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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.

Profile[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

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.

Personality[edit | edit source]

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.

As the Governor of Tokyo, Aoki is well aware of his popularity in the politics scene, maintaining a seemingly down-to-earth image. However, behind the scenes, he appears to be a control freak who dislikes the possibility of his acquaintances acting without his knowledge.

Background[edit | edit source]

SPOILER WARNING: Major plot details for Yakuza: Like a Dragon follow. (Skip section)

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.

At one point, he attended Harvard University, majoring in political economy. During his studies, he met Hajime Ogasawara, who later became co-founder of Bleach Japan and received a lung transplant which restores his mobility.

Involvement[edit | edit source]

Yakuza: Like a Dragon: 2000-2019[edit | edit source]

On the 24th birthday on New Year's eve, Masato is taken by Ichiban 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 Ichiban 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 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 and formed Bleach Japan, a social movement to do so with Sota Kume being one of his most loyal supporters.


Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The kanji characters in the name Masato are a combination of his father and grandfather's given names: (masa), the first kanji in Masumi and (to), the first kanji in Toshio.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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