength and ask if he wants to hang out with them, but he rejects because he wanted to find Haruto's father in return Kiyomi also rejected for going to the party.
Later, Kiryu went to Kiyomi's bar where Nagumo showed up again to fight Kiryu. As always, they went to the field to have a fight and Kiryu defeats him again. Kiryu said to Nagumo that he does not have time to fight him and tells him to pick on someone else. After Kiryu went to the Kiyomi's bar, the Masuzoe family ambushed Nagumo and gave him a good beating and dragged him to Kiyomi's bar to make him collect the bar's earnings. However Nagumo rejected taking money from Kiyomi. Then the Masuzoe family dragged him so they could beat him more to death. After this scene, Kiryu responded to Kiyomi that he's gonna get some fresh air and heads out to save Nagumo from Masuzoe's thugs. Defeating Masuzoe and his men, Kiryu gains the respect of Nagumo at last as he learns that they knew of Haruka's past but chose to keep the secret to themselves.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Yakuza: Dead Souls
In Kiryu's chapter, he's first seen walking towards a small rally in front of a bordering wall between the safe zone and quarantine zone. After a futile attempt at calling Haruka, two dump trucks charged past him at high speed and crashed into the wall, much to the anger of one of the riot police. He then walks past the damaged wall to the quarantine zone and found himself a small mob of zombies and proceeded to fight them bare-handed. After defeating them, Kiryu instantly remembers Haruka's words that Kamurocho is falling apart.
The next scene shifts to Okinawa, where Kiryu received a letter which states that the headmaster of the school that Haruka attend is retiring and invites Haruka to her farewell party. Haruka heads for Tokyo to attend the invitation.
Returning to the zombie outbreak, Kiryu's surprised that the zombies are still pretty much alive after trying hard to fend them off. Not so long after, a female SDF soldier named Asagi took Kiryu to a safe spot at the Underground Mall, where she told that she was surprised seeing Kiryu survived without a gun. She offered him a handgun, which Kiryu declined. Kiryu told her that he's looking for Haruka, and the soldier told Kiryu to investigate Kamurocho Hills, where a group of people is holed up and set a barricade. A short while later, a gunshot sound is heard and Kiryu promptly followed her to the underground car park complex to locate a civilian, who turns out to be Nagahama, who went to Kamurocho to look for Kiryu. Unfortunately, both were too late, and Nagahama turned into a zombie shortly after succumbing from his injury. Asagi initially tried to shot the zombified Nagahama, but Kiryu prevented her from doing so and decided to fight him bare-handed with futile results. After knocking down the zombified Nagahama, Asagi pulled her gun again, but Kiryu stopped her and took her gun and performed what appears to be a mercy kill to Nagahama before heading to Kamurocho Hills.
After exiting the basement car park, Hasegawa met Kiryu and told him a few things, namely the zombie outbreak and an arms dealer named Kamiyama. After meeting him, Kiryu received a message about a back door at Pink Street and the recently quarantined establishments.
Having been equipped with weapons from Kamiyama, Kiryu and Asagi now made their way to Kamurocho Hills. Inside, Asagi realized that the place is swarming with zombies, but Kiyu suggests to go inside to see what's what. After reaching the supermarket at the 2nd floor, Asagi and Kiryu encounter a now-zombified Hiroshi Hayashi, a former Omi Alliance yakuza. Much to Asagi's fear, there are also zombified SDF soldiers along with the zombified Hayashi. Asagi felt saddened after defeating the zombified SDF soldiers. Kiryu tried to approach her, but was interrupted by a suspicious noise that turns out to be Majima.
