During the lead-up to Logan‘s marriage to Mariko, Silver Samurai and Viper kidnapped the would-be bride. Harada was furious that his half-sister was not only taking over the Clan Yashida instead of him, but also trying to make the organization legit, as seen in UNCANNY X-MEN #172–174.
In a later battle, Wolverine defeated Silver Samurai and intended to kill him, but Mariko stayed his claws. She later called off the wedding, stunning the Canadian hero. Remaining as the head of Yashida Clan, Mariko forgave all of Kenuichio‘s transgressions.
Silver Samurai gained possession of the Black Blade of Muramasa in WOLVERINE #2–3 and fought the Hand alongside Logan in WOLVERINE #56–57, but Mariko died of poisoning. With his half-sister gone, Silver Samurai took charge of Clan Yashida as seen in CABLE: BLOOD & METAL #2. He encountered Beast, Gambit, Psylocke and Revanche in X-MEN #21–23, Silver Samurai almost killed Beast, Gambit, Psylocke and Revanche while working for Nyoirin, a crime lord with the power to raise Clan Yashida back to a place of prominence.
Though mostly known as a villain, Harada told Logan he would watch over Amiko in exchange for the Honor Sword of Clan Yashida (WOLVERINE #82). He also helped Elektra clear her name after being manipulated by the hand (ELEKTRA #15) and was involved in the early formation of Big Hero Six (SUNFIRE AND BIG HERO SIX).
Falling On Hard Times
In WOLVERINE #150–153, Harada found himself on the wrong end of a blade belonging to enemies working for Haan Kaishek. Needing help, he turned to the visiting Logan. Not long after, Lady Deathstrike used the memory-erasing mutant Blindspot to play with Silver Samurai’s mind for her own nefarious reasons as seen in ROGUE #7–9.
At that point, he had been taking Clan Yashida apart, realizing that he could not clean up the dirty organization. Using Blindspot, Deathstrike made Harada believe that Sunfire and the X-Men had played with his mind to make him a hero! In that state, Kenuichio killed the heads of the Yakuza and attempted to set himself up as the Silver Shogun.
No One’s Pawn
The success of the Shogun endeavor and Harada’s mental state remains a bit foggy, but he did remain as the head of Clan Yashida. That is until a rogue element within S.H.I.E.L.D. managed to kidnap him from his private jet and imprison him in the Raft without a trial. He escaped with the other villains and was brought back to his homeland.
Concerned about the fugitive and what his return home might mean, Captain America sent Echo to Japan in the Ronin costume as seen in NEW AVENGERS #11–13. The full team showed up around the same time that the Hand presented Kenuichio with his armor and an offer to align with the Hand and Hydra, then run by Viper. He ultimately refused the alliance and went public with what he saw as false imprisonment by the U.S. government.
Taking a new path, the Silver Samurai dedicated himself to protecting the Prime Minister of Japan, as first seen in WOLVERINE #36–37. After regaining his memories, Logan sought Harada to learn more about the Muramasa blade. When the samurai refused, Wolverine sliced off his right hand.
Wolverine did eventually find the fabled weapon, but needed to learn how to use it against his enemy Romulus, which he was able to ultimately do after training with Silver Samurai in WOLVERINE ORIGINS #42–46. Harada even worked with Bruce Banner, Skaar and Cloak to help Logan.
Death and Rebirth