Tuesday’s Tragic Moments in Comics – the Death of Mariko Yashida

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Mariko of the Yakuza crime family, Clan Yashida, is best known as the love interest of the X-Man known as the Wolverine. The daughter of the crime lord Shingen Yashida and the half-sister of the Silver Samurai, Mariko was married off to the Yakuza gang to solidify her father’s connections within the crime family. The marriage was a brutal one and Mariko was often subjected to abuse by her husband. It was during this time that Logan, the Wolverine, met her. He fell deeply in love with her and swore to protect her. Mariko’s husband was killed then. But Mariko, seeing his berserker rage equated Logan with the brutality and violence that was in her father and husband.

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Mariko came to realize her own father was evil and planned to kill him and then commit seppuku to reclaim the family’s honor.  But Logan, learning of her plan, killed Shingen himself to spare Mariko. He believed that she would then become honor bound to kill him and decided to allow her to do so rather than cause her any harm. Instead, Mariko understood that the violence that Logan acted on had honor and justice and she presented him with the family’s katana as a token of her approval of his warrior spirit. Mariko then set about changing how her family did business and planned to lead her family out of the criminal underworld.

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Though Logan and Mariko would become engaged, they were never truly married. Their wedding halted by assorted villains, who wanted to either kill Logan or Mariko herself. Eventually one would succeed.

Mariko was poisoned with tetrodotoxin, from a blowfish by the assassin Reiko under the employ of the crime lord, Matsu’o Tsurayaba. Mariko asks Logan to kill her so she would not have a painful death and preserve her honor. So it is at his own hands, that the woman he loves, dies.

The Wolverine vows to avenge Mariko and returning every year upon the anniversary of her death to sever pieces of Matsu’o’s body.

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