"I've got my own brand of justice!"
— Masayoshi Tanimura
Masayoshi Tanimura (谷村 正義, Tanimura Masayoshi) is one of the main protagonists in Yakuza 4.
Profile[edit | edit source]
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Tanimura is the youngest male protagonist in the game. In the original, he had forward swept bangs, though in the remaster his hair is off of his forehead and parted.
Attire[edit | edit source]
Tanimura appears with ordinary policeman's uniform with black tie and covered by blue jacket. He also wears gray pants, a white belt with a snake motif and brown shoes. He always has an earphone attached to his right ear, because he likes listen to horse races on a pocket radio that's kept in his jacket. In the final chapter of the game, he wears a black suit with a white shirt and black tie that's similar with his normal outfit.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Tanimura has a sense of justice. He is caring and always there to help others, such as his relations with the residents of Little Asia. Tanimura is also determined, shown notably during the time he was researching about the murder of his father. He also can have a tendency to be sometimes cocky, especially when it comes to gambling or challenging his superiors. This side of him can sometimes be seen when he is on patrol, as he is usually gambling instead of doing his work, or listening to the horse races through his earpiece and ignoring anyone on sight. He can also sometimes be a bit greedy or too lenient when it comes to other citizens, as during some police calls, he will let a culprit free if they pay him enough money or fulfill a condition of his.
Background[edit | edit source]
Born to a Thai mother and a police officer named Yusuke Kaga in 1981, during his time as a detective he made many connections with the prostitutes in the trade as contacts for information. Eventually, Kaga was fired from the force when he was accused of shooting an innocent and got framed for it, Kaga opened up a small coffee shop and continue to help the prostitutes. At some point of his career, Kaga uncovered a link between the prostitution rings and illegal visas ran by Yuji Katsuura, a politician who runs an organization for the purpose of smuggling women. One of the prostitutes who found out about the link between Katsuura's organization and confided in Kaga, who eventually fell in love for and consummated their relationship, resulting in the birth of Masayoshi. Fearing for the safety of his children, he focused on ensuring both of them were safe by helping Masayoshi's mother escape to Thailand safely while giving the baby to Taigi Tanimura, the former partner of Kaga to ensure that Katsuura would have no leverage. Kaga was soon murdered by Katsuura and Taigi raised Kaga's child and named the child Masayoshi as Kaga wanted a child who had a genuine sense of justice.
Life took a tragic turn when his father was found murdered at the young age of 3 for investigating the Ueno Seiwa hit when he attempted to contact Yasuko Saejima as Taigi had a hunch that the hit was way too suspicious in its execution. He spent his life in Homeland as Zhao struggled to raise him in a society that shunned foreigners and Tanimura have seen a great deal of children his age forced to live in Japan without their parents who would end up getting deported. Seeing the aspirations of his father as a skilled detective, he graduated he joined the police force and quickly became a member of the Community Safety department. Knowing his finances cannot support the immigrant children who was left without their parents and knowing what it was like to grow up with a father, he started gambling illegally and blackmailing smaller criminal businesses in Little Asia to help support them as he could. This quickly netted him a negative reputation of being called the "Parasite of Kamurocho", a reputation Tanimura accepted to ensure other children have the same opportunities as he did.
Involvement[edit | edit source]
Yakuza 4: 2010[edit | edit source]
Although he is not playable or properly introduced until Part 3, Tanimura is actually introduced in Part 1 of the game, where he is the first officer on the scene of Hiroaki Arai's murder of Masaru Ihara. Here, he meets Shun Akiyama, and warns him to run before the law gets him. Tanimura leaves the police scene in time for Akiyama to be held in custody when he is mistook for the killer, but is soon released.
Tanimura next appears in a playable capacity during Part 3 of the game, beginning his investigations under Sugiuchi's orders and asks Zhao for help. He receives a call from Park, a massage parlor owner saying he may have found Yasuko Saejima. Tanimura finds her only for thugs belonging to Shibata kidnap her and wanted to kill her for the deaths of his lieutenants. Fighting his way through the docks. He finds out that Yasuko has been killing people on behalf of Katsuragi and witness Arai killing Shibata. Leading Yasuko to safety, she tells him the location of the yen requested as Tanimura secures the money and contacts Katsuragi to trade for information.
