Ryo Aoki (青木 遼, Aoki Ryō?), also known as Masato Arakawa (荒川 真斗, Arakawa Masato), is the main antagonist and final boss of Yakuza: Like a Dragon. He is the current governor of Tokyo as well as the founder of the non-profit organization Bleach Japan.
Aoki has a slim build. As Masato, his short black hair is combed back save for two loose pieces on either side of his face, and he has a neatly-kept goatee. His attire consists of a dark gray pinstriped suit over a gray and black patterned shirt and black dress shoes. He also has gold stud piercings in both ears and wears a silver chain necklace. When not using ephedrine injections, he requires the use of a wheelchair. By 2019, he no longer needs either.
During his time as Governor of Tokyo, he changed his attire, changing his hairstyle to a more conservative style, shaves his face clean, and wearing a conservative navy blue suit over white shirt with green pinstriped tie, a pair of matching navy blue pants, and brown leather shoes. He also wears a pair of prescription glasses by 2019.
Though he and Ichiban Kasuga are the same age, Aoki can be considered the opposite of his adoptive brother, as a calm and quiet individual who prefers to keep to himself. Though the story implies that Aoki and Ichiban were close friends when they were younger, by the year 2000, Aoki is deeply resentful of having to be chauffeured by Ichiban due to his disability and treats him as little more than a servant.
As the Governor of Tokyo, Aoki is very conscious of his image and optics, maintaining a seemingly down-to-earth image. However, behind the scenes, he is is obsessed with power and control. Aoki is ruthless in pursuit of what he calls "front-facing power", enacting complex schemes to manipulate Japan's political apparatus, with the singular aim of concentrating authority on himself. He is also very controlling of his associates and allies, demanding that none of them act without his approval when their actions could affect his plans or public perception of him.
Aoki's desire for popularity and front-facing power stems from his youth. He resented being completely dependent on others due to his disability and being socially ostracized due to being the son of a yakuza boss. However, instead of developing empathy for people facing similar plights to the one he faced, he came to hate the vulnerable and marginalized because he hated being one of them. After going into politics, Aoki campaigned against Japan's most vulnerable (like the homeless, foreign migrants and sex workers) in order to expand his popularity with a Japanese public that shared similarly negative view of those marginalized groups. This puts him in sharp contrast with Ichiban, who passionately defends the people whom Aoki would harm because of their low station in life.
Aoki is also a deeply hypocritical person, criticizing the "gray zones" of legality in public, while employing the yakuza as hired thugs and assassins behind the scenes in order to advance his political objectives.
Aoki was born to Ikumi and Jo Sawashiro on January 1, 1977 in the bathroom of a department store. He was locked in coin locker #99 at Shinjuku Station as a newborn and abandoned by his parents, who were unable to care for him.
Masumi Arakawa retrieved him, unknowingly believing him to be his child with Akane, who he had instructed to hide their baby in a coin locker in order to keep him safe while the two were being pursued by members of Hikawa Industries. However, it was a cold night, and hypothermia set in before Arakawa was able to take Masato out of the locker and bring him to a hospital, resulting in multiple organ failure.
He was given the name Masato Arakawa and raised as Arakawa's only son. Although he grew up in wealth, he appears to have had an unhappy childhood due to chronic illness, which required him to use a wheelchair from a very young age. He experienced a great deal of shame about this, to the point that he was once in such distress about his inability to walk that he had to be restrained from hitting his legs, a sight that inspired Sawashiro to join the Arakawa Family in order to watch over him. Ichiban Kasuga was tasked with Masato's care some time after his induction into the Arakawa Family.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon: 2000-2019
On the day before his 24th birthday, Masato is taken by Kasuga to visit Yumeno's hostess club for her birthday celebration. Taking an illegal Ephedrine injection, he is able to walk for the evening. He meets Juro Horinouchi, a law enforcement official who rebukes Masato's bribe to see Yumeno. That day he learns of Yumeno's true feelings while she talks with Horiuchi, that she sees him as nothing more than someone to squeeze money from.
Dejected, he attempts to go home by himself only for the medication to wear off before he can make it back to his wheelchair. He is attacked by Chikao Suzumori, who believes he was trespassing. Driven by anger and desperation, he murders Suzumori and calls Sawashiro to report the murder that Kasuga would take the fall for.
The events that happened on that fateful birthday make Masato despise the world that he grew up in. With the Arakawa Family's help, he fakes his death and steals an identity to travel to America under the alias of Ryo Aoki and receives a lung transplant that allows his body to function properly. There he meets Hajime Ogasawara and talks of his ambition to end the existence of Grey Zones in Japan. The two form Bleach Japan, a social movement to do so with Sota Kume being one of his most loyal supporters. He leaves Bleach Japan to enter politics, and ran for the House of Councilors in 2010.
