Exploring the Iconic Tattoos in Yakuza: A Visual Journey into the World of Ink

People think of minigames and memes when they mention the Yakuza series. A serious discussion should be held amid all the power struggles, furniture bashing, and other fun things that happen in games like Yakuza. Debate: Who has the most impressive tattoos from the games? Tattoos play a significant role in Yakuza. (Except Takumi, who does not have one). They also significantly represent the character and growth that each Yakuza has undergone.

Other tattoos deserve recognition just as much as the Dragon of Dojima. These famous tattoos may have inspired you to get them because of their artistry and unique nature.

10 Kiryu Kazuma

Kiryu's Ouryuu Dragon Tattoo from Yakuza 3

He’s here not just because he is Kiryu. We’ve seen his tattoo change from the first time it was introduced without any color or shading in Yakuza 0 to the next games, where it gained and lost vibrancy — Kiryu’s dragon had a long and rough road, much like its wearer. Utabori restored it to its former glory after Kiryu was released from prison.

Kiryu’s Tattoo is the most popular in the series — given that his back and great Tattoo are on the cover of Yakuza 6: Song of Life. Although he’s certainly not the only character with a dragon on the back of his body, it would be a shame to miss him, given how iconic the Tattoo is.

9 Yumi Sawamura

Yumi Sawamura's Queen of the Night Tattoo from Yakuza Kiwami

Tattoo artists may think that flowers are overrated. However, this opinion is invalid regarding a game with full sleeves and colored backgrounds. Yumi’s upper right chest has an elegant, small tattoo of the Lady of the Night.

Yumi’s small and elegant Tattoo stands out in a world of immense and grand symbols. It’s not precisely irezumi, but the style isn’t lacking in details. Utabori also inked Yumi’s beautiful flower. It symbolizes that she hopes to meet Kiryu once again, if even just for a short time.

8 Akira Nishikiyama

Nishikiyama's Koi tattoo from Yakuza Kiwami

Nishikiyama is right to have a koi taking up the whole of his back. This has everything to do with his name. The first character of his name is the same as the character and pronunciation of koi. Nishikiyama’s vibrant red koi is swimming up, and splashes of waves are behind it.

This refers to the koi swimming upstream into the Yellow River to transform into a Dragon. The fish is still impressive, even if you don’t know everything. It has changed from its un-shaded outline into the colorful and grand koi.

7 Daisaku Kuze

Kuze Enma Tattoo from Yakuza 0

Kuze’s Tattoo is one of the first tattoos you see when playing Yakuza 0. It’s a great memory. No matter how much you dislike him, his tattoo and half sleeves on his arms are great.

Gozu and Mezu are the guardians on his right and left arm. Enma is the ruler and judge of Hell, occupying the entire back. You can appreciate his well-thought-out and skilled positioning of the body art.

6 Saejima Taiga

Saejima Taiga's tiger tattoo from Yakuza 6

There’s a common theme here. Most tattoos depict heavenly animals. Taiga has a tiger tattooed on his back. The tiger is as powerful as the dragon in Buddhism. Saejima’s strength rivals Kiryu’s.

The tiger’s fangs are exposed, perhaps as a display of his strength. He also has bamboo grass details to refer to his former clan. Although not the only tiger featured in the game’s artwork, it is much simpler and highlights the most critical information.

5 Naoki Katsuya

Naoki Katsuya's Crane Tattoo from Yakuza 5

There are many tattoos of cranes. However, you will only find one in the game. Naoki has the most elegant Tattoo among the Yakuza. It’s a white crane with gracefully spread wings. These birds represent peace, wisdom, and loyalty.

Naoki has these qualities, and it’s only fitting that this is inked on his body. The piece was beautiful but would’ve required a lot of maintenance. This is because it is mainly painted with lighter shades, known for fading quickly.

4 Ichiban Kasuga

Ichiban's dragon carp tattoo from Yakuza: Like A Dragon

What if you couldn’t choose just one animal? How about sharing the body with two others? It doesn’t make much sense until you look at Ichiban’s back Tattoo. He has a large, dragonfish-like fish covering his entire back. It’s a unique tattoo that is worth admiring. It is a slight reference to how dragonfish are technically “like a Dragon,” which hints at the title.

You feel familiar with it, even if it is an eccentric tattoo. It’s because the Tattoo combines Kiryu’s and Nishikiyamas, and all of it circles back to the legend of the koi that swims upstream to become a Dragon. Only this time, the koi is in the state of transforming into a dragon — it shows that it has a great future ahead of it, as it’s yet to transform into a dragon fully.

3 Ryuji Goda

Ryuji Goda's Yellow Dragon from Yakuza Kiwami 2

The third dragon in this list is for an excellent reason. Huang Long is the Tattoo of the Dragon of Kansai, the lord and master of the heavenly creatures. Its eyes are unflinching, and its head stares at anyone who dares glance at it. It is bold and ambitious, just like its wearer.

It’s an impressive symbol of power and stands out even though the dragon is the only animal in the piece. The colors were well chosen, contrasting beautifully with the yellow dragon. Ryuji is one of many dragon tattoos featured in this collection, but he stands out as the best due to its composition and contrast.

2 Goro Majima

Majima's Hannya Tattoo from Yakuza 2

Alright, enough with the dragons — Hannya masks are underrated. Majima is covered in black flowers and clouds on his chest, arms, and thighs. Snakes coil around his chest and arms. A large Hannya mask is on his back. It sounds chaotic when described in this manner. In reality, all the elements are perfectly blended in the chaos.

It reflects the character of Shimano Mad Dog, and you’re already aware of that. Beyond that, Hannya’s masks also represent those consumed by sorrow — something we all know with his heart-wrenching backstory. Its boldness and uniqueness make it one of the most iconic tattoos from the series.

1 Shimabukuro Rikiya

Rikiya's Viper Tattoo from Yakuza 3, finished

Nice snake? Not just any snake, but a Viper — call it just a snake, and Rikiya would rage against you as he did against Kiryu. This guy is very fond of Okinawa and believes that his Viper represents the soul and heart of Okinawa. He has a colorful personality.

In Yakuza 3, he is the character who has the most passion for his Tattoo. He even has a substory devoted to it. Utabori was the only Tattoo he could find after his Viper’s Eye had not been completed. It is a beautiful tattoo, but it would not be as good without the person who wears it.

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