In the manga and anime Rurouni Kenshin, secondary character Myojin Yahiko starts out as a young pickpocket, working for a local yakuza group. If Yahiko fails to steal enough money, he is severely beaten by his overseer Gasuke.

One day in February, 1878, Yahiko tries to lift the wallet of one Himura Kenshin, but is stopped and held down by his traveling companion, Kamiya Kaoru. Kenshin offers Yahiko the wallet, but the young man bristles at him, telling Kenshin that he is a samurai and doesn't need the pity of strangers.

Kenshin is impressed by Yahiko's strong warrior spirit and laments that Yahiko would have been a great samurai if Japan were as it had been before the Bakumatsu. Yahiko sits on the grass, thinking over Kenshin's words to him: "You look like a child, but it's obvious that your soul is mature". He realizes he no longer wants to be a thief. When Gasuke shows up for the money, Yahiko tells him he no longer wishes to be a thief. Gasuke doesn't take the news well and beats Yahiko into unconsciousness.

Meanwhile, Kaoru is returning from her workout at Maekawa Dojo when she notices Gasuke carrying Yahiko slung over his shoulder in the distance. Later on, we see Yahiko being abused and threatened by Gasuke and the yakuza. The boss, Tanishi tells Yahiko that samurai pride will do him no good in the Meiji Era and that he should be happy to be a pickpocket. Yahiko again declines.

Gasuke taunts Yahiko about his parents, calling his mother a whore and his father a fool. Yahiko bites Gasuke in an unmentionable area, causing him to fall over in pain. Yahiko declares that he won't forgive anyone who insults his parents. Gasuke jumps up and pulls out a concealed blade to kill Yahiko. Just then, the wall is kicked in and in comes a very angry-looking Kenshin.

Kenshin beats down the yakuza and gives Tanishi the chance to show how generous he is by letting Yahiko go. Tanishi wisely accepts Kenshin's terms and releases Yahiko from his service. Kenshin takes Yahiko and installs him as Kaoru's first student of Kamiya Kasshin Ryu. However, Yahiko and Kaoru spend more time picking fights with each other than training.