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- "Wait...you're dead!"
"There is no such thing."
- ―Daredevil and Nobu Yoshioka
Nobu Yoshioka is a Japanese businessman with a mysterious agenda. As a member of Wilson Fisk's criminal empire, his organization, the Hand, shared in the profits of all of the cartel's criminal activities. When the Fisk's criminal empire was threatened by a mysterious vigilante, Yoshioka took it upon himself to find and kill the man. During his battle with the masked man, Yoshioka was nearly victorious, before he was outwitted and killed.
Yoshioka, however, was resurrected a few months later, and he attacked New York City with his loyal Hand followers. With them, Yoshioka attempted to convince Elektra to join the Hand and embrace her destiny as the Black Sky. When that failed, Yoshioka attempted to kill Elektra's ally, Daredevil, but Elektra sacrificed herself to Daredevil and she was killed instead by Yoshioka's sword. During his final battle, Yoshioka was ultimately defeated by Daredevil and killed by Stick, who decapitated Yoshioka.
Working with Wilson Fisk
Nobu Yoshioka acted as a representative for the mysterious Japanese organization to Wilson Fisk's criminal cartel. In exchange for his organization's investments, he requested a block of Hell's Kitchen and Fisk's assistance in transporting his special items and weapons from Japan. However, although his organization took an equal share of the profits, James Wesley was unsure of what Yoshioka and his organization actually contributed. To ensure Fisk's continued work in their interests, Yoshioka would often remind Fisk of the threat that the Hand posed to his criminal empire.
One night, Yoshioka waited at the top of a building along with Madame Gao, Leland Owlsley, Anatoly Ranskahov and Vladimir Ranskahov awaiting the arrival of Wilson Fisk to discuss recent events. Owlsley commented on the fact that Gao did not speak English; when he asked Yoshioka if he could translate for her, Yoshioka was greatly insulted as he was Japanese and Gao was speaking Chinese. Yoshioka became more annoyed when Fisk's assistant/translator James Wesley arrived in Fisk's place. The group discussed the recent attacks that had occurred involving a masked man stealing from the Ranskahov brothers.
War with the Russians
Yoshioka was summoned for another meeting; this time without the Ranskahov brothers. They met at a car shop where Leland Owlsley commented on the car which was being cleaned of blood and brains. Eventually Wilson Fisk arrived with James Wesley; he announced that the Ranskahovs were no longer a part of their organization as Fisk had murdered Anatoly Ranskahov.
Yoshioka and the others were shocked and angered at the change of circumstance, claiming they should have been consulted. It was however agreed that they would continue their work with the money being split equally between the four of them, with Fisk now taking responsibility of moving Madame Gao's heroin. As the group departed, Yoshioka reminded Fisk of the promises he had made to Yoshioka and the people he represented, referring to the Hand, who Fisk was knew were a great risk to his plans.
- "What happened to the Russians, we need to be careful, all of us. I look out for you, you look out for me, all I'm saying."
"Each man must stand for himself, or fall with the unworthy."
- ―Leland Owlsley and Nobu Yoshioka
Yoshioka organized the delivery from Japan to New York City of a child referred to as a "Black Sky". He arranged for Wilson Fisk to bribe the police to stay away from the docks. Before the delivery, Yoshioka met with Leland Owlsley to ensure everything was running smoothly, Owlsley revealed that he knew what was happening and they should help each other out considering what had happened with the Russians. Yoshioka however told Owlsley that men have to stand alone.
Yoshioka and his team of armed guards were later present for the arrival of Black Sky. However as the container was opened and Yoshioka's men began unchaining the boy and moving Black Sky away, they were attacked by Daredevil and Stick who intercepted the delivery. An arrow was fired and seemingly deflected out of the path of Black Sky, leading to a gun fight between the Hand and the attackers, with Yoshioka ordering his men to kill them. In the chaos Yoshioka was able to drive away with Black Sky, but they were later attacked again by Stick who killed the boy by stabbing him in the heart before escaping, much to Yoshioka's anger.
