Tokyo Vice Season 2 Glossary & Terminology
8 mins read

Tokyo Vice Season 2 Glossary & Terminology

WARNING: SPOILERS ahead for Tokyo Vice season 2.




  • The diverse cast and culturally authentic setting of Tokyo Vice season 2 make it a gripping crime story.
  • The intense plot picks up with the return of yakuza leader Tozawa, setting the stage for a showdown.
  • The series has received positive reviews, hinting at the potential for a strong case for Tokyo Vice season 3.

The wide variety of Japanese terms used in Tokyo Vice season 2 helps create an immersive and authentic landscape for the gripping crime story. Tokyo Vice season 2 picked up exactly where season 1’s cliffhanger ending left off in the aftermath of several pivotal character deaths. Having passed the midpoint in the highly-acclaimed HBO series, Tokyo Vice season 2 has picked up greatly in intensity following the return of the ambitious and intimidating yakuza leader Tozawa (Ayumi Tanida) in Tokyo Vice season 2, episode 3. With another shocking character death occurring at the end of Tokyo Vice season 2, episode 5, the stage is set for an all-out showdown.

The MAX original series was filmed entirely in and around Tokyo, creating one of the most culturally accurate Japanese shows currently on television. The stellar and widespread cast of Tokyo Vice remains one of the best parts of the series, despite there being a surplus of storylines for the viewer to keep up with. After five episodes, Tokyo Vice season 2 has received positive reviews, earning it an impressive 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. With little information currently available surrounding the potential for Tokyo Vice season 3, it appears that the positive critical reception will provide a strong case for HBO to move forward with its acclaimed series.


Tokyo Vice Season 2 Review: Max’s Immersive Crime Noir Evolves Into A Sharp & Sprawling Epic

Although some longwinded detours pull away from its captivating gangster-fueled plot, Tokyo Vice season 2 is a robust and airy modern noir thriller.


The Yakuza are known as the Japanese gangsters in Tokyo Vice seasons 1 & 2. Yakuza are real-life members of Japanese organized crime units that originated in Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate of the Edo Period during the start of the 17th century. Several of the characters in Tokyo Vice season 2 are well-established yakuza, particularly Ishida, Sato, Tozawa, Hayama, Kobayashi, and Tabuki. The yakuza organizations in Tokyo Vice season 2 are the Chihara-Kai and the Tozawa, who previously had a working relationship and mutual understanding with the Tokyo Police until the implementation of Superintendent Nagata’s aggressive policies.


Sato in Tokyo Vice season 2

The Chihara-Kai is the well-established organized crime unit of Tokyo with great influence on the city’s underground operations and trade systems in Tokyo Vice. Oyabun Ishida is the leader of the Chihara-Kai in Tokyo Vice and is considered an honorable but dangerous figurehead of the illicit organization. Sato is the up-and-coming yakuza in the Chihara-Kai who shows signs of becoming an outstanding oyaban, as pointed out by Ishida in Tokyo Vice season 2, episode 5. Another high-ranking member of the Chiahra Kai in Tokyo Vice is Hayama, the second in command to Ishida who is reckless and not as suited to lead as Sato is.


Ayumi Tanida as Tozawa From Tokyo Vice Season 2 episode 5

Tozawa is a rival clan of yakuza to the Chi-hara Kai and is also the name of the organization’s powerful leader in Tokyo Vice. The Tozawa clan does not differ much fundamentally from the Chihara-Kai and had previously agreed to not interfere with the Chiahra-Kai’s operations on their home turf of Tokyo, Japan. This all changes with the aggressive rise to power of Tozawa, who aims to become the most powerful organization in all of Japan. Tozawa’s ambition certainly throws a wrench in the plans of Ishida and the Chihatra-Kai and poses one of the biggest threats to its reign and stability.


Shun Sugata as Ishida from Tokyo Vice Season 2

The oyabun in Tokyo Vice is the ruler of the Chihara-Kai, who is Ishida throughout season 1 and half of season 2. “Oyabun” translates to “boss” or literally “parent status” in Japanese and indicates an absolute authority over all yakuza who are part of any given clan. Following the events of Tokyo Vice season 2, episode 5, Tozawa is effectively the oyabun of the Tozawa clan but chooses to rebrand his status as more of a President than a crime leader in an unusual attempt to clean up the public image of the well-known gangster organization.


Hayama in Tokyo Vice season 2

The wakagashira is the second-in-command to the oybaun in a yakuza clan and is given a great deal of respect and authority in the role. In Tokyo Vice season 2, Hayama is given the role of wakagahsira to oyabun Ishida after serving a lengthy prison sentence to serve the interests of the Chihara-Kai. Kume was the wakagashira of the Chihara-Kai in season 1 before being revealed as a traitor. Sato then became the acting wakagahsira in his place until he was demoted to being the third in command upon the arrival of Hayama in Tokyo Vice season 2.


Ken Watanabe as Hiroto Katagiri and Ansel Elgort as Jake Adelstein from Tokyo Vice Season 2

Kaicho literally means “opening of the curtain” in Japanese, but also has a separate meaning in a corporate sense as a director or a region or branch. The Kiahco in Tokyo Vice season 2 was Nakahara, who presumed supreme authority over the Tozawa clan until Tozawa himself staged a revolt against him and threw him off a building to his death at the end of Tokyo Vice season 2, episode 3. Based on the information provided in Tokyo Vice season 2, it’s not entirely certain whether the Kaicho is the same rank as or higher than the oyabun, but Tozawa needed him out of the way to take full control of the clan.


Ansel Elgort as Jake Adelstein with a black eye in Tokyo Vice season 2

Gaijin is the Japanese word for an outsider that is often attributed to Jake Adelstein and Samantha in Tokyo Vice season 2. While not necessarily a derogatory term, the word gaijin is meant to classify someone as a non-Japanese person with the point of declaring them separate from native Japanese people. The term gaijin is not necessarily a slur but can be used in a derogatory way. Jake and Samantha are both outsiders to Japanese culture, so it is true of who they are in the context of Japanese society in Tokyo Vice but it doesn’t necessarily promote inclusivity.


Ken Watanabe as Hiroto Katagiri from Tokyo Vice Season 2

Shabu is the slang Japanese term used for the drug methamphetamine, which became a big part of the story of Tokyo Vice season 1. Shabu has yet to become a major component of the story in Tokyo Vice season 2 but it could find its way into the operations of either the Tozawa clan or the Chihara-Kai. Both Samantha and Jake Adelstein partook in using shabu in order to find out more information about the Yohsido tape at the end of Tokyo Vice season 1. The Yoshido tape could circle back in later episodes of Tokyo Vice season 2 despite it being destroyed in a suspicious fire at the Meicho office.

Tokyo Vice Season 2 Poster Featuring the Cast Standing in Front of Neon Lights

Tokyo Vice

Based on the novel and the true experiences of Jake Adelstein, Tokyo Vice is a drama thriller series that sees the first American journalist ever to join a Japanese newspaper, forced to start at the bottom of the totem pole to earn his place. Set loose under a vice detective’s close tutelage and supervision, Jake steps into the Yakuza-led underworld of Tokyo and learns what it means to ask too many questions.

Ansel Elgort , Rachel Keller

Release Date
April 17, 2022


Destin Daniel Cretton

Josef Kubota Wladyka , Michael Mann , Alan Poul , Hikari

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