Shinobi no Mono

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A theatrical poster for the 1966 film Shinobi no Mono Shin Kirigakure Saizō

Shinobi no Mono (忍びの者) is a series of jidaigeki novels written by Tomoyoshi Murayama originally serialized in the Sunday edition of the newspaper Akahata[1] from November 1960 to May 1962. Shinobi no mono is the long form of the phrase meaning ninja, see the Ninja article for details.


Set during Japan's Sengoku period, the novels depicted Goemon Ishikawa, a famous outlaw hero who was boiled alive at the end of the 16th century by order of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, as a ninja who fought against samurai warlords.

Vol. Japanese title Romanization Year Publisher
1 忍びの者1 序の巻 Shinobi no Mono 1 Jo no Maki 1962 Rironsha
2 忍びの者2 五右衛門釜煎り Shinobi no Mono 2 Goemon Kamairi 1965 Rironsha
3 忍びの者3 真田忍者群 Shinobi no Mono 3 Sanada Ninja-gun 1967 Rironsha
4 忍びの者4 忍びの陣 Shinobi no Mono 4 Shinobi no Jin 1969 Rironsha
5 忍びの者5 忍び砦のたたかい Shinobi no Mono 5 Shinobi-toride no Tatakai 1971 Rironsha


Between 1962 and 1966, a series of eight Shinobi no Mono films (aka Ninja, a Band of Assassins, aka Ninja Spy) starring Raizo Ichikawa were produced and released by the Daiei Motion Picture Company. The first three films are based on the novel, while the five subsequent films are based on four original screenplays by Hajime Takaiwa (also the screenwriter on the first three films) and one original screenplay by Kinya Naoi.

No. Japanese title Romanization English release title Release date Time period Director
1 忍びの者 Shinobi no Mono Shinobi no Mono 1962.12.01 1575-1581 Satsuo Yamamoto
2 続・忍びの者 Zoku Shinobi no Mono Shinobi no Mono 2: Vengeance 1963.08.10 1582-1594 Satsuo Yamamoto
3 新・忍びの者 Shin Shinobi no Mono Shinobi no Mono 3: Resurrection 1963.12.28 1595-1600 Kazuo Mori
4 忍びの者 霧隠才蔵 Shinobi no Mono Kirigakure Saizō Shinobi no Mono 4: Siege 1964.07.11 1614-1615 Tokuzō Tanaka
5 忍びの者 続・霧隠才蔵 Shinobi no Mono Zoku Kirigakure Saizō Shinobi No Mono 5: Mist Saizo Returns 1964.12.30 1616 Kazuo Ikehiro
6 忍びの者 伊賀屋敷 Shinobi no Mono Iga-Yashiki Shinobi No Mono 6: Iga Mansion 1965.06.12 1637-1651 Kazuo Mori
7 忍びの者 新・霧隠才蔵 Shinobi no Mono Shin Kirigakure Saizō Shinobi no mono 7: Mist Saizo Strikes Back 1966.02.12 1616 Kazuo Mori
8 新書・忍びの者 Shinsho Shinobi no Mono Shinobi no mono 8: Three Enemies 1966.12.10 1570-1573 Kazuo Ikehiro
9* 忍びの衆 Shinobi no Shū Mission: Iron Castle 1970.02.07 1582 Kazuo Mori

* Following the death of series lead Raizo Ichikawa in 1969, Daiei attempted to revive/continue the series with a 9th film entitled 忍びの衆 Shinobi no Shū (Ninja Spies) starring Hiroki Matsukata, who also replaced Ichikawa in their other popular series Nemuri Kyoshiro.[2]

Television series[edit]

The novels were also adapted into a 52-episode television series starring Ryuji Shinagawa and co-produced by the Toei Company and television network NET (now known as TV Asahi) and broadcast from July 24, 1964 to July 30, 1965.[3] Only the first episode remains in existence.[4]

Japanese title Romanization English title Series run # of episodes
忍びの者 Shinobi no Mono Ninja Spy 1964–1965 52


  3. ^ "Shinobi no Mono TV Series". Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  4. ^ "Shinobi no Mono TV Series Episode #1 - Toei Channel re-broadcast November 2018". Retrieved 2018-10-10.

External links[edit]