- "I can take another name, and build a new life... But on the inside I'll always have that instinct, no matter how much I hate it. I'm yakuza through and through. Guile only gets you so far in this game. Remember that. You won't get another chance."
- —Kiryu to Aoyama, Yakuza 5
Born on June 17, 1968, Kiryu lost his parents at a young age and was raised in the Sunflower Orphanage where he met Akira Nishikiyama ("Nishiki"). During their time at the orphanage, the two became best friends and sworn brothers.
Shintaro Kazama, Captain of the Dojima Family and later Patriarch of the Kazama Family, became the foster father of both Kiryu and Nishiki by virtue of his ownership of the orphanage. Kazama took these parenting duties seriously, raising Kiryu like his own son. When Kiryu graduated from junior high school, with Kazama's support and guidance, he and Nishiki were introduced into the Dojima Family, the Tojo Clan's most powerful subsidiary.
By the time Kiryu was 27 years old, he had managed to significantly climb the ranks of the Family. The dragon tattoo on his back earned him the nickname "The Dragon of Dojima" (堂島の龍 Dōjima no Ryū). Kiryu had planned on starting his own subsidiary group within the Family, but those plans were thwarted when he took the blame for the murder of the Dojima Family Patriarch, Sohei Dojima, to protect Nishiki, and was imprisoned for ten years. Shortly before his release from prison, he received a letter from Kazama, prompting him to return to Kamurocho.
One of Kiryu's earliest misadventures occurred on Christmas Eve in 1980, when Kiryu, out of concern for Kazama, followed Kazama to the scene of a raid on the Korean Jingweon Mafia. While there, Kiryu interrupted Kazama's negotiations with two Jingweon members. In the confusion caused by Kiryu's sudden appearance, Kazama was forced to protect Kiryu by killing one of the Jingweon.
Later, shortly after their graduations from high school, Kiryu and Nishiki aged out of the Sunflower Orphanage. Tempted by Shintaro Kazama's wealth, influence, and fame, the two asked him to be inducted as members of the Tojo Clan. However, they were violently rebuffed with fight in an attempt to dissuade them from a life of crime. Because of their determination and resolve during this fight, Kiryu and Nishiki were allowed to join the Dojima Family.
Note: This section contains spoilers for Yakuza 0.
At the time of Yakuza 0, Kiryu is 20 years old and is working as a debt collector for the Dojima Family. The main plot of the game is triggered by the murder of a man in the Empty Lot. Because Kiryu had recently collected a debt from this man, Keiji Shibusawa, Daisaku Kuze, and Hiroki Awano (the three Lieutenants of the Dojima Family, and therefore Kiryu's superiors) blame him for the murder. However, Kiryu learns that the man had died from a gunshot wound, and not from the simple beating that Kiryu had given him. This motivates Kiryu to attempt to prove his innocence, rather than simply taking the blame and spending time in prison, as was demanded by his superiors.
During this time, Shintaro Kazama, who is at the time of Yakuza 0 the Captain (or second in command) of the Dojima Family, is in prison for an unrelated incident. Sohei Dojima, the Dojima Family Patriarch, promises the three Lieutenants that anyone who can complete a special task for him would be awarded Kazama's post. Specifically, Sohei instructs his lieutenants to discover and bring to him the owner of the Empty Lot. To reclaim his honor with the clan, Kiryu is instructed to find this owner.
However, Kiryu cannot stomach giving Kazama's post to any of the three Lieutenants, and requests that he instead be expelled from the Dojima Family. After a fight with Kuze, who wants Kiryu executed for what he views as insubordination, Sohei agrees to expel Kiryu.
After his expulsion, Kiryu accepts an invitation to meet with Tetsu Tachibana at the latter's office. Tachibana informs Kiryu that his company, Tachibana Real Estate, and the Dojima Family are having an all-out war over the purchase of the Empty Lot. This lot is standing in the way of a major redevelopment project planned in Kamurocho - the building that would become the Millennium Tower. Kiryu agrees to side with Tachibana in this war and begins a new life as an employee of Tachibana Real Estate.
In this role, Kiryu works with Jun Oda, a more senior employee of this company, to attempt to locate the owner of the Empty Lot. Various Dojima Family members are not pleased that Kiryu has aligned himself with the enemy, and they employ a variety of intimidation tactics on Kiryu, from blackmail to attempted murder. This intimidation goes so far that Nishiki is moved to take Kiryu out of the city to mercy kill him, believing that would spare Kiryu from an inevitable painful death. After Nishiki is unable to go through with this plan, Kiryu returns to the city as a hunted man, with his apartment burned down and Dojima's men searching for him at every turn. Kiryu is eventually cornered by Kuze and forced into another battle before being rescued by Tachibana and escaping Kamurocho.
Kiryu, a hunted man knew they will never be able to leave Tokyo without some form of insurance so Tachibana appeals to the Tojo Clan with the promise of retrieving the land for them in exchange for Kiryu's safety. This allows Kiryu to work with Oda to go to Soutenboori to find the landowner in the Camilla Grove. There they meet Masaru Sera who has Makoto Makimura waiting for them and imparts her with a walking stick as they drive out the city. However by then Shibusawa has already caught wind of the situation through Nishitani and after disposing of the loose end in the Kijin family attempts to kill Kiryu and Makoto in the car chase of Osaka's highways. While taking a breather, Oda was revealed to be a traitor and was nearly killed by him if not for Makoto's cane being a concealed blade that leaves Oda vulnerable as Kiryu leaves with Makoto and lets Oda die for his betrayal of the Tachibana family.
Returning home at last, he keeps Makoto in hiding and reveals the information to Kashiwagi and Nishikiyama as he goes back to pick up Tetsu, however they were soon outted by the Dojima who have finally found them both and nearly killed by Lao Gui. Seeing no other option he hands himself over to Dojima's custody and Tetsu was tortured by Yoneda. Kiryu comes to Tachibana's rescue only to see him die in his arms and brings his corpse to his sister.