Meeting with Katsuragi, they discuss the matter on their way as Tanimura pieces together the circumstances of the Ueno Seiwa Shooting and figures that Katsuragi had a bigger role in the events and learns he was the true murderer. As he prepares to depart, Katsuragi orders his men to go to Homeland and kill Zhao and Mei after surrounding Tanimura. He was saved by Sugiuchi who deters Katsuragi's thugs from attacking Tanimura and get there in time to save his family and learned Hisai was here waiting as well.
With Hisai's help they find out that Sugiuchi was the one who wrote the report and that he had a link to the case as he was the one responsible for the investigation and motives behind the attack. With Yasuko leaving for Okinawa to find her brother, Tanimura attempts to return the money only for Akiyama to decline the offer as he wanted Yasuko to personally return it. He gives him a tip that Mishima, the other surviving thug at Elnard was hiding at the docks. Tanimura faces the true culprit behind the murder of his father as Sugiuchi who comes in and kills Mishima to ensure his silence. Defeating his mentor and father figure after lengthy chase. He confronts him in asking about why did he murder his father and cover up the incident. Sugiuchi confesses to being a mole but became a legitimate detective over the years as he enjoyed being a cop despite being sent there as a spy. He also points out that Munakata, the current chief of police was the one who provoked the events that led to everything that shook the Tojo clan. Sugiuchi was murdered by Hisai.
Returning to Homeland to learn that Hisai has committed suicide over killing Zhao and Mei Hua, with Akiyama's help both of them managed to allow Yasuko to get into Purgatory as they try and fail to defeat Kiryu, only to learn that Katsuragi has already knew where Saejima and Lily were but was forced to stay to tend to their wound.
After learning that Yasuko has died killing Katsuragi, Tanimura and the three go to Millennium Tower to deal with their respective foes as Tanimura defeats Munakata and his retinue of policemen under his direct command.
During the credits, Tanimura returns to his usual gig of being the Parasite of Kamurocho until internal affairs reassigned him out for illegal gambling.
Fighting Style[edit | edit source]
Tanimura's fighting style is based around Taiho-Jutsu (逮捕術, lit. arresting art), standard martial art used by the Japanese police, with influences from aikido and jiu-jitsu. He mainly does parrying and submissions during combat and usage of Heat Actions after doing a combo. However, Tanimura has low health, and his attacks are slow. He only relies on building up Heat and using combos, as well as using his main technique being the parry.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Despite being a prominent character throughout Yakuza 4, Tanimura is missing from all entries after it. This was possibly due to allegations of drug abuse against Hiroki Narimiya, who voiced Tanimura and lent his likeness to the character. Although he was later cleared of these allegations, Narimiya felt betrayed by the people he used to work with and retired from professional acting altogether in 2016. The controversy surrounding him likely is what led to Tanimura's removal from the franchise. Tanimura's appearance received an overhaul in the remastered PS4 release.
- He is still mentioned in Yakuza 5 during the Amon substory; Akiyama tries to call him but he does not pick up, leading everyone to assume he is laying low.
- In Yakuza 4, protagonists represent the four Eastern Gods. Masayoshi Tanimura represents the Black Tortoise (or Genbu), as he focuses the most on defense (parrying) out of the four player characters and is the most down-to-earth. His thick black coat in the original also represents the Tortoise's shell. His snakeskin belt may represent the snake that is commonly depicted wrapped around the black tortoise.
- Tanimura is a polyglot, being able to speak multiple languages due to his upbringing in Little Asia. Based on what is confirmed in Yakuza 4, besides Japanese, Tanimura also speaks Mandarin Chinese, Thai and Tagalog.
- Tanimura is one of the only two male protagonists in the main series who never takes his shirt off during battle in the games where he is playable. The only other one is Akiyama.
- Tanimura cannot use guns to attack, even though he carries a standard issue revolver and uses it during his taunts.
- Tanimura is one of two protagonists in the main games to only appear in one game, the other being Tatsuo Shinada from Yakuza 5