Shintaro Kazama (風間 新太郎, Kazama Shintarō)[a] is a recurring supporting character in the Yakuza series first introduced in the original Yakuza. He is the captain of the Dojima Family and the patriarch of the Kazama Family, subsidiaries of the Tojo Clan.
In his younger days during the Yakuza 2/Kiwami 2 1980 flashback, he wears a suit jacket over a navy blue shirt, a pair of leather gloves, a pair of dress pants and a pair of leather shoes. In Yakuza/Yakuza Kiwami, he wears a three-piece suit over a white shirt, a silver tie, and a pair of black dress shoes. At this point, he's seen using a cane due to an old injury.
As a person of principles, he was well-known and had gained the trust of many. As the financier of the Sunflower Orphanage, Kazama was always looking out for talented candidates to join the yakuza. Early on, he noticed the skills of Kazuma Kiryu and Nishiki and brought them into the organization on their insistence. Oddly enough, he was originally extremely against this and even "beat the snot" out of his two adoptive sons in order to try and prevent them from going into the yakuza life. Kiryu pleased him greatly with his advances in the Dojima Family until the devastating incident that changed everything. Kazama also killed Kiryu's parents, along with the parents of all the children he takes into his orphanage.
He's also a well-known tactician, being able to orchestrate intricate schemes from well behind the scenes.
Kazama began his life within the yakuza as a hitman for the Tojo Clan's Dojima Family, gaining a reputation for being an incredibly skilled, cold-blooded assassin and accumulating a sizeable body-count. Despite his infamy as a merciless killer, Kazama's regret over his killings eventually drove him to open the Sunflower Orphanage, where he would finance the upbringing and education of all the children of his victims. Kazama would also often visit the orphanage and spend time with many of the children, becoming like a foster father to them. Kazuma Kiryu, Akira and Yuko Nishikiyama, and Yumi Sawamura were amongst those children with whom he had close bonds.
Within the Dojima Family, Kazama was constantly at odds with his fellow lieutenant, Futoshi Shimano. Kazama disdained Shimano for his brutish, thug-like approach to running his businesses, while Shimano despised Kazama because he saw him as an obstacle for his own ambitions within the Family. This enmity between both men would outlast their years together in the Dojima Family and continue when both men started yakuza families of their own.
In 1980, while the Tojo Clan was in the midst of a violent war with the Jingweon Mafia, Sohei Dojima received a tip informing him that the Jingweon's leaders would all be at a Christmas party to be held in an office building behind one of their clubs. Aiming to gain prestige and power within the Tojo Clan by quickly ending the war in their favour, Dojima ordered Kazama and Shimano to attack the party with several of their men and assassinate every Jingweon member they could find. Due to the scale of the massacre, Kazama hesitated but eventually complied and carried out the attack. Regardless, Kazama disobeyed his boss by sparing the lives of Daejin Kim and Yeongmin Ji, two young Jingweon bodyguards he ran into during the massacre and whom he took pity on.
The massacre ended the war and catapulted the Dojima Family to a position of great power within the Clan, since most other families now feared Dojima's might. Horrified by his own actions and by his boss' ruthlessness, Kazama started to secretly undermine Dojima's organization from within to keep Dojima from becoming too powerful.
Prior to and including the time of the events in Yakuza 0, he is imprisoned after having been arrested during a police raid on a gambling house he operated. Meanwhile, the remaining lieutenants are vying for his place.
At the end of the game, Kiryu is seen visiting him in prison, confiding in Kazama that he plans to go back to the Dojima Family. Although having tried to dissuade him, Kazama assures Kiryu's suspicion that he already knew he would do this and gives his support.
Kazama assumes de facto control of Dojima Family following Sohei Dojima's appointment as a guardian to Masaru Sera.
