We recently got some hints as to Kasuga Ichiban’s backstory thanks to an interview in the latest Famitsu, but today Sega also gave a more detailed insight into our plucky new protagonist’s background, and why he reveres his boss, Arakawa Masumi, so much.
Kasuga Ichiban was born and abandoned at Kamurocho’s soapland, Shangri-La. Both his biological father and mother are unknown. The manager of Shangri-La, Kasuga Jirou, raised Ichiban.
After the death of Kasuga Jirou, Kasuga Ichiban didn’t go to high school, and began a life of beating others up for money. However, he ended up in hot water when he accidentally beats up a yakuza and is captured. As he was about to be killed, Arakawa Family head Arakawa Masumi steps in and helps him.
Kasuga is struck by Arakawa’s act of self-sacrifice in order to help him, and decides to join the Arakawa family and to follow Arakawa to the ends of the earth.
Kasuga Ichiban has an absolute trust in Arakawa Masumi, who helped him despite being a complete stranger. To Ichiban, Arakawa is not only a yakuza boss to be respected, but also a father figure.
In 2001, Arakawa asks Ichiban to take the fall for its captain, and confess to a crime, and Kasuga does so for his family and his boss. After 18 years of hard prison life, he finally leaves prison in 2019 only to find that nobody is there to greet him.
However, the Kamurocho that Kasuga returns to is not the same as the one he left behind. Thanks to the police’s ‘Operation Kamurocho 3K’, the Tojo Clan has collapsed, and Kamurocho is now controlled by the police and the Omi Alliance. And at the heart of Operation Kamurocho 3K was Arakawa Masumi.
Kasuga rushes off to find out the truth for himself, fending off Omi Alliance members. But what he finds is…
A cold barrel of a gun, and the words, “I’m sorry, Ichi… But please die.”
Kasuga wakes up from the depths of near-death, only to find himself in a trash dump in a street of homeless people living in cardboard box houses. He asks a homeless person where he is, and the homeless person replies, “Ijincho. Isezaki Ijincho. This is Yokohama. You know Yokohama, right?”
Yakuza: Like A Dragon releases for PlayStation 4 in Japan, Korea, and China on January 16, 2020. The game releases later in 2020 for North America and Europe. The official website for the West is expected to launch soon.