The daughter of Shingen Harada, Mariko is the sister of Silver Samurai, and cousin to Sunfire and Sunpyre. Mariko was the head of a Yakuza family, a position she had inherited from her father when he died. Under her leadership, she tried to change the clan into one of peace instead of murderers.
Mariko Yashida was created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne and first appeared in The X-Men #118 (1979). An alternate reality version of Mariko from Earth-2109 first appeared in Exiles Issue 2 (2001) and joined the Exiles.
Major Story Arcs
Meeting the X-Men
To some extent she was successful. Mariko eventually met the X-Man Wolverine when his team was on a mission in Japan. There Logan, accidentally met her, and was dazzles with her. The two started meeting more often and soon started a romantic relationship. She and Wolverine even adopted a little girl as well, Amiko. Throughout her life, Mariko has struggled between her duty as leader of the Clan and her love for Wolverine. At one time she was Wolverine's fiancée until Mastermind interfered and made her change her mind, right at the alter. This is one of the most impact-full moments of Wolverine's already troubled life. Mariko however remained a trusted sight for the mutants. She even assisted X-Factor, when Iceman's girlfriend Opal Tanaka was captured by her family clan, Tatsu, and the Cybersamurai.
Later, Mariko and Wolverine reconciled and were set to wed once again, but this time Mariko was poisoned by Matsuo Tsurayaba, by way of a poisoned knife with which she was to cut off a finger and return it to him. Knowing that using it would still cause her death, honor bound she did her last act as leader of her clan so that peace could reign between his clan and hers. Rather than face a painful death, she begged Wolverine to kill her. She died in the arms of the man she had spent her whole life loving, happy in death as she had still maintained peace.
Her brother Silver Samurai gained leadership upon her death. Her adopted daughter had remained with the clan until Wolverine removed her. Wolverine went after Matsuo and exacted his revenge by annually removing a body part on the anniversary of Mariko's death.
Recently, she was seen in Hell in the Wolverine Goes To Hell story arc., being forced to torture Wolverine.
An alternate reality version of Mariko from Earth-2109 first appeared in Exiles 2 and joined the Exiles, a team of Superheroes who traveled to alternate realities and were forced to complete missions which would alter events in each reality. This Mariko Yashida was born a mutant and had the same powers as her cousin, Sunfire. Her upbringing had been very strict - she had to get straight A's, excel at violin and piano and apply herself in areas that only furthered her education, all so she could marry and have children. When her powers manifested her parents saw it as a great shame and refused to let her explore them. However, as she got older she began voicing her opinion and her relationship with her parents soured. When she was 16 she fled to America and was found by Professor Xavier two days after she arrived and he convinced her to join the X-Men. She was placed on the team after Magnus sacrificed himself on the first mission and initially bonded with Morph. It was shown that she appreciated his nonstop jokes whereas others often got annoyed. Aside from her powers, it was later shown that she had some medical experience and tried to help teammate Thunderbird when he was left in a coma after a devastating mission.
On a mission where the Exiles were sent to foil a bank robbery, which took fifteen minutes, they were then given the whole week off to relax. Blink begged Mariko to take Morph away for a day, as the others wished to go to a beach nude and were worried Morph would spoil the mood, and she eventually agreed and tempted Morph by offering to take him lingerie shopping with her. During the course of the day, the two swapped stories and although Morph found out why she had originally offered to take him with her, he forgave her. The two enjoyed a meal together and Mariko explained how her parents had disowned her when her mutant powers had manifested and she fled to America to join the X-Men. However, Morph was unable to understand how her parents could hold a grudge for so long when she had saved the world several times and Mariko went on to explain that it was also because she was a lesbian. Morph was saddened by the news, as he had begun to develop feelings deeper than friendship for Mariko, but he understood.
Later, whilst on a mission to rescue a group of children from a concentration camp Mariko tried to reach out to teammate Nocturne, who had just lost her boyfriend, Thunderbird and subsequently miscarried their baby. Mariko showed concern for Nocturne, but was pushed away and told to leave her alone. Once the Exiles had successfully rescued the children they were then informed that they would have to kill one of the youngsters - David Richards. For the mission the Exiles had been joined by Weapon X - their more violent and ruthless counterpart. Whilst Weapon X had no objection to killing the child, the Exiles refused to do so and a fight ensued. Mariko managed to best Weapon X member Storm during the fight. Eventually, a resolution was made when Weapon X's Sabretooth agreed to stay behind and look after the child, which the Time-broker agreed to.