After the failed reunion, he was contacted again by Sera who reveals that now Shibusawa has found Makoto and proven that the land belongs to her as it would upset the balance in Kazama's favor. However the Dojima family rewarded Kazama's position to Shibusawa for finding the landowner as Shibusawa now begin an all out purge of the Kazama family, Kiryu and Nishikiyama included. Fighting off the men sent to kill them and Kazama's loyalists he faces Kuze one last time who reveals Shibusawa intended for Makoto to survive so he can chase them down to the Consortium's HQ as they would launch a raid with the intention to kill Makoto and cement his authority. Kiryu and Nishikiyama head there alone to find Shibusawa as they were rescued by Kashiwagi. Kiryu eventually faces Shibusawa who intended to make his mark by killing Kiryu as they face off with Kiryu emerging victorious. Kiryu in his anger savagely beats up Shibusawa for the deaths of Oda and Tetsu and countless others as he was stopped from making the killing blow on Shibusawa. With most of the Dojima family defeated Kiryu has emerged victorious.
A couple of days after the incident, Kiryu was finally cleared of all charges as he makes his decision to return to the Dojima under renewed oaths. Celebrating with Nishikiyama, he makes the change from the standard Tojo clan suit to his signature red and white suit as the Dragon of Dojima.
27 years old, Kiryū has just completed his final job as member of Dojima Family collecting money from Peace Finance Company. In several days, he is to be promoted to have his own small clan, Kiryū Family which will be working as a small division of the Kazama family. To celebrate his promotion, he, along with Akira Nishikiyama, Yumi Sawamura, and Reina threw a party at Serena.
However, on the following morning, Kiryū was informed that Yumi has been kidnapped by Patriarch Dojima. By the time Kiryu arrived at the scene, Nishikiyama was already there. He murdered Boss Dojima and Yumi went into a deep shock. Knowing Nishikiyama's younger sister was in a hospital bed, Kiryu volunteered to take the fall for Nishikiyama, allowing the other two to escape.
10 years later, now 37 years old and after his release in December 2005, Kiryū returned to Kamurocho for answers and was told to search for Yumi. However, what was waiting for him was an unfriendly welcome by Nishikiyama. On top of that, the Tojo clan was also in disarray from losing 10 billion yen, which was stolen from a safe after the 3rd Chair-Man of the Tojo Clan, Masaru Sera, was assassinated.
Kiryū finds himself in the middle of the incident during the funeral of Chairman Sera, being accused for attempted murder of Shintaro Kazama. While on the run, a mysterious 9 year old girl named Haruka appears before him during in the wake of the incident. She then comes to rely on him as they search for her mother, who was also being targeted by Tojo Clan for unknown reasons.
However, there was a glimmer of light welcoming Kiryū. Makoto Date, Inspector from Kamurocho Police Department's fourth division, agreed to work together with Kiryū in exchange for the truth behind the incident which happened 10 years ago.
The odd team of a former Yakuza, a dishonored inspector, and a 9 year old girl, search for who or what is behind all of the incidents that take place in the middle of Kamurocho.
It has been a year since, Kiryū became 4th Chairman of Tojo clan, resigned from Tojo Clan on same day, and decided to say farewell to his Yakuza-life to live in peace with Haruka.
Now, Kiryu is 38 years old when the fifth Chairman of the Tojo Clan, Yukio Terada, is assassinated on December 15, 2006. Kazuma Kiryū wants Sohei Dojima's son, Daigo, to take the clan's leadership and prevent an upcoming yakuza families war between Tojo Clan of the Kanto region and Omi Alliance of the Kansai region, which was Terada's wish.
But the young man called Daigo Dojima does not want such a responsibility. Kiryū convinces him to travel to Sotenbori, Osaka. Here he encounters a new enemy named Ryuji Goda, also known as the Dragon of Kansai who is none other than the son of the 5th Chairman of Omi Alliance, Jin Goda.
Ryuji's father wants to avoid unnecessary bloodshed with war and makes preparation for a peace treaty. However, Ryuji does not wish for peace and neither does the majority of members of Omi Alliance, and decides to interrupt the treaty by starting a riot.
At the same time, the Osaka Police Department assigned Kaoru Sayama, an investigator from the police department's fourth division to watch/protect Kiryū from escalating incidences, but got caught up in the riot herself.
The former Yakuza and Female Inspector are now working together to prevent the war between two of the biggest Yakuza clans, as well as a mysterious Shadow group who seems to be working behind the scenes for some other motivation.
Kiryū is now 40 years old, and he and Haruka have moved to Okinawa after the feud with the Omi Alliance and run an orphanage called Asagao by the beautiful beach.
While their lives were peaceful, it only lasted for a few months when their orphanage received an eviction notice from a local Yakuza family, the Ryudo Family, who owns their land. Kiryū has decided to personally confront the local Yakuza on his own to understand the meaning of the eviction. Despite the clan's threat, Kiryū's strength was superior even to their strongest Rikiya Shimabukuro on streets of Okinawa. Afterward, Kiryū won the verbal charismatic battle with Boss Nakahara of Ryudo Family to demand to leave the land alone.
Several days later, Rikiya arrives at the Sunshine Orphanage for a request. Rikiya informs his boss Nakahara's adopted daughter Saki has been kidnapped by her biological mother who could be tied to their rival family; Tamashiro Family. Rikiya begged for Kiryū's assistance to calm his boss Nakahara down and some how defuse this situation.
After talking with Nakahara who was drunk and filled with sorrow, understanding the situation Kiryū raided into Tamashiro headquarter on his own defeating every member of Tamashiro clan and rescued Saki.
When Kiryū has returned to headquarter of Ryudo Family after the rescue, Daigo Dojima, now 6th Chairman of Tojo Clan, walks into Ryudo Family, which surprises both Kiryū and Nakahara. Daigo did acknowledge that it was Tojo Clan's job to research land and productivity of Okinawa for the sake of military base expansion and hotel/resort expansion. For this job, Tojo clan did hire local Go-Ji-Dan-Tai (basically temporary group that is not directly connected to Tojo-clan, but just to do a small job) however, he was informed that their method was very severe and he has personally traveled to Okinawa to put stop to it including Ryudo Family and Tamashiro Family.
Daigo and Nakahara who finally came to his true senses agreed that he will not touch Kiryū's orphanage land for the time being, and the peaceful life to Asagao returned.
