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|“|| "You came alone to face me? Foolish. But then you always were a lone wolf."|
"An interesting metaphor. But if you knew me at all, you'd know I hunt the wolf."
|~ Murakami to Alexandra Reid|
Murakami is a major antagonist in the 2017 Marvel TV series, The Defenders.
He is one of the founding members and leaders of the Hand. Regarded as the most secretive leader of the organization, Murakami lived in the shadows and pulled the strings behind his disciple Nobu Yoshioka, the "face" of his group.
He is portrayed by Yutaka Takeuchi.
Murakami was one of the five heretics of K'un-Lun. After the Elders of K'un-Lun decided to study the Chi in order to heal, the heretics decided that this power was better used to regenerate themselves and thus achieve immortality. For this heresy, Murakami and the other heretics Alexandra, Gao, Sowande and Bakuto were banished from K'un-Lun indefinitely. Together, they formed the organization known as The Hand - each of them leading a factions that operates autonomously. Alexandra was their leader from the beginning and after they dispersed, each member returned to their homeland where they built their reputation and power over the time of generations.
Despite being a founding member and a leader of the Hand, Murakami preferred to work from the shadows, using Nobu Yoshioka as a proxy.
Murakami has made it a hobby to hunt down rare and dangerous animals and to fight them in close combat, most likely because he knew that he would be reanimated should he die during the fight.
Marvel's The Defenders
Preparing for War
After Alexandra has failed to capture the Iron Fist, she meets with Murakami to secure his allegiance in the war against the Iron Fist. She meets him in his penthouse where she tells him that the Hand's resources are depleted and that his hobby - hunting dangerous animals in close combat - might lead to his final death. Murakami is not worried, claiming that all of them should fear death in that case. Alexandra claims that the Iron Fist has come to New York and Murakami replies that he has already heard that - and that the Iron Fist escaped the Hand.
He claims that the problem with Alexandra's leadership always was that she never got her hands dirty herself. Alexandra further tells Murakami that the Iron Fist has allies, very exceptional ones, whom they need to defeat together. She reveals to Murakami that Gao and Suwande are with her on this and that the remaining member of the Hand's leadership is already on his way to New York. Murakami replies that he always knew they would reunite some day but that he did not expect the circumstances to be this dire. He then asks about the Black Sky, the last one to be resurrected by the Hand. Alexandra assures him that Elektra is more powerful than expected. Murakami then agrees to go to war for Alexandra and asks her whether she will join the fight herself. Alexandra replies that, as always, she will do what is neccessary.
When Stick, who has escaped the Hand's captivity, informs Matt Murdock, Danny Rand and Luke Cage about the Hand, he reveals to them the backstory of the organization. He also informs them about the individual members, mentioning Murakami and describing him as the most secretive member. He adds, however, that Murakami is an evil piece of shit once he comes out. Stick reveals that Murakami is the master of Nobu.
Attacking the Defenders
When Alexandra has Iron Fist and his friends cornered in a chinese restaurant, she sends in Elektra to fight them. While the group battles Elektra, Murakami enters the roof of the building and jumps through a window. He lands in the restaurant directly behind the combatants. He joins the fight and attacks Murdock and Rand simultaneously. However, he is eventually defeated and knocked to the ground. He gets back up but immediately dives back for cover when Sowande and his crew, accompanied by Gao and her men, appear and open fire into the restaurant.
When the battle erupts again, Murakami attacks Jessica Jones. After beating her down, he heads outside where he witnesses Matt trying to reach out to Elektra in order to remind her who she truly is. Angrily, he screams at her and demands to know what she is doing but when he advances, she lashes out at him and hurls him away. He is knocked out and only regains consciousness after the group has fled. While he is slowly getting back up, Gao and three of her men burst out of the restaurant and into the backyard, having pursued the escapees. Unaware that they have fled into the sewers, Gao is surprised that Murakami did not see them leaving. She asks where the group and the Black Sky have gone and Murakami sourly states that this is something for their glorious leader to explain.