Mariko's relationship with Morph was put to the test during a mission where they had to stop a bomb from going off in a California town that was run by giant lizards. Morph made his feelings for Mariko clear. He retained a humorous tone when offered to transform into woman's form so the two could have sex. However, she turned him down. Some months later Mariko was killed by a Brood-possessed Mimic. This had a huge impact on the friendship between Morph and Mimic. Morph blamed Mimic for her death, even though it was not Mimic, but the Brood that possessed him that killed her. Their friendship never became the same. Morph mourned for Mariko for a long time, and never forgot the girl he loved.
Earth-295: Age of Apocalypse
Mariko was first seen as a young girl in Japan, sabotaging a video arcade, much to the anger of the Yakuza. Thanks to the interference of Wolverine, she was not harmed. Before he left, he told her to go back to school and make something of her life. Mariko obviously listened, as she worked her way onto the Human High Council along with Captain Britain, Emma Frost, Bolivar Trask, and Moira MacTaggert. While the Council considered stopping Apocalypse with nuclear weapons, Mariko was the sole holdout. She expressed her dislike for a nuclear solution to Weapon X, as well as her distrust for Brian Braddock, which proved to be well-founded. After the fall of Apocalypse, Mariko moved back to Japan to rebuild her homeland.
Mariko was a human and did not have any mutant powers.
Wolverine and the X-Men (2009)
Mariko Yashida is revealed to be the former love of team leader, Wolverine. She was supposed to be his bride, but because of loyalty to the Yakuza from Mariko's side, he was forced to see her leave with Harada, who would later become the Silver Samurai. Years later, it is revealed that Mariko and Harada are married and part of the Japanese warlords, Yakuza Clan. A new leader must lead the clan, and Harada has been chosen as a likely candidate. However, he cannot become leader is he does not wash away all his failures from the past. It is revealed that Wolverine is the only man who has ever defeated Harada in a battle, the battle they fought years before over Mariko. Harada kidnaps most of the X-Men to use as bait. Then, they are forced to fight a battle to the death, in Samurai conduct form. Once again, Logan comes to win, but Harada uses his mutant abilities. He almost kills Logan in front of Mariko, but Harada is stopped by the Ninjas watching over their battle. Harada is declared a cheat, and banished. Mariko and Logan have one last meeting before departing, she reveals that she still loves him, and always will. However, loyalty to her current husband and her clan, is mirrored as the loyalty Wolverine has to the X-Men and being team leader. They both leave their separate ways. She was voiced by Gwendoline Yeo.
Wolverine Anime (2011)
Logan learns that his girlfriend, Mariko Yashida, who disappeared a year ago, has been taken to Tokyo by her father Shingen, who is the head of a Japanese crime syndicate and a supplier of AIM. Logan travels to Japan to re-unite with Mariko and save her from her father. Gwendoline Yeo voiced the character again, though this series was not set in the same continuity as Wolverine and the X-Men.
Japanese actress Tao Okamoto portrays Mariko in The Wolverine. In the film, Mariko is portrayed as more capable and athletic than her comic counterpart, and is a champion knife-thrower.
She first appears when Logan arrives in Japan to pay his last respects to her ailing grandfather, Ichirō, the founder of the Yashida Corporation. It is revealed that Ichirō is fond of Mariko, and wishes for her to succeed him as the company's CEO after he dies. Mariko initially does not get along with Logan, viewing him as boorish and uncultured.
At her grandfather's funeral, Mariko is nearly kidnapped by a group of Yakuza thugs, but is rescued by Logan. The two go on the run, and eventually learn that Mariko's father Shingen hired the kidnappers, as he wants Mariko to be killed so that he can usurp her as the new CEO. The kidnappers eventually succeed in grabbing Mariko, but before Shingen can kill her, she is taken away by her childhood friend Harada.
In the film's climax, Mariko manages to rescue Logan from the Silver Samurai by using her knife-throwing skills to hurl one his severed adamantium claws into the villain's skull, allowing Logan to deal the finishing blow. The two lovers later depart, with Mariko choosing to stay in Japan as the new CEO of the Yashida Corporation, and Logan (who had left the X-Men after the death of Jean Grey) choosing to return to his life as a superhero. In a deleted scene, it is revealed that as a parting gift, Mariko commissioned a yellow and black costume and mask for Logan to wear.