Ninjas vs. Samurai

A Famous Ninja

Some people wonder who the most famous ninja is. Well, one of the most famous ninjas are Hattori Hanzo. Let's learn more about him!

Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo, also known as Hattori Masanari. He was a famous samurai and shinobi of the Sengoku era, credited with saving the life of Tokugawa Ieyasu and then helping him to become the ruler of united Japan. 
    According to several different sources, Hattori Hanzo was born in either 1541, 1542 or 1543. His father was Hattori Yasunaga, a minor samurai in the service of the Matsudaira (later Tokugawa) clan.
    "Hattori Hanzo" was Greatest Masashige's ninja of Iga ever in Japan/ Also called "Devil's Shadow" (There are two different stories in here, just to let you know)
Hattori Hanzo (1541-1596) actually existed, and was the most famous of the ninjas of Iga (Iga province has been connected with ninja activities throughout history). Hattori Hanzo Masashige's nickname was "Devil Hanzo," and he engaged in such ninja-associated activities as night raids on enemy castles. Through complex circumstances, Oda Nobunaga felt compelled to invade Iga, brutally crushing all resistance and using scorched-earth tactics. This may explain the desolate background in Hanzo's stage, although SS puts him in Yamada, not Iga, for unknown reasons. Ieyasu Tokugawa later welcomed the ninjas as his allies. As a result, Hanzo and other ninjas fought for Ieyasu Tokugawa in his quest to reunite Japan. SS2--The historical Hanzo did not have sons named Kanzo or Shinzo. He did have a son named Iwani-no-kami Masanari who was, of course, *not* possessed by the spirit of Amakuza or anyone else.
Hanzo is one of Ieyasu's trusted warlords. He is the most famous ninja in the history. When Nobunaga was assasssinated by Mitsuhide in 1582, Ieyasu was at Kyoto with only a few guardsmen. That was the greatest danger in his life, because the death of Nobunaga would surely cause major civil disorders elsewhere. Hanzo collected precise information and made a plan to escape from Kyoto through Iga to Ieyasu's home castle in Mikawa . He also persuaded ninja in Iga county, and succeeded to made them follow Ieyasu . After that, Hanzo commanded the Iga ninja army for espionage operations. Unfortunately, his operations were so stealthy that very few are known today. But Ieyasu highly trusted him. He died from illness in 1598, five years before his master became shogun. Grave of Hanzo Masashige Hattori
One of the most famous NINJA families in IGA was without doubt the HATTORI family. They came from both the OTOMO HOSOTO, a high member of one of the more important Japanese families, and from China. The OTOMO family was in duty at the royal family mainly because of his knowledge in warfare. The HATTORI sons was later allowed to build their own family lines.
According to some sources it was IGA HEINAZAEMON NO JO IENEAGA (the founder of KUMOGAKURE RYU) that gave the oldest son HATTORI HEITARO KOREYUKI the right to use the family name KAMIHATTORI. The middle son HATTORI HEIJIRO YASUYORI founded the NAKAHATTORI family name, and the youngest son HATTORI HEIJIRO YASUNORI founded the SHIMOHATTORI family name.
Each family had their own MON (shield), where the KAMIHATTORI MON was YAHAZU NIHON (two arrowheads), NAKAHATTORI MON was ICHITOMOE (a bow), and SHIMOHATTORI MON was YAGURUMA (eight arrowheads in a ring). That each family had their own MON points on the fact that they had the same rank as a SAMURAI. According to modern history books in Japan HATTORI HANZO was a SAMURAI from IGA. When ODA NOBUNAGA invaded IGA only 80 people from the three HATTORI families survived. They fled to different parts of Japan.
The KAMIHATTORI family escaped down to the NAGAOKA village in ECHIGO. The SHIMOHATTORI family received protection by the TOKUGAWA family in MIKAWA or by OCHI family in the TAKATORI village in the YAMATO province. NAKAHATTORI escaped up to the TAKANO mountains.
