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Where to find every substory in Like a Dragon: Ishin!

The Like a Dragon series is mainly known for two things: deep, complex, and character-driven plots that feel like a full season of a high-budget drama, and outlandish substories. Like a Dragon: Ishin!, despite being set in the 1800s, doesn’t shy away from including just as many of these wacky side activities as any other entry in the series. These bite-sized tales are often humorous, though occasionally heartfelt and genuine, serving as diversions from the main plot that are the perfect way to add some variety to your quest. If you love these little sidequests as much as we do, here are the locations for every substory in Like a Dragon: Ishin!

What are substories?

A village in Like a Dragon: Ishin.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Substories are what sidequests are called in Like a Dragon: Ishin! Many will trigger just by approaching the right NPC at the right time and will see Ryoma get wrapped up in someone’s bizarre problems that only he can solve. These usually take no more than a couple minutes, but are always worth doing.

Substories are tracked in your menu, where you can also refresh yourself on what’s going on and what you need to do if you decide not to complete it right away.

How to find substories

While some substories are almost impossible to miss, many of them are a bit harder to track down. They aren’t marked on your map by default, and you will need to do them all if you want to 100% complete the game. Aside from our handy list below, you can also get the Inviting Hat item by doing “The Boy Who Cried Bear” substory. Equipping this cone-shaped hat will put substory locations on your map to make pinpointing their location even easier.

Every substory and where to find them

Here is a list of every substory in Like a Dragon: Ishin! broken up based on where they are triggered. Keep in mind that substories will open up as you complete chapters, and some won’t unlock until you complete other substories. They may also have some other special requirement, which we will note below.