Blaming Wilson Fisk for the failure, Yoshioka called for a meeting. Yoshioka met with Fisk and James Wesley and Yoshioka insulted Fisk as he claimed Fisk had not met with his guarantee for the safety of Black Sky, but Fisk pointed out that he had fulfilled his obligations, which was to ensure that the police did not interfere. When Yoshioka informed Fisk of how difficult it would be to find another Black Sky, Fisk insulted him by saying that it was his fault. Yoshioka asked if he wished to renegotiate the terms of their contract, leading to Fisk apologizing, Yoshioka then left after threatening Fisk. 
Hunting the Masked Man
- "I am bound by certain requirements, even I have those I must answer to. After the setback at the docks, I can afford no further disruptions; do what you must, but do it quickly."
- ―Nobu Yoshioka to Wilson Fisk
Yoshioka became impatient when Nelson and Murdock delayed the eviction of all tenants of a particular building in Hell's Kitchen. Yoshioka stormed into a meeting between Wilson Fisk and James Wesley; when one of Fisk's guards named Francis attempted to stop him and make him wait, Yoshioka twisted his wrist causing Francis considerable pain.
Fisk allowed Yoshioka to enter and he demanded that the building be delivered. Fisk offered other buildings, but Yoshioka insisted on the agreed building, noting that the people he represented would not accept such a change in plan. Fisk suggested that Yoshioka provide a warrior to eliminate the masked man in exchange for Fisk expediting evictions, knowing that Yoshioka's pride would make him fight the masked man himself. This was a ploy by Fisk, who later admitted that he had decided to eliminate Yoshioka, and that "in a perfect world", Daredevil and Yoshioka would have killed each other.
- "You are a worthy opponent. It is an honor to claim your life."
- ―Nobu Yoshioka to the masked man
Wilson Fisk killed one of the problematic tenants, Elena Cardenas, and then made an impromptu televised statement which subtly taunted Daredevil over his inability to protect her. Knowing that the devil would seek out the people responsible, Fisk then allowed Daredevil to "discover" his whereabouts. When Daredevil followed this trail, he instead found Yoshioka in a warehouse, dressed in his Hand uniform. Yoshioka was able to slow his heartbeat, ensuring that the attack was a surprise to the masked man when he arrived.
Yoshioka attacked and nearly killed the masked man using a shoge hook, slicing the masked man's skin and stabbing him in the side before dragging him across the floor. However the man continued to fight back despite losing so much blood and being in such great pain and at one stage the masked man was able to rip Yoshioka's mask from his face. Impressed by the man's skill and warrior like instincts, Yoshioka told him that he was a worthy opponent and it would be an honor to take his life, he then put his mask back on and prepared for the final fatal attack against his enemy.
Before Yoshioka could kill him, the masked man pulled the blade from his side and knocked Yoshioka into a barrel of fuel, slicing the barrel open and spilling the fuel across the floor under Yoshioka. The man then deflected Yoshioka's blade into a light causing electrical sparks to ignite the fuel, burning Yoshioka to death. Despite the flames, Yoshioka launched at the man and delivered a kick before falling to the ground and being consumed by the flames. Later, when Wilson Fisk and James Wesley arrived and saw Yoshioka's corpse burning in the fire, Fisk told Wesley to let Yoshioka burn.
Seeking Black Sky
- "You still have scars to remember me by, I hope."
- ―Nobu Yoshioka to Daredevil
Having recovered from his wounds with the help of his followers despite scarring to his face, Yoshioka continued to direct the Hand's activities in New York City and aimed to find a new Black Sky to lead the Hand in their war against the Chaste. Yoshioka's attempts in finding it included the abduction and brainwashing of victims in order to provide blood for a sarcophagus belonging to the Black Sky. He arrived in time to stop Daredevil and Stan Gibson from saving their prisoners when the vigilante had discovered their hideout, first throwing a pair of the Bo Shuriken at them to make them aware of his presence.
Yoshioka battled Daredevil and continued to best his enemy in the fight, knocking him back with a single powerful hit. While Gibson attempted to get his son and the other victims to safety, Yoshioka took out his Kyoketsu-shoge and commented on the scars he knew he had left on Daredevil's body from their previous fight, however he soon discovered that Daredevil's newly designed battle suit protected him from harm against the blade, so Yoshioka was forced to reply on his highly skilled fight combat to best his enemy during the skirmish, as he soon used his kicks to subdue the Daredevil.
