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One of the most famous ninja clans in Iga was the Hattori clan.
Iga Heinazaemon-no-jo Ienaga ( the founder of Kumogakure-ryu ) who gave the oldest son Hattori Heitaro Koreyuki the right to 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 ( crest ), 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 in history, without doubt, was Hattori Ishi-no-Kami Hanzo Masashige ( 1541-1596 ).
He was the son of Hattori Nazo Yasunaga, who through heritage was a vassal to the Tokugawa family, at that time known as Matsudaira.
They belonged to the Kamihattori family line, whether they came from the Heitaro or Chigachi is unknown.

Hattori Hanzo was practically raised with martial arts as his main occupation in life.
In 1557, when he was just sixteen years old, he was in battle for the first time in his life.
It was a night when Tokugawa Ieyasu attacked Uzichi-jo 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 admired 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 Demon ".
Hattori Hanzo's many merits won him great recognition.
Hattori Hanzo was later awarded the command over Tokugawa Ieyasu's Hassenshi, an elite force consisting of eight warriors.

The Hattori family was not watari-ninja ( ninja that sold their service to the highest bidder ), 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, they helped Tokugawa escape to Okazaki-jo by using Gotonjutsu ( skills of hiding in the nature ),
and other special techniques in how to advance safely.

Hattori Hanzo's many merits earned him great recognition and was awarded the command over the Hassenshi samurai.
Hattori Hanzo died in battle the 4th of December in 1596 when he led a troop against Fuma ninja in Kanagawa.
Hanzo and his troops had followed the Fuma ninja out to sea in boats, but the Fuma ninja used underwater techniques to destroy the rudder on their boats.
When Hanzo and his men jumped into the water to swim ashore, the Fuma ninja poured oil into the water and set it on fire.
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.
Not many that realize his connection to ninjutsu, he was more known as a bushi ( samurai ) from Iga.

Under the rule of Tokugawa Imeitsu, many ninja did not like the way they were dishonored and treated.
So they chose to prepare a revolt against Hattori Hanzo's ancestors who still were in the service of the Shogun.
The revolt was known as " The Sasa Temple Incident ".
The revolt was crushed by the Bakufu, and the leaders was captured and executed.
The revolt was the end of the glorious history of the Hattori clan, and they lost their status because of their lack of handling of the situation.


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