The Yakuza (ヤクザ) is a Japanese criminal organization that appears in Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto Advance and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. They are based on the Yamaguchi-Gumi Yakuza family and have appeared more times than any other gang in the Grand Theft Auto series. They are an ally of the protagonist in Grand Theft Auto III and antagonists in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.
Events of GTA Liberty City Stories
The Yakuza first began operating in Liberty City during the 1970s due to financial crises in East Asia. By 1998 they had become one of the strongest gangs in the city and had begun to stockpile weapons, including a tank, which Toni Cipriani destroys on orders from Salvatore Leone. Due to his actions, Toni gains the interest of Toshiko Kasen, wife of the Yakuza leader Kazuki, who hires Toni to sabotage the Yakuza's actions to weaken them before killing her husband. First, she has Toni steal the weapons and deliver them to businessman Phil Cassidy. Then, she has Toni reluctantly destroy money from the Big Shot Casino whilst it is being transported. Toshiko then decides to reveal her links to Toni, by going to an opera, where they are attacked by the Forelli Family members. They survive and a Yakuza gang member spots them entering Toshiko's apartment, leading to Toshiko giving Toni the orders to kill her husband. Toni kills him, on the roof of his casino, and returns to Toshiko's apartment, where she commits suicide, leaving the Yakuza without a leader. Despite having no leader, they maintain their control of Torrington, south Belleville Park, Pike Creek and west Wichita Gardens.
Events of GTA Advance
By 2000, the Yakuza is led by Kazuki's sister Asuka. The Yakuza have lost territory in Belleville Park, Aspatria, Pike Creek and part of Wichita Gardens. The Big Shot Casino has also been lost, although they are paid protection money from the new owner. The Yakuza do manage, however, to gain Bedford Point, where Asuka bases herself. Asuka's niece, Yuka, is kidnapped by Mike on orders from Colombian Cartel leader Cisco, although Mike later rescues her on orders from Asuka. Asuka then begins to employ Mike, seemingly in love with him, and help him look for Vinnie's killer. Mike first collects some protection money from a casino owner, before helping the Liberty City Cocks by injuring a Vice City Mambas player, to help Asuka's gambling business. She then sends Mike to kill actor Biff Rock and bring back his shoes as proof of his death, although Mike spares him, but does take his shoes to Asuka as proof. Mike then discovers that the Uptown Yardies are delivering bad fish to Asuka's sushi restaurants and then kidnaps Mafia members to send to Asia as slaves. Mike decides to stop working for Asuka, agreeing to help her one more time by killing a rival pimp in Newport. Asuka later contacts Mike in regards to Yardies leader King Courtney, who they both dislike. Asuka tells Mike where he can locate Courtney, but is ambushed. Later, Asuka sends some of her men to assist Mike in the battle with Yardies, who then leave him to tackle them on his own.
Events of GTA III
In 2001, the Yakuza is lead by siblings Asuka and Kenji. Asuka encounters Claude through an old friend named Maria Latore, wife of Leone Family Don Salvatore Leone. Asuka has Claude prove his ties to the Leone Family are over by killing Salvatore when he leaves Luigi's Sex Club 7. Claude kills him and later kills a number of Leone hitmen and a reporter. She then introduces him to corrupt LCPD officer Ray Machowski and her brother Kenji. An undercover police officer, posing as a Yakuza member, is killed on Asuka's orders, from information provided by Machowski. Ray has Claude to kill his former partner Leon McAffrey, who threatens to reveal his links to the Yakuza. Claude fails to kill him, however, and is sent again to kill him, this time successfully, as well as his current partner who Ray thinks is a "rat". Claude also begins to work for Kenji, who first has Claude bust Kanbu out of jail. Then he has Claude collect cars to repay a debt, kill some Yardies attempting to form an alliance with the Cartel and collect some protection money. However, Kenji becomes irate when the Yardies and Cartel form an alliance and has Claude destroy some street vendings and kill the vendors.
Claude then begins to work for Donald Love, who has Claude kill Kenji while disguised as a Cartel member to start a gang war which would drive down property prices. Claude succeeds in starting a war, leading to the Yakuza taking control of a construction site in Fort Staunton. While attacking the site, Asuka manages to capture Miguel, a high-ranking member of the Cartel, whom she tortures mercilessly. Miguel reveals the Cartel's plans, allowing Claude to kill squads hunting him down, stop the sale of SPANK by the Yardies and steal some SPANK being delivered to Francis International Airport. Claude then discovers that Catalina, the Cartel leader, has killed Asuka and Miguel, and kidnapped Maria, leading to Claude killing Catalina and rescuing Maria.
The three main members of the Yakuza have official names for a position in a real life Yakuza Family, the words in the brackets are the equivalent of the position in a non-Yakuza clan
- Kazuki Kasen - Oyabun (Boss) (deceased)
- Kenji Kasen - Waka-Gashira (Underboss) (deceased)
- Asuka Kasen - Shatei-Gashira (Underboss) (deceased)
- Kanbu - Gunman (fate unknown)
- Yamazaki - Enforcer
- Claude - Hired Hitman (resigned)
- Mike - Hired Hitman (resigned)
- Yuka Kasen (fate unknown)
- Maria Latore (fate unknown)
- Toshiko Kasen - Wife of oyabun Kazuki Kasen (deceased)
- GTA III
- Kanbu Bust-out
- Grand Theft Auto
- Deal Steal
- Smack Down
- Waka-Gashira Wipeout!
- Grand Theft Aero
- GTA Advance
- GTA Liberty City Stories
- Their favorite radio stations are Lips 106, Rise FM and MSX FM.
- Their logo features the Biohazard symbol.
- The term "yakuza" derives from a hand in Oicho-kabu, a Hanafuda card game, in which player draws 8, 9, 3 (pronounced ya-ku-sa when taken the initial of each number: yattsu, ku, and san). This is the worst possible combination of cards in Oicho-kabu, hence the number 8-9-3 stood to describe something that is worthless in Japanese pop culture.
- News Article Yakuza Operating With Impunity article from the Liberty Tree website.
- News Article Internal Affairs Investigate Links Between Yakuza and Police article from the Liberty Tree newspaper.