The Yokohama Liumang (横浜流氓, Héngbāng Liúmáng /
The Yokohama Liumang was originally formed by Chinese immigrants to Japan as a self-defense group aimed at keeping Yokohama's Chinese population safe. Eventually, the Liumang grew powerful enough to rival the local yakuza, the Seiryu Clan.
In the 1950's, this rivalry between the Liumang and the Seiryu almost led to a gang war between the two organizations; until the intervention of a local politician named Yutaka Ogikubo. Wishing to prevent violence within his constituency, Ogikubo approached the then leaders of the Liumang and the Seiryu Clan and offered to partner with them in a money counterfeiting operation. Ogikubo had gotten access to stolen bill-plates which the Japanese Treasury could use to print currency and he would grant both groups access to them if they joined together to form a counterfeiting syndicate, where the Liumang would import the materials from China, the Seiryu would produce the bills and Ogikubo would use his connections with local government and the police to keep everything covered up. All three of them would split the revenue and peace would be kept between the Seiryu and the Liumang.
Ogikubo's scheme was incredibly successful, since it made him, the Liumang and the Seiryu Clan wildly wealthy. Nonetheless, since the counterfeiting operation had to be kept secret, only top members of both groups were allowed to know about it. This meant that the leaders of both groups had to pretend that there were constant tensions between them which could flare up at any moment. Eventually, when the Korean Geomijul also became a substantial power player in Yokohama, Ogikubo brought their leaders into the counterfeiting scheme as well, giving them the task of producing the counterfeit yen, while the Seiryu handled distributing bribes to key officials to keep the racket secret. This three-way rivalry/secret partnership between the Liumang, the Seiryu and the Geomijul came to be known as the Ijin Three.
Up until Tianyou Zhao, the son of the organization's prior ringleader, became leader, the Liumang would frequently have battles with the Snake Flower Triad. The death of their leader Lau Ka Long caused most of the Snake Flower members to leave, putting an end to the conflict and allowing the Ijin Three's apparent stalemate to be properly established.
By 2019, the Liumang is run by second- and third-generation Chinese descendants who are largely disconnected from their roots; many cannot even speak Chinese. According to Zheng, many Liumang men are illiterate due to having been illegal residents since birth and thus unable to attend school. His second-in-command is Akira Mabuchi (also known as Lao Ma), who covertly runs a yuan counterfeiting scheme using materials he steals from those Zhao imports for the Ijin Three. The Liumang's base of operations is Qing Jin, a high-end Chinese restaurant located in Restaurant Row.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
In 2019, Mabuchi has become frustrated with Zhao's refusal to move against the Seiryu and the Geomijul (as he is unaware of the Ijin Three's secret pact). Mabuchi makes a secret alliance with the leaders of the neo-puritan activist group Bleach Japan and their backers; the Omi Alliance, to cause a war between the Ijin Three, which would weaken them and leave them open to an Omi invasion. In exchange, Mabuchi would be made a member of the Omi and given control over Yokohama as their emissary.
In order to spark the war, Mabuchi has his men murder Isao Nonomiya, the owner of a soapland in Seiryu Clan territory, and make it look like a suicide. Mabuchi hoped that the Seiryu would realize the suicide was staged and would try to retaliate in secret, whereupon he could expose the attack and get an excuse to declare war. Unfortunately for him, it is not the Seiryu Clan who discover his plot, but Ichiban Kasuga and his friends, who were working for Nonomiya at the time. The Kasuga Party discover Mabuchi's yuan counterfeiting plot and infiltrate the warehouse out of which he runs it, but end up getting exposed before they can get evidence of the set-up. A fight breaks out between them and Mabuchi's men, during which they are captured and brought before Mabuchi.
Mabuchi records himself while he interrogates Kasuga, claiming that the latter is a Seiryu assassin sent to kill him. Despite Kasuga denying this, Mabuchi takes the recording and edits it to make it look incriminating so he can use it as an excuse. Using this opportunity, the Liumang lieutenant assassinates two young Seiryu officers and sends the edited video to both Zhao and the Seiryu's leaders, claiming that he acted in retaliation for the Seiryu's attempt on his life. The Kasuga Party escape from the dungeon where Mabuchi kept them and prevent the Seiryu captain, Mamoru Takabe, from assassinating Zhao in revenge.
Later on, after the truth about the Ijin Three's partnership is revealed, Mabuchi takes advantage of many of the Liumang members' discontent with it to stage a coup against Zhao, aided by men sent by the Omi Alliance. Mabuchi takes Zhao prisoner in Qing Jin and proclaims himself the new leader of the Liumang. Unfortunately for him, the Kasuga Party learn of this and carry out an assault on Mabuchi's new base. The Party fight their way through Mabuchi's men before finally reaching him at a private dining hall where he's having a meeting with patriarchs Reiji Ishioda and Yosuke Tendo of the Omi Alliance. Despite Mabuchi's best efforts, he is defeated and Zhao is released, putting an end to his coup. In spite his betrayal, Zhao cannot bring himself to kill his childhood friend and instead exiles him and his closest allies, barring them from ever returning to Yokohama.
After the commotion from Mabuchi's coup, the Liumang makes an alliance with the Geomijul; combining into a single organization led by Geomijul leader Seong-hui, since Zhao wished to withdraw from his leadership position for a time and instead fight alongside the Kasuga Party to put a stop to Bleach Japan and the Omi Alliance.
Tesso is an officer candidate who runs the White Mask branch, named after the team's tendency to wear white masks while doing their work. the Liumang (or at least the White Mask branch) appear to be open to doing mercenary work; they accept an anonymous contract by Jin Kuwana to do his bidding, which put Tesso and his team in conflict with Takayuki Yagami.
However, after losing twice to Yagami and Kuwana revealing his temporary partnership with Yagami, Tesso made up with him and began calling Yagami a brother of his. Tesso and the Liumang serve as allies to them both throughout the conflict, providing them both shelter in their Chinatown headquarters, and entering into conflict with RK as a result of RK's feud with them.
Zhao has a non-speaking cameo appearance where he cooks food for Kuwana, Tesso, Yagami and Fumiya Sugiura.