Azumi - N-Z glossary v43.7


NACHI (なち): one of the ten chosen children raised up by Grampa. He promises Azumi they'll go together on the trip in the outside world, but during the trial he fights against her and dies.

NAGARA (ながら): one of the ten chosen children raised up by Grampa. During the trial he fights against Hiei and kills him. Nagara dies during the children first mission in the outside world.

NAGASE (長瀬): a hatamoto embarked on a ship with other men with the mission to kill Azumi.

NAKA (なか): Shizune and Tadane wet nurse. They don't have the slightest hesitation in using her for “funny” games, nor to toy with her life and kill her on purpose with guns as punishment for trying to kill Azumi.

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU (南無阿弥陀仏): "total reliance upon the compassion of Amida Buddha", “I entrust myself to the Buddha Amida”, “Praised be the Lord Amida”. You should Google it and find the answear you like the most.

NANKŌBŌ TENKAI (南光坊天海1536 – 1643): he was a Japanese Tendai Buddhist monk of the Azuchi-Momoyama (1573-1603) and early Edo periods. He achieved the rank of Daisōjō, the highest rank of the priesthood. His Buddhist name was first Zuifū, which he changed to Tenkai in 1590. Also known as Nankōbō (monk of the southern light), Tenkai died in 1643, and was granted the posthumous title of Jigen Daishi in 1648. Tenkai was at Kita-in temple in Kawagoe in 1588, and became abbot in 1599. He was on the staff of Tokugawa Ieyasu, and served as a liaison between the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Imperial Court in Kyōto. One of his projects was the rebuilding of Enryakuji, which had been devastated by Oda Nobunaga. He also revitalized Kita-in, and changed the characters of its name from 北院 to 喜多院. Nearing death in 1616, Ieyasu entrusted Tenkai with his last will regarding matters of his funeral and his posthumous name. Tenkai selected gongen (believed to be the manifestation of an Indian buddha in the form of a local kami, an entity who had come to guide the people to salvation) rather than myōjin, and after death Ieyasu became known as Tōshō Daigongen. Tenkai continued to serve as a consultant to the next two Tokugawa shoguns. In 1624, retired shogun Tokugawa Hidetada and ruling shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu asked him to establish Kan'ei-ji, a Buddhist temple to the northeast of Edo Castle in Ueno. There are several theories concerning his early life. Some fiction writers postulate that he was in actuality Akechi Mitsuhide (or one of his sons). It is not certain whether Mitsuhide died at the Battle of Yamazaki or not, and some suppose that he survived and began a new life as the priest Tenkai. Some even think that Tenkai were more than one people, due to the very long life he had. In “Azumi”, he is an old Reverend who gives his friend Obata Gessai (Grampa) the task to raise a group of extremely skilled martial artists to serve him for important assasination missions. He's very close to Ieyasu. After the Summer Siege he thanks Grampa for his services and tells him that even in the future he will need his help for pruning as necessities dictate. When Grampa returns to his hideout some men attack him with the order to kill him. The order was issued by Tenkai himself. Maybe.

NARA (奈良): the capital city of Nara Prefecture located in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyōto Prefecture. Eight temples, shrines and ruins in Nara, specifically Tōdaiji, Saidaiji, Kōfukuji, Kasuga Shrine, Gangōji, Yakushiji, Tōshōdaiji, and the Heijō Palace remain, together with Kasugayama Primeval Forest, collectively form "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara", a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See wikipedia for more information.

NARITA SHINZŌ (成田慎蔵): a friend of Takizawa who invites him to join Katagiri supporters in order for him to show his skills and maybe to get employed. He challenges Azumi who wants to kill his Lord and dies by her hand.

