A tall man with an athletic build, Zhao has a slicked back undercut hairstyle that is shaved on the sides. His hair is black and he has a small goatee and moustache.
Zhao's outfit consists of a leather jacket over a printed black and orange button down shirt, grey knee shorts over a pair of black tights, and high top black and white leather sneakers with gold pyramid studs and spikes on the tongue. He wears a pair of tinted round glasses, as well as a pair of gold hoop earrings, a thick gold bangle on his right arm, and a different ring on each finger. His nails are painted black.
During his time as leader of the Liumang, Zhao puts up a front of cold indifference, though during his Drink Link conversations with Ichiban, he reveals that he cares deeply for his men, especially Akira Mabuchi, whom he considers his friend and brother. He appears to be self-conscious of his "softness", though Ichiban repeatedly reassures him that it's a good trait to have. In his Drink Link, he reveals that he put up a facade as a ruthless and sadistic leader only to keep up appearances as the leader of the Liumang. This was because the leadership of the Liumang was forced onto him due to matters of inheritance from his father.
Zhao also enjoys cooking, and the party comments on how good his chili shrimp is in particular.
Zhao has a wisecracking sense of humor, and some party chats show that he loves pranking and teasing his fellow party members to the point of annoyance. Zhao also has a penchant for sadism on the battlefield as he enjoys toying with his enemies both psychologically and physically using tactics such as theatrical weaponry, death threats and insane battle cries.
Despite his uncaring and seemingly unhinged demeanor, Zhao is a thoughtful and caring man who struggled to find his place early on in his life. He cares a great deal about his own men and always sought to give them a home. He also cared deeply for Mabuchi and viewed him like a brother despite repeated betrayals from the latter. Since joining Ichiban's party, his heroic nature is further highlighted. Finally finding somewhere he can belong in, Zhao gladly tags along with Ichiban and company and has become more than ready to give his life for them and their shared cause despite the dangers they come across.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon: 2000-2019
In battle, Zhao has an increased resistance against bleeding, fear, rage and silence. His default job called 'Gangster' has him wield a Chinese saber which he uses to great effect, mixing in theatrical techniques such as lighting the blade on fire with alcohol and burning opponents by sending waves of fire their way as seen with his Essence of The Phoenix Blade technique. His bare-handed attacks are based on a variety of acrobatic Chinese martial arts such as the renowned Drunken Fist. In his Essence of Deadly Beasts attack, he appears to utilize snake, tiger, dragon, and mantis style kung fu. He can also damage a whole crowd of enemies by gracefully swinging a ladder like a weapon with the Essence of Ladder Acrobatics.
- To reflect his heritage as a second- or third-generation immigrant, Zhao's name is pronounced using the Japanese on'yomi reading of the characters that comprise his name (as opposed to a Japanese transliteration of the Chinese reading, the series' norm for Chinese names). The English localization uses an unaccented version of the Hanyu Pinyin system of romanization for his name, resulting in a discrepancy as one reading is Sino-Japanese and the other is Mandarin.
- 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"