|This article refers to the Yakuza as a gang. For the Yakuza gang car in GTA III, see Yakuza Stinger.|
The Yakuza is a Japanese criminal organization that appears in Grand Theft Auto 1, Grand Theft Auto 2, Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto Advance and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. They are a reference to the Yamaguchi-Gumi Yakuza family and the only gang who appeared the most times. They appear as a neutral gang in III, while in LCS they appear as the main group of minor antagonists alongside the Diablos.
The Yakuza appears in the second San Andreas chapter, in Tequila Slammer. They have stolen shipments from El Burro. Then you are told to destroy some of their limousines and finally steal one from them.
In GTA 2 the Yakuza, led by Johnny Zoo, are based in Anywhere City and control the Funabashi, Shiroto and Ukita areas of the Downtown District. The Yakuza are involved in a violent war against The Zaibatsu Corporation and the Loonies. Zoo employs Claude Speed to move Doctor ZitZaki, who is being targeted by The Zaibatsu Corporation. He then has Claude to work as a getaway driver for Hiroshi, who commits a bank robbery, and then attacks the Loonies. The Loonies then attack Gama Rei, with Claude rescuing him with an Ambulance. Zoo then turns his attentions to The Zaibatsu Corporation, who have a Yakuza snitch, who is followed by Claude to his base, allowing Claude to collect torturer Refried Noodle and bring him to the snitch. Zoo then has Claude steal a SWAT Van and then destroy a Tank. Claude then begins to work for The Zaibatsu Corporation and the Loonies, working against them, and at one point has to escape from pursuing Yakuza members. Zoo, angry at Claude, begins to chase Claude in an attempt to kill him (at the same time as Zaibatsu leader Trey Welsh and Loonies leader Elmo), although all of them got killed by Claude.
Other members include Hana Funabashi (Johnny Zoo's girlfriend), Danny Zoo (who may be related to Johnny), Yonsi Zoo San (an elderly man barely kept alive on Zaibatsu drugs) and business man Tetsuo (who owns the Hochi-ban Bar).
GTA Liberty City Stories
The Yakuza's influence in the United States dates back at an unknown time, when co-leader of the Yakuza Asuka Kasen takes over. By 1998 the Yakuza are beginning to move into Liberty City. They are the strongest gang, but to prove it, they have begun to stock up on 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 starts to hire Toni to destroy her husband's organization to be weakened before killing him. 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.
By 2000, Asuka Kasen becomes the leader of the Yakuza, taking over from her brother Kazuki, although it is unknown whether her brother Kenji is co-leader. The Yakuza lose 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. Yakuza member/associate Yuka, Asuka's niece, 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, later 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. The Yakuza betrayal of Mike may have occurred due to Asuka discovering either Mike's kidnapping of Yuka or his failure to kill Biff Rock, with Asuka describing him as a 'means to an end'.
In 2001, the Yakuza is lead by siblings Asuka and Kenji, although it is unknown whether Kenji became co-leader in 2001. Asuka first comes into 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 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 to kill Kenji disguised as a Cartel member to start a gang war, which would drive down house 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 begins to tell off the Cartel 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.
Although the Yakuza are not mentioned or seen in GTA IV, it is possible that Shon Kikuchi and Noel Katsuda are part of the Yakuza, seeing that they are both Japanese and are convicted of gang-related violence. However, the two people could be just independent criminals not affiliated with any organized crime group.
- Kanbu Bust-out
- Grand Theft Auto
- Deal Steal
- Smack Down
- Waka-Gashira Wipeout!
- Grand Theft Aero
GTA Liberty City Stories
- Their favorite radio stations are Lips 106, Rise FM and MSX FM (3D Universe) and Funami FM (GTA 2)
- Both the Yakuza and Colombian Cartel wear colorful clothes and jewelry.
- Their symbol includes the Biohazard symbol on it.
- The Yakuza may have discovered Donald Love's plan for Kenji and killed him in retaliation.
- The Yakuza from GTA 2 and from the 3D Universe differ a lot. If the games are canon to each other, one can assume that the Anywhere City Yakuza is a different subset of the Yakuza, much like the Yakuza in real life has many subsets.
- The Yakuza are one of three criminal organizations (along with the Zaibatsu Corporation and the Russian Mafia) that originated from the 2D Universe that were later carried over to the 3D Universe. They are also the only one of the three who the player ever takes missions from, be allied with, and whose members appear in normal gameplay, as the Russian Mafia only appears in missions, and Zaibatsu is only mentioned in radio advertisements.
- 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.