Hattori Hanzo: The Greatest Ninja

If you couldn’t tell, we are big fans of American Ninja Warrior here at Rebounderz. That is why we have our own Grand Rapids ninja warrior course in our trampoline park! But the athletic machines on the show are still very different than the classical ninjas we have all mythologized. Probably one of the greatest mythological ninjas is Hattori Hanzo. If you’ve never heard about this legendary figure, read on for a quick overview of his life.

The Life

Hattori Hanzo was born to Hattori Hanzo Yasunaga, a samurai in the service of the clan that would later become the Tokugawa. He grew up in Iga, in the Mikawa Province. It was there that he fought his first battle at the young age of 16 during a nighttime attack on Udo Castle. During his young adult life, he would also successfully rescue Tokugawa’s daughters who were taken as hostages and successfully lay siege to Kakegawa Castle. Later, he would earn distinction in the battles of Anegawa and Mikatagahara.

It was at after the battle of Mikatagahara that Hattori was recognized for his battle prowess, and became the commander of an Iga ninja clan unit of 150 men. However, it was in the Tensho Iga War that Hattori really shined, despite the Iga clan’s ultimate defeat. Hattori Hanzo was able to repel Oda Nobukatsu from conquering Iga land at the behest of his father Oda Nobunaga. For almost three years after that, he defended the Iga clan until Oda Nobunaga wiped them all out in 1581. After the destruction of his clan, Hattori would go on to serve Tokugawa Ieyesu, protecting him and his family in many battles and through countless feats of strength, cunning, and bravery.

Mythology and Legacy

As Hattori Hanzo lived during the 16th century, all that we know about his life comes from writings. Suffice it to say, not all of those writings are believable. Various tales of his exploits recount different supernatural powers. These include teleportation, psychokinesis, and precognition. With all of that in mind, it is no wonder that he left such a legacy on our pop culture. He has made appearances in video games (most notable recent example being Nioh), been referenced in movies (Kill Bill’s Hattori Hanzo Sword), and has made his way into many pieces of literature as well.

In the actual world, Hattori Hanzo was succeeded by his son Masanari Hanzo. There are still many relics of Hanzo present in Japan today, including Hanzo’s Gate in Tokyo Imperial Palace and Hanzo’s spear that was given to him by Ieyesu Nobunaga.

 

Hopefully you enjoyed this quick historical overview of Hattori Hanzo, perhaps the greatest ninja to have ever lived. That is, until you came along and trained at our Grand Rapids ninja warrior course. We also have plenty of other trampoline park attractions, and even host kids’ birthday parties. If you have any questions about our location, attractions, or hours, please feel free to give us a call. One of our friendly representatives will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.