The Silver Samurai is the illegitimate son of Shingen Harada, a Japanese Crime Lord. As a result, he is also the brother to Wolverine's first love. Silver Samurai was the bodyguard of Viper and later an occasional mercenary. He became the head of Clan Yashida after his half-sister Mariko Yashida's death.
Silver Samurai was created by Steve Gerber and Bob Brown and first appeared in Daredevil issue 111 (1974).
Major Story Arcs
Mariko inherits clan Yashada
When his sister Mariko was going to inherit the clan, he and Viper tried to kill her. They infiltrated the building, but he was stopped by Wolverine and Rogue.
Head of the Clan
He attempted to pay off his clan's debts to the Yakuza and restore its honor. Though once one of Wolverine's greatest enemies, he had apparently impressed Wolverine so greatly that Wolverine entrusted him with the care of his adopted daughter, Amiko Kobayashi . The Samurai even once helped Wolverine destroy the monster known as " Doombringer", and later helped Logan rescue Amiko and Yukio from their kidnappers.
Big Hero 6
Harada was a long-time enemy of Wolverine (aka Logan), until his honorable actions gained him Logan's trust. The Samurai eventually turned from his criminal lifestyle and joined the Japanese superhero team Big Hero 6 as their leader.
After a run-in with the mutant Blindspot, Silver Samurai was temporarily brainwashed into leaving his life as a hero and engaging in criminal enterprise. He was then offered a leadership position by the criminal, and sometimes terrorist, organization known as The Hand. Harada refused the offer, choosing instead to begin his life anew in service to Japan.
He is currently working as chief of security for the Prime Minister of Japan. When Wolverine finally retrieved his lost memories, he came looking for Silver Samurai and staged an attack on the Prime Ministers motorcade just to get to him. Logan was seeking information on individuals from his past, and upon confronting Harada a battle ensued in which the Samurai's hand was severed.
New Avengers: Ronin
For unclear reasons, the Samurai was abducted, incarcerated in the Raft prison in America without trial, and official records stated he was dead. He was freed by Madame Hydra and the Hand, who transported him back to Japan. They wanted him to lead the Hand and unite the Japanese criminal underworld, hoping he could take on shadowy figures controlling both Hydra & SHIELD that Madame Hydra was reluctant to name; it is quite likely she was referring to the Skrull 's Secret Invasion, which was being set up (though not fully revealed) at the time. However, Harada wasn't interested in a war and even helped the Avengers defeat them. Afterward, he decided to try to earn his good name back by serving the people of Japan once again.
In a controversial move, that contradicted the previous established continuity, during Dark Reign, Ken was used as a stock villain who escaped from the Raft and fought Wolverine. He lost his hand in another confrontation with Wolverine. However, although he lost his hand and was a villain his next appearance saw a reformed Kenuichio in possession of both his upper extremities. It is therefore possible that it was not Kenuichio Harada whom wore the armor.
In The Last Stand of the Silver Samurai, a reformed Ken fought off a demon horde while defending Clan Yashida's home. He defeated them but was fatally wounded. He believed that his life would not end there and that he would be reincarnated but he was then seen in the depths of Hell being tortured alongside his former brother-in-law-to-be Wolverine.
His mutant ability allows him to generate a field of tachyonic energy around his katana that allows it to cut through almost any material on earth except for adamantium. Although he is able to charge any object and use it as a weapon, he prefers his katana. The Silver Samurai is a master of Kenjutsu, the art of wielding a katana, and is an expert in the art of bushido, a martial arts master specializing in edged weapons, hand to hand combat, and tactics. He usually wears a suit of lightweight steel alloy body armor, modeled after traditional samurai armor, but made of modern protective materials. His physical abilities and skill in martial arts make him a formidable opponent. He carries a katana, shurikens, and other weaponry. He possesses a teleportation ring, granting him even greater stealth and mobility. Keniuchio has extensive knowledge of the operations of criminal organizations due to his shady past, which he now uses in the service of his government to combat such organizations. He is an expert in the history and customs of the samurai. He is also a highly skilled master of the Japanese martial arts, although his abilities do not match those of Iron Fist or Shang-Chi.
The Silver Samurai wields a traditional samurai long sword, or katana, and has previously wielded both the Black Blade of Muramasa and the Honor Sword of Clan Yashida. On occasion he uses shuriken and other traditional samurai weaponry. Harada is a coward, he uses deception as a weapon. Plus he is known to cheat.
- Height: 6'6"
- Weight: 250 lbs. (with armor 310 lbs.)
