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"No more Akios will die here as long as I am here to protect them."
—Tatsu Yamashiro[src]

Tatsu Yamashiro (山城達 Yamashiro Tatsu), also known as Katana,[1] is one of the former handlers of Oliver Queen. Tatsu is also the widow of the late Maseo Yamashiro and the mother of the late Akio Yamashiro. She later became a guardian of the Lotus as part of the Crescent Order. After giving the Lotus to Nyssa al Ghul, Tatsu left the Order and returned to Hong Kong to be its protector.

Biography

Early life

At some point, Tatsu married Maseo Yamashiro and they had a son named Akio.

Housing Oliver Queen

When Oliver awoke in her house, she welcomed Oliver to her home.[2]

Some days later, Oliver asked where Tatsu was where Oliver stated that she disliked him. Maseo corrected Oliver that Tatsu hated Oliver.[3]

Tatsu teaches meditation to Oliver.

A while later, Tatsu told Maseo that she just wanted to go home but was told they can once they deal with Chien Na Wei. After Oliver was interacting with her son, Tatsu eventually demanded Oliver to stay away from him. She proceeded to give him a meditation that helped Oliver remember where he saw the man hide the envelope. After Oliver thanked her for helping him remember, Tatsu demanded that Oliver leave their home as soon as possible.[4]

Tatsu in her apartment.

After Oliver left his dirty clothes, Tatsu reminded Oliver that she isn't his mother or wife and told him to do his own laundry. Hours later, Tatsu worried something had gone wrong as Maseo said he should only take an hour. Tatsu calls a friend to watch over Akio while she left with Oliver to search for Maseo. When they arrive at the docks, they meet the triad. After Oliver attempted to greet them, Tatsu rescued Oliver, using her katana. Tatsu asked one of the men what happened, where she was told that they killed three A.R.G.U.S. agents. When Tatsu arrived home, she was shocked seeing her husband alive.[5]

Tatsu with his family.

Oliver and Maseo began capturing triad members and torture them for information. After they kidnapped a man that stole the Omega virus, Chien Na Wei tracked down the house of Maseo. Chien broke into her home and confronted Tatsu and her son. Tatsu told Akio to run, however, Chien blocked the way and picked up one of the swords. Tatsu threw a chair and grabbed a sword after which she fought Chien in a sword fight. Tatsu got injured and lost against Chien who took her away.[6]

The Yamashiros and Oliver take the bioweapon's vaccine.

Maseo and Oliver go to meet with Chien to trade the Omega virus for Tatsu. However, Amanda Waller anticipated that they 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. On the way, they notice a military truck from which soldiers give vaccines to the injured. The trio quickly guess it is a virus, as General Matthew Shrieve doesn't want anyone to escape him. They defeat the enemies and burn all the samples, after which they go to their son. When they got home, a frightened Akio ran up to his parents, looking at the dead carer. In an effort to take advantage of the confusion and flee the city, the team stole a car. In it, Tatsu noticed how the young boy began to feel the effects of infection with the virus.[7][8][9]

The team traveled to a dilapidated pharmacy nearby to save Akio. Maseo had the idea to take the vaccine from the general. The determined man persuaded Oliver to go with him and leave Tatsu with her son. The woman tried to save the boy the whole time. When the men arrived with Shrieve and the vaccine, it was revealed that Akio had died. The alleged cure was actually insulin because the general is diabetic. By taking him to their hideout, they were tracked down by the army, which forced them to surrender.[10]

Weeping over her son's body, Tatsu weighed Oliver's attack on the general. After a short fight and defeating several soldiers, the three went to a nearby trusted man and asked him to cremate the young boy's body. The man placed the ashes in three urns, giving two of them to his parents. She gave the third Tatsu to Queen, to whom she stated that she was a friend to Akio. When Maseo decided to leave the woman, she went on her own journey. After saying goodbye to Oliver, Tatsu went to live a life of seclusion[11] and later became a member of the Crescent Order in Japan.[12] During her time in the order, Tatsu learned of a cosmic being known as Mar Novu and an upcoming crisis.[13]

War with the League of Assassins

After Oliver lost his death match against Ra's al Ghul, Maseo secretly brought Oliver's unconscious body to Tatsu for her to heal him.[14] She tried to convince her husband to leave the killer league and resume their relationship, as she still had a strong affection for him, but she failed. She then helped Oliver return to Starling City.[15] Despite the man's many requests to live in Starling City, Tatsu decides to stay alone in her hideout.[16]

Tatsu cradling Maseo, singing the song she once sang to their son, Akio.