But 6 months later, another incident takes place. Nakahara was shot by a man who resembles Kiryū's mentor Shintaro Kazama and the deed to the land was also stolen from Ryudo Family's office. In Tokyo, Daigo Dojima was shot by a man who also resembles Kazama according to Kashiwagi, who requested his presence back in Kamurocho.
How could the dead man Kazama Shintaro exist in 2 places, Tokyo and Okinawa almost same time? Where did the deed to the land go? Who is behind all of this incident who is pulling this trick? Is this someone from Tojo clan who is trying to start the process of military base and resort expansion again?
While still running the Sunshine orphanage, one day Kiryū and Haruka found a man who is washed up onto the beach of their home. The man has a tiger tattoo on his back and calls himself Suzuki and, after being nursed back to health, requests money to travel to Kamurocho. Kiryū suspected this man was an escaped convict and initially, resists his request. But after Haruka convinces him otherwise, Kiryū sent him with clothes and money to Kamurocho after learning the man's true name is Saejima.
A few days later, another man washes up on the beach. This man was Hamazaki Goh, the man who stabbed Kiryū in the stomach with a knife one year ago. Despite their terrible history and strong protest from Haruka, Kiryū nurses him back to health. When Hamazaki recovers, he reveals that he and Saejima escaped together from prison, and the prison he was staying in is a stronghold of all of the underworld money laundering and corruption by using all of top criminals as their pawns by making inside deals. In the document that Hamazaki had with him, it was revealed that there was a transaction from Kyohei Jingu's account for a sum of 10 billion yen, the exact amount of money that was lost from Tojo Clan back in 2005. It was also revealed that Ueno Seiwa Clan was planning on stealing Kamurocho Hills project from Tojo Clan and selling all of them to an unknown group.
Then Kiryū meets another person in town. Her name is Saejima Yasuko, who was looking for her brother who was transferred in Okinawa. Kiryū suspected something was at work in Tojo clan, and before things get out of control he decided to leave to Kamurocho to figure out what is going on.
Yakuza Dead Souls
In Kiryu's chapter, he's first seen walking towards a small rally in front of a bordering wall between the safe zone and quarantine zone. After a futile attempt at calling Haruka, two dump trucks charged past him at high speed and crashed into the wall, much to the anger of one of the riot police. He then walks past the damaged wall to the quarantine zone and found himself a small mob of zombies and proceeded to fight them bare-handed. After defeating them, Kiryu instantly remembers Haruka's words that Kamurocho is falling apart.
The next scene shifts to Okinawa, where Kiryu received a letter which states that the headmaster of the school that Haruka attend is retiring and invites Haruka to her farewell party. Haruka heads for Tokyo to attend the invitation.
Returning back to the zombie outbreak, Kiryu's surprised that the zombies are still pretty much alive after trying hard to fend them off. Not so long after, a female SDF soldier named Asagi took Kiryu to a safe spot at the Underground Mall, where she told that she was surprised seeing Kiryu survived without a gun. She offered him a handgun, which Kiryu declined. Kiryu told her that he's looking for Haruka, and the soldier told Kiryu to investigate Kamurocho Hills, where a group of people are holed up and set a barricade. A short while later, a gunshot sound is heard and Kiryu promptly followed her to the underground car park complex to locate a civilian, who turns out to be Nagahama, who went to Kamurocho to look for Kiryu. Unfortunately, both were too late, and Nagahama turned into a zombie shortly after succumbing from his injury. Asagi initially tried to shot the zombified Nagahama, but Kiryu prevented her from doing so and decided to fight him bare-handed with futile results. After knocking down the zombified Nagahama, Asagi pulled her gun again, but Kiryu stopped her and took her gun and performed what appears to be a mercy kill to Nagahama before heading to Kamurocho Hills.
After exiting the basement car park, Hasegawa met Kiryu and told him a few things, namely the zombie outbreak and an arms dealer named Kamiyama. After meeting him, Kiryu received a message about a back door at Pink Street and the recently-quarantined establishments.
Having been equipped with weapons from Kamiyama, Kiryu and Asagi now made their way to Kamurocho Hills. Inside, Asagi realized that the place is swarming with zombies, but Kiryu suggests to go inside to see what's what. After reaching the supermarket at the 2nd floor, Asagi and Kiryu encounter a now-zombified Hiroshi Hayashi, a former Omi Alliance yakuza. Much to Asagi's fear, there are also zombified SDF soldiers along with the zombified Hayashi. Asagi felt saddened after defeating the zombified SDF soldiers. Kiryu tried to approach her, but was interrupted by a suspicious noise that turns out to be Majima.
Outside the tower, Kiryu and Majima had a short talk, where Kiryu revealed that the invitation was fake and only meant to lure Kiryu out and that Haruka's kidnapped at the moment. Majima told Kiryu that a man named Nikaido of the Omi Alliance took Haruka and caused the zombie outbreak in Kamurocho. A little while later, Asagi bid farewell to Kiryu and asked about the survivors. Majima told her that the survivors are evacuated to Purgatory and that Haruka might be there as well. Later on, Kiryu and Asagi made it into the Purgatory, where Kiryu met Akiyama, where Akiyama told about a man named Nikaido and that The Florist has a new lead about the zombie outbreak, which is a Japanese-American man who goes under the alias of DD and a popular figure in the arms trading business. He explained that DD's busy weaponizing a certain bacteria that he recently found and that the Omi Alliance is on a revenge against Tojo in general and Kiryu in particular. However, during the reveal, one of the Florist's goons spotted zombies coming from the sewers. Kiryu and Akiyama managed to fend off the zombies while the Florist secure the Purgatory's inhabitants and head for the sewer's exit with Asagi. Outside, the exit leads them to a public park, where the three encountered a gargoyle-like prototype. After defeating the prototype, Daigo encountered Kiryu and told him about a master gunsmith in Kamurocho, located in Kurogane Building on Senryo Avenue. Along the way, they found an APC and used it to their advantage.
Inside the building, Kiryu met Ryuji Goda, who told Asagi that it was Kiryu who caused Goda to have a prosthetic arm. A short while later, the Florist phoned Kiryu, telling that Nikaido's hiding in the penthouse in Millennium Tower, along with Haruka and DD. After the phone call, the gunsmith gave Kiryu a heavy rifle and proceeded to Millennium Tower with Goda.
