Hattori Hanzo

Hattori Hanzo is probably the most famous ninja in history thanks to the media. His name became known in pop culture with the film Kill Bill. Fans of Japanese martial arts can visit his resting place in Tokyo.

Hitori Hanzo
Grave site of Hattori Hanzo

Hattori was a real character (actually five members of that family had that name) and leader of the Iga clan. Hattori II was the most famous rising to prominence during the Sengoku period. He is credited with saving the life of Tokugawa Ieyasu. This act and his continuing service allowed Tokugawa to become the first Shogun (military ruler) of Japan shortly after Hattori’s death.  Japan thus entered the Edo period, a time of relative peace.

In Tokyo, the imperial palace has Hanzō’s Gate which is named after him as is the Hanzōmon subway line and station. The neighborhood outside Hanzo’s Gate used to be known as Iga-cho (Iga Town) because ninja from Iga province lived there. Hanzō’s remains now rest in the Sainen-ji temple cemetery in Yotsuya, Tokyo. The temple also holds his favorite spear and his ceremonial battle helmet. This place is definitely worth a visit if you are a fan of ninjitsu or even just a martial artist visiting Japan. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s