- "Do not presume to know me until you have held your dying child in your arms. Until you've told him everything would be okay, so that the last words he ever hears are a lie. You know nothing."
- —Maseo Yamashiro to John Diggle[src]
Maseo Yamashiro (Japanese: 山城ませお) (died May 2015) was one of the former mentors, former handlers, and an old friend of Oliver Queen. Maseo was also the husband of Tatsu Yamashiro and the father of the late Akio Yamashiro. Sometime after Hong Kong, Maseo joined the League of Assassins, around the same time Sara Lance did. From then on, he came to be known as merely Sarab (Arabic: سراب; for Mirage), refusing to use his former name entirely.
Oliver Queen's handler
After Oliver Queen made an attempt to contact his family, Maseo Yamashiro stopped Oliver and brought him back to Amanda Waller. To prevent Oliver from escaping yet again, Amanda threatened to make sure Oliver never leaves or she would kill Maseo's family. A few days later, Maseo ordered Oliver to kill Tommy Merlyn, as Waller couldn't risk Tommy finding out Oliver was still alive. Maseo told Oliver it's his own fault that he had to kill his best friend as when he logged onto his email account, it set off an account alert. He and Oliver devised a plan by kidnapping Tommy and claiming to Tommy that Oliver was dead and they hacked Oliver's account in hoping a family member would come. Maseo then "rescued" Tommy from Oliver who asked Tommy to get his father to pay a ransom.
Maseo later tasked Oliver to kill a terrorist, who was actually Edward Fyers' handler who had the intel on shooting down the Ferris air jet. After Oliver had the intel, Maseo told his son not to let Oliver use his laptop though Oliver eventually persuaded his son. Maseo at first yelled at his son but Oliver would quickly take the blame. Maseo then was asked to meet with Amanda.
After gaining intel on Li Khaun Hui, he told Oliver and Tatsu that he'd drop by the docks for an hour to meet a contact. After several hours, Tatsu and Oliver searched for him where they believed he was killed. Maseo later revealed that the agents were in lockdown after the triad killed three agents.
Sometime later, he and Oliver kidnapped Triad members and tortured them for information. They learnt that the Triad wanted to steal the Omega virus. They infiltrated the facility at which it was kept, taking out the guards. They soon realized that the virus had been stolen, learning via security footage that an employee had done so. He kidnapped the employee, who begged for his life and offered his limited money. As Oliver began to torture him, Maseo realized that he perhaps could have been drugged and made to steal the virus, shocking Oliver that he had tortured all for nothing. Fearing for his family, Maseo returned home to find blood over a photo and Akio, who claimed that a white-haired woman took his mother.
Oliver and Maseo took their concerns to Waller who told them of the second half other the virus, Alpha, and ordered Oliver and Maseo to retrieve it, and was noticeably unconcerned with Tatsu's disappearance. On the rooftop of the nearby building Maseo compromised the glass and Oliver attempted to grapple by arrow into the building. However, he got stuck and almost fell to his death, before eventually getting in. Once in, he, Maseo and other agents engaged the Triad but Oliver used this chance to discreetly plant a tracker on one of them and let him get away. Oliver later explained his reasoning to Maseo, wishing to have the man lead him to Maseo's wife. Maseo expressed his gratitude and told him he would forever be in his debt.
Maseo and Oliver go to meet with Chien to trade the Omega virus for Tatsu. However, Amanda Waller anticipated that would hand over the virus and swapped it for a fake, which Chien found out, forcing the trio to fight their way out. They managed to get away successfully and Tatsu was reunited with Akio.
The Yamashiro's decided to go to Shanghai, to escape from China White. As Oliver made his attempts to call home, Amanda's men capture him and tortured him to uncover Maseo's location. Later on, Maseo is captured, and revealed that being captured was his plan all along, and him going to Shanghai was a lie. The two are then knocked out cold. They later wake up in a car where Amanda revealed China White has fled Hong Kong. Oliver was then shocked to find himself back home in Starling City, where they had tracked Chien Na Wei.
While Maseo and Waller were tracking down the location of the OMEGA auction, Oliver snuck off to Tommy's party. After watching Jordan Kern selling drugs to his sister once again, he approached him, threatening him to stay away from Thea. When Jordan noticed his identity, Oliver shoved him and told him to stay away once again. Jordan pulled a knife, though Oliver snapped his neck and threw him off the balcony. Maseo then found Oliver and told him they found the location of the auction. Oliver told Maseo he needs to return home and fix what's broken since he left. Maseo reminded Oliver that thousands could die if they don't stop the auction but Oliver told Maseo he doesn't care for those people. Oliver returned home, though no one was there. Oliver used a tablet to view the file sent to him. He listened to his father's message to him, a similar one that his father gave him before he committed suicide. Motivating, him, Oliver came to assist Maseo in stopping the auction. The following day, Oliver thanked Waller for the ride home, though to his disappointment, General Matthew Shrieve required him to be debriefed back in Hong Kong.