At the tower, they faced Hayashi, now a zombified prototype. After defeating him, Kiryu's surprised that Hayashi still recognizes him even in zombie form. The scene cuts to a flashback where Hayashi got shot by Nikaido and received the mutagen from DD.
At the penthouse, Goda and Kiryu faced Nikaido and prompted him to release Haruka, which he did. However, when Haruka was running towards Kiryu, two mutants approached both Kiryu and Goda, forcing both men to fight both mutants. After defeating the mutants, Nikaido admitted defeat and was about to be killed by Goda, but then DD turned and infected him with the mutagen, turning him into a mutant and making Kiryu and Goda having to fight him. Initially, the fight went well, with Nikaido showing signs of defeat, but then the mutagen evolved, causing him to transform into a gigantic mutant and destroying the penthouse in the process. In an attempt to save Haruka, Goda hold himself against the rubble while Kiryu proceeds to fight the mutated Nikaido once again. In the middle of the fight, Asagi aided Kiryu by dropping two crates to him, one contains a bunch of grenades while the other contains an anti-tank missile.
In the Japanese version, Kazuma Kiryu is available as a DLC character for Binary Domain's online mode, and was a free preorder bonus.
Kiryū is now 44 years old. He has resigned from the orphanage job and now lives in Fukuoka on his own without Haruka, as a taxi driver at Nagasu Taxi Company. Kiryū has changed his name to Suzuki Taichi to hide his identity, and is living with a girl named Mayumi, but he is not in a romantic relationship with her.
One day while Kiryū was on the clock, Daigo approaches Kiryū's taxi and tells him about how Tojo clan will now sign a treaty with a very small clan in Fukuoka called Yamagasa Clan. There is strong protest from many executive officers of Tojo Clan, due to the fact that Yamagasa clan carries only 500 men, while Tojo clan is over 30,000 men. In addition, Tojo Clan has managed to flow in steady financial gain in last several years.
After having a chance encounter with Daigo, Kiryū decides to call it a day. However, he inadvertently ended up ticking off a rival taxi firm, so he must somehow make amends. Afterwards, he heads out on the town with his boss Nakajima, and the events of the night include touching conversations about how Kiryū got hired and brutal violence. The two workmates eventually head to a hostess club, where Nakajima’s attempt to cow two hostile members of the Yamakasa group ends up with Kiryū being dragged into another fight. After the two head their separate ways, Kiryū heads back to his apartment to reflect on the events of the day. Suddenly, an unknown woman enters his apartment, and it’s revealed to be one of the hostesses from the hostess club and has a chat with girl named Mayumi. After work the next day he is met by Yuu Morinaga and Masato Aizawa, members of the Tojo Clan who were running security for Daigo during his visit to Fukuoka. They inform Kiryuu that Daigo has gone missing and that the last person he had contact with was Kiryu. Aizawa and Morinaga show up at Kiryu’s house the following day, having gotten into a brawl with Yamagasa men. They learn Aoyama has taken up being the interim chairman of Tojo clan.
While going to retrieve his boss Nakajima from a diner Kiryu is met by Kazuhiko Serizawa, an Osakan detective with the Organized Crimes Unit. He warns Kiryu that he needs to meet with Omi Alliance Lieutenant Watase unless Aizawa and Morinaga act first and cause a war. Kiryu meets with Watase who reveals he has no interest in Daigo and thus doesn’t know where he is, but he does reveal a lot of information was leaked by Aoyama. Kazuma rushes to the hotel where Madarame and Aoyama are only to find Madarame stabbed after trying to shoot Aoyama. Aoyama was planning to take over the Tojo Clan and thus frames Kiryu for attacking Madarame and shooting Morinaga. Kiryu fights his way out, but Aoyama sets off the explosives in the hotel and eliminates any evidence.
The following morning Kiryu finds Mayumi at his apartment who it turns out is Madarame’s daughter and was tasked with watching Kiryu as a favor to Daigo to keep Kiryu’s life peaceful. He reveals Daigo also was never abducted but has instead gone into hiding as he believed that Aoyama was making an attempt on his life. With Daigo sorting out affairs incognito, Madarame gives Kiryu a letter for Yahata. Kiryu meets with Yahata and shows him the letter ordering the dissolution of the Yamagasa Family. Yahata agrees but he’s still intent on fighting the Tojo. Kiryu tears up the letter, saying that the Yamagasa need to remain intact to keep the peace in Fukuoka. As such, he has Yahata call up Aoyama demanding to meet at the docks for a war.
Instead of having the Yamagasa and Tojo fight, Kazuma proposes he take on Aoyama’s forces by himself as that won’t be a war. He battles his way through Aoyama’s men and savagely beats Aoyama as a warning. Aoyama confesses his ploy wasn’t to take over the Tojo but to lure Kiryu out of hiding. Before Aoyama can reveal his master’s identity he’s shot in the head by Morinaga who was in on the plan from the start. He admits to murdering Aizawa and declares that Kiryu go to Kamurocho for answers.
Two days later Kiryu meets with Serizawa who informs him they found Aizawa’s brutalized body and wonders if Kiryu is going to Tokyo. Kiryu says he’ll follow his own path, but the detective tells him to listen to the news. On the car radio Kiryu hears that a murder victim has been found in Sapporo with it being none other than Goro Majima by this Kiryu got pretty pissed and made his decision to go to Kamuroch. Then Kiryu dons his grey suit and heads to Tokyo, bidding farewell to the photograph of the children at his orphanage.
As Kiryu arrives in Tokyo, he quickly realizes that he’s being followed by none other than Baba who admits that he’s an accomplice in the Omi Alliance’s plan and that the main objective of the plan was to draw out Saejima and Kiryu due to them being seen as the pillars of the Tojo Clan. However, Baba is not working with Morinaga whose actions in Fukuoka were the doing of him and Aoyama. Currently three main families are vying for the Chairman position with the Watase, Katsuya, and another.
