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Real Name: Kagenobu Yoshioka

Identity/Class: Normal human (late 16th Century) (citizen of Japan)

Occupation: Leader of the Hand, samurai;
   formerly student at Ishiyama Sword School

Group Membership: The Hand;
   formerly Ishiyama Sword School

Affiliations: The Hand, Saburo Ishiyama, Kikuchi (first name unrevealed), Eliza Martinez, Daisuke Sasaki

Enemies: All foreigners to Japan

Known Relativesmother (deceased, name unrevealed), father (deceased, name unrevealed), relatives

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Kyushu, Japan

First Appearance: Elektra: The Hand#1 (November, 2004)

Powers/Abilities: Trained since a youth in the samurai code of Bushido, Kagenobu Yoshioka is exceptionally skilled in martial arts and the use of katana swords and other ninja weapons. He values honor and Japanese tradition, but despises foreign influence and foreigners in Japan. He has athlete level fitness and endurance, and has ninja-level stealth. Yoshioka has a clear vision that defined the early racially purist principles of the clandestine Hand organization to reclaim Japan exclusively for the Japanese people.

Height: 5'7" (by approximation)
Weight: 155 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black


(Elektra: The Hand#1 (fb) - BTS) - As a boy, Kagenobu Yoshioka believed he was the son of a samurai in the service of Nobunaga Oda, but died in the battle for Kyoto. His mother and relatives returned to Kyushu in shame.


(Elektra: The Hand#1 (fb)) - In 1575, other boys teased "Kage" that his mother was a prostitute and he fought them, refuting that she would ever consort with "gaijin" (foreigners). At home, he found a Portuguese merchant assaulting his mother, so he grabbed one of her sharp hairpins and stabbed his throat, killing him. His mother reinforced the Bushido code of honor to the boy. The police soon arrived and his mother took the blame, but her bloody hand imprinted on the boy's tunic. His mother was executed and to control the orphan boy's anger, he was enrolled in the Ishiyama Sword School, where he learned the samurai's Bushido code, martial arts and weapons mastery (katana, archery, sai) from the sensei Ishiyama. Ten years later, he was one of the two top students vying for the title of samurai that year against Daisuke Sasaki. Yoshioka drew first blood, scarring Sasaki, and became a samurai.




(Elektra: The Hand#2 (fb)) - Yoshioka kept the symbol of the hand on the back of his robe and wandered the country, learning skills and knowledge, and sought to end the corruption and injustice that he considered had been brought in by foreign influence. He was derided for being a samurai without a master, but stated that he served Japan. In 1588, a former fellow student Kikuchi found Yoshioka and told him that Ishiyama had died, leaving the school in Yoshioka's care. His rival, Sasaki, governed in his absence and was surprised when Yoshioka offered joint leadership. But Yoshioka became upset that samurai schools had enrollments regulated to smaller numbers. Yoshioka began a rebellion, using his students to strike a galleon at a nearby port, killing every foreigner. Yoshioka declared the Hand had been unleashed on the world.


(Elektra: The Hand#3 (fb)) - In 1590, Yoshioka gathered five colorful rebels to join him and Sasaki as the inner circle of the Hand, each new rebel was to operate from one of Japan's five main islands. Sasaki initially protested, but later apologized to Yoshioka. They soon met the half -Japanese girl Eliza Martinez and her father. Hearing her tragic story mirrored his own, Yoshioka allowed her entry to the school, despite Sasaki's racist protestations. Eliza's training began and two years later, an apparently compliant Sasaki insisted that she be tested in her ninja skills, although Yoshioka felt himself romantically drawn to her.




(Elektra: The Hand#4 (fb)) - Eliza's first assassination angered her as it was a foreigner she knew, but Yoshioka reinforced that all foreigners had to be purged from Japan. Nevertheless, they shared a hatred and a kiss. Several years passed and the Hand's slaughter of foreigners continued. But Yoshioka had learned of dissension in the Hand's ranks, then an assassination attempt on Eliza. Suspecting Sasaki, he confronted his ally in the empty schoolgrounds. The two battled fiercely but Yoshioka prevailed. However, the other Hand rebels and their ninjas soon appeared, ready to kill.