NATORI KUHACHIRŌ (名取九八郎): one of the men traveling with Hanzō on the ship that will take them to the fief where Kunichiyo is held prisoner. He is the first to try to get to know Azumi a little better. Chiyozō does not like him very much. Natori is the less skilled in Hanzō's group. He was only brought along because he is the only one who knows how Kunichiyo looks like. Natori is easily caught, tied up, taken to Satanoura and hung upside down near the waves on the beach. Jinza says that if he rats out his comrades he will save him, but he does not talk. After he is saved by a heavily disguised Azumi, Jinza kills him while he is fleeing.

NATSU (): Mantarō's little sister who gets ganged raped and killed by Bishamonten and his men.

NIJŌJI (仁条寺): I think here the author means the entire complex of temples in Nijō, Kyōto or even the castle itself.

NIKKŌ TŌSHŌGŪ (日光東照宮): is a Shinto shrine located in Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It is part of the "Shrines and Temples of Nikkō", a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tōshōgū is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. Initially built in 1617, during the Edo period, while Ieyasu's sonHidetada was shōgun, it was enlarged during the time of the third shōgun, Iemitsu. Ieyasu is enshrined there, where his remains are also entombed. This shrine was built by Tokugawa retainer Tōdō Takatora. During the Edo period, the Tokugawa shogunate carried out stately processions from Edo to the Nikkō Tōshōgū along the Nikkō Kaidō (one of the five routes of the Edo period, built to connect Edo with the Tōshō shrine). The shrine's annual spring and autumn festivals reenact these occasions, and are known as "processions of a thousand warriors." Five structures at Nikkō Tōshōgū are categorized as National Treasures of Japan, and three more as Important Cultural Properties. Additionally, two swords in the possession of the shrine are National Treasures, and numerous other objects are Important Cultural Properties. Famous buildings at the Tōshōgū include the richly decorated Yōmeimon, a gate that is also known as "higurashi-no-mon." The latter name means that one could look at it until sundown, and not tire of seeing it. Carvings in deep relief, painted in rich colors, decorate the surface of the structure. The next gate is the karamon decorated with white ornaments. Nearby, a carving of the sleepy cat, "Nemuri-neko", is attributed to Hidari Jingorō. The stable of the shrine's sacred horses bears a carving of the Three Wise Monkeys, who hear, speak and see no evil, a traditional symbol in Chinese and Japanese culture. The original five-story pagoda was donated by a daimyō in 1650, but it was burned down during a fire, and was rebuilt in 1818. Each story represents an element - earth, water, fire, wind and aether or void - in ascending order. Inside the pagoda, a central shinbashira pillar hangs from chains to minimize damage from earthquakes. Hundreds of stone steps lead through the cryptomeria forest up to the grave of Ieyasu. A torii at the top bears calligraphy attributed to Emperor Go-Mizunoo. A bronze urn contains the remains of Tokugawa Ieyasu. In 2008 Yuri Kawasaki became the first female Shinto priest ever to serve at Nikkō Tōshōgū.

NINJA (忍者): old secret agents, spies, assassins, proficient with most bizarre and lethal weapons. They were often used to carry out recoinnasance missions, infiltrations and assassinations in feudal Japan (1185 – 1868). They survived after that period becoming less in number but gaining higher proficiency, learning even other languages and being used in a more focused way. See wikipedia for more information.

NINOMARU (二の丸): the “second circle”, a region that serves as an outside layer for a castle. It may vary in size and shape. Expansive ones can also house large living spaces similar to the structures within the core part of the castle area itself.

NIŌ (仁王, also known as Kongōrikishi 金剛力士): Niō are two wrath-filled and muscular guardians of the Buddha, standing today at the entrance of many Buddhist temples all across Asia including China, Japan and Korea in the form of frightening wrestler-like statues. They are manifestations of the Bodhisattva Vajrapāṇi protector deity and the oldest and most powerful of the Mahayana pantheon. According to Japanese tradition, they travelled with the historical Buddha to protect him and there are references to this in the Theravada Scriptures as well as the Ambatta Sutta. Within the generally pacifist tradition of Buddhism, stories of Niō guardians like Kongōrikishi justified the use of physical force to protect cherished values and beliefs against evil. Nio-Vajrapani is also seen as a manifestation of Mahasthamaprapta or the Bodhisattva of Power that flanks Amida in the Pure Land Tradition and as Vajrasattva, the Dharmapala of the Tibetan tradition. See wikipedia for more information.