Then Baba and Kiryu see a broadcast saying Haruka’s concert has been canceled, making Kiryu even more certain of Katsuya’s guilt which Saejima and Aizawa also see. Kiryu tells Baba to relay a message to Haruka and heads off the Kamurocho Hills. Kiryu and Saejima fight their way through the Omi Alliance members separately until they reach Katsuya in his suite with Watase following after. On the roof of the hotel Katsuya admits he is not the mastermind, but had to trick Kiryu, Saejima, and Watase into showing up in order to lure out the culprit. Saejima fights Katsuya while Kiryu fights Watase. Both Kiryu and Saejima defeat Katsuya and Watase. Then Kiryu and Saejima fight and have a draw. They are then shot by Detective Serisawa who Watase and Katsuya say is Tsubasa Kurosawa, the Seventh Chairman of the Omi Alliance. Daigo shows up to intervene, but is shot by a traitorous Kanai. Then later, Akiyama and Shinada then meet with Kiryu and Saejima at New Serena, Akiyama coming to the conclusion that Majima, Katsuya, and Park worked behind the scenes to draw out Kurosawa and that they need to cancel Haruka’s concert lest her life be in danger. Kiryu refuses to let that happen and the four plan a way to protect Haruka during her concert. Kurosawa is then met by Majima.
The Kurosawa’s men, disguised as members of the Majima Family, arrive at Millennium Tower and begin opening fire. With Majima at the top of the tower and Haruka’s concert underway Akiyama and Kiryu stay behind to fend off Kurosawa’s men while Shinada and Saejima go through the tunnels to the Japan Dome with Shinada fighting Baba. Then later Kiryu gets a call and goes to the Tojo clan to find who is the culprit for taking over the clan and killing its members.
At Tojo Clan Headquarters Kiryu finds Aizawa who is Kurosawa’s son, his legacy and the culprit. Kurosawa, panicking after his terminal diagnosis returns, wanted to leave Aizawa the entirety of the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance as a legacy, though Aizawa is only interested in besting Kiryu in battle to prove who’s stronger. After an arduous battle Kiryu emerges victorious despite his wounds opening.
At the concert Haruka confesses to her audience about her past and how Kiryu was previously a yakuza. She announces she’s retiring from the entertainment industry before running out of the Japan Dome. Kiryu collapses in the snowy streets of Tokyo, but is found by Haruka, the two of them finally reunited.
After the events of Yakuza 5 in December 2012, 44-year old Kiryu is brought to the hospital after being severely injured when his wound opens up while fighting and then defeating Aizawa. Kiryu was found almost unconscious by Haruka who bought him to the hospital and the police showed up to arrested Kiryu for assault on Yakuza in Kamurocho. But, Kiryu accepts the fate of being arrested after he woke up in the hospital because he wants to become a new man and wants to live peacefully with the children in Okinawa after he returns from prison 4 years later. In June 2013, now 45-years old, he is in prison for the crimes he committed in the past and Haruka came to talk to Kiryu about the situation in the orphanage. After that, Kiryu was released from prison in 2016.
Upon returning to the orphanage, Kiryu learns that Haruka disappeared from the orphanage three years ago, in order to keep the orphans safe from the paparazzi who were spying on Haruka. This urges Kiryu to return to Kamurocho to found out what happened to Haruka. In order to do that, he tried to track down Shun Akiyama.
Kiryu first heads to Sky Finance, but he's nowhere to be found. After gathering enough leads, he finally found Akiyama's whereabouts: he's hiding in the sewers in order to avoid the Triads, who have been on his tail due to his connection to the yakuza, especially Tojo Clan. Upon finding Akiyama, Kiryu was greeted with a bunch of Triads, making Akiyama suspect that he's been followed. Both managed to defeat the Triads in a fight.
After exiting the sewers, Kiryu got a call from Date who informed that the police had found Haruka, who is being hospitalized after an accident, urging both men to go to the hospital, only for Akiyama to be prohibited to enter it due to his dirty appearance. Inside, Date told Kiryu that Haruka was protecting somebody which turned out to be her son, Haruto, much to his surprise.
Kiryu intended to take Haruto away with him, much to Akiyama's disagreement because it may harm both Kiryu and Haruto, since Akiyama prefer him to let the child services take care of him until Haruka regained consciousness, leaving him no choice but to fight him in the children's ward. Eventually, Akiyama accepted his intention, allowing Kiryu to take Haruto away. Later on, Kiryu was informed that the child services office lets him take care of Haruto under Date's personal guarantee.
The scene moves to New Serena where the bar's Mama lends a hand to take care of Haruto, while Date told Kiryu that the police have recovered Haruka's smartphone and that they revealed that Haruka was in Hiroshima for the last three years after managing to locate the location of one of her photo.
Kiryu heads for Hiroshima with Haruto, specifically to a small town named Onomichi. There, he encountered Tsuyoshi Nagumo, a member of a local yakuza family, and met Kiyomi Kasahara, owner of a local snack bar. Both Kiryu and Nagumo got into a fight after Nagumo got pissed at Kiryu acting like a yakuza rather than a civilian.
During the visit at the bar, Kiryu asked if Kiyomi knew Haruka, by which she responded no. Kiryu also revealed that the reason of his visit is to find Haruto's father. Upon hearing it, Kiyomi told him that there's an apartment that he can use to stay.
Kiryū's design (version 1) from the first game lasted until Yakuza 2 and was subsequently updated. From Yakuza Kenzan onwards, Kiryu was modeled after his voice actor, Kuroda Takaya.
His hair length in Yakuza 3 and thereafter was slightly longer but still retained the pulled-back look. He still wears the familiar light-grey blazer and pants with a maroon shirt. However in Yakuza 5, there are other additions to his wardrobe. One of them, particularly different from his usual attire, is a light-grey jacket with double-breasted pockets and a zip collar, pulled over a dark-grey vest and a white shirt, With matching dark grey pants to complete the attire in Yakuza 5.
In Yakuza Zero, his original appearance is a black suit with an open coat and a half opened button white shirt and gold necklace on his neck. Changing the costume by shopping with Nishiki, he then wears a white light suit with a summer orange shirt.
In the Yakuza 6 demo and trailer, he wears a blue large winter coat with a white shirt along with grey pants and black boots.
Kiryu is the honor-bound dreamer of the dark Yakuza world. He's not the type to judge others and is generally accepting of anyone who is friendly. A extremely righteous man, Kiryu lives by a strict code of honor that dictates every action he takes in his life, including joining the Yakuza at a young age and starting Sunshine Orphanage. While he is extremely kind and merciful, he is undoubtedly a Yakuza at heart due to his acceptance of the dark actions and violent methods the Yakuza families bring so long as they are justified. Kiryu himself is highly prone to violence for the sake of justice, although it is tempered by his code of honor and compassion to defend the helpless.
