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10 Strongest Characters in the Yakuza Games

Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has some of the strongest and most likable heroes and villains ever. Here are the ten strongest characters in the Yakuza games. This list will contain characters from the mainline Yakuza games only – that is, from Yakuza 0 to the latest Yakuza: Like A Dragon.

The list will rank in descending order, meaning the strongest character will take first place.

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10. Masaru Watase

10 Strongest Characters in the Yakuza Games Masaru Watase

Masaru Watase is a militant and honorable Yakuza who rose from being the Patriarch of the Watase Family to the Captain of the Omi Alliance, which is the largest and most powerful Yakuza organization in Japan.

His height is 5’11”. You’ll find him in Yakuza 5 and Yakuza: Like a Dragon as a supporting character. Watase’s Tattoo depicts Asura, a titanic demigod from the Hindu and Buddhist mythologies.

9. Futoshi Shimano

Futoshi Shimano

Futoshi Shimano is a giant of a man who’s 6’5″ and weighs 149kg (328lbs) and he’s a very overwhelming fighter. Shimano is also very intelligent and manipulative and that made him one of the greatest assets of the Tojo Clan.

Shimano’s tattoo depicts a Roaring Tiger.

8. Daisaku Kuze

Daisaku Kuze

Daisaku Kuze is one of the most respected characters among Yakuza players for good reason. He’s the pinnacle of manliness and his endurance and perseverance are very admirable. No matter how many times he gets defeated, he’ll be back for more and he will fight until he gets the respect he deserves. Don’t let his age fool you. He was a former boxer, and he was incredibly strong and fast.

Kuze’s height is 5’9″. His tattoo depicts Enma, also known as Yama, who is the King of hell in Buddhist mythology. Enma is a judge who decides whether the dead shall go to hell. Kuze is a very judging character, so the tattoo well fits him. He’s one of the reasons why Kiryu Kazuma became so legendary.

7. Jo Sawashiro

Jo Sawashiro

Jo Sawashiro is a methodical and cold-hearted man with a tragic backstory. He’s a sharply-dressed officer of the Yakuza who is 6’2″ and is proficient in many martial arts, such as boxing, Canne de Combat (Cane fighting), and swordplay. He’s agile and precise, making him a lethal combatant who is able to put up a serious fight against even tougher opponents.

While Sawashiro’s tattoo is not shown in Like a Dragon, in Ryu Ga Gotoku online his tattoo is a Dragonfish (Ryugyo). The dragonfish is a Koi who is on the verge of becoming a powerful dragon and it suits Sawashiro very well because he went from being a Captain of a small family to forming the Tokyo Omi Alliance.

Sawashiro is featured in our Yakuza: Like A Dragon Main Bosses Ranked list.

6. Yoshitaka Mine

Yoshitaka Mine

Yoshitaka Mine is a quiet, methodical, and intelligent man who is known as the “Treasurer of the Tojo” because he’s the main source of income for the Tojo Clan. Despite looking like a man who sits behind the desk and avoids combat, Mine is insanely strong. He’s 6’1″ and is extremely skilled in mixed martial arts. He was able to make the Dragon of Dojima himself, unable to stand up straight after fighting with him. He is one of the best antagonists of the franchise.

His tattoo depicts a Kirin, a mythical creature associated with a fierce, benevolent, and protective leader.

5. Ichiban Kasuga

Ichiban Kasuga

Ichiban Kasuga might seem like a silly hero-wannabe… And he actually kind of is a silly hero-wannabe. He didn’t have a powerful position in the Yakuza, he was only a thug from a small-time family. He’s childish, immature, and naive. But Ichiban Kasuga is one of the most powerful characters in the series, not because of his physical strength, but his unbreakable mental strength. Ichiban has a party of friends and he works together with them to defeat powerful foes whom he couldn’t defeat if he was alone. Ichiban will be a legend in the Ryu Ga Gotoku universe. He might even surpass the Dragon of Dojima Himself…

Ichiban Kasuga is 6’1″. Ichiban’s tattoo is a Dragonfish, who is a Koi who is on the path to becoming a legendary dragon. The Dragonfish‘s journey to becoming a legendary, benevolent dragon is nigh impossible to prevent or halt by anyone. Ichi will return in Like A Dragon 8.

