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Ishiguro Takashi was an officer in the Imperial Japanese Army during the 1930s. In 1932, he was involved in the confrontation between the Chinese and Japanese in Shanghai. He captured Inspector Sung-Chi Li and took him before Major Ryuji Matsu.

In February 1936, Takashi's brothers were among the civil servants and government ministers killed in a revolt in Tokyo by the Sakura Kai and the Japanese First Infantry Division in support of the Kodo Ha. Takashi came to detest the "traitors" who led the Japanese military and deserted. Hunted by the Sakura Kai, who considered him a traitor, he fled to Hong Kong and then to China to act against his own people in the coming war.

By August 1937, Takashi had taken on the guise of Woo, a Hong Kong-born nightclub owner who ran Club Do-San in Shanghai. He also worked as a vigilante who gained the name Yan Cheh. Under that identity, he tried to protect the people of the city from the corruption of local government and the Tongs. His ultimate goal was to create a united front against the Japanese Army before they advanced into Shanghai from Manchukuo. He inadvertently got caught up in Hsien-Ko's plot to get revenge on Magnus Greel, and assisted the Fourth Doctor and Romana I in thwarting her. Afterwards, Woo decided to give up his crimefighting and settled down as a simple nightclub owner in Los Angeles or San Francisco. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang)