We are Yakuza. When your ancestors were still shepherds screwing sheep on the Mediterranean coast, ours were the crimelords of Asia.
~ Lady Tanaka

Lady Tanaka is a Yakuza boss and the main antagonist in the 1989 live action film, The Punisher.

She was portrayed by Kim Miyori.


Lady Tanaka is a cool and smarmy villainess with no empathy for anyone—she even slit her own brother's throat to advance her rank in the Yakuza early in her career. She secretes elitism when interacting with others, always addressing people as if they are children, and remains calm and collected even when angered. Her own adoptive daughter is a deaf-mute assassin who serves as her bodyguard.

Lady Tanaka has a bejeweled claw in place of her left pinky nib, suggesting that she failed her "big brothers" in the Yakuza at one point and was forced to sever it as penance.


When Gianni Franco tries to unite New York's crime families under his wing, Lady Tanaka proves (albeit bloodily) that they are still weak and disorganized, largely thanks to the Punisher's five-year killing spree. She then confronts Franco and the other leaders, offering to supervise their enterprises for a 75-25% split (she, of course, getting the 75%). The American gangsters scoff at this deal, little realizing that Lady Tanaka is already taking steps to ensure their compliance: she has all the bosses' children kidnapped, and threatens to sell them into slavery. In light of this heinous news, all but Franco agree on a second meeting, where Lady Tanaka poisons the other bosses and effectively seizes control of their territories. When the Punisher learns that Tanaka intends to sell the children anyway, he rescues all but one of them—Franco's son—at the cost of being arrested.

Later, Franco saves the Punisher from the electric chair so he will lead a raid on Lady Tanaka's headquarters and rescue Franco's son. Franco confronts Lady Tanaka as she holds a knife to his son's throat. She orders Franco to kill himself and leave all of the New York underworld in her hands; in exchange she will raise Franco's son as her own. Before Franco can do it, the Punisher buries one of his signature throwing daggers between her eyes, killing her.