Outside the tower, Kiryu and Majima had a short talk, where Kiryu revealed that the invitation was fake and only meant to lure Kiryu out and that Haruka's kidnapped at the moment. Majima told Kiryu that a man named Nikaido of the Omi Alliance took Haruka and caused the zombie outbreak in Kamurocho. A little while later, Asagi bid farewell to Kiryu and asked about the survivors. Majima told her that the survivors are evacuated to Purgatory and that Haruka might be there as well. Later on, Kiryu and Asagi made it into the Purgatory, where Kiryu met Akiyama, where Akiyama told about a man named Nikaido and that The Florist has a new lead about the zombie outbreak, which is a Japanese-American man who goes under the alias of DD and a popular figure in the arms trading business. He explained that DD's busy weaponizing a certain bacteria that he recently found and that the Omi Alliance is on revenge against Tojo in general and Kiryu in particular. However, during the reveal, one of the Florist's goons spotted zombies coming from the sewers. Kiryu and Akiyama managed to fend off the zombies while the Florist secures the Purgatory's inhabitants and head for the sewer's exit with Asagi. Outside, the exit leads them to a public park, where the three encountered a gargoyle-like prototype. After defeating the prototype, Daigo encountered Kiryu and told him about a master gunsmith in Kamurocho, located in Kurogane Building on Senryo Avenue. Along the way, they found an APC and used it to their advantage.
Inside the building, Kiryu met Ryuji Goda, who told Asagi that it was Kiryu who caused Goda to have a prosthetic arm. A short while later, the Florist phoned Kiryu, telling that Nikaido's hiding in the penthouse in Millennium Tower, along with Haruka and DD. After the phone call, the gunsmith gave Kiryu a heavy rifle and proceeded to Millennium Tower with Goda.
At the tower, they faced Hayashi, now a zombified prototype. After defeating him, Kiryu's surprised that Hayashi still recognizes him even in zombie form. The scene cuts to a flashback where Hayashi got shot by Nikaido and received the mutagen from DD.
At the penthouse, Goda and Kiryu faced Nikaido and prompted him to release Haruka, which he did. However, when Haruka was running towards Kiryu, two mutants approached both Kiryu and Goda, forcing both men to fight both mutants. After defeating the mutants, Nikaido admitted defeat and was about to be killed by Goda, but then DD turned and infected him with the mutagen, turning him into a mutant and making Kiryu and Goda having to fight him. Initially, the fight went well, with Nikaido showing signs of defeat, but then the mutagen evolved, causing him to transform into a gigantic mutant and destroying the penthouse in the process. In an attempt to save Haruka, Goda hold himself against the rubble while Kiryu proceeds to fight the mutated Nikaido once again. In the middle of the fight, Asagi aided Kiryu by dropping two crates to him, one contains a bunch of grenades while the other contains an anti-tank missile and kills Nikaido once and for all. As DD attempts to make his escape, it is revealed that Akiyama had commandeered his escape chopper as it was sent spiraling below with DD on it. With the crisis finally over, Kiryu sends Asagi off as she departs from Kamurocho.
Kiryu's ability to switch between different fighting styles makes a return from Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan! in a first for the main series. Mirroring Majima, he has four styles available to him: a default balanced style effective in most, if not all situations; a style focused on speed to hit enemies quickly while dodging just as fast; a style focused on power that relies on slow but immensely strong attacks and increases resistance to enemy attacks; and a secret, legendary style that serves as Kiryu's main fighting style for the rest of the series.
- Kiryu's canonical style throughout Yakuza 0. A basic yet powerful style relying on simple brawling, hence the name, though some techniques are similar to those found in Judo and Professional Wrestling, such as leg reap throw and dropkick. Fighting is somewhat flashy in execution and slow, especially in comparison to Majima, but his blows are powerful. Its simplicity can represent Kiryu's status as a mere Yakuza underling and debt collector, shown by the very amateur skill and handling of his body weight in his attacks. Despite this, Kiryu's impressive physical ability proves itself whenever he takes on groups of foes by himself and coming out with the only slightly ragged breath. Many attacks in Brawler style have a wrestling-like quality to them, which combined with his basic street brawling, complete the style with simple yet effective moves. This style, from the progression of its combos, to its stance, can be viewed as an unrefined, prototypical version of Kiryu's Dragon style. Brawler-style emits a blue Heat aura.
