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The Shibata Family (柴田組; Shibata-gumi) are subsidiary of the Tojo Clan featured prominently in Yakuza 4.

OverviewEdit

BackgroundEdit

The Shibata Family came into being as a result of the infamous Yoshiharu Ueno hit of 1985. After Taiga Saejima of the Tojo's Sasai Family seemingly murdered 18 Ueno Seiwa Clan men (including several officers) at a ramen store in a failed attempt to take out Chairman Ueno, war between the two rising clans seemed inevitable. However, Kazuo Shibata, then a Sergeant of the Dojima Family, managed to broker a peace deal with Isao Katsuragi, an officer of the Ueno Seiwa who had become Chairman Ueno's new favorite after saving his life during the hit. As a result, Shibata was promoted and allowed to start his own family.

In reality, the entire incident had been a conspiracy orchestrated by Shibata, Katsuragi and Katsuragi's oath brother and police infiltrator, Junji Sugiuchi. Shibata had encouraged Sohei Dojima to order the hit; the execution of which was commended to Saejima of the Sasai Family, a Dojima subsidiary. Sugiuchi provided Shibata with the weapons for the attack: Revolvers loaded with experimental, non-fatal rubber bullets; which Saejima, being inexperienced with firearms, could not distinguish from real bullets.

The plan was for an unwitting Saejima to carry out the attack with the rubber bullets, knocking out all the victims without killing them. During the hit, Katsuragi would put on an act of shielding Ueno with his own body to save him and afterwards, while everyone else was unconscious, Katsuragi and Sugiuchi would kill all the targets except for Ueno with real gunshots. Katsuragi would gain the boss' favor for "saving" his life and then he would leverage that favor to negotiate a peace with Shibata, who would be rewarded for achieving this peace on the Tojo side. Sugiuchi would then file a false police report as the first officer on the scene to hide all evidence of the conspiracy.

When Saejima's oath brother, Goro Majima, was unexpectedly added as a second hitman, Shibata personally intervened to stop him, since a second hitman would complicate the plan. On the day of the hit, Shibata told Majima that Dojima had called off the hit, so he should not procede even if Shimano told him so. Majima insisted he had to follow through, so Shibata had his men forcibly restrain him and, as punishment for almost foiling the plan, he gouged out one of his eyes.

The plan initially went off without incident, until Sugiuchi filed his report. Sugiuchi's commanding officer, Chief Seishiro Munakata, immediately noticed the inconsistencies in the report and pieced together that Katsuragi had been involved in orchestrating the whole deal. Instead of inquiring further and exposing the conspirators, Chief Munakata opted instead to blackmail all three, using Katsuragi and Shibata as his puppets within the yakuza.

For the ensuing 25 years, Munakata would covertly control the Shibata Family and the Katsuragi Family, using them to influence the Tokyo underworld and advance his own career. For his part, Shibata would also exploit his knowledge of the conspiracy as well, repeatedly pressuring Munakata and Katsuragi to do him favors in exchange for his silence.

Yakuza 4Edit

In 2010, Katsuragi would come up with a scheme to try to escape Munakata's control by acquiring a substantial amount of money and power. The plot would require the collaboration of both Shibata and his personal assistant, Hiroaki Arai. He promoted one of his lower-rank officers, Masaru Ihara, to Clan Lieutenant and then sent him to cause trouble at a Shibata owned club. Arai, on Shibata's orders, would intervene in the commotion and end up killing Ihara. Katsuragi would then use the threat of war over the murder of one of his lieutenants to pressure Daigo Dojima into surrendering the Kamurocho Hills project to him in compensation, since Ihara technically held the same rank as Majima, that project's owner. Though the scheme was almost ruined because of the intervention of Arai's friend, Shun Akiyama, Arai eventually did manage to kill Ihara and set the plan in motion.

Further complications arose for Shibata, as a mysterious woman started murdering many of his men. When the murderess was spotted going into Sky Finance, Shibata sent one of his sergeants, Takumi Midorikawa, to steal the company's debtor ledger, in the hopes that it would contain information on the woman. Midorikawa also wound up kidnapping Takeshi Kido, another Shibata member who was close friends with Sky Finance's owner, Akiyama, in the hopes that he would know something about the woman. Unfortunately for Shibata, Akiyama managed to rescue Kido and recover the ledger before anything useful could be obtained from either.

Shibata's men would eventually succeed in kidnapping Yasuko and bringing her to Shibata's base of operations at the Tokyo Docks. Unfortunately for Shibata, when he threatened to rape and kill Yasuko, Arai turned on him and shot him in the back. As it turns out, Katsuragi's plot still required Yasuko to continue and Arai had decided to side with him over Shibata. Before Shibata died, Arai revealed that Katsuragi intended to kill him later anyway, since he'd grown irritated with Shibata's constant blackmailing for favors.

By the end of the game, once the conspiracy has been exposed and Arai has been imprisoned, the Shibata Family would end up being dissolved as a result of Shibata's treachery.

Notable MembersEdit

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