Press "Enter" to skip to content

Study Finds Kazuma Kiryu Now Third Leading Cause of Death in Japan

KAMUROCHO — Researchers studying Japan’s demographic crisis recently released details from a new study which indicates that a high and increasing amount of the Japanese death rate stems from direct hostile encounters with reformed yakuza enforcer Kazuma Kiryu.

“It is extremely important that I establish this does not mean Kazuma himself killed these people,” said Dr. Akira Ishikawa, writing for the Japanese Journal of Sociology. “As is commonly known, Kazuma Kiryu never killed anyone. Not even once.”

Kiryu, also known as the Dragon of Dojima, is a legendary member of the Tokyo yakuza, who primarily operated in and around the Kamurocho district between 1988 and his reported death in 2016. At the peak of his activity, Kiryu was theorized to be responsible for one-third of all Tokyo hospital visits for men ages 18 to 45.

“Kazuma was one of the street-fighting greats,” said Aidan Yamazaki, a reporter for the Japan-based MMA site Technical Knockout. “There isn’t much footage of him in action, naturally, but they say he could turn absolutely anything into a weapon: bicycles, traffic cones, car antennas, toys, discarded bottles, you name it. He beat up a helicopter once.”

While Kiryu was famously unwilling to simply kill his opponents, he still left many of his former sparring partners dealing with persistent health issues, such as skull fractures, spinal damage, or ruptured testicles. As per medical research, complications from those injuries have overtaken most common cancers as the second leading cause of death among Japanese men, and the third leading cause of death for Japan as a whole.

“That’s just the people we know about,” said Ishikawa, after closing the window blinds in his office. “Most of the guys we treat used to tell us obvious lies, like how they broke every single rib at once playing ‘college sports.’ After the eighth or ninth time we treated a guy in his 40s from Tokyo who’d had major dental reconstruction, we refined our outpatient interview process. It sounds crazy, but it all led us back to this one guy.”

After Kiryu’s death in 2016, the level of street violence in Kamurocho has not measurably declined, which is thought to be the work of various copycats and imitators. This in turn is theorized to have had a direct impact on Japan’s demographic collapse, as many young Japanese men are spending their nights either looking for or recovering from street fights, rather than starting relationships.

In the wake of this research, several new proposals have been submitted to the Japanese Diet, in a package that’s occasionally referred to as “Kiryu’s Laws.” These include a project that would apply softer coverings to various curbs and park benches in Japanese cities, to discourage the practice of using them to shatter an enemy’s jaw, and a general increase in after-hours security on the Millennium Tower in Tokyo, to prevent young men from breaking in so they can hold shirtless fistfights on its roof.

We\'re giving away 50 Hard Drive t-shirts and other merch items to Patrons this week.
Become a patron at Patreon!