Shingen Harada

Lord ShingenFinally back in action! A new trailer for The Wolverine has been released, and, along with it, our first proper look at one of the movie’s villains, Lord Shingen Yashida, portrayed on screen by Hiroyuki Sanada. Not much is known about him in the movie, apart from the fact that he’ll be taking advantage from one of his clan’s members taking away Wolverine‘s powers with unknown means. He also seems to be allied with The Viper, leader (?) of Hydra, and it’s quite positive that he won’t be happy of the relationship between the Canadian mutant and his daughter Mariko. Anyway, let’s see who the character is in the comics.

Lord Shingen’s real name is Shingen Harada, member of one of Japan’s most ancient and noble clans. During his youth, he conceived an illegitimate son who he named Keniuchio, a mutant who would have become one of his most trusted and powerful bodyguards under the codename Silver Samurai. The Harada Clan was by birthright a possible heir to the Imperial Throne of Japan, but Shingen’s ambition wouldn’t have been satisfied with political power and social influence, and decided to turn his family business into a criminal empire. Thanks to Shingen’s work, the Harada name was disgraced, and the young man was banished from his own family; he took upon himself the name Yashida (sometimes spelled Yoshida) and founded yet another clan, which soon became one of the most powerful and feared criminal organization in the East world thanks to the support of hidden powers such as The Hand. Nothing is ever easy when it comes to criminality, and Lord Shingen, for cunning and brilliant as he was, wasn’t immune from mistakes. He contracted a debt with lordshingencomics1another Yakuza crimelord, violent and vulgar Noburu-Hideki. While he publicly announced that he would have settled his debt and strengthened the bond between the two clans giving his own daughter, Mariko, in marriage to Hideki, Shingen was actually planning something different: sure he wanted Mariko to marry his rival, but in order to use her as a bait to kill Hideki and took over his empire, being aided in this plan by The Hand. Unfortunately, something unexpected almost ruined his program: Mariko didn’t want to get married, since she had fallen in love with Logan, an American mutant going under the name “Wolverine”. In order to fulfill his project, Shingen had to discredit Logan to his daughter’s eyes, first, so that she would have obeyed whatever order he would have given to her.

Shingen had Yukio, his best assassin, poison Logan during a banquet, then he personally challenged the mutant in a duel with bokken, the woden swords normally used for training. Logan, who desperately loved Mariko, accepted, but the huge amount of poison he had been injected with was having his effects despite his healing factor. During the duel, Shingen used his accurate knowledge of human body to hit with his bokken particular nerve-endings, in a way he would have easily killed a normal man. Now fighting for his life, Wolverine drew his adamantium claws out, but this way, with the audience, Mariko included, unaware of the fact that Shingen was trying to kill his opponent, it seemed that it was the mutant cheating during the duel. Defeated and disgraced in front of his beloved Mariko, Wolverine was dumped into the streets of Tokyo; Shingen then sent Yukio to him, with the orders of using the mutants’ abilities to kill another rival of his, a Katsuyori, and to dispose of him immediately after. Mariko was finally married to Hideki, while Shingen’s rivals disappeared one after the other. Mariko, meanwhile, had discovered what her lordshingencomics2father had done to Logan, and swore to kill him; Shingen, unmoved, ignored his daughter’s rage, pleased that everything was proceeding according to his plan. Unfortunately for him, however, Yukio disobeyed his orders and refused to kill Wolverine, since the two of them formed a bond on the battlefield, fighting side by side against Katsuyori’s men, first, and the Hand’s ninjas sent by Shingen himself, later. Seeking vengeance, Wolverine came back to Yashida’s castle and, while Yukio killed Noburu-Hideki, thus saving Mariko, Wolverine came to battle him once again. Not being affected by poison, and fighting without restraints, Logan killed Lord Shingen, unable to withstand the warrior’s fury. Decades later, however, Shingen was resurrected during a magic ritual performed by an agent from the Hand, Phaedra, who formed an army with Wolverine’s deceased enemies. When Phaedra was killed, Shingen managed to escape, ready to start his empire once again.

Lord Shingen Yashida is a very proud and ruthless man, made dangerous by a sharp intelligence and a tactician’s mind. He possesses no superhuman abilities, but he’s a fierce and cold warrior at the peak of human physical possibilities, a master in many martial arts who makes his techniques even more lethal with an accurate knowledge of human anathomy. He also is an expert in assassinating skills, and has an extended knowledge of many poisons and toxins. Leader of one of the most dangerous criminal associations ever existed in Japan, Lord Shingen is an extremely dangerous man, able to do anything to fulfill his goals of power.

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5 Comments

  1. […] man who would have become the Silver Samurai was born Keniuchio Harada, illegitimate son of Lord Shingen Yashida, one of the most powerful and influent criminal bosses in Japan. Being illegitimate, Keniuchio […]

  2. […] failed attempt to take control of the Yashida Clan, a powerful criminal organization whose leader, Lord Shingen, had died because of the intervention of Wolverine and the other X-Men, Viper came back to the US, […]

  3. […] training. Some years later, having become an incredibly skilled martial artist, she was hired by Lord Shingen Yashida as an assassin for his clan, and she became one of his most capable and trusted subordinates. When […]

  4. […] family surely is a wide one: being a Yashida, she was born the daughter of Lord Shingen, head of the Yashida Clan, and the half-sister of Kenuichio Harada, the powerful mutant and […]

  5. […] had a clash with the Yashida Clan because of his marriage with Mariko, the youngest daughter of Lord Yashida. As every woman Logan as ever loved, Mariko died, and Wolverine continued his nomadic life. […]


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