Real Name: Sam Imura
Occupation: Oyabun (leader) of the Dragon Clan
Group Membership: Yakuza Dragon Clan
Affiliations: David Ishima, Sabrina Morrel, Spider-Woman (Jessica
Enemies: Nguyen Ngoc Coy, Deterrence
Research Corporation, Kingpin (Wilson Fisk)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: High Lord of the Dragon Clan
Base of Operations: Dragon Clan fortress, located
underneath Alcatraz island, San Francisco
First Appearance: (Mentioned) Spider-Woman I#43 (April, 1982); (seen) Spider-Woman I#46 (October, 1982)
Powers/Abilities: Ieyasu Imura possesses no
superhuman powers, but is an experienced martial artist trained in the
ways of the Yakuza Dragon Clan. He is a natural leader, possessing
innate nobility to temper a violent streak he reserves for his enemies.
(Spider-Woman I#46 (fb) ) - The man who would become Ieyasu Imura started
life as Sam Imura, who as a teenager was framed for a murder he didn't
commit (according to Imura).
Sentenced to life in prison, he was sent to the island penitentiary
Alcatraz, off the coast of San Francisco. After spending an unrevealed
amount of time behind bars, he tried to escape the island and almost
drowned. Nearly dying in the riptide, he made the conscious choice to make
peace with the violence inside himself. He decided to use it to avenge the
wrong done to him by using the tools of evil to protecting the weak from
evil men. As fate would have it, Imura then was rescued by members of the
Yakuza Dragon Clan whose fortress was located underneath the prison.
Sam learned that the Yakuza Dragon Clan were the only family that still
honored the ancient Yakuza ways of protecting the innocent. Finding their
philosophy matched with his own newfound vocation, he joined the clan and
was trained in their ways, picking "Ieyasu" as his new name upon
completing his studies. Over the course of twenty years, Imura rose
through the ranks, eventually becoming the clan's oyabun (head of the
Imura oversaw the training of many of the clan's recruits, among them
Lt. Sabrina "Bree" Morrel, a San Francisco police officer who had
grown frustrated by the limits of the law. Imura and Morrel became
romantically involved. Together, they used the clan's resources to right
many wrongs. Sometimes by working within the boundaries of the law, often
bending the rules but never breaking them.
(Spider-Woman I#39 - BTS) - Imura okayed Sabrina Morrel's proposition to
invite David Ishima to join the Yakuza.
(Spider-Woman I#43 - BTS) - Imura had sent all the members of the Dragon
Clan on a mission to Hawaii, leaving Bree Morrel to fend for herself. A
fact she lamented when she had to keep Lindsay McCabe and Pamela Kramer
safe from the threat of Viper (Ophelia Sarkissian) and the Silver Samurai (Kenuichio Harada).
(Spider-Woman I#44 - BTS) - After Spider-Woman confronted Bree Morrel over
her ties to the Yakuza, the police lieutenant saw herself forced to inform
Imura about being found out. Intrigued, Imura ordered members of his clan
to shadow both Jessica Drew and Spider-Woman.
(Spider-Woman I#45 - BTS) - Morrel told Imura that the Dragon Clan's
attempt at surveillance had failed.
(Spider-Woman I#46 - BTS) - After learning that Nguyen Ngoc Coy had put
out a hit on Jessica Drew, Imura made sure Sabrina Morrel would be on hand
to protect her. When Morrel helped Jessica and David Ishima fend off a
Yakuza hit squad, she finally learned Jessica was in fact Spider-Woman
when she saw her use the heroine's trademark venom blast. Bree shared this
fact with Imura when she brought the injured and unconscious Jessica and
David to the Dragon Clan's stronghold. Imura made sure David's wounds were
tended before he sent him home, accompanied by a Dragon Clan member who
was to stand watch over him.
(Spider-Woman I#46) - Bree Morrel introduced Jessica to Imura. He welcomed
her and explained how the Dragon Clan differed from the other, criminal,
Yakuza families. He then extended an invitation to Spider-Woman to join
the clan, shocking Jessica with this revelation. Imura assured
Spider-Woman he wouldn't try to blackmail her with this knowledge, giving
his word that her secret was safe with Bree and him. However, he wanted the
heroine's help in preventing the Deterrence Research Corporation from
carrying out their plan to assassinate General Coy and the Kingpin (Wilson Fisk),
thereby starting a gang war. When Spider-Woman promised to help out, Bree
suggested she should be drugged before she left to make sure the location
of their base remained secret. Imura decided against that, claiming that
just as Jessica had to trust them to keep her secret, so should they trust
her with theirs.
After Spider-Woman succesfully prevented the DRC's plot, she
returned to Imura who repeated his offer to join the Yakuza. She refused,
claiming herself to be too much of a rebel to join any group. Imura
understood and wished her well.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont (writer),
Steve Leialoha (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks).
After several issues of build up, Imura finally showed up
in Chris Claremont's final Spider-Woman issue, only to vanish off the
Earth completely. A bit of a shame, considering the Dragon Clan's "Robin
Hood" style take on the Yakuza made for a welcome change of pace.
His chosen name "Ieyasu" most likely refers to Ieyasu, the
Japanese statesman (1542–1616) who founded the militaristic Tokugawa
shogunate in 1603, a style of government that lasted up until 1867 when
it evolved to the Japanese empire of modern day.
Profile by Norvo.
Ieyasu Imura has no known connections to
- Any other "Ieyasu" or "Imura" characters
images: (without ads)
Spider-Woman I#46, p10, pan1 (main image)
Spider-Woman I#46, p8, pan5 (closeup)
Spider-Woman I#39 (August, 1981) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve
Leialoha (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Spider-Woman I#43 (April, 1982) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve
Leialoha (pencils, inks), Dennis O'Neil, Ralph Macchio (editors)
Spider-Woman I#44 (June, 1982) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve
Leialoha (pencils, inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Spider-Woman I#45 (August, 1982) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve
Leialoha (pencils, inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Spider-Woman I#46 (October, 1982) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve
Leialoha, Trina Robbins, Brent Anderson (pencils), Steve Leialoha (inks),
Mark Gruenwald, Michael Carlin (editors)
First Posted: 10/17/2013
Last updated: 10/18/2013
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you
should check out the real thing!
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