Kiryu is a man who speaks little, yet whose words carry significant meaning. He generally lets his actions and mannerisms speak for him when possible. By no means does this make him unsocial; rather, he tends to be the listening ear to the world, giving advice in response to his environment rather than starting conversations per-se. He is wise but not all-knowing and generally means well for those around him, which make him surprisingly (if unintentionally) popular whenever he stays in one place at length. Kiryu loves kids, and while he's not particularly talented at understanding or parenting them, he tries to keep consistency in his parenting methods and the values he wishes to impart to them, and tries to be thoughtful whenever he can, which garners a lot of respect.
He sees the world in a more idealistic sense than a real one, one almost comically foolish in nature had it not been for genuineness of his belief and the rugged determination he pursues such an ideal world with; something that would would amaze friends and enemies alike all throughout his life. As Kiryu gets older the realities of life starts to sink in and he gains a more sober (but still idealistic) view of the world, especially after he had to leave Sunshine Orphanage to raise funds and allowed Haruka to leave to pursue her dream. He is extremely merciful, willing to forgive almost everyone except the worst offenders, to which he will proudly accept justice for. He is famous for his "tough guy" routine, although it's more out of slight social awkwardness than an attempt to look strong or cool. This is something that is joked upon by those who know him.
Kiryu tends to open up significantly around those he is comfortable with, especially Haruka and Nishiki (at least until their brotherhood breaks). Nishiki in particular is one of the few individual who can completely break Kiryu's tough-guy routine with jokes and sarcasm racing back and forth regularly between the two. This becomes increasingly rare as Kiryu gets older as he never really lets anyone in to the same extent except Haruka, whose much more serious personality tends to catch Kiryu ocassionally off-guard rather than purely comfortable.
Kiryu is by no means a romantic and he never really goes out of his way to seriously woo women aside from those who have earned his genuine friendship (in partiularly Yumi Sawamura). In spite of this, Kiryu does enjoy going to Hostess clubs for conversation and relaxation, and continues going to them for most of his life for both internal reflection and help the hostesses to reflect on their own lives.
Introduced in Yakuza 0 is the ability for Kiryu to switch between different fighting styles never displayed in the series before. Mirroring Majima, his has four styles revolving around a default balanced style that is effective in most, if not all situations; a style focused on speed to hit enemies quickly while dodging just as fast to avoid being hit; a style focused on power that relies on slow but immensely strong attacks and increases resistance to enemy attacks; and a secret, legendary fighting style that the character in question will canonically adopt as their fighting style for the rest of the series.
Balanced - Brawler
Kiryu's canonical style throughout Yakuza 0. A basic yet powerful style relying on simple brawling, hence the name. Fighting is somewhat flashy in execution and slow, especially in comparison to Majima, but his blows are powerful. Its simplicity represents Kiryu's status as a mere Yakuza underling and debt collector, shown by the very amateur handling of his body weight in his attacks. Despite this, Kiryu's impressive physical ability proves itself whenever he takes on groups of foes by himself and coming out with only slightly ragged breath. Many attacks in Brawler style have a wrestling-like quality to them, which combined with his basic street brawling, complete the style with simple yet effective moves. This style, from the progression of its combos, to its stance, can be viewed as an unrefined, prototypical version of Kiryu's Dragon style.
As a balanced style that bears blue Heat as with other playable characters' styles, Brawler is Kiryu's counterpart to Majima's Thug style. The theme song for this style is titled Force Addiction.
Speed - Rush
The second fighting style that Kiryu learns in the game: A Speed style that draws on boxing, shown by Kiryu's upright stance with a high guard put up. The Rush style is best known for its ability to quickly stun enemies with "Dempsey Roll"-like bursts of relentless blows, as well as its emphasis on Kiryu's speed and footwork; his movement speed is increased while using this style, and he can dodge three times in a row. This style represents Kiryu tapping into the upper limits of his movement speed and reaction time, seemingly on the level of advanced martial artists despite never having any proper training in boxing.
All attacks in Rush style are performed near-instantly, with even the slowest and most powerful blows still fast enough to hit enemies before they could put up their guard. The blows performed in the combos themselves are that of boxing jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts. This style doesn't have a grab; in place of it, he has a quick kick. While using this style, Kiryu can parry enemy attacks in a manner strikingly similar to Tanimura's parrying in Yakuza 4, turning their momentum against them in order to get behind them. While he can't pick up weapons while utilizing the Rush style, this is not to be taken to mean he can't use weapons from his inventory. Rather than blocking, he instead uses a stationary ducking dodge also typical of boxing, allowing him to evade attacks while not compromising his position, though training will allow him to utilize a block as well.
As a speed style that bears magenta Heat, Rush is Kiryu's counterpart to Majima's Breaker style. The theme song for this style is titled Parry Addiction.
Power - Beast (dubbed Destroyer in Japanese version)
The third fighting style that Kiryu learns in the game: A Power style that focuses on brute strength and use of immensely heavy weapons such as motorbikes, shown by Kiryu's grounded stance with legs far apart to fortify his balance, and open-handed claw-like hands hinting at his focus on grappling. Slow but powerful, Kiryu emphasizes his incredible tenacity and capacity to take hits. This style represents Kiryu using the full force of his fantastic musculature, being able to pick up objects no normal human could realistically lift such as motorcycles, as well as throwing around full-grown men with only one hand. Each attack in Beast style is delivered with all of his body weight behind it, making for incredibly slow yet just as incredibly devastating hits that are capable of knocking foes off their feet or breaking through their guards without much effort.
Each attack within the rush combos can be charged for maximum damage and range, making Kiryu the only character in the series with combos composed of entirely charged attacks. Pressing and holding Square near weapons and objects strewn around the environment can have Kiryū instantly pick them up and attack with that weapon; he can immediately start a combo from this, or transition from an attack combo into it. As well, the damage he inflicts with it is considerable. The Beast style can make heavy weapons much easier to use; these weapons are also included among those Kiryu can pick up and swing at opponents. Taunting in Beast mode can have Kiryū restore some health at Heat cost, provided a certain ability is acquired. As this style emphasizes Kiryu's raw strength, the Beast style's dodging is slow; Kiryu is liable to get hit if dodges are incorrectly timed. Blocking, however, is unique among styles; Referred to as "Resist Guard", rather than negating damage completely, damage is simply reduced instead; this reduction can be upgraded even further with abilities. He also doesn't flinch or get knocked down, and can gain Heat while under attack.
