Tange Sazen first appeared in a serial by Fubō Hayashi(林不忘,Hayashi Fubō?) which ran from October 1927 to May 1928 in the Mainichi Shimbun. The story concerned the exploits of Ōoka Echizen, and Tange Sazen was a minor character. But his strikingly dramatic appearance, with a scar across his right eye and an empty right sleeve, as embodied in illustrations by Tomiya Oda(小田富弥,Oda Tomiya?), so caught the imagination of the public that within a few months three films of Tange's adventures were produced by different companies. The most popular of these movies was that directed by Daisuke Itō at Nikkatsu, starring Denjirō Ōkōchi(大河内傳次郎,Ōkōchi Denjirō?). As a result of the success of these films, Hayashi wrote a new serial, Tange Sazen, with Tange as the hero. This initially ran in the Mainichi Shimbun from June to October 1933, but internal strife at the newspaper led to the interruption of publication and the serial eventually resumed in the Yomiuri Shimbun from January 1934. In this story, Tange developed from the nihilistic character he had been in the first novel to a doughty fighter against injustice. The film The Million Ryo Pot featured Ōkōchi playing a comic Tange. Ōkōchi is the actor most identified with Tange in the cinema, but many others have played the role, including Tsumasaburō Bandō, Ryūtarō Ōtomo, Ryūnosuke Tsukigata, Kinnosuke Nakamura, and Tetsurō Tanba.Komako Hara also played a female Sazen in a couple of films in 1937.