Ryo Aoki (青木 遼, Aoki Ryō), also known as Masato Arakawa (荒川 真斗, Arakawa Masato) and Waka (若), is the main antagonist 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. 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 a special drug that allows him to stand up, Aoki uses a wheelchair, though by 2019 he no longer needs either of them.
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. He treats Kasuga as a servant, but has a strong sense of faith in the captain of the Arakawa Family, Jo Sawashiro.
|SPOILER WARNING: Major plot details for Yakuza: Like a Dragon follow. (Skip section)|
Aoki was born to an unnamed mother 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 Aoki out of the locker and bring him to a hospital, resulting in multiple organ failure.
Aoki 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 Aoki's care some time after his induction into the Arakawa Family.
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Yakuza: Like a Dragon: 2000-2019
- The kanji characters in the name Masato are a combination of his father and grandfather's names: 真 (masa), the first kanji in Masumi Arakawa's given name and 斗 (to), the first kanji in Toshio Arakawa's given name.
- Ryo Aoki bears some similarities to Kei Ibuchi in terms of physical appearance and personality. Both are not only calculating, but have no problem with sacrificing whoever they must in order to attain their goals. While seen as merely businessmen from an early stage, it is later revealed that there's more to them than meets the eye. In addition to this, both their plans entail the merging of both the Tojo Clan and the Omi Alliance.