- The second fighting style that Kiryu learns in the game: A Speed style that draws on kickboxing, shown by Kiryu's upright stance with a high guard put up. The Rush style is best known for its ability to quickly stun enemies with "Dempsey Roll"-like bursts of relentless blows, as well as its emphasis on Kiryu's speed and footwork. His movement speed is greatly increased while using this style, and he can dodge three times in a row. This style represents Kiryu tapping into the upper limits of his movement speed and reaction time, seemingly on the level of advanced martial artists despite never having any proper training in boxing.
- All attacks in Rush style are performed at near-instant speeds, with even the slowest and most powerful blows still fast enough to hit enemies before they could put up their guard. The blows performed in the combos themselves are that of boxing jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts, with very little kicking involved. This style doesn't have a grab; in place of it, he has a quick kick. While using this style, Kiryu can parry enemy attacks in a manner strikingly similar to Tanimura's parrying in Yakuza 4, turning their momentum against them in order to get behind. While he cannot pick up weapons while utilizing the Rush style, Kiryu is still able to use weapons from his inventory. Rather than blocking, he instead uses a stationary ducking dodge also typical of boxing, allowing him to evade attacks while not compromising his position, though training will allow him to utilize a block as well. Rush style emits a magenta Heat aura.
- Dubbed "Destroyer" in the Japanese version. The third fighting style that Kiryu learns in the game: A Power style that focuses on brute strength and use of immensely heavy weapons such as motorbikes, shown by Kiryu's grounded stance with legs far apart to fortify his balance, and open-handed claw-like hands hinting at his focus on grappling. This style is mainly inspired by the striking aspects of Professional Wrestling, featuring attacks such as lariats, clotheslines and dropkicks while also featuring some grappling. Slow but powerful, Kiryu emphasizes his incredible tenacity and capacity to take hits. This style represents Kiryu using the full force of his impressive musculature, being able to pick up objects no normal human could realistically lift such as motorcycles, as well as throwing around full-grown men with only one hand. Each attack in Beast style is delivered with all of his body weight behind it, making for incredibly slow yet devastating hits that are capable of sending foes flying or breaking through their guards without much effort.
- Each attack within the rush combos can be charged for maximum damage and range, making Kiryu the only character in the series with combos composed of entirely charged attacks. Pressing and holding Square near weapons and objects strewn around the environment can have Kiryu instantly pick them up and attack with that weapon with wide and wild swings; he can immediately start a combo from this, or transition from an attack combo into it. The damage he inflicts with stage objects is considered as well. The Beast style can make heavy weapons much easier to use; these weapons are also included among those Kiryu can pick up and swing at opponents. Taunting in Beast mode can have Kiryu restore some health at Heat cost, provided a certain ability is acquired. As this style emphasizes Kiryu's raw strength, the Beast style's dodging is slow; Kiryu is liable to get hit if dodges are incorrectly timed. Blocking, however, is unique among styles; Referred to as "Resist Guard", rather than negating damage completely, the damage is simply reduced instead; this reduction can be upgraded even further with abilities. He also doesn't flinch or get knocked down and can gain Heat while under attack. Beast style emits a yellow Heat aura.
Dragon of Dojima (Legend)
- The final, optional fighting style that Kiryu unlocks after finishing the Money Island substory. Shortened to "Dragon", this fighting style is what Kiryu eventually adopts in titles that take place chronologically later than Yakuza 0. It is a powerful combination of punches from Boxing, kicks from Karate, throws from Judo and grappling from Professional Wrestling, with a simple fighting stance deceiving the all-around massive power and impressive speed that few like Kiryu can properly possess to execute the style effectively. The best of Kiryu's other styles, such as the speed of Rush, the strength of Beast, and the technique of Brawler meld into what is Kiryu's one-and-only signature fighting style.