As a power style that bears yellow Heat, Beast is Kiryu's counterpart to Majima's Slugger style. The theme song for this style is titled Crash Addiction.
Legend - Dojima no Ryu/Dragon of Dojima
The final, optional fighting style that Kiryu unlocks after finishing the Money Island substory. This style is what Kiryu eventually adopts in titles that take place chronologically later than Yakuza 0. It is a powerful combination between basic street brawling, punch-and-kick-based martial arts such as karate or muay thai, and judo grappling, with a simple fighting stance deceiving the all-around massive power and impressive speed that few like Kiryu can properly possess to wield the style effectively. The best of Kiryu's other styles, such as the speed of Rush, the strength of Beast, and the technique of Brawler meld into what is Kiryu's one-and-only signature fighting style.
A unique passive ability for this style is "Yinglong's Light", which allows certain upgrades and abilities from Kiryu's three other styles to be applied to Dragon. Exclusive to Kiryu are various augmentations to his combat, such as "Finishing Hold" which allows him to grab and throw around enemies at the end of combos. Many moves that he would normally learn from Komaki have different animations and are under different names; the Komaki Parry where Kiryu parries an enemy's attack is, instead, a reversal grab named "Knockback Counter" where Kiryu grabs his opponent's arm and violently kicks one leg out from under them. The Komaki Knockback where Kiryu counterattacks after a successful block is replaced with a flying knee attack named "Twist Counter", and the Komaki Tiger Drop, able to completely shut down any enemy attack with a high-damaging and instantaneous strike, is replaced with a elbow counter named "Iron Fist Counter".
Being the style he takes on later in life, this is similar to Majima's Mad Dog of Shimano style, and bears white Heat (red in Yakuza Kiwami). The theme song for this style is titled Receive You 〜Tech Trance Arrange〜, a techno-trance remix of the original Receive You from the very first Yakuza game.
Kiryu's handling of weapons is poor until he meets Komaki himself, in the chronologically later Yakuza 1/Kiwami.
In the remake version of this game. Kiryū style retains all of his moves from Yakuza 0. The only exception is that he must relearn moves for the Dragon of Dojima style by fighting Majima.
Kiryū obtains a new heat bar called the "red heat" which gives Kiryū more Heat actions associated with the Red Heat. Red Heat actions do a huge amount of damage. Kiryū is also the only character to perform Super Finishers.
Kiryū doesn't have the ability to do Super Finishers in this game. although Kiryū still has his Red Heat, He can't upgrade with a third Red Heat bar. When the player begins as him in new game, he will have most of his abilities from Yakuza 3. The rest has to be unlocked with Soul Points. Most the moves he had from Yakuza 3 are removed such as Hell's Floor.
Kiryū's Red Heat is removed but instead replaced with Red Dragon spirit, this ability can make Kiryū invincible as well as automatically knocking back enemy attacks. Kiryū doesn't have to do a parry to do Essence of Dragon king. His Drunken thrust also changed drastically, although the animation did not change. He has also gained some new Heat actions as well.
Kiryu has further honed his fighting style, unlocking Extreme Heat Mode at the start of the game.
■ Immense Strength : Kiryū is exceptionally strong, his physical might is monstrous, can throw punches with tremendous force, lift very heavy objects as improvised weaponry (e.g. signposts and even motorcycles), throw full grown men with great ease, and could even match Saejima in a brawl. His Beast style in Yakuza 0 and Kiwami emphasizes this, granting him the ability to throw grown men across considerably distances with only one hand. In Yakuza 1/Kiwami, Kiryu destroyed a statue with a single punch. His perhaps most notable feats of strength include beating a pair of Tigers barehanded and being able to stop a rampaging Bull charging at him.
■ Immense Speed : Kiryū has an extremely high level of agility, his physical speed dexterity and reflexes are trained to utmost perfection. He is extremely quick in his attacks, able to strike his enemies multiple times with near instantaneous precision, has supreme evasion abilities able to evade gunshots and dangerous knife and sword slashes even explosive firearms such as a rocket launcher with great ease. His Rush style in Yakuza 0 and Kiwami emphasizes this, granting him the ability to throw extremely fast punches and kicks, and in one Heat action, rapidly punch a falling enemy without letting them hit the ground.
■ Immense Endurance : Kiryū has a extremely robust constitution, which contributes to his immense tenacity, his smoking and drinking habits appears to have minimal amount of hazardous side effects on his health, and he can fight long and hard battles with only moderate amount of fatigue.
■ Immense Durability : Kiryū is an extremely tough fighter able shrug off beatings, weapon strikes and even bullets with only minimal discomfort. This is made more apparent when he uses Beast style, as he can simply brace himself without blocking to take hits from enemies without flinching, regardless of the weapon or power put into the attack. The peak of his durability is demonstrated in Yakuza 5 where he battled hordes of men for hours despite the fact he was weakened by a gunshot on his abdomen.
■ Master Hand to Hand Combatant : Kiryū is an extraordinary martial art master, able to fight off hundreds of men, overwhelm extremely strong fighter such as Majima and Taiga, and his skills were mostly self taught through sheer combat experience. His fighting style is varied mixing Boxing, Karate, and Samurai Jujutsu. Kiryu's ability to switch from one fighting style to another in an instant as the situation calls is testament to this.
■ Master Swordsman : Kiryū is a master of Samurai Swordsmanship including Kenjutsu and Tantojutsu, able to proficiently wield Katanas, knives, and daggers.
TattooIn Japanese culture, the dragon symbolizes power and dominance over all especially when seen holding pearls. 桐生・きりゅう・Kiryū's in particular, is the only one seen holding a pearl up. In which that represents variety of things such as wisdom, power, immortality, prosperity etc. They're known to have a hot temper regardless how they express that. His dragon being a silver/white color suggests that he is a pure person, although in what sense he is "pure" is a matter of debate.