When Ra's planned on unleashing the Alpha-Omega on Starling City, Oliver told Malcolm Merlyn to recruit Tatsu in stopping him. Upon meeting John Diggle, Felicity Smoak, and Laurel Lance, the team initially didn't trust Tatsu nor believe Malcolm. It wasn't until Tatsu told Felicity about her past that Team Arrow agreed to let Tatsu come with them to Nanda Parbat to stop Ra's mission. As the League surrounded them, Tatsu was forced to battle her husband. In the end, she killed Maseo and sang a song to her husband as he died in her arms, after which she broke down in tears. Tatsu and Team Arrow were eventually surrounded and captured. Before Ra's locked the team in a room with the Alpha-Omega virus, Tatsu was transported to another room as she had been inoculated years ago.[17][10]

While being transferred, Tatsu was freed by The Flash. When Laurel asked her to follow them back to Starling City, Tatsu refused and told Laurel she had to go back to her own life.[11]

Helping Oliver

In early 2016, Nyssa al Ghul and Talibah confronted Tatsu in Kyushu, attempting to take the Lotus. Tatsu denied Nyssa's request as it was her responsibility to protect the elixir. The two engaged in a sword fight, but eventually found their skills to be too evenly matched for a definite outcome. Nyssa then gave Tatsu the option to keep fighting until one of them drops from exhaustion or give up and listen to what she had to say on an issue concerning Oliver. Upon the mention of Oliver, Tatsu agreed to listen.

Nyssa explained that Oliver's sister, Thea Queen, needed the Lotus as she was dying from her bloodlust. Tatsu then willingly gave Nyssa the Lotus to save Thea's life.[12] This led to Tatsu being forced to leave the Order, and she soon returned to Hong Kong, serving as a vigilante to protect the city.[13]

Reunion with Oliver

In late 2019, Tatsu saved Oliver and John Diggle from a group of Shu gang members and brought them to her hideout. There, she learned of Oliver's mission given by Mar Novu to look for a scientist named Dr. Robert Wong. Through her contact in the Hong Kong Police Force, Tatsu helped Oliver to track down Robert's location in a safehouse in the Wan Chai district. However, their attempts to take Wong failed when Chien Na Wei appeared and captured him.

Tatsu then assisted Oliver and Diggle in uncovering the project Robert was working on, discovering the project to have taken place in a heavily fortified PLA garrison. After Oliver managed to infiltrate the garrison, they learned that the triads were after the Alpha-Omega virus that Robert had recreated.

Later on, while Oliver met with Chien to negotiate an exchange of the virus with Robert, Tatsu and Diggle attacked the Triads in an attempt to retrieve the virus. Tatsu confronted Chien by the docks and managed to defeat her. However, she was later injured with a distraction caused by Chien. Before she was finished off, Tatsu was saved by Laurel Lance with her Canary Cry. While she recuperated from her injuries, Oliver informed Tatsu that he was going to Nanda Parbat for answers on the Monitor.[13]

Personality

It was stated that Tatsu hated Oliver, she did not hide this either when she openly told Oliver he can thank her for helping him with his tasks by disassociating himself with her family once his job was done, unaware that Oliver was only helping Amanda Waller to safeguard her and her family. She later warmed up a bit to Oliver as he confronted Chinese Triad members in an attempt to find Maseo, after Oliver played a vital role in saving her life and stopping the Omega weapon, Tatsu's opinion of Oliver changed completely, even offering to stay with their family in Japan for a couple days so he can relax before returning to Starling City.

