Over the course of S1 of Daredevil, a Japanese business/Yakuza/something is one of the factions of the Hell's Kitchen underworld. The others all have clear roles. The Chinese bring in drugs, the Russians distribute them, Leland Owlsley handles the finances, and Fisk keeps the law off everyone. The Japanese are a faction in this scheme, but their contribution and goals aren't clearly established. This is especially confusing when in S1E9, Speak of the Devil, Fisk requests that Nobu have a member of his organization deal with Daredevil, and

Nobu himself shows up, with some super-ninja skills.

The only other activities we see them get up to is demanding a specific block in Hell's Kitchen be handed over to them, and in S1E7, Stick, where they

smuggle a child into Hell's Kitchen.

This is kinda obnoxious to me, as it seems like all the other factions play clear roles in the season-long scheme. So what role do the Japanese faction play? What are they seeking to accomplish?

  • Especially because the S1E7 event that you mention was for their own purposes, not for the rest of the organization.
    – KSmarts
    May 7, 2015 at 21:23

1 Answer 1


We aren't told what their initial goals are but their employer, Mr. Nobu is likely a nod to...

Kagenobu Yoshioka, the man credited with founding Marvel Comics' favorite ninja clan, The Hand back in the 16th century. Since the Hand play a large part of the Daredevil mythos it is likely they will be featured more in later episodes of the series. Think of them as enforcers of a higher quality who may provide support as Mr. Fisk and Mr. Nobu decide.

Their organization:

The Hand is an order of evil mystical ninjas who are heavily involved in organized crime and mercenary activities such as assassination plots. The Hand covets power above all other objectives. They are primarily based in Japan, but operate internationally. Wikipedia: The Hand

Their existence is hinted at by the appearance of Stick, the martial mentor of Matt Murdock. He is portrayed by Scott Glenn.

As to their goals, one of their primary goals was to destroy The Chaste, of whom Stick was their leader and their primary effective adversary in their worldwide crime syndicate. The Hand has been involved in numerous schemes in the Earth-616 universe as a covert terror organization working with HYDRA, armed mercenary group and practitioners of black mystic/sorcerous arts. With their addition to the Daredevil storyline, it gives quite a few opportunities for diverse and unusual storylines to take place.

  • You should also mention that, in the comics, the Hand often employs Yakuza clans to be their street-level underlings. This seemed to be the case in the TV show as well, with Nobu himself being a Hand ninja - probably a lieutenant there to represent the "American branch" of the Hand.
    – Omegacron
    Apr 20, 2015 at 19:23

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