After the battle, Murakami interrupts Alexandra and Elektra and reveals to Alexandra that Sowande has been taken by the Iron Fist and his friends. Alexandra reminds him that the five of them have braved all kinds of dangers over the years and that Sowande will find his way back to them. She then tells Murakami to inform the others that reinforcements from South America will arive soon and that they will expand their search for the Iron Fist together. Murakami claims that there is another matter to discuss, refering to the disobedience of Elektra during the battle, but Alexandra says that they will talk later.
After the failed battle, the Hand decides to attack the friends and relatives of their targets in order to draw them out. Murakami is sent to kill the adoptive sister of Jessica Jones, Trish Walker. While Jessica, who has foreseen this attack, is trying to bring Trish to safety, they are suddenly attacked by Murakami. Jessica tries to fight him but he effortlessly overpowers her. As Murakami draws a knife to finish her off, Matt suddenly turns up in his full Daredevil attire and together with Jessica, he is able to defeat Murakami and drop him off a balcony. Murakami is able to evade the fall, however, and escapes unseen.
In a meeting of the remaining Hand leaders, Murakami informs the assembled leaders that Daredevil has joined the Iron Fist, unaware that Murdock and Daredevil are the same people. Gao is shocked to hear this and asks if the news are true, given that Daredevil has not been sighted for months now. Murakami confirms that this is true as he saw it with his own eyes. Bakuto is not impressed; while Daredevil might be a good fighter, the leaders of the Hand are too. Murakami replies that it is not his fighting skill that worries him, but Daredevil's relationship with Elektra Natchios. Gao confirms that Elektra and Daredevil fought side by side but Murakami claims that their bond was even stronger - they were in love. Thinking back to the moment that Elektra attacked him, Murakami claims that she might not have been protecting her kill but her old love, which would mean that the Black Sky is not the empty vessel they were promised. Alexandra asks whether he believes that the Black Sky has failed them but Murakami states that he believes that Alexandra herself has failed them. He claims that Alexandra made a wrong decision and because of that, they are all vulnerable now.
Alexandra states that she has never felt stronger than with Elektra by her side but Murakami reminds her that all this is not about her but all of them together. Gao and Bakuto join in and remind Alexandra that they created the Hand so that the five fingers could work together. Gao states that they already lost Sowande but Alexandra assures them that he will be back. The others, however, are not convinced and Bakuto states that for the first time, death is a real possibility. Alexandra states that maybe this was what they all needed, a reminder that every one of them was expendable. The leaders reply that his counts for Alexandra as well and that they seem to have different goals. While Alexandra is afraid of dying, Murakami, Gao and Bakuto simply want to live long enough to go home. Murakami states that the time has come to make a plan without the Black Sky - or their "fearless leader".
After Sowande's head has been delivered to the Hand, Gao, Murakami and Bakuto are all shocked and angry by this loss, believing that they could have prevented it. After Alexandra holds a brief eulogy, she wants to return back to business while Gao and the others are still mournind. The three also get angry with Alexandra and themselves, claiming that they did not even try to find Sowande. Alexandra coldly states that they should not pretend to mourn Sowande, to the outrage of the other three who are honestly mourning their oldest friend. Alexandra reminds them that they should not act like their time together has all been peaceful, there has been fighting between Hand factions multiple times. Alexandra claims that now more than ever it is time to show unity. Murakami angrily replies that they were unified until Alexandra brought in the Black Sky. The three want to know where Elektra is and Alexandra, not telling them that Elektra has gone rogue, claims that she thought it would be best to have her isolated. Gao then breaks the disagreement, claiming that their goals are in alignment and that they should honor Sowande by fulfilling the future they planned together. Gao claims that Alexandra already has brought them far and that they should trust her to see the plan through till the end. Gao openly claims that she will keep following Alexandra. However, in truth, Gao is already plotting against Alexandra with Murakami.