NISHIDA BENZŌ (西田弁蔵): a man who tailed Azumi and claims to be an old acquaintance of Obata Gessai/Grampa. He shelters Azumi at the temple he is in charge of until Tenkai arrives so she can safely meet with him. He accepts Azumi's request to have Yae live there with her.

NISHIJIN (西陣): is a district in Kamigyōku, Kyōto, and (by extension) a traditional textile produced there, more narrowly referred to as Nishijinori (西陣織, Nishijin fabric). Nishijin weaving was created in Kyōto over 1200 years ago by using many different types of colored yarns and weaving them together into decorative designs. These specialized procedures are tedious, but necessary to obtain the spectacular design needed to ensure the quality of Nishijin weaving. At the turn of the 8th century, in 794, Kyōto, also known as "Heiankyō" was introduced as the capital of Japan. Soon after the productivity of the Nishijin increased. This increased productivity was brought on in order to provide the Imperial court and aristocracy with the materials they needed. However, the need for the materials began to decrease causing these skilled weavers to go into business on their own rather than work for the textile offices. The demand for the material continued to dwindle during the Muromachi Period (1337 - 1573) due to the Ōnin War (a civil war that lasted ten years 1467 – 1477). In 1467, a major disaster struck the Nishijin weaving community; almost the whole town of Kyōto was demolished. The people of Kyōto fled for safety to nearby towns. Finally, in the 1480s the Onin War ended and the Kyōto residents returned home. Returning home and establishing residence contributed to the name Nishijin meaning west position. This name was established due to Kyōto residents’ settlement being located on the exact piece of land the Army of Yamana Sōzen had occupied during the war. Another group established residence in the northern portion of Kyōto in Shinmachi-Imadegawa. This northern group is known for producing Nerinuki (練貫, a shimmering fabric made from raw silk and scoured silk). After the war, Nishijin weaving began to thrive. The weaving community supplied and provided materials for both the Imperials courts and the samurai lords. This increased their productivity leading to improvements in the product by using new procedures to create new designs. These designs incorporated the use of the gold brocade and damask silk that originated in the Ming Dynasty of China. During the Edo period (1603-1836), Nishijin weaving continued to thrive. Many Japanese studied the art and continued to pass down their trade through the generations by the skilled professionals. Until 1837, there was an abrupt stop to the Nishijin trade due to produce unavailability because of unproductive crops. Kyōto had fallen on hard times and was unable to continue weaving. In addition, Japan had decided to change their capital in 1869 and announced that Tōkyō was the chosen location. This was thought to be the end of the Nishijin trade. In the years to come, the Nishijin trade began to flourish once again. Starting in 1872 with the trip to Europe to learn from the European weaving trade. During this trip the Europeans taught Japanese new techniques. The Japanese adapted to the use of European methods and machinery. The Europeans taught the Japanese how to produce Jacquard loom and the flying shuttle which are specific patterns developed for weaving. By 1898 the Nishijin Textile trade was developed and encompassed the technology shared by the Europeans. This marked a beginning of a new era of Nishijin weaving and implemented the use of machinery in the Japanese trade. Nishijin has continued to be a successful textile industry throughout the years. Today Nishijin weaving is seen more frequently in Japanese ceremonies. The main ceremony to view this unique trade would be in a wedding. The work of the Nishijin weave is present in the traditional clothing of the bride. Her traditional kimono is beautiful and shows the Nishijin designs that have been handed down through the generations. These traditional designs range from scenes of nature, different breeds of birds and several different type of flowers. There are many other products available through Nishijin weaving. These products range from kimono scarves, different types of kimono, belts, shawls, many different types of cloth and decorations that adorn the walls of Japanese homes.

NOBUSERI (野伏せり): mountain-dwelling robbers, brigands, thieves.


