10 Essential Life Lessons from Yakuza | Easy Online Work

The Yakuza series sometimes overdoes it with pretense, but you can always expect valuable life lessons from it.

Games from the Yakuza series seem to be devoted to the intricacies of the work of Japanese criminal organizations, but they contain good morals and valuable life advice. Of course, in numerous missions and tasks in each game, Kiryu usually solves problems with his fists, but in between the massacre and hilarious dialogues, wise revelations await us, to which Kiryu comes thanks to his sincerity and unbreakable moral code.

The Japanese name of the game better reflects its essence. The phrase Ryu ga Gotoku (“Like a dragon”) directly refers to Kiryu and his noble attempts to reach his full potential (which refers to the legend told by Nishikiyama of a carp that turned into a dragon). This also applies to players, for whom Kiryu may well become a role model. In the end, his noble and heroic nature helped shape the entire franchise, and he himself deservedly remains one of the best protagonists in the history of video games.

You can always find a family

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One of the main themes of the entire series was the idea that family is not only blood ties. Connections with people you meet along the way can be as strong as with relatives, and sometimes even stronger.

Kiryu forms just such a bond with Kazama, because the latter gave him a decent upbringing in an orphanage. He takes care of Haruka, who has nowhere else to go, and later takes care of the other children from the orphanage. And all the named brothers, ready to die for each other, in the entire series simply cannot be counted. Without this theme, the franchise would definitely look different.

Can’t be satisfied with what has already been achieved

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Yakuza characters are always trying to achieve something more – to climb to the top of their organization or defeat all competitors to be considered the strongest. In these stories, there are rarely people who are satisfied with their position, and if they do, it is presented as a negative character trait.

An interesting example of this lesson is the Kuze Arc from Yakuza 0. Throughout the game, he seeks to show Kiryu what a “real yakuza” is, and manifests himself as a strong-willed and unshakable person. He condemns his subordinates for attacking the weak, and emphasizes that he joined the ranks of the yakuza in order to fight those who are stronger than him. In his opinion, this is how a “real yakuza” should be, and at the end of the game he decides that Kiryu deserves this title.

You can’t beat the lying ones

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Ironically, in a real street fight, this advice is best not followed. However, in all other cases, the protagonists and their allies prefer not to finish off the lying ones. In the main storylines and side mini-stories, the very idea of ​​humiliating those who are already at the very bottom is presented as a real taboo.

Majima severely condemns those who do this, and at these moments Kiryu himself comes to his aid. This lesson is most clearly pronounced in the side quests, but it also has a place in the main storyline. Just don’t take it literally.

Relying on others is not a sign of weakness.

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“Relying on others is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it is a proof of strength ”(Kazuma Kiryu).

As emphasized in Yakuza 5, asking for help is often misunderstood as a sign of weakness. But in fact, there is nothing wrong with this, because the ability to pacify your pride is a manifestation of real strength.

There will always be people ready to help you out in difficult times, and there is nothing humiliating in the fact that you, like any person, may need help. Kiryu himself says that those who manage to suppress their pride and seek help are much stronger than those who bear their burdens alone.

Don’t do things that can’t be fixed

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Don’t give in to blind anger and don’t burn bridges. Before you do something under the influence of anger or desire for revenge, think about it carefully. If you understand that this will lead to irreparable consequences, it is better not to do this.

The Kiryu Arc finale in Yakuza 0 reveals this very thought. When Kiryu is about to cross the line and kill the culprit of his misadventures, he is stopped by Nishikiyama. He reminds Kiryu that after the murder it is no longer possible to remain the same person (this indirectly hints at the events of the first part of Yakuza). And this is not just a reference for the sake of reference, but an important lesson to be heeded.

Enjoy life … And live the way you want

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At the time of the events of Yakuza 0, Majima lives in the Sotenbori area, which he calls his cage. Throughout the game, he is forced to execute other people’s orders, losing all sense of individuality. But at some point he manages to perk up, and he, no longer wishing to be an instrument in the wrong hands, dramatically changes the status quo.

By the end of the game, he declares that he no longer intends to serve for the benefit of others. Majima says that after many years he finally escaped from his cage, and that now no one will stop him from living a full life. He gets rid of the tuxedo that has become hateful to him and dresses up in his canon costume.

It’s never too late to get back on your feet

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If you’ve played Yakuza 0, then you know perfectly well that the heroes of this story never give up. This principle is best embodied by Kuze, who fights Kiryu five times throughout the game.

“It is not the one who is defeated in the fight that loses, but the one who does not have enough strength to start a new one” (Daisaku Kuze).

Both protagonists also follow this principle. Majima does not give up and is trying with all his might to return to the ranks of the yakuza, even after decades of torture and humiliation. And Kiryu seeks to complete what Kazama began, despite the many obstacles he meets on his way.

Challenge others to help them become better

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“Omnipresent Majima” is a local meme from Yakuza Kiwami that every fan has heard of, but you need to understand why the developers decided to make it “omnipresent”. Firstly, for the sake of exciting battles with one of the most eccentric and colorful heroes in the entire franchise in the most unexpected locations, and, secondly (which is much more important), in order to convey a deep thought.

Majima does not let Kiryu relax for a minute after his release from prison, because he hopes to fight the legendary Dragon Dojima when he is at his peak. Majima spends a lot of his (and our) time to help Kiryu get back into shape. And by the time of their last fight, Kiryu is much stronger than the day he went to jail.

Everybody has dreams

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Most of the serious topics and life lessons in Yakuza are presented gracefully, but this is not always the case. In Yakuza 5, the idea that everyone has dreams is spoken head-on several times. However, this straightforwardness does not in any way devalue the main theme of the story.

All heroes have dreams and they all work hard to make them come true. Even if you are unlucky and you encounter a bunch of obstacles, in no case should you stop on the way to what you want. Dreams shouldn’t be just dreams, and Yakuza 5 regularly reminds us of this.

Fight for what you believe in

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Every character in the Yakuza franchise fights for what they believe in – both literally and figuratively. Each of them has an unshakable understanding of justice, even the newcomer of the Ichibana series. And the manifestation of superhuman strength in battles is just a way to visually show the willpower of the heroes and the strength of character necessary to fight for a just cause.

You may not have to fight crowds of bandits on the streets or fight crime bosses on the rooftops of skyscrapers, defending your ideals. You can join an organization (not necessarily a criminal one) to unite with others who share your values. To fight for your ideals, you do not need to perform superhero actions – you can, for example, help people cross the road. The authors of Yakuza simply packed this idea into a spectacular shell.

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