Yoru Sensei ran a martial arts academy in Japan, and was a teacher of the young Bruce Wayne.
As a young man, Bruce enrolled himself in Yoru's dojo for an extended period, learning martial arts. He rose to become one of the dojo's best students. The only other student able to consistently defeat him was Kyodai Ken. Bruce obsessed over these defeats, but Yoru counseled him to learn from his mistakes and turn them to his advantage.
When Bruce caught Kyodai in the act of trying to steal an ancient samurai sword from the dojo, Yoru expelled Kyodai, telling him never to return.
Several years later, Yoru's star pupil, Kairi Tanaga, was kidnapped by Kyodai, in exchange for a precious secret. Yoru contacted Bruce, asking for his "help" in contacting Batman (in reality, Yoru likely guessed his student's secret). Yoru revealed that he was the last living direct descendant of an ancient sensei who had invented an amazingly deadly fighting art, "The Way of the Fang." The scroll manual for the art had been passed down in his family for generations, but Yoru never read it, afraid of what he might do with such knowledge. Kyodai demanded the scroll in return for Kairi's safe return. On Batman's advice, Yoru delivered the scroll's location.
Batman managed to defeat Kyodai in a fight on the side of a volcanic mountain, in which Kyodai seemingly perished, despite Batman's efforts to save him.
Before leaving Japan, Bruce and Yoru discussed Batman. Bruce said, somewhat shamefacedly, that Batman was as much a ninja as Kyodai, a man who relied on darkness and fear to terrorize his enemies. Yoru replied, not so: Batman had showcased all the traditional values of the samurai: resolve, honor, and mercy toward his adversary.
In later years, Kairi became a respected sensei in her own right, opening an exclusive, secret dojo behind her fishmonger's stall in Gotham City.
Exemplifying the best qualities of the martial arts - dignity, inner strength, honor, and humility - Yoru was a man built on traditional values, who put his students' welfare before his own at all times.
Yoru emphasized that martial arts was not a means of combat or killing, but a graceful art that few could conquer.
Besides his skill as a teacher and his prowess at martial arts, Yoru also imparted his deep sense of honor and values to Bruce Wayne, reinforcing his sense of fair play and his complete refusal to take a life, even an enemy's.
Though it is never stated explicitly, the clear implication is that Yoru knows Bruce's secret identity, based on his observation of the young Bruce's personality, and his study of the Batman's fighting style.
Appearances and References
- "Curse of the Kobra" (Mentioned Only)