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Black
Age of Apocalypse (Earth-295)
Silver Samurai was a mutant rebel in his homeland of Japan. Alongside Sunfire, he stood as the last line of defense against the hordes of Apocalypse. During Sunfire's tragic, and diversionary, battle with Apocalypse and Nemesis, Samurai led the surviving people of Japan to safety. He and his wife, Viper, fought their way from the island of Japan through hordes of Apocalypse's Infinites. Tragically, Viper was killed saving Samurai's life. Never able to forgive himself for the death of his wife, Samurai threw himself into fighting Apocalypse's forces in Asia.
After Apocalypse was destroyed by Magneto, Samurai discovered that Sunfire was actually alive. Samurai made his way to America and reunited with Sunfire by joining Magneto's cause. Unknown to the X-Men, he also delivered a top-secret weapon to Magneto. Samurai also has a long-standing feud with Wolverine. What caused this has yet to be revealed.
It is clear Samurai sacrificed much in the service of Japan and now is one of Magneto's bravest warriors. But only the stoic Silver Samurai knows whether he is truly brave or does in fact wish to join his beloved Viper in death. He is killed by Sentinels during a mission where the X-Men team up with the Uncanny X-Force in order to free Gateway from prison.
X2: X-Men United
Silver Samurai's name is listed in William Stryker's files on Lady Deathstrike's computer.
The Silver Samurai as he appears in The Wolverine, is not Harada (portrayed by Korean American actor Will Yun Lee, who does not appear in any version of the armor), but rather the Ichirō Yashida, the elder head of the Yashida Clan, played by Hal Yamanouchi. The Silver Samurai itself is an ancestral suit of samurai armor that has been in Mariko's family for generations, and her grandfather eventually develops a suit of adamantium battle armor patterned after it.
- Silver Samurai appeared in "The Lotus and the Steel", an episode of the 90's X-Men animated series. He is portrayed as the leader of a gang of ruthless thugs who terrorize small Japanese towns for tribute every year. He comes into conflict with Wolverine, who defeats and humiliates him by destroying the Samurai's teleportation device. Disgraced, Silver Samurai flees the town, with Wolverine mentioning that he will never return due to his shame. He was voiced by Denis Akiyama.
- The Silver Samurai serves as the antagonist of an episode of the animated series, Wolverine and the X-Men, where he takes the X-Men hostage so as to force Wolverine into a duel. The Samurai is not the half-brother of Wolverine's lover Mariko but her husband, she having married him after he and Wolverine dueled over her hand in marriage years ago. Though Wolverine won, Mariko chose the Samurai. However, in the present the Silver Samurai seeks to join a powerful Japanese criminal organisation, but to do so he must overcome all his past failures so he forces Wolverine to duel him again. The officials overseeing the duel state that the two must fight using only their swords, not their powers, however when Wolverine gains the upper hand the Silver Samurai breaks the agreement, causing the officials to subdue him, declare him defeated and drive him from the organisation in disgrace. He was voiced by Keone Young.
- Silver Samurai appears in Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, voiced by Takanori Nishikawa.
- Silver Samurai appears in Hit-Monkey, voiced by Noshir Dalal. In contrast to his villainous past from the comics, the TV show depicts Silver Samurai as a famous Japanese superhero and something of a celebrity figure in his home country. He battles Hit-Monkey in the season finale after the latter goes after Shinji Yokohama, the new Japanese prime minister.
X-Men: Children of the Atom
Silver Samurai is featured as a playable fighter in the game. He was voiced by Capcom employee Yasushi Ikeda, making him the only character in the game to speak Japanese.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
Silver Samurai appears as a playable fighter in the game, and speaks in Japanese like many of the Capcom fighters. He does not wield tachyon energy like in the comics, and instead uses his sword to conjure various elemental attacks like lightning and fire.
X-Men: The Official Game
Silver Samurai appears as a major antagonist in the game, which takes place between X-2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand. He is depicted as the leader of HYDRA and the mentor of Lady Deathstrike, as well as the mastermind behind the construction of the Sentinels. He was voiced by Keone Young.
- ToyBiz released a Silver Samurai figure for the "Evil Mutants" line of X-Men action figures.
- Silver Samurai has been featured in the HeroClix figure game.
- Silver Samurai was included as part of a two-pack with Wolverine for Hasbro's Greatest Battles line. The set also included a copy of Wolverine #2.
- A 3.75 inch Silver Samurai figure was released as part of Hasbro's Wolverine line.
- Silver Samurai was featured in the Minimates line from Diamond Select
- Silver Samurai was featured in Hasbro's Marvel Legends line as part of the third Marvel Vintage wave.