4. Ryuji Goda

Ryuji Goda

Ryuji Goda, nicknamed The Dragon of Kansai is an aggressive hulk of a man who stands at 6 feet and 5 inches and weighs 105kg (231 lbs). He’s skilled in Sword fighting, wrestling, street fighting and brawling. Ryuji is even able to withstand multiple gunshots. He is Kiryu‘s arch-nemesis in Yakuza 2 and Kiwami 2. Ryuji was deeply admired and respected by every Omi Alliance officer. Even the captain of the Omi Alliance, Masaru Watase was inspired by Ryuji.

Ryuji’s tattoo is a Golden Dragon (Yellow Dragon), which is a God in Chinese mythology who is associated with harvest and strength. Ryuji symbolizes wealth, prosperity, and power as well. One could say that he is the mortal depiction of a God, like most of the legendary characters in the Yakuza games.

Ryuji Goda is one of the most powerful enemies Kiryu Kazuma has ever faced.

3. Goro Majima

Goro Majima

Goro Majima, nicknamed The Mad Dog of Shimano and the One-eyed Demon because of his unpredictable and violent nature is one of the legends in the Yakuza world. He was a big reason why the Tojo Clan became so powerful and stood fast in difficult times. Majima is uncontrollable by even his superiors. He’s not serious most of the time, and just laughs and screams the words he says. He might seem funny, but there are times when his voice becomes deeper and more serious, and when that happens, everyone needs to be on their guard.

Majima is mentally unstable sometimes, and he had severely beaten his own men for little reasons. For example, once a baseball hit him in the face and he started laughing maniacally because he thought it was funny, and his men started laughing too. One of his men didn’t laugh and was visibly shocked and frightened. Majima almost beat him to death with a baseball bat.

Deep down, Majima is a caring person though. However, he is a very complex character so it’s hard to say if he means well or wants to kill you.

He also had an obsession with Kiryu. Majima used to stalk Kiryu, looking for opportunities to fight him. He would get angry if he won, and he’d be very happy and joyous if Kiryu defeated him. This obsession was mostly because Majima‘s Oath-brother, Taiga Saejima was in jail. It can be said that Majima saw Kiryu as a substitution for Saejima.

Majima uses Wakizashi (Dagger) when he fights. It’s suspected that he poisons the knife with a hallucinogen because Majima‘s foes see multiples of him when they battle against him but it’s just speculation though.

Majima has a tattoo of the jealous female demon Hannya on his back, and it depicts his unpredictable and insane nature.

2. Taiga Saejima

Taiga Saejima

Taiga Saejima, also known as the Tiger of the Tojo and the Slayer of Eighteen, is a legendary hitman and Yakuza officer of the Tojo Clan. Saejima is the oath brother of Goro Majima, and they share a deep bond. Saejima is a heavily-built man whose height is 6’3″ and weighs 93kg (205 lbs). Despite his monstrous look, Saejima is actually a very kind and caring person. He acts like a big brother to everyone around him and is protective. In terms of intelligence, he’s average but his brute strength equals that of Kiryu’s, and he might be even stronger.

Taiga Saejima‘s tattoo depicts a roaring tiger, and he’s actually the mortal depiction of the White Tiger deity “Byakko” who protects Japan. In mythology, the Tiger is equally strong as the Dragon and this is why the fight between Kiryu and Saejima in Yakuza 5 ended in a draw.

Once, Saejima pulled a huge light pole that stood on the ground and used it to beat his enemies. That’s how powerful he is.

1. Kazuma Kiryu

Kazuma Kiryu

Kazuma Kiryu, nicknamed the Dragon of Dojima, is the single most legendary and accomplished character in the Yakuza universe. He is 6’0″ and weighs 80kg (176 lbs) and utilizes a variety of martial arts like wrestling, street fighting, and weapon skill. Kiryu is able to defeat almost anyone in the Yakuza universe, with the exception of Taiga Saejima. He is also the wisest and most experienced character in the series.

A hundred pages won’t be enough to list Kiryu’s accomplishments. He is called the Dragon of Dojima for a reason.

Kiryu‘s tattoo depicts the Azure Dragon “Seiryu” who is a Dragon God that protects Japan. Like Saejima, Kiryu is also the mortal depiction of that dragon god. Kiryu’s agility, technique, and strength are superhuman.

Honorable Mentions

Other than the upper list of the 10 Strongest Characters in the Yakuza Games, here are some of the other strong characters from the series.

  • Yosuke Tendo
  • Shun Akiyama
  • Keiji Shibusawa
  • Hiroki Awano

These were our picks for the ten strongest characters in the Yakuza games. Tell us your picks on the forums!