Real Name: Yoshio Kannabe
Identity/Class: Human possessed by a Spirit of Vengeance, Japanese citizen
Group Membership: Spirits of Vengeance / Ghost Riders;
allegedly Captain in the Lord of Death's Bosozoku (see comments)
allegedly Jizo Bosatsu, Ten Kings of Hell, Lord of Death (see comments)
Enemies: Zadkiel, demons, Kid Blackheart;
formerly Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Avatar of Hell (see comments), Ghost Rider
Base of Operations: Tokyo, Japan
First Appearance: Ghost Rider VI#30 (February, 2009)
Powers/Abilities: Yokai-Raida possessed superhuman strength and durability, and was presumably immune to conventional small arms. He wielded a kanabo (a.k.a. Japanese spiked club) in combat. He rode a motorbike in his human form, which he could presumably transform via his hellfire to enhance its power and speed, in the same manner as other Ghost Riders.
History: (Ghost Rider VI#30 (fb) - BTS) - Yoshio Kannabe was a Japanese Ghost Rider who believed his powers came from the Jizo Bosatsu and all the Ten Kings of Hell, from the Mountain of the Dead and the Blood Pool where the damned were stripped of their skin, and that he had become a Bakemono (a thing that changes, or shapeshifter), a class of Yokai (ghost or supernatural entity). At least some of these beliefs were provided wholesale or strongly fostered by his Caretaker, a mentor and teacher who secretly worked for the angel Zadkiel. As Yokai-Raida, he protected Japan for a number of years.
(Ghost Rider VI#31 (fb)) - Yokai-Raida was one of dozens of Ghost Riders who operated in different countries across the world.
(Ghost Rider VI#30) - Sensing his Caretaker was in distress, Yoshio raced to the Caretaker's temple, but found him lying on the ground, stabbed and holding a tanto in his hand. Calling out to him, Yoshio rushed to the Caretaker's side, but as he shook the man, desperately hoping he might awaken, Dan Ketch stepped out of the shadows nearby to inform Yoshio that the Caretaker was dead. Yoshio angrily demanded to know who the stranger was and what he had done to the Caretaker, but Ketch denied slaying the old man, claiming instead that Caretaker had taken his own life once he realized that he would have to tell Yoshio the truth and admit he had lied to his charge for years. Enraged at this suggestion, Yoshio disputed what Ketch was saying, but Ketch maintained that Caretaker had lied through his teeth about where Yoshio's powers had come from.
Yoshio triggered his transformation into Yokai-Raida, and punched or threw Ketch through the temple wall and into the graveyard behind the temple, asking the "blasphemer" is this was the power of which he spoke. Climbing through the hole as his human face was engulfed in hellfire, Yoshio continued to recite the lengthy resume regarding the source of his powers and who he was. As this declaration continued, so too did his transformation, but Ketch likewise changed into his own Ghost Rider form. As the transformations completed, Yokai-Raida threatened that he was going to send his opponent to Hell, and swung his massive kanabo at him, but Ketch casually caught the club in one hand as it came down. He informed Yokai-Raida that he was a vestige of God's divine wrath serving under the direction of the angel Zadkiel, and that his powers actually came from Heaven, powers that Ketch now intended to take back. Grabbing Yokai-Raida by the throat, Ketch told him he had served Heaven well, but it was now time to lay down his burden, and forcibly and painfully drained the Spirit of Vengeance out of Yoshio.
(Ghost Rider VI#30 - BTS) - Yoshio found Ketch's fire intensely cold, and was left crippled by fear, unable to move.
(Ghost Rider VI#30) - Two hours later the naked Yoshio was found, still hysterical, by fellow Ghost Riders Johnny Blaze, Molek and Bai Gu Jing, accompanied by the American Caretaker Sara. Having come hoping to both warn and recruit Yokai-Raida to their cause, stopping Ketch, they watched him babble, terrified at the sight of more Ghost Riders who only reminded him of his assailant, and they deemed that he could not help them, nor they him.
(Ghost Rider: Heaven's on Fire#6) - Like all past Ghost Riders, Yokai-Raida was revived (see comments) to take part in defending Heaven from first Zadkiel and then Kid Blackheart's demon army, standing between Molek, Baron Skullfire, Marinette Bwa Chech and a fur trapper Ghost Rider when the Spirits of Vengeance assembled prior to the second battle commencing. Though they apparently did not directly interact, Yokai-Raida's former opponent, Danny Ketch, now free of Zadkiel's influence, fought alongside his fellow Ghost Riders.
(Ghost Rider: Heaven's on Fire#6 - BTS) - After the battle, Heaven lit up as God returned, and the resurrected Ghost Riders, including Yokai-Raida, returned to their eternal rest...maybe (see comments).
Comments: Created by Jason Aaron and Tan Eng Huat.
