"The Ghost of Masahiko Tahara": Batman takes down an internationally wanted criminal named Toshihiko Kikkawa. Kikkawa gives him information on rumored heist at the Gotham Metropolitan Museum.

Quote1 There is no shame in a mask... - A man's skill is a man's skill, whatever his face, whatever his name. Quote2

Batman #413 is an issue of the series Batman (Volume 1) with a cover date of November, 1987.

Appearing in "The Ghost of Masahiko Tahara"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • Yoshio Tahara (Single appearance)
  • Lucius Pitt (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Kay Doran (Single appearance)
  • Koji Tahara (Mentioned only)
  • Masahiko Tahara (Mentioned only)
  • Toshihiko Kikkawa (Single appearance)



Synopsis for "The Ghost of Masahiko Tahara"

Batman takes down an internationally wanted criminal named Toshihiko Kikkawa. Kikkawa gives him information on rumored heist at the Gotham Metropolitan Museum.

Bruce Wayne later attends a new museum exhibit he funded with weapons and armor belonging to the ancient Japanese hero Masahiko Tahara. Masahiko and his family committed suicide after their defeat at the hands of the Tokugawa clan. His son Koji Tahara became a ninja folk hero for striking back at the Tokugawas.
Yoshio Tahara 0001

"The Ghost of Masahiko Tahara"

This exhibit was donated by Masahiko's descendant Yoshio Tahara, a wealthy martial artist who considers himself the spiritual heir to Koji Tahara. The exhibit is run by museum curator Lucius Pitt. A reporter named Kay Doran hits on Bruce Wayne at the exhibit, but he turns her down. Bruce also runs into his young ward Jason Todd at the exhibit, who is studying 19th century English clothing for school. Jason later does his homework in the Batcave with Alfred while Batman continues to patrol the museum.

There is a report from one of the museum security guards about Masahiko Tahara coming to life. Masahiko appeared as a ghost and spooked the guard, but nothing was stolen and no alarms were tripped. Batman and Robin stake out the museum the next night. Lucius Pitt is nearly mugged outside the museum, but the ghost of Masahiko comes to his aid. Batman and Robin jump in to help, but the ghost runs into the museum and is gone by the time Batman follows him. Robin notices something weird about the 19th century English clothing on display.

Yoshio Tahara 0002

Batman defeats the "Ghost"

Batman later visits the private dojo of Yoshio Tahara and challenges him to combat. Yoshio uses medieval weapons similar to those used by Masahiko. Batman defeats him and they bow to each other, with Batman privately thinking that he got what he came for.

That night, Batman stays inside the museum with Lucius Pitt to keep watch. The ghost of Masahiko attacks him again and they battle. Lucius Pitt pulls out a gun to help, but aims it at Batman. Another figure dressed as the ghost of Koji Tahara arrives and strikes Lucius down. Batman punches out the ghost of Masahiko. The ghost of Koji reveals himself to be Robin. Batman unmasks the ghost of Masahiko as Yoshio, and says he figured this out by comparing their fighting styles. Robin figured out that they weren't attempting to steal the Masahiko Tahara exhibit. They were using it as cover to steal from other exhibits and replace the valuables they stole with forgeries. Robin remarks that the crooks never stood "a ghost of a chance."


  • This story is reprinted in the Batman: Second Chances collected edition.
  • The "Bat-Signals" letter page of this issue indicates that Jason Todd was 12 years old when he was recruited by Batman.


  • In the story, Batman uses a mug that reads "#1 Super Hero".

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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