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服部 半蔵
はっとり はんぞう
Hattori Hanzô
1541 - 1596


Appearances: Sengoku Musou (1,2)

服部半蔵正成 Hattori Hanzô Masashige was born in 1541, the son of Hattori Yasunaga (服部保長), a hereditary retainer of the Tokugawa. Like his father, Hanzô was a vassal of Tokugawa Ieyasu. He was nicknamed Oni no Hanzô (Demon Hanzô, 鬼の半蔵). Hanzo received this moniker not only because of his superb skills, but also to distinguish him from another Tokugawa retainer, Watanabe Hanzô Moritsuna (渡辺半蔵守綱), who was titled Yari no Hanzô (Spear Hanzô, 槍の半蔵), however.

Hanzô participated in a number of Tokugawa's battles. At the age of 16 he fought his first one, assisting in a night attack on Udo Castle in 1557. He would later aid the Tokugawa in many of Ieyasu's major battles, including Anegawa and Mikatagahara. In 1582 when the Tokugawa had been staying near Osaka, Hanzô helped his lord cross through the dangerous Iga province, where Hanzô had connections. Because of Hanzô's help and Ieyasu's good reputation in Iga, the Tokugawa managed to successfully get through. At the time Akechi Mitsuhide was chasing Tokugawa Ieyasu and if not for Hanzô's aid it is quite likely that Mitsuhide might have caught up to Ieyasu.

When Hanzô was ordered to assist Ieyasu's son Nobuyasu (信康) in commiting seppuku, he was unable to do so because he felt loyalty towards Ieyasu's family. But because Ieyasu trusted Hanzô so much, he gave him the honor of leading the 200 Iga warriors who formed the foundation of the Edo Castle guard. Later, Hattori Hanzô Masashige was succeeded by his son 服部正就 Hattori Masanari following Hanzô's death in 1596.