Kunieda is introduced during chapter 4 of the game. Acting on orders from his patriarch, Toranosuke Sengoku, he puts out a hit on both Kazuma Kiryu and Kaoru Sayama, with the intent of driving them both out of Osaka so that they don't interfere with his boss' preparations for going to war against the Tojo Clan.
Later on, Kunieda participates in Segoku's plan to take over Tokyo. While Koji Shindo and the Nishikiyama Family stage a coup in the Tojo HQ to distract the Tojo Clan leadership, Kunieda commands Sengoku's men in an attack on Kamurocho to take as much of the Tojo's territory as possible. Unfortunately for the invaders, Goro Majima and his construction company help repel their attack.
Kunieda appears for a final time when Sengoku kidnaps Kiryu's adoptive daughter, Haruka Sawamura, to lure him into a trap. After Kiryu arrives at Sengoku's private castle to rescue Haruka, Kunieda and a platoon of guards dressed as ninja and samurai attack him. Ultimately, neither Kunieda, nor the guards, nor the pair of tigers that Sengoku unleashes on Kiryu are able to stop him. Kiryu rescues Haruka and Sengoku is then killed by an infuriated Ryuji Goda.