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In The Wolverine we learn that Yukio is neither a real member of the Yashida family nor a mere employee, but she was an orphan found by Yashida when she was a child. When asked by Logan for the reasons she says that Mariko always had problems making friends. So it seems she was taken with them because she made friends with Mariko, which Shingen puts a bit more cold-hearted when he says something along the lines of (forgive me for not being word accurate):

You are a toy doll, a companion for a child who has outgrown you.

Which sounds a bit cold (and seems to be what Yukio thinks secretly, too), but sounds reasonable given that Yashida seems like a man that takes and gets whatever he wants.

But likewise is Yashida depicted right from the beginning as a man that fears his own death above all other things (even if this is emphasized more heavily towards the end). And from a story viewpoint Yukio's mutant power to predict other peoples' deaths doesn't serve much more than to classify her even more as an outcast (and maybe to raise the tension by falsely predicting Logan's death).

So are there any hints that she wasn't "adopted" just because to provide a friend to Mariko, but for Yashida to constantly have someone around him who could warn him of his death? And was this an additional device to emphasize his constant fear of death and thus another hint to his actual plans? Or am I just overinterpreting things here.

(While it may be that this was intentionally left open for interpretation, there could also be additional hints suggesting the one over the other).

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Not sure if the analysis tag is justified. Remove it of you don't think so. –  Napoleon Wilson Aug 27 '13 at 22:08
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Firstly, Yashida was a nice guy until he was on his deathbed. Logan himself rescued him in Nagasaki due to the kindness shown by the Japanese to both himself and the other prisoners of war. So it's understandable that he would have been inclined to rescue an orphan girl looking through the garbage for food and set her up as a playmate for his granddaughter.

While one of Yukio's roles is as a device to predict Wolverine's death, she is also used in a bit of foreshadowing earlier when she declares that she did not foresee Yashida's death. (The fact that she later tells Logan that she is never wrong is a bit of a hole.)

Shingen's disdain for Yukio is also understandable considering that she's an outsider foisted upon his daughter by his father. His dislike for all three elements is remarked upon throughout the film. The fact that Yukio considers herself better at the katana than him probably didn't help matters either.

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"Firstly, Yashida was a nice guy until" - A nice guy maybe, but even his actions during WWII showed already that he was fearing death more than his fellow soldiers (if saying it a bit more offensively, one could call him a coward, but I'm not sure that completely fits). This already helped to foreshadow his actions as soon as Logan denied his request at his deathbed. But still good answer. –  Napoleon Wilson Nov 13 '13 at 8:33
    
Fearing death or simply inexperienced? That was in 1945 when Bushido was already a dying code and he was a young idealistic pup unlike the three senior soldiers who committed seppukku before him. If anything, they ought to have guided him before doing the deed themselves. –  coleopterist Nov 13 '13 at 8:38
    
Hmm, also true. Maybe it just draws a different picture in my mind, knowing what his fear of death made out of him later on. –  Napoleon Wilson Nov 13 '13 at 8:39
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"she is also used in a bit of foreshadowing earlier when she declares that she did not foresee Yashida's death." - Hah right, completely forgot that. I even remember yelling at her "because he's alive, stupid!". ;-) –  Napoleon Wilson Nov 13 '13 at 8:49
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@ChristianRau heh. Quite a number of WTF moments in this film. –  coleopterist Nov 13 '13 at 15:13
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While it is highly doubtful that a kid Yukio could have developed mutant powers, once Yashida came to know about them, he must have kept her closer. Earlier on, as explained, she was adopted simply because she could be friends with Mariko. Whatever happened, Mariko was the only heir to the family. Also, Yukio would always be adopted, an outsider. Such is traditional Japanese family policies.

So while Yukio was adopted to be Mariko's playmate, once Yashida was aware of her powers, he would not have failed to utilize them.

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"While it is highly doubtful that a kid Yukio could have developed mutant powers" - Those powers were always there, they're mutant powers in the end, and she says she predicted the death of her own parents, which must have happened before she met Yashida. "Mariko was the male and heir to the family." - Do you mean something else with "male", because Mariko isn't male. "Also, Yukio would always be adopted, an outsider." - In which way is this relevant? –  Napoleon Wilson Aug 28 '13 at 7:33
    
@ChristianRau my apologies, I meant she wasn't the male, but yet the heir, have corrected it. When the time comes to choose a successor, bloodlines play prominent roles. In that sense, it would always be Mariko, not Yukio who would succeed. And I still find it dubious that mutant powers developed at such a young age(predicting parents deaths) have remained unchanged throughout. I just find it dubious to every other mutant story. In all of them, mutants develop powers as they come to maturity. –  kicker86 Aug 28 '13 at 12:40
    
"it would always be Mariko, not Yukio who would succeed." - Yes, I didn't argue otherwise. You may want to point out in which way this is relevant, though. "I just find it dubious to every other mutant story. In all of them, mutants develop powers as they come to maturity." - Indeed, this might be true in the context of the movie, I didn't consider this, yet she says herself that she predicted her parents' death. –  Napoleon Wilson Aug 28 '13 at 13:14
    
I was referring to Yashida realising her mutant powers and how that may be a reason to adopt her. I'm just saying she might be too young for that. Maybe that was just an added bonus. I don't know. There's no fact or logical explanation that we can argue on over both sides. It's open to interpretation. –  kicker86 Aug 28 '13 at 13:21
    
"I was referring to Yashida realising her mutant powers and how that may be a reason to adopt her. I'm just saying she might be too young for that" - Yeah, I see, and this might be true. But what I still don't understand is in which way the heritage angle is important to the question, since it was never ambiguous that Yukio could be anything more than a Japanese Tom Hagen and it doesn't seem relevant to the question to me. –  Napoleon Wilson Aug 28 '13 at 13:29
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