The Mishima Clan: The most dysfunctional family in fighting games

Jul 22 2020 9 min read
Bandai Namco

Meet the Mishima Clan: The most dysfunctional family in fighting games.

Tekken is a popular fighting game franchise that has led the charge for 3D fighters since the '90s, and given birth to the Mishima Clan: the most dysfunctional family in fighting games. The series could be considered an epic saga that tells the tale of the Mishima Clan. The story begins with the war between father and son that festers like a wound across the world.

From Warrior Clan to Industrial Empire

The legacy of the Mishima family is steeped in bloodshed, beginning with their rise as a warrior clan in the Heian period, serving the Japanese Emperor. During World War II, the clan built an industrial empire that profited from the conflict, growing its influence and power. 

Jinpachi Mishima founded the Mishima Zaibatsu, but hating needless violence; he decided to distance the company from its militaristic roots. However, his son Heihachi seized the reins of the company and imprisoned his father, building the Mishima Zaibatsu's financial standing in Jinpachi's stead. The conglomerate presently consists of the Mishima Financial Empire, Mishima Industries, and the mercenary group, Tekken Force. 

Heihachi hosted the first King of Iron Fist Tournament to recruit soldiers for his army. Subsequent leaders of the conglomerate have also hosted these events to fulfill their own goals. While ownership of the Zaibatsu has changed hands a couple of times, it has never left the control of a family member.

The Mishima Clan

Mishima family tree

The Mishima clan traces its origin back to 794AD, but the Tekken games focus on Heihachi, his father Jinpachi, and the generations that follow. So far, no mention has been made of any siblings for either of them, nor Jinpachi's spouse, but it wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility to see them included in future games.

What we do know is that Heihachi married Kazumi Hachijo, and their union led to the birth of Kazuya. A hard man, Heihachi, showed his son no love. Instead, he hammered martial arts training into Kazuya to forge a powerful fighter. Coming across a young talented fighter during a business trip, Heihachi meets Lee Chaolan and adopts him with the intent of making him Kazuya's rival.

After learning of the Devil Gene that resides within his son Kazuya, Heihachi has an illegitimate child with another woman to determine whether he is the source of the cursed blood. As the child isn't born with the Devil Gene, Heihachi concludes that the source is his late wife, Kazumi. The child, Lars Alexandersson, becomes an officer in Tekken Force, all the while hiding the secret of his parentage.

After defeating his father in the first King of Iron Fist Tournament, Kazuya ran the Mishima Zaibatsu for two years before hosting the second edition. During the event, he meets Jun Kazama and impregnates her. However, he leaves her to raise their son, Jin, alone.


The Bloodline

The Mishima Clan

Jinpachi Mishima

Heihachi's father and founder of the Mishima Zaibatsu loses the company to his son's betrayal. Fighting to take back his empire, Jinpachi loses to Heihachi once more and is imprisoned beneath the temple named Hon-Maru.

The former Mishima head meets a miserable end in the secret underground compound, starving to death, but his story didn't end there. During an assassination attempt on Heihachi and Kazuya, Hon-Maru is blown up, freeing a resurrected Jinpachi who has been mysteriously possessed by a vengeful spirit. 

With Heihachi presumed dead, Jinpachi takes over the Zaibatsu. However, the former family head still has some control over his actions, so he hosts another King of Iron Fist Tournament. Jinpachi pins his hope on discovering a fighter that can help rid him of the entity possessing his body. Jinpachis' grandson Jin manages to do just that, ending the old man's suffering. 

The Mishima Clan

Heihachi Mishima

Heihachi trained alongside Kazumi Hachijo from a young age in his father's dojo. Eventually falling in love, they get married, leading to the birth of Kazuya. However, Heihachi was nothing like his father. 

Obsessed with power, Heihachi stole the Zaibatsu from Jinpachi and made it much more successful through illegal means. Seeing the threat her husband poses, and through his influence, their son as well, Kazumi tried to assassinate Heihachi but was killed instead. 

Learning of his father's involvement in his mother's death, Kazuya tried to get revenge on Heihachi but failed as well. Deeming his son weak, the Zaibatsu's leader threw his five-year-old son off a cliff to see whether he had the strength to survive. This fuels a fierce rivalry that will go on for years. 

The Mishima Clan

Kazumi Mishima

Born Kazumi Hachijo, she is a member of the Hachijo Clan, a family of assassins that protect the world from evil. Assigned to keep an eye on Heihachi, she becomes his rival, and they eventually fall in love with him. 

However, after his hostile takeover of the Zaibatsu, she becomes conflicted as she can see the threat Heihachi now poses. Worse still, she also predicts the negative influence he would have on their son if he continued down his dark path of world domination. 

Surrendering herself to the Devil that resides within her Hachijo blood, Kazumi tried to assassinate her husband but failed. However, before her attack on Heihachi, she had saved the life of Street Fighter's Akuma and, in return, had him promise to end her son and husband's lives if they continued down a dark path. 

The Mishima Clan

Kazuya Mishima 

A frail and timid child, Kazuya's descent into darkness began after discovering it was his father that killed his mother. Thrown off a cliff after his failed revenge attempt, Kazuya's Devil Gene was activated, helping him survive the fall. 

While seemingly the hero of the first King of Iron Fist Tournament, Kazuya had his own plans for world domination. Defeating Heihachi, Kazuya began a two-year reign that was more corrupt than his father's. Unaware of Heihachi's survival, Kazuya hosted the second King of Iron Fist Tournament, where he meets Jun Kazama, and they have a child together named Jin. 

