- "When I took you in, I thought I was the one helping you... but it turns out it was the other way around. ...Take care."
- —Sojiro Sakura, Persona 5
Sojiro Sakura is a character from Persona 5. He is the manager of Cafe Leblanc in Yongen-Jaya. He is Futaba Sakura's adoptive father, and oversees the care of the protagonist during his probation in Tokyo.
Sojiro is a middle-aged man. He has slicked-back dark hair with a receding hairline, gray eyes, a chinstrap beard with a goatee that flares out and wears glasses.
His usual outfit consists of a pale pink dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up, pale khakis held up with a white leather belt and white loafers. While working at Leblanc, he wears a black apron with a white pinstripe design on it and has his pants legs folded up to mid calf. During his off-time, he wears a white two-button blazer and while driving, he wears a white trilby with a red-white-and-blue striped hat band.
Sojiro is serious and a bit cold to the protagonist in the beginning, begrudgingly taking him in as a favor to a friend. Like many characters in the beginning of the story, he is cautious of him due to his probation, even stating that he will do very little if the protagonist gets himself into trouble. However, the longer the protagonist lives with him, Sojiro slowly builds trust in him and even begins teaching him to make Leblanc's signature coffee and curry. He also begins to joke around with the protagonist more, seeing that the protagonist is not a delinquent as the probation makes him seem like.
Sojiro is a very smooth talker and often charms women with choice words, stating that he was "quite the ladies man" in his youth. Despite this, Sojiro has never been married and has only loved one person ever: Wakaba Isshiki. Wakaba's "suicide" became one of his biggest regrets in his life and is part of the reason why he adopted her daughter, Futaba Sakura. Despite the life she lives as a shut-in, he allows her to do so knowing that her mother's death haunts her and to atone for doing nothing even after Wakaba foresaw her impending death. After the protagonist helps Futaba to leave the Sakura residence and learning of both of their involvement in the Phantom Thieves, he begins to stand up for the protagonist and becomes supportive of their efforts due to their goal of taking down Masayoshi Shido, a man responsible for Wakaba's death.
- "I won't ask you to work for free. If you agree to help me, then... I'll teach you how to make the perfect cup of coffee."
- —Sojiro Sakura to the protagonist, Persona 5
Sojiro is a former government official who was in contact with the research center Wakaba Isshiki worked for. After Wakaba died in a traffic incident, which was supposedly a suicide, Sojiro took in Wakaba's daughter Futaba. He became particularly concerned with Futaba's safety and avoid anyone from approaching her because Wakaba sent him an SOS message just before the fatal incident. To hide from Wakaba's potential enemies, Sojiro left his job and became owner of Cafe Leblanc.
He is a friend of the protagonist's parents who promised to look after him. He warns the protagonist not to get into trouble in school and avoid getting into further trouble with the wrong people. As his legal guardian during his probation, he gives the protagonist the top floor of Cafe Leblanc to live in the year and hands him a journal for him to record his daily activities throughout the probation. When being asked privately by Yusuke Kitagawa the actual reason he took the protagonist in, he confesses that he sees his younger self in the protagonist.
Sojiro was initially unaware nor interested in Phantom Thieves of Hearts' heists until Futaba became involved. He is asked by a public prosecutor, Sae Niijima, regarding Futaba as she is trying to investigate about Wakaba. Sojiro refuses to answer any of her questions including letting her meet Futaba until she threatens to remove his custodial rights over Futaba. The protagonist, who received a request from Futaba under an alias, tries to ask Sojiro about her as well, but Sojiro also refuses to tell anything and tells him to concentrate on school. After the protagonist and his friends enter Sojiro's house to give him sushi as a means to talk to Futaba, he is forced to reveal Futaba's existence to them and asks him to keep her out of their business.
After Futaba's heart is healed and her Palace fades, Sojiro is surprised and pleased that Futaba has finally left her room and is socializing with the protagonist and his friends. However, Futaba's sudden change makes Sojiro suspicious that her heart was stolen by the Phantom Thieves. His suspicions are ultimately confirmed when he discovers the Calling Card for Futaba in her room when he was cleaning it. He immediately confronts the protagonist and Futaba about the calling card where he learns that not only is the protagonist a Phantom Thief, but also their leader. He is initially angered by this revelation but Futaba calms Sojiro down and explains that the protagonist saved her and is ultimately the reason why she is outside and no longer haunted by her mother. Sojiro then reveals the truth about his past, and how he had realized that the Thieves' methods have some similarity with details of Wakaba's research. Hearing Futaba's wish of wanting to find her mother's killer, Sojiro immediately rejects the idea. However, after seeing how determined both Futaba and the protagonist are, Sojiro promises to keep their secret and allows them to continue their activities under the condition that if it gets too dangerous, they must stop becoming the Phantom Thieves.
Following the protagonist's arrest, Sae, under Futaba's instruction, helps the protagonist escape after he fakes his death and brings him to Leblanc, telling Sojiro to hide the protagonist for a while. Despite not knowing the full story, Sojiro did as he was told, hiding him for a while. He then brings the protagonist back to Leblanc where Sae and his friends are waiting. After hearing the full story, Sojiro shows his support by allowing the Phantom Thieves to discuss their plan downstairs instead in the protagonist's room upstairs. When the Thieves realize that a man named "Shido" is the leader of Conspiracy, Sojiro immediately realizes that it is Masayoshi Shido. He also reveals how he had suspected Shido being behind Wakaba's death and how he had kept it as a secret to prevent the Thieves from going after him, fearing for their safety.
