- Be thankful for the merciful deaths you and your rabble are receiving... it's nothing compared to what I will do to the Saints when I'm through here.
- — Kazuo Akuji
- Kazuo Akuji's is the father of Shogo Akuji, the asshole who's runnin' the Ronin. This guy's a fuckin' boogey man. When I was in jail I would listen to some of the Ronin talk about what this guy did in Japan...it's not pretty.
Kazuo Akuji is the founder and true leader behind The Ronin[Reference needed], and serves as the final antagonist of the Ronin arc. He is the father of Shogo Akuji, and controls all of the gang's operations worldwide.[Reference needed]
Kazuo never liked his son Shogo, whom he sees as a liability, and constantly refers to as an idiot. Shogo in contrast, is always trying to win his father's approval, but never succeeds due to his constant failures. To make up for having to put up with Shogo, Kazuo puts his trust, respect, and favoritism in Jyunichi.
Kazuo is world renowned for his skills as not only a successful businessman, but also as a ruthless and effective leader.[Reference needed] He is an old enemy of Mr. Wong, and the two of them consider each other mortal foes.[Reference needed] Kazuo is a merciless man, whose fiery temper is only dwarfed by his expertise as a master swordsman.[Reference needed] Kazuo shares many traits with Shogo, such as being egotistical, having a short temper, and making the mistake of underestimating Playa.
Saints Row 2
After hearing of the Poseidon's Palace heist, Kazuo decides to come to the United States from Japan, planning to get a grip on the Ronin's unstable business in Stilwater and teach his son some things while at it.[Reference needed] After getting wind of this, the 3rd Street Saints try to ambush and kill him when he arrives at the airport.
Jyunichi, the gang's top enforcer, sees the rival gang there and extracts Kazuo safely. He then chooses to be an intermediary between father and son, angering Shogo into giving Jyunichi's location to Playa. Shortly after this, Jyunichi is murdered by Playa at Kanto, and Kazuo mourns his death and states he only has Shogo now, much to his distaste.
During the annual Stilwater Chinese Heritage Festival at the Stilwater Boardwalk, Mr. Wong meets up with Kazuo again, the latter pledging his vow to destroy both Wong and the 3rd Street Saints. After beating Wong in a katana duel aboard one of the rafts being used for the festival, Playa shows up to confront Kazuo. After some time of fighting in the midst of flames with the swords, Kazuo manages to beat Playa. While on the ground, Playa pulls out a gun and shoots the Ronin leader in the chest. Kazuo falls to the floor, telling the victor to "finish it."
Kazuo is then stabbed in the back, pinned to the floor with his own katana, and while he screams in agony, a phone is put up to his face letting Mr. Wong on the other end listen in enjoyment. Kazuo is left to die as the burning boat explodes.
Saints Row: Gat out of Hell
After taking over Downtown, a storybook shows Kazuo in an alliance with his son Shogo, Jyunichi, Killbane and William Sharp, who battle and lose against Johnny, Vogel, Kiki and Viola DeWynter, Blackbeard, Shakespeare, and Vlad in hell.
- Johnny Gat refers to Kazuo as an "oyabun", a leader of the Yakuza, which are organized crime syndicates in Japan.
- The names Kazuo and Shogo both appear in the Japanese novel/comic/movie Battle Royale, as Kazuo Kiriyama and Shogo Kawada.
- Aku is Japanese for evil.
- Both he and Hector Lopez are the only gang leaders to not have personal custom vehicles.
- Although Kazuo may have been a great leader in Japan, in America, his leadership in some ways are even more ineffectual than his son Shogo, whom he hates. This because not only he shares the same arrogance and an extreme underestimation of his opponent, especially Playa, with his son, but also suffers from a lack of understanding that the United States works differently than Japan, which is something his son actually understands. All these failing was on full display after the mission "Visiting Hours" in which Dane Vogel calls a meeting:
- Kazuo speaks in Japanese with his son, assuming that Vogel did not understand Japanese, resulting in an embarrassing moment as Vogel knocked his ego down a peg when he told him he understood perfectly what was said.
- Despite Kazuo thinking the deal with Ultor was bad for the Ronin, the deal was actually very good as Ultor can spin the press, like when Vogel appeared on the Anna Show, have the entire police department in their pockets and thus, under their thumb. By association, this means Ronin can do just about anything they liked without police interference, and mostly, Ultor has a bevy of super high powered lawyers under their belt that can get just about anyone out of jail by abusing the justice system. The last two was on full display in the Brotherhood mission "Jail Bait", when Vogel was forced to get several Brotherhood lieutenants out of jail.
- When he was coldly rejected by Kazuo, Vogel immediately double crossed him by turning to the Saints. The idea that Vogel would betray him never crossed his mind also seriously called Kazuo's judgement and leadership into question as Playa and Johnny Gat made short work of his base of operations. It is almost as if he is dependent on his opponent's sense of honor to never betray his location.
- This leads Kazuo to make a desperate attack on the Saints Hideout in Good D. When that fails, on that burning boat, he would make his last fatal mistake when the idea that Playa would cheat and pull a gun on him never crossed his mind either. Again, it is almost as if Kazuo is heavily dependent on his opponent's sense of honor to not do something dishonourable in his world view, which may have worked in Japan, but not in the United States, especially not someone like Playa, who is all about winning at any cost by any means necessary.
- The game files for Saints Row IV include a full model of Kazuo Akuji which is not used in the game.
- Relation: Son
- Mission: One Man's Junk..., "Big Problems in Little China" cutscene
- Image: Kazuo Akuji's is the father of Shogo Akuji, the asshole who's runnin' the Ronin
- Mission: Visiting Hours
- Mission: Orange Threat Level
- Mission: Kanto Connection
- Mission: Room Service
- Mission: Good D
- Mission: One Man's Junk...
- Mission: One Man's Junk..., "Coup de Gras" cutscene
- Image: Kazuo and others united against the Saints
- Mission: Road Rage, "Gracious Hosts" cutscene
- Japanese-English Dictionary: Aku
- Image: Kazuo Akuji in Saints Row IV.