Yakuza/Yakuza Kiwami: 1995-2005 EditIn 1995, he plans for Kiryu to create his own family. Following the murder of Sohei Dojima at Nishikiyama's hands with Kiryu taking the blame, subsequently being imprisoned for the following ten years, the Kazama Family absorbs the remnants of the Dojima Family and he pushes for Nishiki to create his own faction, the Nishikiyama Family, instead. Five years later, there is a rift between the Kazama and Nishikiyama families and some of Kazama's men have desert to the rival family. Prior to the day of Kiryu's parole, now 2005, Kazama sends him a letter informing him of the events that transpired during his absence.
Aided by Shinji Tanaka, Nishikiyama's lieutenant, planted in the family by Kazama, he and Kiryu meet secretly at Masaru Sera's funeral. While with Kiryu, however, Kazama is shot in an attempted assassination. As Kiryu has to flee the scene over being suspected to have shot him, Kazama is helped to a secret hospital by Shinji. Eventually, he is left in the care of Yukio Terada, a member of the Tojo rival Omi Alliance, who is indebted to him.Kazama is kept safe and recovers on Terada's yacht until Kiryu can meet him. As they do, and Kazama reveals the truth about Yumi and her sister to Kiryu and Haruka, the Shimano Family attacks the yacht before being defeated by Kazama Family reinforcements. However. when Shimano patriarch Futoshi Shimano throws a grenade Kazama is fatally injured as he protects Haruka. Shortly before he dies, he reveals the truth of who stole the 10 billion yen as having been Yumi, Sera and himself, that the money belongs to Kyohei Jingu who used the Tojo Clan to launder money. He hands Kiryu Sera's will, which names the successor to Tojo's chairmanship. He admits to Kiryu and asks forgiveness for killing his parents, and tells him that Sunflower Orphanage is where he sent the children of the people he killed. Despite this, Kiryu forgives him and calls him his true father.
Yakuza 2/Yakuza Kiwami 2: 2006 Edit
In 2006, while investigating attacks by a resurgent Jingweon Mafia, Kiryu and his new partner, Kaoru Sayama, uncovered Kazama's role in the Christmas massacre 26 years prior, which had seemingly destroyed the Jingweon. Kiryu also recalls how he unwittingly ruined Kazama's last attempt to prevent the massacre.
A then 13 year-old Kiryu, concerned for Kazama's safety after he didn't visit Sunflower Orphanage for Christmas, followed him to the building where the attack on the Jingweon was to take place. Kazama snuck into the building before Shimano and his goons could attack it and tried to convince the Jingweon's leader to let him escort him and the other leaders out of the city immediately, lest they all be killed. However, Kiryu burst in mid-negotiation, thinking that Kazama was in peril, and attacked the Jingweon leader. This prompted Kazama to shoot and kill the leader to save Kiryu. Hearing the gunshots, Shimano and his men burst in and commenced their attack on the rest of the korean bosses.
Ultimately, the attack resulted in the deaths of all the Jingweon's bosses and most of their bodyguards. Only three low-ranking thugs were spared due to Kazama's intervention. The Dojima lieautenant procured fake identities for all three men and sent them into hiding, hoping they could lead new lives as ordinary citizens. Unfortunately, two of the surviving men eventually returned to the Jingweon Mafia and started plotting to take revenge against the Tojo Clan for the massacre, leading to the events of Yakuza 2.
Kazama seemingly returns and is involved in the Okinawa resort deal, and the shootings of Shigeru Nakahara and Daigo Dojima. The man thought to be him is later revealed to be his younger brother, Joji, who because of Shintaro's role as yakuza had to leave the Japanese police force and later emigrated to the United States to work for the CIA. Estranged because of their difficult relationship, Kazama never mentioned him to anyone.
- Kazama seems to be a proficient marksman, shown in a flashback cutscene in Kiwami where he's able to dual-wield a handgun.
- ↑ In the original western releases of the Yakuza, Yakuza 2, and Yakuza 3, Kazama was renamed to Shintaro Fuma. This is speculated, but not confirmed, to be either a translation error due to a translator working from script only, as the kanji for Kazama (風間) can also be read as "Fūma," or a deliberate change to prevent confusion from arising due to the similarity between the names "Kazama" and "Kazuma."