- A unique passive ability for this style is "Yinglong's Light", which allows certain upgrades and abilities from Kiryu's three other styles to be applied to Dragon. Exclusive to Kiryu are various augmentations to his combat, such as "Finishing Hold" which allows him to seamlessly grab and throw around enemies at the end of combos. Many moves that he would normally learn from Komaki have different animations and are under different names; the Komaki Parry where Kiryu parries an enemy's attack is, instead, a reversal grab named "Knockback Counter" where Kiryu grabs his opponent's arm and violently kicks one leg out from under them. The Komaki Knockback where Kiryu counterattacks after a successful block is replaced with a flying knee attack named "Twist Counter", and the Komaki Tiger Drop, able to completely shut down any enemy attack with a high-damaging and instantaneous strike, is replaced with a elbow counter named "Iron Fist Counter". Dragon style emits a white Heat aura.
In the remake version of this game, Kiryu's fighting style retains all of his moves from Yakuza 0. Beginning the game with all of his abilities intact, he unfortunately loses his powers during his 10-year prison sentence due to being out of practice. Upon his release, Kiryu is left with his most basic abilities in his Brawler, Rush, and Beast styles; he forgets everything he's learned for the Dragon of Dojima style, and cannot even perform the basic rush combo beyond the first two punches. This requires him to have to relearn all of his combat abilities over the course of the story.
Majima is the first to notice Kiryu's weakness during their first meeting since Kiryu's release, and decides to take it upon himself to restore him to his former glory. In Kiwami's Majima Everywhere system, Majima forces Kiryu to relearn his Dragon style abilities by attacking him at random intervals without warning, in a variety of situations. Though unorthodox, Kiryu's only means of recovering the Dragon style's lost strength is indeed through his constant battles with Majima.
New to Kiryu in his Dragon style is the ability to effectively wield weapons, learned from Komaki. Through proper training, Kiryu learns to use weapons such as swords or batons with ease.
Kiryu obtains a new heat bar called the "red heat" which gives Kiryu more Heat actions associated with the Red Heat. Red Heat actions do a huge amount of damage. Kiryu is also the only character to perform Super Finishers.
Kiryu doesn't have the ability to do Super Finishers in this game. although Kiryu still has his Red Heat, He can't upgrade with a third Red Heat bar. When the player begins as him in new game, he will have most of his abilities from Yakuza 3. The rest has to be unlocked with Soul Points. Most the moves he had from Yakuza 3 are removed such as Hell's Floor.
Kiryu's Red Heat is removed but instead replaced with Red Dragon spirit, this ability can make Kiryu invincible as well as automatically knocking back enemy attacks. Kiryu doesn't have to do a parry to do Essence of Dragon king. His Drunken thrust also changed drastically, although the animation did not change. He has also gained some new Heat actions as well.
Kiryu has further honed his fighting style, unlocking Extreme Heat Mode at the start of the game. This new style still features Boxing punches but has an increased focus on Karate kicks in comparison to the Dragon style. This style also drops Judo in favor of an increased focus on Professional Wrestling. Style also features some Krav Maga-esque disarming techniques.
- Kiryu's given name Kazuma had its etymology explained in Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan! The first kanji character 一 (kazu) means lone, while the second 馬 (ma) means horse. This refers to the single ridden horse that would lead a cavalry unit into battle. As such, the name suggests a courageous individual who likes to lead from the front and get things done, as befits Kiryu's personality.
- In Yakuza 4, protagonists represent the 4 Eastern Gods. Kazuma Kiryu represents the Azure Dragon, as he is the most balanced of the characters and also the most wise.
- Kiryu appears as a guest character in the following video games: Project X Zone 2, Binary Domain, and Taiko No Tatsujin DX.
- His likeness was featured in the End of the Century Premium Edition of Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise as an alternate skin for Kenshiro.
- Kiryu is the most requested character for a guest appearance in Tekken 7.
- Kiryu's birthday, June 17th, is the same as that of Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi.