Sarutobi Sasuke

Sarutobi Sasuke (猿飛佐助?) was a famous legendary ninja in the Japanese folklore. He is generally believed to be an Meiji period fictional creation based on the historical ninja Kouzuki Sasuke (上月佐助?), although some argue for his actual existence.

In folklore

Sarutobi, meaning 'monkey jump',[1] is written with two kanji; saru (猿) is the character for 'monkey', and tobi (飛) is the character for 'jump'. He was known for his monkey-like agility and quickness, especially in trees. Many depictions portray him as having been orphaned and raised by a band of monkeys,[2] therefore giving rise to the monkey-like abilities.

Sasuke is commonly listed as the member/leader Sanada Ten Braves, a legendary group of ten ninja that supposedly assisted the warlord Sanada Yukimura at the battles of Osaka Castle during the Japanese civil war, and he is by far the best known and most popular among them. When appearing with Kirigakure Saizō, one of his fellow Ten Braves, he is often thus contrasted with his best friend/arch-rival, who usually has an elegant, or at least clean-cut, appearance and magic-like ability. Sasuke is generally said to be a Kōga ninja, whereas Saizō is an Iga ninja. As such, when the two appear together, they are almost always depicted as arch-rivals and later, after being recruited to the Sanada cause, best friends. (This rivalry parallels the Iga-Kōga rivalry and the Hattori-Fūma rivalries in ninja fiction.) It is said he fell in battle against the forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu during the Siege of Osaka in the summer of 1615.[3]

See also

  • Sanada Ten Braves


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