The most famous NINJA through history without doubt was HATTORI HANZO MASASHIGE (1541-1596). He was the son of HATTORI NAZO YASUNAGA, who through heritage was a vassal to the TOKUGAWA family, in this period TOKUGAWA was known as MATSUDAIRA. They belonged to the KAMIHATTORI family line, if they came from the HEITARO or CHIGACHI's family line is unknown.
HATTORI HANZO was practically raised with martial arts as his main occupation in life. In 1557 when HATTORI HANZO was sixteen years old he was in a battle for the first time in his life. It was a night when TOKUGAWA IEYASU attacked UZICHIJO in MIGAWA (the castle in UDO). He got his first reward because of his remarkable fighting skills in the battlefield. He got the nickname "Hanzo the ghost", and even TOKUGAWA recognized his skills. After that he was involved in the battle of ANAGAWA in 1570, and the battle at MIKATA GA HARA in 1572. Another nickname he got because of his skills was "Hanzo the devil".
The HATTORI family was not WATARI NINJA (NINJA that sold their service to the highest bid), they was faithful to TOKUGAWA. When ODA NOBUNAGA was murdered by AKECHI MITSUHIDE, TOKUGAWA was in a village close to OSAKA and was threatened by AKECHI's troops. TOKUGAWA then got assistance by HATTORI HANZO and TARO SHIRO, a KOGA NINJA. Together with 300 NINJA's they helped TOKUGAWA escape to OKAZAKIJO by using GOTON JUTSU (skills of hiding in the nature) and special techniques in how to advance safely.
HATTORI HANZO's many merits gave him big recognition and he was awarded the command over the HASSENSHI SAMURAI's. HATTORI HANZO died in battle the 4'th of december in 1596 when he had the command over a troop that would terrorize NINJA's from FUMA RYU in KANAGAWA. HANZO and his troops had followed the FUMA RYU NINJA's out on the sea in boats, but the FUMA NINJA's used underwater techniques to destroy the rudder on their boats. And when HANZO and his men jumped into the water to swim ashore the FUMA NINJA's had filled oil into the water and sat it on fire, they all died in the flames. HATTORI HANZO was succeeded by HATTORI IWAMI NO KAMI MASANARI.
The population in Japan still sings about HANZO in the areas around KAWAUCHI, he was also known as "The great lancer", a very strong warrior. It is not many that realize his connection to NINJUTSU, he was more known as a BUSHI (a SAMURAI) from IGA.
Under the rule of TOKUGAWA IMEITSU many NINJA did not like the way they was dishonored and treated. So they chose to prepare a revolt against HATTORI HANZO's ancestors who still was in the service of the SHOGUN. The revolt was known as "the incident at the SASA temple", the revolt was beaten by the SHOGUN's troops and the leaders was captured and executed. The revolt was the end of the HATTORI family's big era, they lost their status because of their lack of handling the situation.
Under the HATTORI family's great era, before ODA NOBUNAGA's invasion of IGA, there was many successful members of the HATTORI RYU family clan. Some of them was known as...
Hattori Gensuke, Hattori Denjiro, Hattori Denemon, Yamaoka Suketaro, Yamaguchi Suketaro, Hanchi Hansuke, Yamanaurchi Keitaro,
Hattori Magohei, Hattori Naizo, Hattori Shinkuro, Yamaoka Ichinosuke, Yamanaka Kakubei, Iga Naruto, Sera Genroku,
Hattori Shichikuro, Hattori Jinroku, Yamaoka Sobei, Yamaoka Jintaro, Fukunokami Teisainyudo, Akimoto Kassai, Otsuka Bansaku
As a conclusion on the HATTORI family clan, can be mentioned that ISHITANI MATSUTARO TAKAKAGE had an ancestor that was a CHUNIN (middleman) in HATTORI HANZO's NINJA clan. ISHITANI MATSUTARO TAKAKAGE was TAKAMATSU TOSHITSUGU's SENSEI, and TAKAMATSU TOSHITSUGU was the SENSEI to MASAAKI HATSUMI the 28'th SOKE in KUKISHINDEN RYU HAPPO HIKENJUTSU. ISHITANI died in the lapse of TAKAMATSU in the early 20'th century, TAKAMATSU died in 1972. HATSUMI is still alive and well.