Utabori is the tattoo artist who designed Kiryū's dragon.
Kiryu's given name Kazuma had its etymology explained on Ryu ga Gotoku: Kenzan! The first kanji character 一 (kazu) means lone, whilst the second 馬 (ma) means horse. This refers to the single ridden horse that would lead a cavalry unit into battle. As such, the name suggests a courageous individual who likes to lead from the front and get things done, as befits Kiryu's personality.
"A promise is promise."
"It's been a while, Majima-san"
"He learnt his lesson."
"Reina, where's Yumi?
"That's enough, Nishiki."
"Here's your money."
" Fuma..Nishiki and Yumi are like a family to me...I..I' m sorry...I have to go."
"Nishiki...Take Yumi with you."
"I killed him myself."
"Detective, I have a ring of Yumi...Can I ask you to give Fuma.? And tell him I'm sorry."
"Who ordered you?"
"How many times do I have to tell you!? You're either deaf or retard."
"Listen Yuya's right.
"Why do the Omi Family after me?"
"...Nishiki asked you!?"
"It's been a long time Reina."
"What's your name, kid?"
"Just your bad luck... to run into me.
"All right.. you can go."
"I don't die easy."
"Tell me...Do you even listen to yourself?"
"You can't be serious,"
"I'm just passing through"
"Get out of here,Takashi"
"..I did feel the urge to hit some balls today."
"I suppose yours will have to do."
"Hey! Remember, you owe me one."
"Ch...What a pain in the ass."
"Not quite yet. You aren't gonna kill that kid."
"All you have to do is promise to do everything you just said."
"You're Date's daughter, aren't you?"
"I'm not stupid as you. I wouldn't sell myself to strange man for a chunk of change"
"Your father would do anything to protect you.. No matter what it costs him"
"...You're a bunch of pussies, all of you."
"I assume that's a joke, but i' m not laughing."
"How did you know where I am?"
"Haruka...Your mother...is...dead...I couldn't help her....I'm sorry."
"..Why? After everything he did for you, he was like a father to you!!
"Do whatever you like. But I will never give that girl and her pendant to you...Never."
"Date...Haruka...She's all by herself in that fucking city looking for a mother she' ve never met before."
"When I learn that she was trying to leaving me...It reminded of me back in years 10. It reminded me of how I felt...I thought I was the right thing, protecting someone very close to me. But when I'd think that, maybe I was running away from everything. I just couldn't accept what I knew fate had in store for him. I couldn't do it... I didn't have the balls I should've just let fate take its course. Instead, I twisted his destiny. But then sometimes I think. I was right to fight against destiny When you're protecting something important to you and the situation becomes desperate, you'll jump over any hurdle.. no matter how high it may. Now that Mizuki's gone, Haruka. I mean she's just a little girl trying so hard to survive on her own If she's gonna fight her destiny, I'm prepared to protect her.. with my life."
"I never know what I expect from you..."
"That's right. You'll finally be able to meet her as her mother."
"Then step the fuck up, it's time to die!!"
"How..How can you shoot your own daughter?"
"How can you so callous? Killing the child of the woman you loved?"
"You're right. But only if I die...And that isn't about to happen. I'll protect what Fuma Oyabun and Chairmen Sera left behind, with my life!"
"I am the fourth chairman of Tojo Clan...Kazuma Kiryu!!"
"Nishiki...I truly understand your pain... I lost the two most important people to me. You two...I can' change the clock..even if I wanted to...That's why....we need to settle this quickly."
"Yumi, I've wanted always to tell you..I love you.. I've always loved you, Yumi.."
"Old man,I don't know why I'm the only one still alive. But now that I've gone straight... I plan bringing Haruka up right."
"I know. I'm prepared for the worst."
"Nishiki and I.. We'd been together since we were kids. We were closer than blood brothers. Any debuts Nishiki left are mine to pay now."
"As it now, the Tojo aren't worth dying for. The officers are busy counting their money, ad the clan's lost all its grandeur. But still...I believe."
"Believe that the clan can be strong again. Strong like it was under Shimano and Fuma. Strong like it was under your father. I believe it'll happen. But not without you."
"That's why I'm back... to take responsibility!"
"The Dragon of Kansai...He called you the dragon of Kansai."
"Shouting the way you were, I didn't have much of a choice."
"Care to try?"
"I hate this unfair fight."
"Please...come back to Tojo Clan, Majima."
"You must be scared, Haruka...I'm sorry to let this happen you again."
" We're not a couple."
"Give me Haruka!"
"Fuma's gone, so you have deal it with me that. I'd gladly make it up his mistakes."
"Ryuji...I knew it. You're kind of a man exactly I thought. You can't help yourself...you just listen what your guts say."
"...You remind me of an old friend...Fighting was how he knew he lived....I'd give anything to fight them what people want me to."
"Kaoru...Live your life...I. I've got the unfinished business with him..."
"Terada...Fuma. Wasn't it Fuma? Wasn't he the one who saved your life!?
Take care of Daigo ,Majima."
"Why do you keep calling me Boss?"
"Not a talkative typesetter?"
"Sorry, but I'm going to rough you up bits."
"Tokyo isn't scary, you know."
"You've lost your way, Mine...Someday I'll show you."
"If you come with me, you just get yourself killed!"
"I can't let you kill Toma."
"Words isn't enough to though the kikes of you. So I'm show you...in my way."
" As long we're alive, it never over."
"You're no different. Like them, you don't confront people, you let money control your life."
" I don't know what prison landed you in, but I can't help you get revenge."
"You don't look like bad guys, but I guess you we do this in. Hard way."
Yakuza Dead Souls
"I can take another name, and build a new life.. But on the inside I'll always have that instinct, no matter how much I hate it. I'm yakuza through and through. Guile only gets you so far in this game Remember that. You won't get another chance."
- Since Yakuza 3, his face has been modelled after his voice actor, Takaya Kuroda.
- In Yakuza 4, protagonists representing the 4 Eastern Gods. Kazuma Kiryu is obviously the Azure Dragon, as he is the most balanced of the characters and also the most wise. He also has the Dragon Tattoo.
- Kazuma's character skin is also available as an alternate skin for Kenshiro in the End of the Century Premium Edition of Hokuto ga Gotoku.