Iga(伊賀) is near to Kyoto(京都),
but it is surrounded by precipitous mountains, Suzuka mountain
range(鈴鹿山脈) and Murou mountain range(室生山脈).
Mt Handou(飯道山）,Mt Aburahi(油日岳)
and Mt Norito(祝詞ヶ岳), many mountain
asceticｓ(修験者, shugen-ja, ） lived
in their mountains.
Naturalized people and many nobles who were defeated for the political
strife in Kyoto lived there.
The characteristics of Iga people are independence-oriented,
anti-Establishment and opportunism.They are cautious with strangers.
In Heian period(平安時代, 9c-12c), the
most part of Iga was the shouen (a manor in medieval Japan)
of Toudai Temple(東大寺）. But Iga
people revolted against their rulers and they established the autonomic
regime in the14th century.
The republic was called Iga soukoku ikki
(伊賀惣国一揆) which hadn't a loｒd and 12 leading clans had the vote.
Iga republic was the merit system, it could become a samurai
if an ashigaru(足軽,
a common soldier) put up an achievement. But, betrayers were executed
and their heads put on public display.
They were skillful at the guerrilla activity, and often participated
in the battle as a business soldier in other countries.
1487, the 9th Shogun of the Muromachi shogunate（室町幕府）
Ashikaga Yoshihisa（足利義尚） attacked
Rokkaku Takayori（六角高頼） personally,
Iga and Kouga warriors who were in the employ of Rokkaku
repulsed the attack. Since then, Iga-mono(伊賀者Iga-men)
and Kouga-mono(甲賀者, Kouga-men)
have become synonyms for ninja.
In the16th century, Oda Nobunaga(織田信長),
the daimyou (大名, a feudal lord)
of Owari（尾張） intended to unify Japan.
He exterminated the autonomies of the whole country. Any temples, the
merchant city Sakai(堺) and Iga
Iga was attacked by Nobunaga in 1579 and 1581. The first
attack was repulsed by Iga warriors, but Nobunaga sent
44,000 troops after two years. （The total population of Iga in
those days was a little less than 100,000.）
Iga ninjas who survived the massacre were employed by
daimyous in the other countries.
On of the jounin（上忍, The mastermind
of ninjas） families Hattori(服部）
clan was taken into Tokugawa Ieyasu's（徳川家康）
confidence specially. When Nobunaga was killed by betrayers,
Ieyasu had stayed in Sakai together with a few men, he
came back to his domain under the escort of Iga and Kouga's
Subsequently, he became the first Shogun of Edo shogunate(江戸幕府）,
so Iga-mono and Kouga-mono became the public
servants. And Iga was under the control of Toudou Takatora(藤堂高虎）by
the order of Ieyasu.
But 1604, Hattori clan was ruined and their genins(下忍,
common ninja) were taken away by the government.
(Yahazu-guruma/Notches of arrows and a wheel)
The heraldic emblem of Hattori clan.
In the 12th century, Hattori Ienaga（服部家長）
won the tournament of archery in the Imperial presence.
Ienaga was awarded 1,000 eagle's feathered arrows on a handcart
by the ex-Emperor Toba（鳥羽） , then
he decided his clan's heraldic emblem on "notches of arrows and
Since then, many branches of Hattori clan's heraldic emblems
are design of arrows.
This gate is called "Hanzou Mon（Hanzou's Gate)" because Iga
mono lived around the west gate of Edo castle.
（Hattori Hanzou Masanari 1542-96)
|A common ninja was called
"genin （下忍）", and the platoon
commander was called "chuunin（中忍）".
and Fujibayashi（藤林） were the distinguished
clans of Iga, they were called jounin（上忍）,
and held the position of leadership.
They say Hattori clan's ancestors came to Japan from China or Korea
in the beginning of the 5th century.
In the Period of North and South Dynasties(1334-1467), Hattori clan
expanded their territory by the seizure of many shouens of the north
Hattori Hanzou Yasunaga(服部半蔵保長, 1513-8?)
worked under 12th Shogun of Muromachi shogunate Ashikaga Yoshiharu(足利義晴)
at first. But after Yoshiharu passed away, he left Ashikaga
family, and served new master Matsudaira Kiyoyasu(松平清康),
the lord of Mikawa(三河).
Matsudaira Kiyoyasu's grandson Tokugawa Ieyasu gave Hanzou
Masanari(半蔵正成, 1542-96), a son of Hanzou
Yasunaga, an important position.
When Iga ninjas were massacred by lord Oda, Momochi
and Fujibayashi clans suffered great losses but Hattori
clan hardly suffered damage because they have served under lord Tokugawa.
In June 1582, lord Oda was killed at Honnou Temple, Ieyasu
came back to his domain under the guard of Hanzou Masanari and
Hanzou Masanari was a great lancer, called "Oni
Hanzou(鬼半蔵 Demon Hanzou)".
He distinguished himself on the field of battles.
In 1603, Ieyasu acceded to the shogun of Edo Shogunate,
he settled 200 Iga-mono in Yotusuya of Edo. （Because
the mansion of Hattori clan was outside the west gate of Edo
Castle the gate is called "半蔵門 Hanzoumon/Hanzou's
But "Demon" Hanzou Masanari's son Hanzou Masanari(半蔵正就
15??-1615) was not quite the great commander his father had been. In 1606,
Iga-mono rebelled against Masanari(the son), this
finally brought about his downfall.
Masanari was killed in the battle of Oosaka. And his brother
Masashige(正重) incurred the second
Shogun Hidetada's(秀忠) displeasure
because he was involved in a political scandal.
Finally the main branch of the Hattori clan was ruined, Iga-mono
were under the control of Edo shogunate.