(Elektra: The Hand#5 (fb)) - Yoshioka and Eliza fought back to back against overwhelming odds. Three of the Hand leaders fell plus many ninjas until Yoshioka received a lethal wound. He asked that Eliza deliver the killing stroke using his mother's hairpin, and so Yoshioka died.






Comments: Created by C.B. Cebulski [as Akira Yoshida] (writer), Christian Gossett (pencils), Jonathan Glapion (inks).

The entire story is taught as a history lesson of the Hand by a Hand member to Elektra.

Interestingly, it is Martinez and Sasaki who were resurrected by the Hand, but not their founder, Yoshioka.

Unfortunately, the five rebels who became the inner circle of the Hand were not named.

Bushido is the ancient code of the samurai warrior that may have origins from the 8th Century and flourished in the 17th Century.

Thanks to for identifying that the credited author Akira Yoshida was actually C.B. Cebulski.

Apparently Cebulski initially intended Elektra: The Hand to a trilogy of stories, but low sales confined it to only the first arc, so who knows if there were any further flashbacks intended for Yoshioka?

Issue 2's front cover by Bill Sienkiewicz, shown here as the headshot, is one of my favorite comic covers of the modern era.

Profile by Grendel Prime.

Kagenobu Yoshioka has no known connections to:

Saburo Ishiyama

Saburo Ishiyama was the sensei of the Ishiyama Sword School, a school that taught the samurai Bushido code of honor, as well as martial arts and skills in various weaponry. Each year, the top student would graduate, after a trial by combat, to become a wandering samurai. In 1575, he became aware of Kagenobu Yoshioka's plight, but also knew that Yoshioka was not guiltless, yet saw much promise in the boy. Eventually, Yoshioka graduated as samurai in 1585. Three years later, Ishiyama died, allegedly of pneumonia (although this was questioned) and willed leadership of the school to Yoshioka.






--Elektra: The Hand#1 (Elektra: The Hand#2 (fb) - BTS

Yoshioka's mother

Kagenobu Yoshioka's mother (name unrevealed) was married to a samurai, but he was killed in battle and she returned to Kyushu in shame, and had to raise the boy alone. She resorted to prostitution for income, seemingly unaware of the negative impact this had on her son in instilling a hatred for foreigners. One night, Kagenobu found her being assaulted by a Portuguese merchant and he quickly stabbed him with a sharp hairpin. Expecting the police, she reinforced to Kagenobu that he follow the samurai's Bushido code of honor. She took the blame for the murder and left a bloody hand mark on the boy's tunic that he later took as his personal emblem. She was soon executed for the merchant's murder.









--Elektra: The Hand#1

images: (without ads)
Elektra: The Hand#5, p8, pan3 (main image)
Elektra: The Hand#2, cover (headshot)
Elektra: The Hand#1, p15, pan1 (as boy)
Elektra: The Hand#2, p2, pan1 (back turned with hand emblem)
Elektra: The Hand#2, p22, pan3 (Hand unleashed!)
Elektra: The Hand#4, p12 (black stealth armor)
Elektra: The Hand#1, p20, pan1 (Ishiyama)
Elektra: The Hand#1, p11, pan1 (mother)

Elektra: The Hand#1 (November, 2004) - C.B. Cebulski [as Akira Yoshida] (writer), Christian Gossett (pencils), Jonathan Glapion (inks), Mackenzie Cadenhead (editor)
Elektra: The Hand#2 (November, 2004) - C.B. Cebulski [as Akira Yoshida] (writer), Christian Gossett (pencils), Jonathan Glapion (inks), Mackenzie Cadenhead (editor)
Elektra: The Hand#3 (December, 2004) - C.B. Cebulski [as Akira Yoshida] (writer), Christian Gossett (pencils), Jonathan Glapion (inks), Mackenzie Cadenhead (editor)
Elektra: The Hand#4 (January, 2005) - C.B. Cebulski [as Akira Yoshida] (writer), Christian Gossett (pencils), Jonathan Glapion (inks), Mackenzie Cadenhead (editor)
Elektra: The Hand#5 (February, 2005) - C.B. Cebulski [as Akira Yoshida] (writer), Christian Gossett (pencils), Jonathan Glapion (inks), Mackenzie Cadenhead (editor)

First posted: 10/11/2019
Last updated: 10/11/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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