Hattori Hanzo (服部半蔵)

Hanzo HATTORI was samurai working under the command of Matsudaira clan and the Tokugawa clan from the Sengoku period (period of warring states) to the early Edo Period, and refers to the successive family heads of the Hattori clan who assumed the name of 'Hanzo' for generations. These family heads also had the title of Iwami no kami (governor of Iwami Province) and sometimes called themselves HATTORI Iwami no kami. Although Hanzo HATTORI has popularly been recognized as a ninja, only the first was a ninja (details are unknown) and the rest were not.

People who assumed the name of Hanzo HATTORI

The first Hanzo: Yasunaga Hanzo HATTORI
Although his dates of birth and death are unknown, Yasunaga was a ninja from Iga Province. After having left Iga Province, Yasunaga served under Yoshiharu ASHIKAGA, the 12th shogun of Muromachi bakufu, and later Kiyoyasu MATSUDAIRA of Mikawa Province.

The second Hanzo: Masashige Hanzo HATTORI
Masashige served Ieyasu TOKUGAWA as the head of Iga-school doshin (police constable of Iga Province). He was the popularly known 'Hanzo HATTORI'. However, in reality, the Iga-doshin was no more than one section of vassals and Masashige was also merely an armored samurai who led ashigaru (common foot soldiers). He was known to be good at handling spears.

The third Hanzo: Masanari Hanzo HATTORI
After his father, Masashige, died, Masanari succeeded him to control 200 members of the Iga-doshin. However, the members of the Iga-doshin shut themselves up in a temple, demanding a dismissal of Masanari from the post, because Masanari, who was only given a command over the Iga-doshin from the Tokugawa family, treated the members of the Iga-dosin as his retainers. Because of this incident, Masanari was dismissed as commander of Iga-doshin. Later, Masanari went missing in Osaka no Eki (The Siege of Osaka).

The fourth Hanzo: Masashige Hanzo HATTORI
Masashige succeeded his older brother to assume the name of Hanzo HATTORI. He fell from grace in the Okubo Nagayasu Incident with his father-in-law, Nagayasu OKUBO. After having moved across Japan, Masashige finally met Sadatsuna MATSUDAIRA, who gave him a land of 2,000 koku (556 cubic meters of crop yield). Thus the Hanzo-Hattori clan survive by holding the post of a chief retainer of the Kuwana Domain (the large Hattori family).

As the wife of Masanari was the older sister of Sadakatsu MATSUDAIRA, the lord of the Kuwana Domain, Masanari's son, Masatoki Genemon HATTORI, also worked for the Kuwana Domain. Due to his pedigree, Masatoki was treated like a family member of the domain lord, and his clan was treated better than the Hanzo-Hattori clan (the small Hattori family).

Hanzo HATTORI in fictions

Although historically 'Hanzo HATTORI' was less a ninja than a leader of Igamono (a generic name referring to the local samurai of Iga Province), he is now recognized as one of the most famous Iga ninjas. That is why there have been numerous novels, historical plays, mangas, and games in which a ninja called Hanzo HATTORI appears. The followings are some of the examples. In the past, many works portrayed Hanzo HATTORI as a villain for his anti-government stance, but it is not necessarily the case now.

Iga no Kagemaru

In this story, Hanzo HATTORI appeared as the fifth head. Hanzo gave orders secletly to the main character, Kagemaru, and others to prevent any suspicious movements beforehand including a rebellion against the Tokugawa clan.

Sasuke (manga)

Hanzo HATTORI appeared as the boss of a shogunate spy group and fought against the main character, Sasuke. This manga adopted the typical ninja storyline; the story was set in before and after the historic Hanzo-Hattori clan had been ruined and featured three main motifs, namely ninjas controlled by Yukimura SANADA, the hegemony of the Tokugawa clan and fought behind the scenes by the shogunate spy group led by Hanzo who aimed to reign over the ninja world.

Ninja Hattori-kun

The main character, Hattori-kun (Kanzo HATTORI), was introduced as a descendant of Hanzo HATTORI.