When the Thieves hijack the airwaves to announce their plan to steal Shido's heart instead of using a calling card, Shido's subordinates arrest Sojiro, knowing that he knows the identity of the Thieves. However, he is released immediately after Shido's treasure has been stolen, both due to a lack of evidence and their inability to get a confession from him.
On the player's last day, should the protagonist have established a max rank Confidant with Sojiro, Sojiro thanks the protagonist for his time with him and hands him the recipe for both Leblanc's coffee and curry, stating that he has both recipes and methods memorized. The protagonist, in return, gives him the journal he had been writing all year as a keepsake. As the protagonist leaves Leblanc for the last time, Sojiro looks at the protagonist's journal with a smile on his face and tears in his eyes.
- "You may call yourself a phantom thief, but you're still a minor. Someone had to support you. Furthermore, they did so knowing you were part of that group... ...Isn't the owner of that cafe an accomplice of yours!?"
- —Sae Niijima talking about Sojiro Sakura, Persona 5
Sojiro's Confidant can be unlocked on April 22nd. Ranking it up allows him to teach the protagonist about Leblanc signature coffee and curry recipes which can be used as SP recovery items in-dungeon. Making coffee or curry consumes an evening of the player's activity time, but this can be spared if the player's Confidant relationship with Sadayo Kawakami is high enough to call her to handle the job in place of the protagonist by paying 5,000 yen each time. However, to continue further than rank 4, the protagonist must complete Futaba's Palace.
Sojiro's story revolves around Leblanc and his relationship with Futaba. The protagonist makes a deal with him to learn to make coffee in exchange for assisting with Leblanc's customers. In the early stages of the Confidant, Sojiro is continuously harassed by a cheerful man with clear ill intent. Sojiro explains that he is an old acquaintance who is in great debt and hoping to extort money from him. Over the course of helping, Sojiro begins to see the protagonist in a new light and teaches him to make curry, even sharing a bit of his past and explaining his recipe was invented by a brilliant scientist, later revealed to be Wakaba Isshiki, Futaba's mother.
Once Futaba recovers from her depression and joins the team, the truth of Sojiro's situation comes to light. The cheerful man harassing Sojiro is actually Youji Isshiki, Futaba's uncle and Wakaba's brother. Sojiro had taken custody of Futaba when he learned her uncle, her last remaining blood relative willing to house her, had been abusing her. Her uncle agreed only when Sojiro gave the inheritance fund to him, but even then continues to extort him by threatening to take legal action once he learns of the protagonist's criminal record and Futaba's shut-in lifestyle. Futaba, wanting to defend Sojiro, digs up her uncle's personal information to prevent him from filing a lawsuit, but Sojiro only chides her for her illegal activity and blurts out that he hasn't given her a proper home. Futaba takes it as him not wanting her and runs off, and Sojiro confides in the protagonist that his making Wakaba's curry for Futaba and serving coffee were just excuses to remain distant. The protagonist helps Sojiro and Futaba reconcile, with Sojiro offering to let Futaba stay with him and thanking the protagonist for reminding him not to take the path of convenience to avoid making efforts in life and relationships.
Though Sojiro's relationship with Futaba is healed, Youji still demands more payments from him, but Sojiro calls him out on his bluff. Youji attempts to take his frustration out on Futaba, but is tripped when the protagonist pulls her away, and runs off declaring to sue Sojiro and shut down Leblanc for "assault" by the protagonist. Futaba and the protagonist decide to go alone to Mementos to track down her uncle's Shadow, who, once his heart is stolen, explains that he recklessly gambled due to desiring the success he had the first time he won the jackpot out of jealousy for his brilliant sister's success. The change comes too late, though, as Social Services arrives with Youji's report, but Futaba and the protagonist make it clear that they and Sojiro care for each other as family, with Futaba even calling Sojiro her "dad." The workers are convinced the claim is falsified and leave, and Sojiro treats his children to a good dinner in joy at their words.
Once the bond is maxed out, Sojiro goes to the church with Futaba and the protagonist to pay their respects to Wakaba. He tells him that he avoided coming out of guilt but now can face her without regret and that Futaba's uncle has dropped all charges. Based on the point in the game, Sojiro either merely wonders if Youji merely had a change of heart or knows the protagonist caused it. Sojiro offers to be a pillar of support for the protagonist in return for showing him the importance of family and allowing him to finally be at peace, but asks him not to form a romantic relationship with Futaba.
Sojiro's farewell gift after maxing his Confidant is the Recipe Note from Wakaba, which allows the protagonist to make Master Coffee and Master Curry once the Hierophant Confidant has been re-established in New Game Plus. It was personally given to Sojiro so Futaba still has something positive to remember her mother by. Sojiro passes it on to the protagonist to remember him and states that he no longer needs the note as he has the recipe memorized.
|2||Coffee Basics||Allows you to make coffee which slightly restores SP to one ally.|
|4||Leblanc Curry||Allows you to make curry that slightly restores SP to all allies.|
|6||Coffee Mastery||Allows you to make coffee which greatly restores SP to one ally.|
|9||Curry Tips||Allows you to make curry that moderately restores SP to all allies.|
|10||Curry Mastery||Allows you to make curry that greatly restores SP to all allies.|
Sojiro after Valentine's Day.
|Persona 5 Portraits|
Sojiro Sakura's portrait
Sojiro's casual attire
Sojiro's casual attire with a trilby.
Sojiro shocked cut-in
- Sojiro's name may be inspired by (佐倉 惣五郎), the legendary village head during Edo period who appealed directly to shogun for tax reduction for his villagers but ended up being executed for this very action.
- Sojiro shares his distinctive goatee with , the confidant of , the thief protagonist of the long-running Lupin III media franchise.