The truth of Ninja -Ninja Encyclopedia-

The Ninja from Fiction Sarutobi Sasuke

Sarutobi Sasuke (‰Ž”ò ²•), the name synonymous with ninjas

The pictue of Sasuke

A picture of Sasuke

I guess that even people who do not have any interest in ninjas (”EŽÒ) know the name "Sasuke". Originally, Sarutobi Sasuke (‰Ž”ò ²•) was the name of the ninja who appeared in the Japanese novels published by Tastsukawa-Bunko (—§ì•¶ŒÉ) between 1911-1923. These Tatsukawa-Bunko novels were very popular among teenagers boys in Japan. Until then, ninja stories were told orally by Kodan-Shi (u’kŽt), or Rakugo-Ka (—ŽŒê‰Æ) as a form of entertainment. The achievement of Tatsukawa-Bunko was that it made ninjas, which had been previously only a supporting role, a major. It also change how people could enjoy stories about ninjas, people could enjoy them visually rather than through the spoken word through Kodan and Rakugo. As Sarutobi Sasuke was accepted by boys in those days enthusiastically, his name became almost synonymous with ninjas. As a result of it, today we can find the name Sasuke in any kind of ninja entertainment like novels, mangas (–Ÿ‰æ), anime, movies, and games. From the start, how was Sasuke described in Tatsukawa-Bunko? Letfs find out.

 

The actions of Sasuke in Novels

Sanada Yukimura

Sanada,Yukimura

Sasukefs boss

At first, Sasuke was born and brought up deep in a mountain of Shinano (M”Z, which is Nagano Prefecture ’·–쌧) today. Sasuke was a boy who played around in the mountains with monkeys all day long. One day, Sasuke happened to meet a mysterious guy, who was the master of Koga (b‰ê) ninjutsu (”Ep). Sasuke was taught the secret of ninjutsu by him. Later, Sasuke came across a certain thief who used ninjutsu. His name was Kirigakure Saizo (–¶‰B Ë‘ ) whose character was the exact opposite to Sasuke, he was cool and he worked alone, Saizo became a good rival of Sasukes. Sasuke and Saizo fought with each other fiercely by means of ninjutsu and as a result of the struggle, Sasuke won.
After that, they took an oath to Sanada Yukimura (^“c K‘º), who was a brave military commander and Yukimura organized " Sanada-Juyushi (^“c\—EŽm) ". It was a structure composed of ten superpower ninjas who worked for the Sanada-family. The members were Sasuke, Saizo, Myoshi-Seikainyudo who had superhuman strength, his brother Miyoshi-Shinbei-Sanyudo, Anayama-Kosuke who looked like Yukimura and worked as a double for General Yukimura, Kakei-Juzo who was a master of guns, Yuri-Kamanosuke who used to be an enemy of Yukimura but changed his mind and obeyed Yukimura, Nezu-Jinpachi, who was good at fighting on the water, Unno-Rokuro who had the special skill of creating false rumours and Mochizuki-Rokuro who was superior in his military prowess.
Before long, Sasuke and his comrades fought with Tokugawa Ieyasu (“¿ì ‰ÆN 1543-1616) in Osaka during a Summer battle (‘åã ‰Ä‚̐w) in 1615. It took place in Osaka Castle which was the home castle of Toyotomi-family (–Lb‰Æ). After the death of Oda Nobunaga (D“c M’· 1534-1582), Toyotomi Hideyoshi (–Lb G‹g 1537-1598) succeeded in the unification of Japan but with the death of Hideyoshi, all of the Daimyos (‘å–¼) in Japan were divided into two large powers. They were the Toyotomi-side which was the western army and the Tokugawa-side which was the eastern army. Finally, the western army was defeated by the eastern army. The Osaka summer battle was the last resistance of the Toyotomi-family against the Tokugawa-family. Sasuke and his companions fought a good fight and certainly damaged the eastern army, but they were beaten by a great number of the eastern army. Finally, the Toyotomi-family was destroyed and the fate of Sasuke and other members of the Sanada-Juyushi became unknown.

Who were the people in history similar to Sasuke?

Although Sasuke is a fictional character, there were people similar to him. Not only Sasuke, but also almost all ninjas of Sanada-Juyushi had their imitators. Well, we are going to set the truth and fiction apart.
Firstly, there was a military commander Sanada Yukimura and it is true that Yukimura had his own ninja group and made great achievements in the Osaka summer battle but his real name was Sanada Nobushige (^“c M”É). When his activities were told as stories, the name of " Yukimura (K‘º) " was often used so today, he is referred to as Yukimura.
In terms of the ninjas similar to Sarutobi Sasuke, it is thought that there were multiple people. We have a document about ninjas and ninjutsu (”Ep) written in the Edo-period (]ŒËŽž‘ã) called "Bansen-shukai (äݐìWŠC) ". In that book, 11 masters of Iga-ninjutsu (ˆÉ‰ê”Ep) are listed. Among them, there is a ninja named Shimotsuge Kizaru (‰º’ѐA–؉Ž). In Japanese, " Ki (–Ø) " means tree and " Saru (‰Ž) " means monkey. It is thought that the reason he was named " Kizaru " is that he was really nimble or he had mastered the ninjutsu to utilize monkeys. According to the records, Kizaru could jump from tree to tree without shaking any leaves of branches. The real name of Kizaru was " Kozuki Sasuke (ãŒŽ ²•) ". Further to this, the fictional Sasuke's family name is " Sarutobi (‰Ž”ò) ". In Japanese, "saru (‰Ž) " means monkey and " tobi (”ò) " means "to jump ". This theory seems so reliable. Secondly, it is also said that Sasuke's imitator was "Migumo, Sasuke (ŽO‰_ ²•) " who was an extant Koga-ninja (b‰ê”EŽÒ ). Migumo Sasuke really worked under the Toyotomi-family and was active in the Osaka summer battle utilizing mystical ninjutsu. According to a unique opinion, an imitator of Sasuke was said to be " Son Goku (‘·Œå‹ó) " in the " Journey to the West (¼—V‹L) ". The "Journey to the West " was completed in China in the 16th century and " Son Goku " was one of the main characters in that. I guess you know " Son Goku " as a hero in the comic and anime " Dragon Ball ". It is said that in the story both Sasuke and Goku in the "Journey to the West " are very active and sprightly. Through the Edo-period, the "Journey to the West" was often told by many Kodan-shi and Rakugo-ka as an interesting entertainment. So there are enough possibilities that the legend of " Sarutobi Sasuke " was molded in the Edo-period by various mixed oral traditions.
At any rate, it is not necessarily that the character of Sarutobi Sasuke depends on only one episode. In other words, it can be maybe said that since Sarutobi Sasuke is a person of fiction, Sasuke could get the most ninja like personality of all the known ninjas.