Mana and Hana Yanowa are twin sisters that were born into the Shosei Order in Japan in the mid 1800s. The Shosei are the mystic guardians of Japan, and have been protecting Japan from mystic sources of evil for over 800 years. The priestesses of this order are charged with the primary duty of protecting the people of Japan in secret using ancient magic. When a priestess fell in the line of duty another would rise up to take her place. When Mana and Hana were born only one was destine to rise up to take over leadership of the clan as a head priestess. As young children this rivalry would grow as the two worked to prove themselves more worthy than the other. Mana's mastery over the order's arts would exceed that of her sister and she would become the head priestess of the Shosei, causing Hana to turn her back on the clan and leave.
Hana would go on to practice the forbidden dark arts, seeking to come back to take control of the clan from her sister. When Hana came back she invoked a spell that would release a demon which Hana could not control in order to defeat her sister. The demon Ryuki took possession of Hana's body with plans to raise the dead to harvest souls to power himself. With enough souls Ryuki would be powerful enough to not only destroy Japan, but to take over the entire world. In an act of desperation Mana did the only thing she could to contain the ancient evil by trapping Ryuki in the the gem of her necklace, the Mark of Mana. This spell came at a great cost to everyone. While imprisoning Ryuki, Hana and Mana's souls were also imprisoned inside the necklace. The Shosei would seek to protect the spiritless bodies of Mana and Hana, as well as the Mark which contained their essence in hopes to one day find a spell that would release both of the girls from their prison while keeping the demon locked inside. For years no such spell was found. One day an Ashurado cult who worshiped Ryuki stole both Hana's body and the Mark from the Shosei. Without both the bodies and the necklace the Shosei had no hope of releasing Man's spirit. The Ashurado would seek out the body of Mana to complete the spell which would release Ryuki while the Shosei would seek out the body of Hana and the necklace to release Mana's soul.
The battle between Mana and Hana ending in their imprisonment happened in 1864. Decades later this necklace would be recovered from the Ashurado by Yukio. She had no idea of the necklace's power, only seeking it for its value. She would, in turn, call Wolverine for assistance when the necklace caused her to hear voices. When investigating the source of the necklace, Wolverine would lead the Ashurado monks to the Shosei temple which housed Mana's body. Wolverine recovered Mana's soulless body, and released the spirits of Hana, Mana, and the demon Ryuki when he placed the necklace on Mana's body.
With Wolverine's help, Mana was able to subdue Ryuki using his one weakness, gold, and send his body back to the depths of hell from which he came. In the heat of battle Mana killed Hana to prevent her from bringing more evil into the world. Mana discovered that Wolverine's adopted daughter Amiko was also a member of the Shosei, and would train Amiko in the ways of the order to one day take her place.
Mana Yanowa was created by Akira Yoshida and Shin Nagasawa in 2005 and first appeared in Wolverine: Soultaker # 1.
As the latest in the line of Head Priestesses of the Shosei order, Mana is adept in the use of magic, including offensively and defensively. Some powers she has exhibited include:
- energy blasts
- remote movement (levitation and control) of objects or people
- the ability to freeze opponents for limited amounts of time
Her position in the order also gives her access to many powerful items including the blade of blood, a sword which contains the souls of the deceased priestesses of her order. This powerful relic will only respond to Mana or those of her choosing. She is a skilled fighter, and is experienced with swords and other traditional Japanese weaponry.