The statue was a promotional item to celebrate the release of 'Shenmue' in Japan, though I know very little outside of that. How one got the item and why it is copyrighted "1998" while 'Shenmue' was released in December 1999 are two things I do not know. Perhaps a reader or the Grand Gagaman himself could shed some light on the figure's history.
I shall come from a far eastern land, shipped airmail
Like the recently released Ryo Hazuki forklift figure, the paint job isn't the figure's strong suit. Then again, it was a freebie so beggars can't be choosers. I picked the figure up for $10 so I'm not going to complain. The material is a very light, hollow vinyl. One flick and the figure could tumble over.
I assume this says "Shenhua" or "Shen Hua" or "Shen Fa".
An interesting note: the only two 'Shenmue' figures made available were promo items and are difficult to come by. Perhaps Sega needs to get on the ball and give us our Comb-My-Hair Goro with Harbor Playset™.
All the 'Shenmue' goodies I own (the XBOX 'Shenmue II' not pictured)
To complete this post, I present an EXCLUSIVE screenshot from 'Shenmue III'!!!
Ryo: Are you certain this is what I do to defeat Lan Di?
Shenhua: Yes Ryo, the prophesy clearly states that this is how it is done.
Ryo: I see.