After Oliver explained several times what happened, Matthew released Oliver, Maseo and his family from A.R.G.U.S and let them go anywhere in the world. As Oliver, Maseo and his family walked to the boat, an engineer walked by and began shooting at Oliver, Maseo and his family. Oliver, confused, ran to cover along with Maseo and his family. Maseo debunked that Waller didn't like General Matthew's decision, and it would be better if she had them killed. While running to the boat, Maseo told Oliver to take Akio and run, while Maseo protected his wife. Oliver took Akio and ran.
As Oliver and Akio ran into Mei's house they were cornered by Waller's men until Maseo and Tatsu came to rescue them.
Still on the run from A.R.G.U.S., Maseo had them all stay at a run-down residence with an acquaintance, Li Ling who was in debt to them. While Waller's men were looking for them all over Hong Kong, Maseo told Oliver they'd be found even if they'd left the city. Oliver decided to "find Waller first". He infiltrated the main field office with Maseo's pass-card to the main office. He was then cornered by a man who was shot from behind by an injured Waller. She informed Oliver that she'd been usurped, and had been kept hostage there for weeks. She dropped her gun, allowing herself to be held at gunpoint by Oliver. She then told Oliver it was General Shrieve who targeted them for death, not her, and that he planned to distribute and unleash the Alpha-Omega bioweapon all over Hong Kong as he believed China to be an economic threat and pin it on the Triad. He also learned from her his men developed a vaccine so he and his men don't die along with all of Hong Kong. She warned him to run, to get as far away from Hong Kong as he can. He later returned to the Yamashiros and conversed with them. Maseo warned them Shrieve had Waller's resources and his contacts said he had men all over Hong Kong. Oliver proposed they steal some of the vaccine. They broke into a supposed army base and successfully found the vaccine and manage to make it out. Oliver also stole a phone which was revealed to have plans for how the virus was going to be distributed. After the three of them and Akio were all inoculated, Oliver decided he would stop the virus from spreading. He told Maseo and Tatsu to take Akio and get out of Hong Kong. Tatsu replied that she and Maseo would help him.
Oliver, Maseo and Tatsu later located General Shrieve and his men. They looked on as the Alpha and Omega components were mixed and the virus armed. Oliver also noted a food cart was at the scene, thinking they were having dinner. They followed a truck supposedly carrying the virus leaving the area in a car Oliver "borrowed". Down the road, they were spotted and a gunfight ensued. Oliver and Tatsu managed to commandeer the truck and searched it but the virus wasn't there. Tatsu interrogated a soldier for the virus' actual whereabouts. He replied the virus was actually in the food cart seen earlier. They tracked down the cart and another firefight ensued. While Maseo and Tatsu dispatched the rest of the soldiers, Oliver managed to snatch the vial containing the bioweapon but he was engaged in combat with the soldier handing the phial out, and in the struggle, the vial fell through the air and shattered over the ground and the bioweapon was released. Very little time later, multiple civilians were already immediately infected, dying and a public announcement was made. Oliver was guilt-ridden as he'd had the phial in his hand, but Maseo told him it wasn't his fault, it was that of General Shrieve. After Tatsu says she couldn't get through to Li Ling who was watching Akio, they decided to regroup and head back. In the later morning, they came across an Army truck that was supposedly handing out a cure for the supposed chemical attack, but the three of them figured out what was actually being handed out was the virus. Oliver walked up to the van, firing off his gun, scaring off the crowd, the three of them dispatched the soldiers and Oliver angrily stated "all of it" destroyed. Setting off a bomb, the truck imploded supposedly destroying all of the bioweapon. However, unbeknownst to Oliver, Maseo had secretly stole a sample intending to use it on Shrieve for revenge. They immediately ran back to Li Ling's apartment, and gathered Akio but Li Ling was found dead from the virus. Oliver told them both that the chaos will give them cover from General Shrieve, so they decided to leave Hong Kong. After hotwiring a car, they began to set off, unfortunately, Akio was bleeding from his mouth and was feverish - he'd been infected.
