Hattori (Oni) Hanzo (Masanari), 1542-1596

Born in 1542 to a retainer of Tokugawa Ieyasu. After his father's death, Hanzo replaced his father in the service of Ieyasu, leading Iga warriors. His nickname was Oni (devil) Hanzo. After his death in the fourth day of the eleven month of 1596, he was given the posthumous name Sainen.

At the age of 16, Hanzo successfully led a band of Iga warriors, which earned him his first recognition as a commander. In the first month of 1569 he attacked Kakegawa castle, and in the sixth month of 1570 Hanzo led his warriors in the battle of Anegawa in which Oda Nobunaga annihilated the forces of Asai Nagamasa and Asakura Yoshikage. His defining moment came in 1582 when Tokugawa Ieyasu was accused of not rushing to avenge the assassination of Oda Nobunaga at Honnoji. At that time, Ieyasu needed help to escape to his home base in Mikawa province, and it was Hanzo with the help of his Iga warriors who provided Ieyasu with protection and safe passage through the mountains of Iga. For his role in protecting Ieyasu he received 8,000 koku of land. Then, after Tokugawa Ieyasu entered the Kanto region, he officially appointed Hanzo to command thirty horsemen and 200 special Iga warriors. Hanzo's warriors were charged with guarding the gate to Edo castle, Ieyasu's headquarters. The gate is known today as Hanzomon, or "Hanzo Gate."

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