Substory name Where it is located How to start
Death of the Author Fushimi Speak to the Author on the far-right corner of Teradaya’s upper floor.
Precious Packages Fushimi During the day, run past the uppe- left corner of the Teradaya building in Kuramachi. If it doesn’t trigger, try running around in each area of the game and then return to Fushimi without using a Palanquin.
A Clean Streak Fushimi Walk past the Harima Bathhouse.
A Man and His Sack Fushimi Walk behind the General Goods store.
All in the Hips Fushimi Progress the Umai Udon shop owner’s Friendship to a certain point.
Invasion of the Black Ships Fushimi Approach the docks near Teradaya.
It’s a Long Story Fushimi Speak to the two women standing outside the house to the lower-left of Hanako.
It’s a Long Story: The Final Chapter Fushimi Speak to Sakiko again. She’ll still be at the house to the lower-left of Hanako.
It’s a Long Story: Epilogue Fushimi Speak to Sakiko again. She’ll still be at the house to the lower-left of Hanako.
Scented Water Fushimi Speak to the woman near the boat that goes into Mukurogai.
Ee Ja Nai Ka Fushimi Walk toward the chanting group to the right of Ebisu Pawn Fushimi.
The Way of the Sammerai Fushimi Walk into the corner to the southwest of the Dojo.
Last Stand of the Panthers Fushimi Speak to the Black Panther member near the docks next to Teradaya. Note: This substory will not trigger until you’ve completed every other Black Panther group substory.
The Desperate Fisherman Fushimi Speak to the Fisherman wearing a hood at the docks near Teradaya.
The Junk Boy Fushimi Speak to the boy in the storage space found to the upper-right of Teradaya. This substory will be completed after you establish a friendship with the Junk Boy.
The Woodcutter Fushimi Speak to the old man cutting wood to the left of the Palanquin carriers in South Yashikimachi. This substory will be completed after you establish a friendship with The Woodcutter.
The Frequently Lost Courier Fushimi Speak to the courier standing to the right of Teradaya and near the boat that goes to Mukurogai. This substory will be completed after you establish a friendship with the Lost Courier.
The Patient Dog Fushimi Interact with the dog directly south of the Dojo. This substory will be completed after you establish a friendship with the Patient Dog.
The Filthy Cat Fushimi Speak to the cat lying on a plank of wood to the right of the boat that goes to Ryoma’s Villa. This substory will be completed after you establish a friendship with the Filthy Cat.
The Captain and the Curious Fushimi Go to the bar found to the right of/north of Umai Udon.
Diplomacy in Darkness Fushimi After giving Satow at least 90% of the Memoirs, walk past the bar next to Umai Udon. This typically triggers during the day, and is only available after completing The Captain and the Curious.
A Lasting Thirst for Peace Fushimi After giving Satow at least 96% of the Memoirs, head toward the bridge near the bar next to Umai Udon. This can only be triggered after completing Diplomacy in Darkness.
The Reclusive Son Rakugai Speak to the man and woman outside the house in East Umekojicho, to the west of the Scarecrow Chateau.
Palanquin Paladin Rakugai Speak to the old man next to the Palanquin to the southwest of the Chicken Racing Building.
Can I Quote You on That? Rakugai Head up the road northwest of the Scarecrow Chateau.
Sonno Joui Rakugai Head through the alley north of the Shady Bar.
Ee Ja Not Ka Rakugai Head toward the chanting crowd on the left side of the Scarecrow Chateau. This is only available after completing Ee Ja Nai Ka.
Bluffin’ Up the Wrong Alley Rakugai Interact with the crowd in front of the Gambling Den.
The Panther’s Playmaker Rakugai Speak to the Black Panther courier near the lower bridge. Note: This substory won’t trigger unless you complete the two preceding Black Panther courier substories.
The Sword Nut Rakugai Speak to the man in the lower-left corner of Sannocho. This substory will be completed after you establish a friendship with the Sword Nut.
The Battered Defender Rakugai Interact with the samurai waiting along the main path from Fushimi to Rakugai. This substory will be completed after you establish a friendship with the Battered Defender.
The Mysterious Merchant Rakugai Speak to the wooden shed to the northwest of the well located at the entrance to Rakugai. This Substory will be completed after you establish a friendship with the Mysterious Merchant.
The Hungry Cat Rakugai Interact with the black cat resting in-between the buildings to the west of the Scarecrow Chateau. This substory will be completed after you establish a friendship with the Hungry Cat.
The Spitfire Town Protector Rakugai Head along the main road toward Kurogane Smithing.
Nichibuza’s Newest Fan Rakunai Interact with the old woman in front of Nichibuza, south of Ikedaya.
Deceitful Deity Rakunai Speak to the police officer on the right side of the Ginryu Dojo.
Who’s Entertaining Who? Rakunai Speak to the woman outside of the Shikokuya.
I’ll Miss You, Miho Rakunai Walk along the road to the northwest of Nichibuza.
Global Fraud Rakunai Speak to the old man outside of the buildings to the southeast of Don Quixote.
Talkin’ Tosa Rakunai Speak to the man outside the buildings to the northeast of Nichibuza.
The Mochi Mystery Rakunai Speak to the group of men to the west of the Shogi Parlor.
Ee Ja Nai for Justice Rakunai Walk around the sides of Tengen Temple. This is only available after completing the other the Ee Ja Nai Ka and Ee Ja Not Ka Substories.
The Unwilling Courier Rakunai Walk along the northern bridge leading to Gion.
Enter the Black Panther Couriers Rakunai Speak to the courier on the bridge leading to Gion.
The Panthers’ Leading Man Rakunai Speak to the Black Panther courier near the bridge leading to Gion. This is only available after completing the first two Black Panther Substories.
The Hungry Sumo Wrestler Rakunai Speak to the Sumo Wrestler who is passed out to the east of the Shogi parlor. This substory will be completed after you give the Hungry Sumo Wrestler one food item.
The Love-Starved Husband Rakunai Speak to the man looking out at the water along the shore south of the southern bridge. This substory will be completed after you give the Love-Starved Husband at least one meal and establish a friendship.
The Oblivious Woman Rakunai Speak to the woman standing to the right of the Karasuma Street Palanquin carriers.
The Injured Grandma Rakunai From Kurogane Smithing, head north into Rakunai.
The Barking Dog Rakunai Interact with the dog on the left side of the Ebisu Pawn Rakunai.
The Lucky Cat Rakunai Interact with the cat in the corner to the right of the Rakunai Shrine where the priest and Akane are found.
The Spitfire Debt Collector Rakunai Speak to Yae in front of Kurogane Smithing. This is only available after completing The Spitfire Town Protector.
The Spitfire Lie Detector Rakunai Speak to Yae in front of Kurogane Smithing. This is only available after completing The Spitfire Debt Collector.
Finders Weepers Gion Examine the red journal found in front of the temple at the area’s entrance.
Soft and Supple Gion Speak to the man in front of the brothel in the northwest corner of the area.
The Revolutionary Chef Gion Speak to the man standing in front of the Asahi. The substory will be considered complete after you start his Friendship storyline.
The Sexy Madam Gion Speak to the woman standing in front of the tree north of Kitchen Aoba. Her substory will be marked off once you give her the first item she requests.
The Bad Side of Town Mukurogai Head south from the main entrance guarded by the man who wants Sake.
Brawler for Hire Mukurogai Speak to the man covered in tattoos near the path leading to the shoreline. tThis is only available after completing Ee Ja Nai for Justice.
Brawler Incarnate Mukurogai Speak to the man covered in tattoos near the path leading to the shoreline. This is only available after completing Brawler for Hire.
Brawler Enlightened Mukurogai Speak to the man covered in tattoos near the path leading to the shoreline. This is only available after completing Brawler Incarnate.
Fallen Warrior’s Ghost Mukurogai Go to the shoreline at night and speak to the glowing samurai.
The Servile Beggar Mukurogai Speak to the beggar sitting in the shade to the southeast of the Mukurogai entrance. Donating money to him once will mark the substory as complete.
The Trash Dealer Mukurogai Speak to the bald man to the left of the Mukurogai entrance. Give him any one item to complete the substory.
The Injured Dog Mukurogai Interact with the injured dog east of the Mukurogai entrance. Healing him once will complete the substory and trigger his Friendship storyline.
It’s What’s on the Inside Other (Mibu) Head up the stairs on the far left side of the Mibu Base area.
Hope Blossoms Again Other (Mibu) Head toward the stairs on the far left of the Mibu area, and speak to the couple being harassed by a samurai.
A Warlord’s Ambition Other (Ryoma’s Villa) Cook six or more different dishes at Ryoma’s Villa, and then step outside.
The Boy Who Cried Bear Other (Mibu) Head to the open area in front of the Mibu shrine and speak to the father and his son.
Mama Ryoma Other (Mibu) Speak to the three children along the lower Mibu road.
The Amnesiac Other (Temple Road) Speak to the unconscious man on your way up to the temple. Give him medicine at least once to trigger the substory’s completion.
The Boy Who Loves Veggies Other (Mibu) Speak to the boy crying outside of the house along the lower Mibu road. His substory will be marked as complete after you give him at least one vegetable.
Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
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