Tatsu deeply cares for her son and husband, which may be the reason for her hostile stance towards outsiders. She was utterly devastated by the loss of her son. Despite this, Tatsu took the loss of Akio better than both Oliver and Maseo, as she was absolutely horrified when she saw Oliver torturing Steve to the point of leaving him in a bloody mess and unconscious, showing that her sense of morality remained firm even at the face of great loss.

Upon, reuniting with Oliver five years later, Tatsu now considers Oliver a friend as she addressed him by his name, something she never once did when she hated him, and needed no persuasion to save him from the wounds he suffered from fighting Ra's. In fact, apparently due to Oliver having saved Akio, her loyalty towards her friend exceeded that of her loyalty to the Crescent Order, to the point where she willingly gave up the Lotus and betrayed the Order for Oliver so he could save Thea and bore her friend no ill-will for it. In the present day, although she still loves Maseo, Tatsu is estranged from her husband since he joined the League of Assassins; but she still offered him a chance to back down and wept as she killed him.

Abilities

  • Peak of human physical condition: As a former member of the Crescent Order, Tatsu is in top physical condition.
  • Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Due to being trained by the Crescent Order, Tatsu is an extremely skilled hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist; as she was able to best many members of the League of Assassins and hold her own against Maseo Yamashiro for quite some time before being bested. Tatsu had also became skilled enough to fight on par against Nyssa al Ghul and could best Chien Na Wei.
    • Master swordswoman:

      Tatsu killing two attackers simultaneously.

      Tatsu is a highly skilled swordswoman, as she cut down multiple Shu gang members in mere seconds. Tatsu could hold her own for a while against Chien Na Wei, but was eventually bested. After becoming a member of the Crescent Order, Tatsu's abilities as a swordswoman have greatly improved, allowing her to easily defeat many members of the League of Assassins by herself and hold her own against Maseo for quite some time in a sword fight before being bested. She was also able to duel on par against Nyssa al Ghul. She also managed to disarm Chien Na Wei of her knives and overpower her.
    • Expert knife wielder: Tatsu was able to kill a member of the Chinese Triad by throwing a knife at him.
  • Medical knowledge: Tatsu has displayed a masterful level of knowledge and expertise when it comes to using herbs as alternative medicine, so much so that she was able to heal Oliver back to life after he suffered a fatal wound at the hands of Ra's al Ghul.
  • Meditation: Tatsu is skilled in meditation and was able to guide Oliver into using it to analyze his memories.[4]
  • Multilingual: As a native Japanese, Tatsu speaks that language fluently, in addition to Chinese and English.

Equipment

  • Yamashiro family katana: In battle, Tatsu wields a katana that was passed down through generations of the Yamashiro family, having once been wielded by Ichiro and Masako Yamashiro.[18]
  • Katana: After a period of only using one sword, Tatsu has started using a second katana along with her family sword.
  • Suit: Tatsu wears a protective suit as her heroine alter-ego to hide her identity from her enemies.

Appearances

Arrow

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 7

Season 8


DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Season 4

Season 5

Gallery

Concept artwork

Trivia

Behind the scenes

  • In DC comics, Tatsu Yamashiro is a heroine known as "Katana" and was originally associated with Batman as part of his superhero team, The Outsiders. She became a hero after the murders of her husband, Maseo Yamashiro, and daughters, Yuki and Reiko. Tatsu's main weapon is a sword called Soultaker, in which she captures the spirits of those who are killed by its blade and communicates with souls of deceased relatives.
    • In the Prime Earth continuity, Tatsu wears the same outfit as seen in Arrow​​.
      • Despite sporting her vigilante outfit from the comics though, she is only referred to as "Katana" in concept art and merchandise, never on-screen.
  • Tatsu was originally supposed to be portrayed by Devon Aoki, but due to other commitments, Rila Fukushima was cast for the role.[19]

References

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