As Akio was infected Maseo along with Oliver and Tatsu run to the pharmacy to help him. Maseo and Oliver later go find Shrieve for a cure while Akio is with his mom. They find a rogue base and kill Shrieve's men on the way to him. Maseo shoots him on the shoulder until he reveals that there is a cure in his vault. They take it along with Shrieve to administer it. As they reach the pharmacy Tatsu sadly reveals Akio has stopped breathing and that he is gone. Maseo and Oliver desperately tell Shrieve to work on the cure but he reveals it is an insolent for his diabetes and he secretly had his men follow him to have them surrender.
As they are surrendered Maseo and Oliver quickly take down Shrieve's men while putting an arrow in his leg. 3 days later the bio weapon is contained Akio is burned to ashes and put into 3 containers as Maseo, Oliver, and Tatsu collect them and put in the water. After, Oliver brutally tortured Shrieve Maseo later shoots him in the head avenging Akio's death as Tatsu looks shocked. After his death Maseo decides to leave Tatsu as he looks on her eyes and see's his son but knowing that he failed says he is unworthy of her love.
With the League of Assassins
Not long after Akio dying in Hong Kong, Maseo, overwhelmed with guilt and grief, found his way to Nanda Parbat, after hearing the stories it could help him forge his guilt into something else, around the same time as Sara Lance, commenting that she was a strong warrior, he demanded an audience with Ra's al Ghul and unlike most who deem an audience with him, offered Ra's the Alpha-Omega virus which he acquired during the attack in Hong Kong. From then, he was known only by the name Sarab (a translation of "Phantom", or "mirage"). This name was seemingly a reflection of feeling that he was dead and a ghost.
In 2014, he was present when Nyssa al Ghul had Oliver brought to her, telling him that he had extinguished her father's patience and that he had forty eight hours to find Sara's killer. He disregarded Oliver's "confession" to killing Sara because she begged for death to get away from the League. He explained to Oliver that he had time to say goodbyes and gave him the location of where the trial by combat that Oliver had challenged Ra's to was going to take place. Forty eight hours later, Sarab watched as Oliver and Ra's fought. While initially being a relatively fair fight, if slightly leaning towards Ra's, Ra's soon beat down Oliver, stabbing him through the middle and kicking him off the mountain. After the battle between Ra's and Oliver, Maseo took Oliver's corpse to Tatsu, who revives him under unknown circumstances.
After bringing Oliver to Tatsu, Maseo prepares to return to Nanda Parbat. It is revealed he ended all contact with Tatsu several years ago, and he refuses Oliver's offer to come with him to Starling City. When Assassins from the League come to Tatsu's house, Maseo first attempts to conceal Tatsu and Oliver from them, then kills them when his ruse fails. He buries them, then cuts his own neck in order to provide an alibi, saying that he will tell Ra's that Oliver wounded him and escaped after killing the other Assassins. Despite a final plea from Tatsu, he departs for Nanda Parbat. He is later revealed to be Chase's contact with the League, receiving his report about Thea and Malcolm Merlyn.
After hearing that Oliver has refused the offer to become the leader of the Assassins, Maseo confronted him to make him embrace it. However, Oliver told him that killing people will not change anything.
Ray saved Felicity from being shot by Maseo's arrow, but is shot and critically wounded while doing so. Later, the Arrow, Black Canary, and Arsenal showed up to confront Maseo. Maseo and the League members fought the three vigilantes, but the three managed to defeat them. Oliver brings Maseo to the ground and aim an arrow, but is interrupted by Ra's al Ghul. The three vigilantes are forced to flee due to the arrival of the police while the assassins sneak away. Maseo later fought and captured Quentin outside the police station and brought him to Ra's. Ra's told Quentin that Oliver is the Arrow.
After Malcolm Merlyn commenced the raid on the plane carrying the bio-weapon to Starling City, along with his team of Diggle, Black Canary, Felicity and Tatsu Yamashiro, they were ambushed by members from the league of assassins including Maseo. Maseo and his wife engaged in battle and he was prepared to take her life before she countered and killed him instead, he died in her arms after thanking her for freeing him from his prison.
Maseo was a calm, level-headed and composed individual, he was a ruthless operative who was willing to do whatever Amanda Waller ordered him, although he feels guilt and remorse for his actions, but he was also under the pressure of Amanda threatening to murder his family if he did not comply. Despite that he and Oliver kill and torture people he believed it was for the greater good. After first seeing Oliver as a target, the two became partners and friends later. He was a loving, caring husband and father to his wife Tatsu and his son Akio.
