Katana (DC)

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Tatsu Yamashiro from Katana v1 #1.

Katana is a female superhero that features in DC.




Katana from Outsiders v3 #38.

Tatsu was a Japanese woman born in the modern age where she was raised in Japan. It was said that she had a normal childhood with the exception for a proficiency for the martial arts that her parents encouraged. During this time, she met young men with among her courtiers being Maseo Yamashiro and his brother Takeo both professing their love for her. She ultimately chose Maseo with his brother not taking this decision well and he fought with his brother. Tatsu later married Maseo with his brother not attending the wedding but instead joined the ranks of the Yakuza. Tatsu and Maseo decided to make their own lives after her parents died with her becoming pregnant leading to her having two children named Yuki and Reiko. When her children were young, Takeo returned where he was armed with the Soultaker sword in order to get revenge on Maseo and claim Tatsu as his prize. During the fight, a fire broke out and in the fight between brothers Maseo was killed by Takeo who had slain him with the sword. At the same time, the fire claimed the lives of her children with an angry Tatsu managing to cause Takeo to flee though she had acquired the Soultaker. Her husband's soul had as a result of the blade become trapped in the Soultaker and urged her to escape their burning home. In the aftermath, she decided her life as Tatsu Yamashiro was over with her becoming Katana as she sought to get revenge on Takeo. She pursued General Karnz of Markovia who had given the Soultaker to Takeo of the Yakuza. (Batman and the Outsiders v1 #12)

The New 52


Personality and attributes

Powers and abilities

It and its twin were both forged by 14th century swordsmith Maramusa with it being cursed. The Soultaker was said to make evil men do evil acts and sometimes took the souls of those it had killed. (Batman and the Outsiders v1 #12) The ghosts within the sword advised her and warned of her danger around her. (Suicide Squad v5 #20) Within the sword was a mystic land that was referred to as the Fukumaden that others could not see and where souls could be trapped. This realm was the creation of the mad-swordsmith Muramasa who formed similar such worlds within many of the blades he had crafted to serve as refuges and means of escape for him. Animals were said to have some ability to see into this mystical world. (Suicide Squad: Black Files v1 #2)


  • Katana was created by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo where she made her first appearance in The Brave and the Bold v1 #200 (July 1983).

Alternate Versions

In other media


Katana in Beware the Batman.
  • In Beware the Batman, Tatsu Yamashiro made an appearance in the pilot episode "Hunted". She the daughter of Edogawa Yamashiro and Shizuko Yamashiro with her father being a secret agent that worked at MI-6. His partner would be Alfred Pennyworth who was also Tatsu's godfather with him and Edogawa being sent on a mission against Ra's al Ghul who had acquired the Soultaker sword. Ra's would threaten Edogawa's family forcing his compliance where he turned the agent against Pennyworth where he attempted to use the sword on him. However, at the last moment, Edogawa allowed his soul to be taken by the sword to spare Alfred's life who managed to escape the League with the death of Yamashiro not being known to his family. He attended Edogawa's funeral where he met his widowed wife and promised to look after both her along with her daughter financially allowing Tatsu to attend the finest schools. Tatsu Yamashiro by the time she reached adulthood followed her father's footsteps in a career in the intelligence services were she was once stationed at Kahndaq. Around this time, she infiltrated the League of Assassins and served as one of their operatives where she took the name of Katana. She would become familiar with the League's agents such as Silver Monkey and Lady Shiva along with seeing the Soultaker sword in action. Agent Yamashiro would end up leaving the League but not before stealing the Soultaker that she kept with her in hiding. In Gotham City, her godfather Alfred Pennyworth sustained an injury and would ask Tatsu Yamashiro if she could take over his duties as butler and bodyguard to Bruce Wayne. In the episode "Family", she would learn that both Bruce Wayne and Batman were one and the same during a confrontation with the League at the Argus Club where she would lose the Soultaker sword to Lady Shiva. Afterwards, in "Allies", she officially became Batman's partner where he insisted that Tatsu try a number of protective suits of armor if she intended to support him in the field but she rejected all of them as they negated her capacity to be mobile. In addition, she urged that they track down the League of Assassins but was convinced by Batman that they would return to target Dr. Blurr. Ultimately, she settled in an all black leather suit and a mask where she wielded a katana and decided her code name to be Katana as she helped Batman in rescuing Barbara Gordon who had been kidnapped by Tobias Whale's gang. In "Darkness", she learnt the truth about her father's demise and attacked Alfred only to be stopped by Ra's al Ghul when the pair were captured by the League of Assassins. She later learnt that her father was not killed by Alfred but rather allowed himself to be trapped in order for Agent Pennyworth to be spared. Thus, Tatsu sided with Batman when he battled Ra's and reversed the chant on the Soultaker sword causing its captured souls to be freed where they took the leader of the League of Assassins away. During this moment, she met the soul of her father who was allowed to pass away in peace. Katana remained in Gotham as Batman's partner as Alfred departed in order to atone for sins made in his past career. She later made a call to Alfred asking him to return to Wayne Manor after Batman became more isolated and secretive to the point of being self-destructive in his actions.
Tatsu Yamashiro in Arrow.
  • In Arrow, the character appeared in the third season of the Arrowverse live-action television show where she was portrayed by actress Rila Fukushima. Tatsu was the husband of Maseo Yamashiro and they had a son named Akio Yamashiro where they lived in Japan until dangerous people began targeting them leading to the family relocating to Hong Kong. Maseo would begin to work with Amanda Waller who at the time had taken over the training and oversight of Oliver Queen following him leaving the island of Lian Yu. In a series of flashbacks, it was shown that Queen lived in the Yamashiro household with Tatsu being unhappy with this arrangement. Around this time, Chien Na Wei intended to acquire the Omega virus and attacked the Yamashiro home where she kidnapped Tatsu where an arrangement was made for her release in exchange for the virus. Maseo with Oliver went for the exchange but the virus proved to be a fake though the pair were successful in releasing Tatsu with the couple being reunited with their son Akio. In the present day, Maseo called for Tatsu to come to his mountain lodge in order to treat the badly wounded Oliver Queen who had lost the duel with Ra's al Ghul and was barely alive. The League of Assassins would follow the trail to the home forcing Tatsu and Oliver to go on the move as Queen intended to return to Starling City to resume being the Green Arrow despite Yamashiro telling him he had not made a full recovery from his wounds. In "This Is Your Sword", Oliver asks her to convince Team Arrow to go to Nanda Parbat to stop the launch of the Alpha-Omega Virus that was being sent to Starling City. Whilst there, she confronted her husband Maseo who was a member of the League and killed him when he refused to leave with her. She was captured by the League afterwards with the rest of Team Arrow but separated from the group as she was inoculated from the Alpha-Omega Virus.


  • In Suicide Squad, Katana first appeared in the 2016 live-action film set in the DC Extended Universe where she was portrayed by actor Karen Fukuhara.

Video games

  • In Infinite Crisis, Katana appeared in the MOBA as Tatsu Toro where she was voiced by actor Kelly Hu. Her husband Maseo and his twin brother Takeo were both members of the Sword Clan of the Yakuza. Maseo was killed by Takeo with the use of the Soultaker Sword leading to Tatsu taking the blade to avenge all crime by adopting the name Katana.
  • In DC Legends, Katana was a playable character that featured in the iOS video game.


  • Outsiders:
  • Katana:
  • Suicide Squad:
  • Suicide Squad: Black Files:

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