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In The Wolverine (2013), the aging Yashida wishes to make contact with Logan so that he can try to persuade the mutant to voluntarily relinquish his healing powers to Yashida or, if Logan refuses, to steal those powers.

When Logan refuses, Yashida arranges for Logan to be weakened so that his healing factor can be stolen, then fakes his own death and secretly transfers himself to an enormous robot body. Why? In what way was his plan advanced by being thought of as dead?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

mere speculation

I think Yashida "faked" his own death because he could not stay a public figure (head of a big company) while still becoming the Silver Samurai. Since Logan had refused to provide his healing abilities, Yashida might have decided to force it from Logan in the guise of Silver Samurai. It is seen in the final climax that Wolverine vs Silver Samurai is an almost evenly matched fight. Yashida, in his normal persona, could not have obtained Wolverine's healing abilities without resorting to some sort of mercenaries. Also, he himself was old and frail. Hence he died and became the Silver Samurai. This also presented him with an advantage of Logan not knowing who the Silver Samurai is and what he wants. Since Yashida was dead, Logan could not have realized that Viper and others were still trying to take his healing abilities from him. Hence another reason to do so.

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You say it's only speculation, but it's pretty convincing to me. This idea fits nicely with two other lines in the film. First, we know that Yashida was obsessed with Wolverine generally, not merely for his healing factor, and getting himself bolstered by adamantium might have been part of his plan all along. Secondly, Viper suggested to Mariko that she had been selected as heir because she was "weak," and perhaps this was because Yashida planned to continue running the company somehow after his "death." –  Michael Stern Jul 29 '13 at 1:35
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