With Daredevil having been quickly overpowered and defeated in single combat, Yoshioka cut the blood supply to the sarcophagus and moved it into an elevator, revealing his burned and scarred face to Daredevil. Confused and horrified, Daredevil commented on how Yoshioka should be dead in the wake of being burned alive during the Duel at Pier 81, but Yoshioka told him there was no such thing as death as he escaped with the sarcophagus, leaving Daredevil in a complete state of shock due to seeing his enemy having seemingly risen from the grave to challenge him once again.
Although Daredevil was able to escape with the prisoners, who he took to Metro-General Hospital for treatment, Yoshioka ordered his Hand soldiers to go to the hosptial and recapture them all. In the proceeding battle, Stan Gibson was killed by his own son and the prisoners were all recaptured and returned to the Hand. Yoshioka watched as Hirochi drained the prisoners of their blood while was spilled into the sarcophagus. Once the prisoners had been drained completely, Yoshioka informed Hirochi that the sarcophagus was now finally ready to be used for their plans.
- "The Black Sky is not a myth. We have wanted you since you were a child; you were taken from us but now you have returned."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"It's you Elektra; you are the Black Sky, our greatest living weapon."
- ―Nobu Yoshioka and Elektra
Yoshioka had Stick kidnapped to be interrogated about what he knew about the Chaste. When Daredevil arrived to rescue Stick, with Hirochi being killed in the fight, Elektra followed, hoping to kill Stick for revenge for an assassination attempt on her life. Yoshioka and a team of Hand ninjas confronted the three and Yoshioka revealed that Elektra was the Black Sky, the one who was destined to lead the Hand to victory.
As Elektra took Yoshioka's sword and listened to his words, Yoshioka told her that the Hand lived to serve her. As Daredevil desperately tried to convince her to change her mind, he offered her the chance to kill him to test her loyalty to the Hand. However Daredevil changed tactics by twisting her around and ordering her to help him rescue Stick from the assassins. As the ninjas surrounded the group, Yoshioka watched until Stick killed one ninja and Elektra helped him escape while Daredevil kept the Hand ninjas at bay.
Daredevil battled legions of Hand ninjas singlehandedly and, using his new ablitiy to hear their breaths, managed to defeat them all with relative ease. As he ascended the stairs, eventually Yoshioka challenged Daredevil to a fight one on one, telling him that the Hand would be victorious and there was nothing he nor the Chaste could do to stop them. Daredevil told him to just watch him as he charged into Yoshioka and furiously began fighting him; despite all of Yoshioka's skill, he was unable to best his enemy in this fight.
The fight concluded when Daredevil was able to beat Yoshioka into submission before kicking him off a ledge where he was briefly killed upon impact. Once again death could not stop Yoshioka as he rose to his feet while his surviving Hand ninjas surrounded him to get their new orders. Knowing that Daredevil was now the greatest threat to them getting the Black Sky on their side as he was the only person Elektra truly loved and was loyal to, Yoshioka told his men that for them to succeed, Daredevil must be killed.
Creating a Trap
As Yoshioka overlooked the sarcophagus, he was visited by Tyler who informed him that they had successfully obtained a list from Brett Mahoney of names of twenty people who had been rescued by Daredevil. Yoshioka commented on how the fate of the Black Sky was now in their hands and Daredevil was the only thing standing in their way, he then ordered Tyler to target and abduct all of them to lure Daredevil into a trap where they would finally kill him.
As Tyler took the prisoners, including Karen Page and Turk Barrett, into an abandoned warehouse to await Daredevil's arrival, Yoshioka took time to meditate as he prepared for the final battle, wearing traditional robes. He listened as the New York City Police Department arrived, having been warned of the attack and kidnapping, although Yoshioka remained confident that this would not greatly affect their plans as the Hand soldiers began firing arrows at the arriving officers, killing them as they tried to call for backup.