Hanzo HATTORI - Kage no Gundan (Shadow Warriors)

Hanzo appeared as the main character in the setting that even after the Hanzo-Hattori clan had been punished by Kaieki (forfeit rank of Samurai and properties), the Iga shogunate spy group and its leader, Hanzo HATTORI, were still active in the dark side of the world. This TV program was later made into a series, in which an Iga leader (often but not always named Hanzo) was actively involved in various incidents that took place during the Edo Period (the role was played by Shinichi CHIBA).

Kill Bill

In this movie, Hanzo HATTORI retired from ninja and ran a sushi restaurant in present-day Okinawa. The director of the movie, Quentin Tarantino, was an admirer of the 'Kage no Gundan (Shadow Warrior)' series and requested Shinichi CHIBA, who acted in the series, to perform the same character, Hanzo.


In this game Hanzo HATTORI is introduced as the leader of a Iga shogunate spy group. The setting of SAMURAI SPIRITS is in the Kansei era (mid Edo Period), a different time period when the Hanzo HATTORI really lived, but it adopted the typical image of Hanzo as the leader of a shogunate spy group, as did 'Hanzo HATTORI - Kage no Gundan'. In the series, the name 'Hanzo' is also handed down from the first 'Hanzo HATTORI' to his son, 'Shinzo HATTORI'.


In this versus beat'em-up game which uses historical persons from around the world as a motif, Hanzo HATTORI appears as a character modeled on Japanese ninja (World Heroes).


In this story, after the Hanzo-Hattori clan had been be punished by being deprived of one's fief, Hanzo worked as a ninja and a leader of a Iga shogunate spy group under the Tokugawa clan and was actively involved in various incidents behind the scenes.

Nogunaga no Yabo (Nobunata's Ambition) series and Inindo Dato Nobunaga (Inindo: Way of the Ninja)

In these Koei's game series which have their setting in the Sengoku Period, Hanzo was a ninja and a vassal of the Tokugawa clan modeled on historic Masanari HATTORI.

Sengoku Muso (Samurai Warriors) and Muso OROCHI (Warriors Orochi)

In the game story, Hanzo is partly modeled on Masanari HATTORI and works directly under Ieyasu Tokugawa as a ninja, and is actively involved in the Battle of Sekigahara and Siege of Osaka behind the scenes. Hanzo is rated same as Tadakatsu HONDA as a vassal of the Tokugawa family, and fiercely confronts Yukimura SANADA and Kotaro FUMA.

Koga Ninpo-cho (Shinobi: Heart Under Blade)

It was the first and one of the most popular Ninpo-cho series written by Futaro YAMADA. Hanzo appeared as the leader of the Tokugawa ninja group. In order to determine the third shogun of the Tokugawa family, Hanzo, under the order from Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, canceld the 'non-belligerency pact' between Koga and Iga. Hanzo also appeared as the same character in the cartoon version, 'BASILISK -Koga Ninpo cho-' of 2003 and the movie version, 'SHINOBI-HEART UNDER BLADE-' of 2005. (In the original, he was introduced as the second Hanzo.
In 'Basilisk', he was introduced as the fourth Hanzo, changed based on the time period of the cartoon.)

Jinzo ningen KIKAI-da (Android Kikaider)

In this program, a private detective who introduced himself as a descendant of Hanzo appeared. His name was Hanpei HATTORI.

Hyoma Jigoku tabi

It was a serial cartoon drawn by Mitsuteru YOKOYAMA who also drew a cartoon 'Iga no Kagemaru'. Hanzo in this story was portrayed as a military commander, which was more characteristically similar to historic Hanzo HATTORI who had been a leader of Igamono, not a ninja. The story was based on the historical fact of how Masanari HATTORI had been punished by Kaieki, and in the story, Masanari HATTORI tried to assassinate Hyoma, the main character, from a grudge, because Hyoma played the central role among the Iga doshin in its request of the dismissal of Masanari from the supervisor's post.

Hissatsu!5 Ogon no chi

In this movie, Magodayu HATTORI, who designated himself as a descendant of Hanzo, appeared. He lameneded for the lack of work by saying 'the glorious days of ninja has gone'.

Goemon Shin Sedai Shumei!

Hanzo HATTORI appears as the first boss character.

[Original Japanese]