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History of Japan
Samurai

Was Hattori Hanzo a samurai or a ninja?

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September 13, 2011 4:48PM

Actually the answer is both. Most individuals were are considered ninjas in the modern sense were born-and-raised samurai who specialized in missions that were considered unorthodox or non-conventional. This would include espionage, covert diplomacy, sabotage, assassination, misinformation, and general guerrilla warfare. However, they were not the stereotypical men in black body suits and, like Oni-Hanzo, were not much different from the other vassals of a lord except for their unique skill set. Hanzo himself was a master of the spear and was a skilled tactician and Onmyoji. His favorite spear and ceremonial helmet can be seen at Sainen-ji in Tokyo