Once Daredevil and Elektra arrived at the warehouse, they quickly overpowered and defeated the Hand ninjas and managed to free the hostages, who ran outside to be rescued by the police officers standing by. Ready for the upcoming battle, Tyler went to Yoshioka and handed him a back containing his Kyoketsu-shoge which he intended to use to finally kill Daredevil. As Yoshioka held the weapon which had nearly killed Daredevil in their first battle, Yoshioka vowed that Elektra would be theirs by the end of the night.
Yoshioka and his army of Hand ninjas were waiting for Daredevil and Elektra as they arrived on the rooftop. As a standoff ensued, Yoshioka told Elektra that she belonged to the Hand while Daredevil belonged in a grave. He then proceeded to attack the pair using his Kyoketsu-shoge. While Yoshioka fought Daredevil single-handedly, his soldiers battled Elektra in an attempt to subdue and capture her so they could have the power of the Black Sky.
Daredevil eventually disarmed Yoshioka during the battle and Elektra rushed in to assist in the fight as the pair slowly beat the warrior in combat. As Daredevil told him that his army would lose this war and ordered him to leave New York City alone, Yoshioka rushed to his feet and attacked the pair once again, managing to subdue them both and punch Daredevil's mask off. Yoshioka then took Elektra's Twin Sai and prepared to stab Daredevil, only for Elektra to run in front of the blade and be stabbed through the heart by Yoshioka, accidentally robbing the Hand of their greatest weapon.
With Elektra now dead, Yoshioka dropped the sai and ordered his soldiers to kill Daredevil, however while Daredevil was still able to fight, he received assistance from the Punisher who began shooting at the Hand soldiers with his sniper rifle, allowing the furious Daredevil to rush towards Yoshioka. Fueled by rage, Daredevil beat Yoshioka back with ease before using his Billy Club to tie a wire around Yoshioka's head and launch him off the rooftop as he fell several floors to the hard ground and died upon impact.
Beheaded by Stick
- "This time, you piece of shit, stay down."
- ―Stick to Nobu Yoshioka
Despite having been launched several floors from the roof of a tall building, once again however, Yoshioka was able to survive death and soon awoke on the hard ground where Daredevil had thrown him in the aftermath of their final battle, where he reopened his eyes before he rose to his feet and prepared to return to the Hand to continue the war against the Chaste. Planning to continue his deadly quest while attempting to find another Black Sky for them to replace the now recently deceased Elektra.
However just as Yoshioka turned to walk away from the area, he was stabbed through the chest by the now vengeful Stick, who told him that this time he wanted him to stay dead. As Yoshioka looked on in surprise and incredible pain from being impaled, Stick proceeded to pull his sword from Yoshioka's chest before slicing through his neck, as Yoshioka fell to the floor his head then dropped from his shoulders, killing him for good. With his enemy now dead on the ground, Stick calmly walked away from the scene, hiding his bloody sword within his jacket and leaving Yoshioka's body behind him.
- "He doesn't care for the accommodations."
"Misspeak my words again, and I will have your tongue."
- ―James Wesley and Nobu Yoshioka
Nobu Yoshioka is a highly calm and confident man, knowing his own reputation is one of fear and respect due to his association with the Hand, he rarely speaks unless he has a reason to say something. When Leland Owlsley would make inappropriate comments about him, Yoshioka did not retaliate as such an action was below him, instead he just gave a stern look to Owlsley as a warning not to mock him again. However despite his calm and collected nature, Yoshioka is still capable of rage, when the Black Sky was murdered by Stick, Yoshioka expressed his anger by openly threatening Wilson Fisk and almost breaking Francis' hand. During his final showdown with Daredevil, Yoshioka's anger pushed him so far that he indirectly killed Elektra by stabbing her through the heart with her own Twin Sai by mistake, leaving him furious.
Powers and Abilities
- Resurrection: Yoshioka was able to come back to life after he died, he has shown this power when he resurrected after he burned to death in the Duel at Pier 81. After seemingly dying when he was knocked several stories down by Daredevil, he got back up without any trouble. However, when Stick kills him again by decapitating Yoshioka, he claims that the latter will stay dead this time, implying that this method will kill him permanently.
