Japan's Virtual Mafia Bad-Ass Reduced To Pulling A Ramen Cart

Image for article titled Japan's Virtual Mafia Bad-Ass Reduced To Pulling A Ramen Cart

Kazuma Kiryu. The "Dragon of Dojima" and one of the main protagonists of the Yakuza series. This walking powerhouse of violence has come a long way from his youthful days of beating up biker gangs through the seedy underbelly of Japan's criminal world and to prison and back.


According to his character bio, Kiryu was born in 1968. Raised in an orphanage, he was always strong-willed and stubborn, but held to a strong code of loyalty to his close friends. At the age of 27, Kiryu went to prison for 10 years to protect his childhood friend. After his release, Kiryu managed to punch, kick, and pummel his way through 2 mafia conflicts before settling down to manage the orphanage where he was raised as a youth. Even then, Kiryu managed to get pulled back into 2 more mafia conflicts before leaving the orphanage and taking on the name "Taichi Suzuki" to live in peace and quiet as a taxi driver.

With such a violent past, it's no wonder the "Dragon of Dojima" is nothing short of a living Terminator. The man can run 100 meters in 11 seconds, beat a tiger in a battle of strength, can punch through a fire-resistant emergency door, and can literally dodge bullets. At 44 years of age, the legendary mafia monster is stronger than ever. New images from Yakuza 5 show this pile of testosterone… Pulling a ramen cart through the streets of Fukuoka?

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. You'd think the "Dragon" would be able to find something better to do. Even street racing in his taxi cab has a whiff of bad-assery to it compared to taking orders and making ramen. Well, at least in his spare time he'll be able to beat up thugs, play the drums, and pay money to talk with girls.

『龍が如く5 夢、叶えし者』歓楽街の住人たちが巻き起こす驚愕のサブストーリー [ファミ通.com]

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.



Yakuza games would be so much better if the fighting wasn't so poor. Honestly Streets of Rage on the Genesis (aka Bare Knuckle on Megadrive in Japan) had more depth than the fighting in Yakuza. The fighting should have been more like Shenmue's combat or Sleeping Dog's, which wasn't bad either although it was a bit too easy to counter.

I playing through Yakuza 4 right now and I gotta say I actually look forward to the cut-scenes because I find them much more entertaining than the fighting.