During the tournament, a mysterious entity named Angel tries to prevent the Devil Gene from completely taking over Kazuya. However, he is surprised to meet Heihachi in the final round of the tournament. Losing the battle that ensues, Kazuya is thrown down a volcano by his father and dies.

G Corporation unearths Kazuya's body and is somehow able to revive him. Agreeing to become their test subject, he hopes to gain mastery of the Devil Gene before facing his father again. However, a faction within G Corporation tries to assassinate him along with Heihachi. Eventually gaining control over the Devil Gene, Kazuya kills all the opposition in G Corporation and becomes its new leader. 

Akuma makes his move against Kazuya and Heihachi in Tekken 7, but his fight with the Head of G Corporation is ended abruptly by Heihachi, who launches a laser attack on both of them. Surviving the attack, Kazuya gets a rematch with his father inside a volcano and finally manages to kill Heihachi. At the end of Tekken 7, Akuma and Kazuya face off once more, with the outcome of their battle unknown. 

The Mishima Clan

Jun Kazama

The full nature of her relationship with Kazuya is unknown, but we do know she gave birth to his son, Jin. An animal protection officer in service of an environmental group called WWWC, Jun joined the first King of Iron Fist Tournament to capture Kazuya for smuggling endangered wildlife. Noticing the dark aura that surrounds him, she also tries to free him of his inner darkness.

After Jin is born, Jun returns to Yakushima Island, where she trains her son in her family's martial art style. After his 15th birthday, Jun senses something ominous approaching and tells her son to find his grandfather if anything ever happens to her.

Unfortunately for her, the creature known as Ogre attacks and Jin is knocked unconscious. After waking, he finds their home razed to the ground and his mother missing. Assuming the worst, he vows revenge and sets out to find his grandfather.

The Mishima Clan

Lee Chaolan

Adopted by Heihachi at a young age during a business trip, Lee Chaolan was brought into the household to serve as Kazuya's rival. This meant going through all the same rigorous training as his foster-brother. 

Losing his parents early-on, Lee was forced to fend for himself as a child. He learned to defend himself and showed a fighting prowess that impressed Heihachi so much, he decided Lee could be the catalyst Kazuya needed to become stronger. 

While eccentric, arrogant, and a schemer, Lee is still warm-hearted and grows up to dislike both his foster-brother and adoptive father. Lee failed to defeat Kazuya during the first King of Iron Fist Tournament, which led to forced servitude as his secretary. During the second tournament, Heihachi labeled Lee a traitor for serving Kazuya and cast him out after regaining ownership. 

Since then, Lee has lived in the Bahamas, created the company Violet Systems, and tried to thwart Heihachi and Kazuya's plans at every turn. In Tekken 4, Lee created the alter ego Violet to compete in the tournament but still lost. 

Learning from his mistakes, Lee has joined forces with Lars Alexandersson in his quest to end the war created by Mishima Zaibatsu. 

The Mishima Clan

Jin Kazama

The son of Kazuya Mishima and Jun Kazama, Jin, was raised by his mother on an island named Yakushima. Under her tutelage, Jin learned Kazama-style karate but was oblivious to his paternal family until they're attacked by the God of Fighting, Ogre

Believing his mother died at the hands of Ogre, Jin follows her last instruction and seeks out his grandfather Heihachi. The Zaibatsu leader trains his grandson in Mishima Karate and, after a few years, tries to lure out Ogre by hosting the third King of Iron Fist Tournament. Heihachi's ploy works, but after Jin defeats the villain in its powered up True Ogre form, Heihachi tries to kill his grandson. Transforming into Devil Jin, the boy makes his escape. 

Betrayed and alone, Jin vows to put an end to the accursed Mishima bloodline. Wanting nothing to do with his paternal family, Jin learns traditional Karate and enters the fourth King of Iron Fist Tournament but shows his father and grandfather mercy after defeating them. 

Following Jinpachi's return, Jin once more competes in the King of Iron Fist Tournament, setting his great grandfather free of the demon that possessed him. However, unlike his last victory, Jin decides to claim the Mishima Zaibatsu throne for himself. 

As the leader of the Zaibatsu, Jin incites conflicts around the globe, sparking an all-out war. This he does to create widespread negativity that awakens the ancient entity known as Azazel. Believed to be the "Root of the Devil Gene," Jin destroys Azazel with the hopes of it also putting an end to his curse, but it doesn't work. 

The Mishima Clan

Lars Alexandersson

Lars is the illegitimate son of Heihachi Mishima, who comes to serve as a Tekken Force officer during the events of Tekken 6. Raised with a strong sense of justice, Lars rebels against his former employer, Mishima Zaibatsu, to put an end to the war raging across the world. 

As the charismatic leader of the rebel group Yggdrasil, Lars launches a coup d'etat, which destabilizes the conglomerate. He loses many of his comrades along the way and unwittingly aids G Corporation in its fight against Mishima Zaibatsu. 

After losing control of the Zaibatsu following his battle against Azazel, a comatose Jin is saved by Lars. The rebel leader is sure that Jin holds the key to ending the war that ravages the world, which is why he continues to protect Jin during the events of Tekken 7

The Mishima Clan

The saga continues

While Tekken 7 was supposed to mark the end of the Mishima Clan Saga, only three (counting Kazumi) of those introduced in the games have perished. With Jin and Kazuya still alive, there's still a lot of Mishima left in the world. 

From all indications, Jin will join forces with his uncles to bring an end to the war he started and stop his father's plans for world domination in Tekken 8. Until its release, we can only speculate and hope we get answers to the lingering mysteries of the series.


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