- Longevity: Yoshioka has lived for at least three lifetimes, according to some of the rumors that Elektra claims to have heard about him.
- "I think he's some kind of ninja..."
- ―Matt Murdock
- Master Martial Artist: Yoshioka was an extremely skilled combatant, with extensive martial arts and hand-to-hand combat knowledge, which enabled him to overpower and almost kill Daredevil in their first intense duel, with a combination of superior combat skill and his formidable shoge hook. A guard tried to stop him from talking to Wilson Fisk, while Nobu casually twisted the man's arm and held him in a submissive hold, all with one hand. A year later, a resurrected Yoshioka was able to evenly fight against both Daredevil and Elektra simultaneously, and initially win against their combined efforts, beating Elektra to the ground, and knocking off Daredevil's helmet. However, albeit only with considerable effort, Daredevil did ultimately manage to defeat Yoshioka by the fight's end. His attacks could easily knock opponents off the ground, as he was able to punch Daredevil hard enough to knock him a few feet, and then, during their second battle, he repeatedly sent him flying a few feet with his kicks.
- Master Acrobat: Yoshioka incorporated gymnastics and acrobatics into his fighting style, and was notably able to outmaneuver the very agile Daredevil, easily dodging and countering most of the latter's blows, and swiftly gaining the upper hand in their first duel as a result. He could even utilize his acrobatics to dodge most of the blows while fighting both Daredevil and Elektra simultaneously.
- Multilingualism: Yoshioka spoke fluent English, as well as his native Japanese.
- Bo Shuriken: As Yoshioka attacked Daredevil during their first fight, he threw the Bo Shuriken at him; however Daredevil was able to deflect the weapons with his batons. He used the weapons again while throwing them at Stan Gibson to keep him from freeing the Hand's suffering hostages.
- Kyoketsu-shoge: Yoshioka's weapon of choice. During their first encounter, Yoshioka managed to use the weapon to stab Daredevil in his side, back, and stomach, dragging him across the ground and causing near fatal injuries to him that left deep scars in his body. Yoshioka continued to use this weapon in his future battles against Daredevil, including the Rescue in the Farm and the Attack on the Hand, however Daredevil's new armour protected him from such deadly harm.
- Katana: Yoshioka never used this sword in a combat situation. However, he carried it with him and offered the blade to Elektra in a show of respect once he revealed that she was the Black Sky whom the Hand were sworn to obey. She took the sword but soon lost it when Daredevil and Stick attacked.
- Elektra's Twin Sai: During the Attack on the Hand, Yoshioka disarmed Elektra and took her Twin Sai, attempting to use them to stab and kill Daredevil, however he accidentally plunged the blade into Elektra's heart, killing her and taking away his hopes of reclaiming the Black Sky. Upon seeing what he had done, Yoshioka dropped the Sai and ordered the Hand to execute Daredevil.
- Hand - Subordinates
- Wilson Fisk
- James Wesley †
- Madame Gao
- Leland Owlsley †
- Anatoly Ranskahov †
- Vladimir Ranskahov †
- Daniel Gibson †
- Stick - Killer
- Elektra † - Accidental Victim
- Stan Gibson †
- Karen Page - Hostage
- Turk Barrett - Hostage
- Jerry † - Hostage
|Appearances for Nobu Yoshioka|
- In the comics, Kagenobu Yoshioka is the founder of the Hand, living in feudal Japan and establishing the Hand due to his love for a foreign woman.
- Nobu's appearance in his fight against the Masked Man was a reference to the appearance of the Hand ninjas, as well as his death by being burned, as Hand ninjas are said to be turned into ashes when they die.
- ↑ Daredevil: 1.01: Into the Ring
- ↑ Daredevil: 1.05: World on Fire
- ↑ Daredevil: 1.07: Stick
- ↑ Daredevil: 1.08: Shadows in the Glass
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Daredevil: 1.09: Speak of the Devil
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.09: Seven Minutes in Heaven
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.11: .380
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.12: The Dark at the End of the Tunnel
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Daredevil: 2.13: A Cold Day in Hell's Kitchen