After Akio's death in Hong Kong, Maseo's adoption of his Sarab persona has made him (apparently) completely abandon his former-self, shutting out all communications with his wife, Tatsu, the only remnants of his former self only surfaces when the people important to him in his old life are in danger or when he was reminded of his past. He was then shown to be highly loyal to the League of Assassins and was willing to follow every order, even if it meant killing innocent civilians. He was however trying to inform Oliver as much as he could and tried to get him to tell the truth about Sara's death because he had no desire to watch Oliver die, showing as loyal as he is to the League, his friendship towards Oliver was still strong. It was later revealed Maseo's loyalty to Oliver was beyond his loyalty to even the League of Assassins and Ra's al Ghul, as a result of Oliver playing a vital part in saving Tatsu during his third year of going missing, and he would save Oliver after he was critically injured by Ra's. Maseo also tried to get Oliver to accept the mantle of Ra's al Ghul willingly, knowing fully well his path of resistance will only lead to Ra's retaliating. He hesitated at having to shoot Felicity Smoak, likely knowing how much she meant to Oliver and reluctant to personally cause pain to his friend, despite ultimately doing it, and was sympathetic to Oliver's rage after Thea was nearly killed by Ra's, allowing Oliver to knock him down before appealing to him by revealing he could still save Thea if he became Ra's.
Maseo seemed to constantly waver between his former life and being Sarab. When Oliver offered to release him from the League Maseo told him that he could never leave the prison he was stuck in, the torment of being unable to save his son. He seems to have completely abandoned Maseo, going as far as fighting and attempting to kill his wife. As he died he thanked her for freeing him out of his prison. Unlike Oliver; Maseo was incapable of facing or accepting reality, as he was unable to accept the fact that Akio was gone and was never coming back, and that his son's death wasn't his fault, as he became Sarab to run away from his past, instead of accepting the fact that there was nothing he could do to change the past.
- Peak of human physical condition: As a former A.R.G.U.S. operative and a member of the League of Assassins, Maseo was in top physical condition. His reflexes allowed him to catch an arrow shot at him by Oliver Queen, and his strength was such that Oliver needed to put in considerable effort to overwhelm him in one-on-one combat despite the latter's strength.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Even before joining the League of Assassins, Maseo was proven to be a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist, enough to beat Oliver. Maseo had also gone through the training all League members do. His training from the League appears to have improved his abilities, able to swiftly defeat Quentin Lance and managed to pressure and contend with Oliver now as the Arrow, with Oliver defeating Maseo with considerable difficulty. Maseo also fought almost on par against Nyssa al Ghul, but only defeated her when she was distracted.
- Expert marksman: Maseo was proven to be highly skilled in the use of firearms; being able to shoot a cell phone out of Oliver's hand.
- Expert archer: Due to his training with the League of Assassins, Maseo was proven to be an accomplished archer. As he shot an arrow with great accuracy through a window to assassinate mayor Celia Castle.
- Master swordsman: Due to his training with the League of Assassins, Maseo was an exceptional swordsman. He was able to kill three of his fellow assassins with his sword with ease and was able to go up against Nyssa in a sword fight. In his confrontation with Tatsu, Maseo was proven to be the superior swordsman.
- Master tactician/Leader: Maseo was highly skilled at designing plans to break into secured buildings and abduct people from public spaces in broad daylight. He had a leading role in the League, as Nyssa mentioned he would lead the executions in Starling City if the deadline had passed and Chase reported to him while on the hunt for Malcolm Merlyn.
- High tolerance for pain: Due to his League of Assassins' training, Maseo had a high tolerance for pain, as seen he was able to cut his own neck in order to provide an alibi for Oliver without flinching.
- League of Assassins suit: Maseo wore a protective suit, used by the members of the League of Assassins, as his villain alter-ego, Sarab, to hide his identity from his victims. It is unknown what materials it is made out of, with the exception of Kevlar.
- Customized PSE Chaos AD Compound Bow: Maseo wield a personal compound bow, similar to that of Malcolm Merlyn's. It was possible that this bow was the signature bow to the League of Assassins.
- Customized Hunting Arrows: Maseo carried a number of black arrows with him at all times. These arrows feature a black fletching and tip.
- Quiver: Maseo wore a black quiver to keep arrows on his back at all times.
- Katana: Maseo could proficiently wield a katana.
- Maseo Yamashiro was Oliver Queen's fourth mentor, after Shado.
- In DC Comics, Maseo is the late husband of Tatsu Yamashiro who is killed by his brother Takeo and his soul becomes trapped in the Soultaker Sword. He is a father of two children, Yuki and Reiko.