Yaowen Chen (Hànzì: 陳躍文, Pinyin: Chén Yuèwén, On'yomi: Chin Yōbun), or Master Chen (Hànzì: 陳大人, Pinyin: Chén-dàrén, On'yomi: Chin-taijin), is one of a few wealthy Chinese magnates living abroad in Japan, and he’s a big name in the trading business. He owns numerous trading operations worldwide, including the one in Yokosuka. Master Chen is an instrumental figure in helping Ryo Hazuki piece together the clues he needs, and assists him in getting to Hong Kong.
While Master Chen deals in a variety of high-end merchandise, Master Chen is particularly well versed in antiques and has multiple patrons. He is said to own numerous works of valuable art, some of which are rumored to be national treasures, but nobody knows for sure. He looks gentle and kind at first glance, but he’s a very calculating buyer with a stoic composure, no matter what. In grooming his son, Guizhang Chen, to become his successor, he has made sure to instruct him fully in the Yanqingquan, a martial art handed down over multiple generations in their family.
Master Chen first encounters Ryo Hazuki after the young man manages to sneak past the guards patrolling the warehouse district and get inside Warehouse Number 8, which is Chen's main office of operations. Upon breaking a china plate, and attempting to engage Chen's son in combat, Ryo is startled by Chen's arrival. Chen asks if Ryo was the person who had called earlier that day, and asks to see the letter Ryo had in possession. Chen confirms the letter is indeed Yuanda Zhu's handwriting, but acknowledges that it arrived too late to save Iwao Hazuki. he then asks Ryo if both mirrors had been stolen. Ryo expresses surprise, as at this point he only knew of one mirror, the Dragon Mirror. Chen tells Ryo that should both mirrors fall in Lan Di's hands, it would be disastrous. He sets Ryo on the path to finding the second mirror, known as the Phoenix Mirror.
Later, upon finding the mirror, Chen refuses to help Ryo further, seeing Ryo's plan as one of simple revenge that would only wind up in his death. However, after building on his friendship with Guizhang, and ridding the harbor of the Mad Angels, Chen relents, and allows Ryo passage aboard a ship that takes him straight to Hong Kong.
Although Master Chen does not appear in Shenmue II, he is mentioned throughout the game. When Ryo gives Hanhui Liu the introduction letter from Chen, he reads "Yaowen Chen, I heard the name from Lishao Tao". During the time when Ryo has to perform the Chawan Sign, he can speak to Joy at Pine Game Arcade about Chen. Also when Ryo and Wuying Ren listen to Huang the Wiretapper's Cassette Tapes to gather clues on Yuanda Zhu, they can listen to a conversation between Guizhang and Joy, where near the end of the conversation Joy will say "Say hi to Uncle Chen for me" referring to Master Chen.
- In Prima's Shenmue Strategy Guide, Master Chen's full name is spelled "Yobun Chen" instead of "Yaowen Chen".
- Master Chen's zodiac sign is Libra and he has a A blood type.
- Master Chen's phone number is 0468-61-5647. When dialing Master Chen, Ryo will need to give the proper password (Father's Heaven, Nine Dragons, Mother's Earth, Comrades). He will always speak to Guizhang Chen.