Yokai (literally ghost, phantom or apparition) are Japanese monsters, while raida is simply the Japanese for rider - so Yokai-Raida is simply the Japanese for Ghost Rider. Though his powers were revealed to come from Heaven, like other Ghost Riders Yokai-Raida had been misled to believe they were of demonic origin, in his case thinking that he took the form of an Oni (demon) whose powers came from the Jizo Bosatsu and all the ten Kings of Hell. Jizo Bosatsu is one of the Bodhisattva, a being who has achieved enlightenment but has postponed Buddahood until all can be saved, and is specifically known for working to shorten the sentences of those serving time in Hell, making it easy to see how he would figure into Yokai-Raida's worldview. The Ten Kings of Hell (Ju-o), also known as the Ten Judges, trial those who have died to decide their punishments, while Jizo Bosatsu serves as the defense counsel. The Kings are Shinko-o, Shoko-o, Sotei-o, Gokan-o, Enma-o, Henjyo-o, Taizan-o, Byodo-o, Toshi-o and Gototenrin-o. Because we've been told that Heaven was actually behind all the Ghost Riders' powers and that the angel Zadkiel used deceptions to hide this behind local belief systems, it might be tempting to think that none of these Japanese entities had any genuine involvement with Yokai-Raida, but (a) this being the Marvel universe, they all probably genuinely exist, and (b) since we know that Mephisto/Lucifer/this week's next top Hell lord did have / claimed to have some sort of involvement in empowering and/or tormenting Johnny Blaze's Ghost Rider, we can't rule out the possibility that Jizo Bosatsu and the Ten Kings of Hell likewise interacted with Yokai-Raida.
Yokai-Raida also claims to be a captain in the Lord of Death's Bosozoku (literally "reckless tribe") - the Lord of Death may well be the aforementioned King of Hell, Enma, who in turn is the Japanese name for Yama, while Bosozoku are biker gangs, so this might again be simply referring to a mistaken (?) belief in where his powers originate. Alternatively, in the same way that Johnny Blaze's career as a stunt motorbike rider helped determine the form his Ghost Rider adopted, maybe Yoshio Kannabe was a member of a biker gang prior to becoming Yokai-Raida, led by someone who styled themselves the Lord of Death (akin to an American Hell's Angel gang being led by someone who took the gang name of Lucifer), and this pre-existing iconography gave direction to the form of his Spirit of Vengeance. The idea that Yoshio might have been a biker gang member is further supported by his human appearance, dressed in clothing that strongly resembles that of fictional Bosozoku member Kaneda (see right), one of the stars of the Japanese manga and anime Akira.
The Mountain of the Dead, also cited by Yoshio as part of the source of his powers, is Mount Osore, located in Aomori Prefecture, in the north-most part of Honshu, Japan's largest island. The Blood Pool is the mythical river Sanzu, located between the realms of Shinko-o and Shoko-o, where the hag Datuseba waits to forcibly strip those found guilty by the first judge of their clothes, or, if they are unfortunate enough to already be naked, of their skin.
Yoshio's final claims were that he possessed the powers of a thousand Oni (demons), though I suspect that even Yoshio considered this figurative rather than literal (at least in terms of how many demons), and that he was the Avatar of Hell, which was really just summarized his other beliefs.
Yokai-Raida's presence in Heaven in Ghost Rider: Heaven's on Fire#6 poses an interesting conundrum. In most cases, the other Riders present were presumably slain, hence them being dead and so available for resurrection - but Yoshio Kannabe was last seen alive. Thus, as far as I can determine, Yokai-Raida being at the battle against Zadkiel could mean one of three things
Which of these is it? Or is there another explanation I've overlooked? Take your pick.
Yokai-Raida also appears in Ghost Rider VI#31, as part of a montage image of international Ghost Riders that Caretaker (Sara) sees in her mind. Arguably it is a vision rather than a flashback, and certainly it provides no new information about him or his history, and so the Ghost Rider Index neither listed it as a flashback nor included it in the chronologies of the characters depicted. However, for Appendix purposes, I've listed it in the history, if only because it counts as the first appearance of most of the other Ghost Riders therein depicted, and so it is listed in the history section of their profiles.
Profile by Loki.
Yokai-Raida is definitely connected to, but should not be confused with
but has no known connections to
Yoshio Kannabe's Caretaker apparently based himself out of a small temple in Tokyo. He lied to Kannabe about where the biker's Ghost Rider powers originated, and Kannabe considered him his trusted teacher. Either confronted by Dan Ketch or sensing his imminent arrival, the Caretaker allegedly took his own life, committing sepuku rather than admit to his charge that he had lied to him for years. Yoshio sensed the Caretaker's distress from some distance away and raced to the temple to protect him, but arrived to find him already dead.
--Ghost Rider VI#30
images: (without ads)
Ghost Rider VI#30, p4, pan1 (main image)
Ghost Rider VI#30, p1, pan2 (Yoshio Kannabe)
Ghost Rider VI#30, p3, pan3 (Yoshio mid-transformation)
Ghost Rider VI#30, p6, pan3 (Dan Ketch's Ghost Rider stealing Yokai-Raida's power)
Epic Comics' Akira#25 cover (Kaneda)
Ghost Rider VI#30, p1, pan4 (Yoshio's Caretaker)
Ghost Rider VI#31 (March, 2009) - Jason Aaron (writer), Tan Eng Huat & Roland Boschi (art), Sebastian Girner (editor)
Ghost Rider: Heaven's On Fire#6 (February, 2010) - Jason Aaron (writer), Roland Boschi (art), Sebastian Girner (editor)
Last updated: 03/20/14
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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