While Alexandra is dining alone, she is visited by Murakami who has brought wine and claims that he felt he needed to make amends. He reminds her that he originally did not want to leave K'un-Lun with her. He reveals to her that it was not that he wanted to stay in K'un-Lun, he simply did not want to leave with her. Alexandra claims that she is still waiting for her apology. She states that they were meant to fight this war together and Murakami confirms this, claiming that this is why he wanted her last meal to be a good one. Alexandra realizes that he has come to kill her and claims that it is foolish that he came to face her alone. Before it comes to blows between the two, Elektra enters the room, dragging Danny Rand after her and thus securing the Hand the Iron Fist.
Capturing the Iron Fist
Murakami leaves the room wordlessly, telling the other members to meet Alexandra in the boarding room. Danny is brought before the leaders and Alexandra welcomes Danny at the Hand, this time for good. She reveals that the motivation of the Hand is to return to K'un-Lun. Danny bitterly tells her that he saw that Alexandra and the Hand destroyed the city but Alexandra replies that Danny only saw what he wanted to see. Alexandra claims that the two of them are not so different and that they have the same home. She adds that whether he wants it or not, Danny will serve her. After Danny has been led to a cell, Alexandra turns to the other Hand leaders. Murakami still argues that nothing has gone as planned.
The three argue what step should be taken next, with Bakuto stating that the retrieval of the substance is of paramount importance. Gao claims that the need to take care of Danny's allies who will come looking for him. She warns her team not to underestimate them but Alexandra tells the Hand not to underestimate her. Alexandra orders Elektra to kill all of Danny's allies and sarcastically states that she is happy the team is onboard with her plan. However, she reminds them that it was her who neutralized the enemy and brought them the Iron Fist while they succumbed to chaos and conflict. While Alexandra is ranting on, she is suddenly stabbed in the back by Elektra. To the shock of the other members of the Hand, Alexandra falls to the ground dead and is beheaded by Elektra, preventing any possible resurrection. While the others watch on in horror, Elektra tells them that they work for her now.
After Elektra leaves the room with Danny, she heads down into the hole with the Iron Fist. The three remaining Hand leaders watch her from the control room. While Murakami claims that they need to stop her before she undoes everything they have built, Gao claims that Elektra is doing exactly what they want to do with Danny - bringing him to the wall down in the cave. Gao reminds them that they are closest to their goal than ever before.
Fighting the Defenders
Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Daredevil eventually arrive at the building that is located above the cave. They arrive to free Danny but when they enter the parking garage, they are confronted by Gao, Bakuto and Murakami. The three have come to prevent the Defenders from taking Danny and it comes to battle. During the fight, Bakuto and Murakami both attack Daredevil. When it seems evident that the Hand leaders are losing, Bakuto creates a distraction that allows all three leaders to escape deeper into the complex. While Gao heads down into the cave, Murakami and Bakuto remain behind to secure the way. Murakami patrols inside the cave where he captures Danny after Danny has been knocked off his feet by Gao. When they realize that the elevator is coming down, Murakami holds Danny as a hostage.
However, Jessica, Luke and Matt turn up and attack Elektra and the group. Seeing this, Danny attacks Muarakami and wrenches free. He knocks out Murakami during the fight. Murakami gets back up and together with thew rest of the Hand army, tries to prevent the Defenders from escaping. However, Danny unleashes his chi and blasts the entire troop, including Gao, backwards. Another fight ensues in which Murakami fights Luke Cage. However, he is unable to defeat Cage and is thrown through a wooden barrier. When it is clear that the bombs in the building are about to go off, Murakami and some others are able to grab the elevator just as the Defenders are leaving the cave. Murakami and his companions climb up the elevator wall and battle Luke, Jessica and Danny but during the fight, they are knocked off the roof and back into the cave.
Despite having survived the battle, no one down in the cave is able to flee the cave as Elektra has brought down the elevator in order to have them all die together in the explosion when the bombs go off. After most remaining fighters have gone into the side caves and tunnels, Gao returns to the main chamber where she finds the mortally wounded Murakami, impaled on a metal pike. Murakami panicks and with his last breath, asks her what is happening. Gao calmly replies that it is the end, seconds before the bombs go off and detonate the building which collapses onto the cave - presumably killing Gao and Murakami.