In 2017, Aoki becomes the governor of Tokyo with assistance from the Arakawa Family. He enacts the Kamurocho 3K Plan to crack down on crime and drives the Tojo Clan out of Kamurocho. He threatens his father Masumi into leaking intel that allows the plan to succeed, unaware that Masumi is collaborating with Daigo Dojima to allow the 3K Plan to succeed for Dojima's own agenda. By 2019, the Tojo Clan's presence in Kamurocho is no more and the Omi Alliance takes over, with Aoki intending to use the Omi to further his ambitions. He lends men to Ogasawara when he learns of his opponent Yukata Ogikubo's operation with the Ijin Three.
Then, in order to obtain the support of the police, he bribed Juro horinouchi, who was already the director, and several other senior police officers into the plan of kamurocho 3K plan. Before that, he visited Juro horinouchi and his wife Yemeno, the one Masato was pursuing before. It was Yumeno who did not recognize Masato and praised him "hypocritical", which deepened his resentment against Juro horinouchi and Masumi Arakawa, and accelerated his implementation of kamurocho 3K plan.
In the struggle with ijin three, he asked reiji ishioda to command each Japan to attack geomijul. Although the offensive was defused by Kasuga and others, it also led to the destruction of Geomijul's intelligence network and had to stop the counterfeit money business.
After Kasuga recognized Aoki as Masato, because Ogasawara was forced to tell Kasuga everything about him, he decided to execute Ogasawara secretly. Then, in order to make a reasonable explanation for Ogasawara's death, he held a funeral and mourned him "sadly" at the funeral.
Aoki pushed Sota Kume up after hearing that Kasuga would approach him through ijincho's campaign. But Kume was defeated. Kasuga and his party soon approached Aoki and made an appointment to meet at otohime land. After meeting, they exchanged greetings, Aoki left in Kasuga's declaration and asked sawashiro and his men to solve them.
Aoki's plan was blocked as Masumi Arakawa forced the dissolution of Tojo clan and OMI alliance. In order to continue the implementation of the plan, he put aside human nature and directed Jo sawashiro, Reiji ishioda and Yosuke Tendo, cadres of the Tokyo OMI Alliance (composed of gangsters dissatisfied with Tojo clan and OMI alliance), to kill Arakawa. Among them, Jo sawashiro gave up. Reiji ishioda was noticed by Arakawa before he started. However, tendo pretended to be in the same camp with Arakawa and shot him after meeting him.Later, Aoki accused sawashiro of failing to obey the command. In order for sawashiro to prove his value, he asked sawashiro to lead his entourage to kill Ryuhei Hoshino.
After Hoshino died, Aoki targeted Jo sawashiro,Kasuga and his party and sent reiji ishioda and mirror face to destroy them. However, once they failed, Aoki asked tendo to use a bomb to kill them and Kasuga et al.
Finally, Kasuga pretended to be dead and approached Aoki, claiming that sawashiro left a recording as criminal evidence in the Millennium Tower office. Although Aoki was skeptical, he sent tendo to investigate. However, after tendo was defeated by Kasuga and others, they forged the illusion of "tendo defeated Kasuga and others" together with mirror face, who hated Aoki, and asked Nick otaga to destroy it during Aoki's speech, which forced Aoki to lead him down to Millennium Tower. However, after he came to the scene, his actions were recorded and broadcast live by Kasuga and others. Aoki had to escape upstairs after Kasuga and others defeated his men. Then he had a hand to hand fight as Masato Arakawa with Kasuga who went upstairs alone because the party was exhausted. The final result was that Kasuga beat him downstairs. Masato was not affected by Kasuga's persuasion, holding a policeman and taking his gun.
Masato came to the locker where he was born, and Kasuga followed. He complained about his life to Kasuga and then tried to swallow a gun to kill himself. Kasuga cried and begged Masato not to commit suicide while loudly persuading him. Finally, Masato was persuaded to put the gun into the "Locker" where he was born. However, just as Masato said goodbye to the Secretary and was ready to turn himself in with Kasuga, Sota Kume, who felt that he had been used as a pawn by Masato's plot, stabbed him secretly with a knife.
Finally, Masato died due to ineffective rescue. But the evidence he left behind led Koichi Adachi to arrest JURO horinouchi, who was involved in the plan.
- The kanji characters in the name Masato are a combination of his father and grandfather's given names: 真 (masa), the first kanji in Masumi and 斗 (to), the first kanji in Toshio.
- The given height of 185 cm (6′ 1″) is based on the character model's scaling factor within the game's data. For Dragon Engine games, this method is believed to be very accurate (±1 cm). However, this is intended as an estimate, not a substitute for an official statistic.
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Ryu ga Gotoku Studio, PC, November 2020) - .JSON File - "character_model_model_data.json"