OBATA GESSAI (小幡月斎): see “Grampa”.

OBATA TSUKINOSHIN (小幡月之進): Azumi's alias while she fights in Asano's contest against Kawamata.

OCHIMUSHA (落ち武者): a defeated soldier fleeing the enemy. A fugitive defeated soldier.

ODA NOBUNAGA (織田信長 June 23, 1534 – June 21, 1582): he was the initiator of the unification of Japan under the shogunate in the late 16th century, which ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. He was also a major daimyō during the Sengoku period of Japanese history. His work was continued, completed and finalized by his successors Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. He was the second son of Oda Nobuhide, a deputy shugo (military governor) with land holdings in Owari Province. Nobunaga lived a life of continuous military conquest, eventually conquering a third of Japan before his death in 1582. His successor, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a loyal Oda supporter, would become the first man to unify all of Japan, and was thus the first ruler of all Japan since the Ōnin War. See his hude entry on wikipedia for more information.

ODANI CASTLE (小谷城): it was a Sengoku period mountain-top castle located in the present day town of Kohoku in Higashiazai District, Shiga Prefecture. Only the ruins remain today. It was the home castle of the Azai clan and the mountain it was built upon was considered to be impregnable. However, the castle fell during Oda Nobunaga's siege in the Genki (April 1570 through July 1573 ) and Tenshō (July 1573 through December 1592 ) eras. The 1573 Siege of Odani Castle (小谷城の戦いOdanijō no Tatakai) was the last stand of the Azai clan, one of Oda Nobunaga's chief opponents. Nobunaga took Odani Castle from Azai Nagamasa, who, left with no other option, committed suicide along with his son. His wife and three daughters were entrusted to Nobunaga, considering they were his sister and nieces. Two of Nagamasa's daughters would later marry into powerful families. Their escape from the besieged castle became a fairly common sentimental scene in traditional Japanese art. Before Azai Nagamasa committed seppuku he decided to make one last siege on Nobunaga's main camp; in the end, however, he failed and was instead captured. Azai also knew from the beginning he would lose this battle, so before he died he gave Nobunaga's sister Oichi back, saving her from death. Odani Castle is regarded as among Japan's Five Greatest Mountain Castles, along with Kasugayama Castle, Nanao Castle, Kannonji Castle and Gassantoda Castle. Now it is one of Japan's nationally-designated historical ruins.

OEYO (於江与, , Ogō 小督or Satoko達子: 1573 – September 15, 1626): she was a prominently-placed female figure in late Sengoku period. She married three times, first to Saji Kazunari, her cousin, then to Toyotomi Hideyoshi's nephew Toyotomi Hidekatsu. She had a daughter named Sada with Hidekatsu, but he died due to an illness during the Korean War. Her third and last husband Tokugawa Hidetada became the second Tokugawa shogun. She was also the mother of his successor Iemitsu, the third shōgun. She had Senhime, Tamahime, Katsuhime, Hatsuhime, Takechiyo (Iemitsu), and Tadanaga. Hatsuhime was adopted by Oeyo's sister Ohatsu, who is the wife of Kyogoku Takatsugu. Hidetada's changing fortunes affected Oeyo's life as well. See wikipedia for more information. In “Azumi” she is very severe, does not allow Hidetada to have concubines and dotes a lot her second son, Kunichiyo. When he is kidnapped, she almost loses her sanity. When Kunichiyo is brought back safely she is overjoyed. She wants to thank Azumi in person and a meeting is arranged. She is amazed that such a young and beautiful girl did such an achievement. She says to her to ask for whatever thing she wants and she will grant her, but Azumi does not want anything. Oeyo is very surprised. She also does not know about the connections among Azumi, Ieyasu, Hidetada, Bontemaru and her own late older sister, Yodo. Being not satisfied with Azumi accepting just her words of gratitude she invites her to her convent to look at the beautiful flowers while attending a banquet. She even sends her a pricy and elegant kimono and obi to wear.

OGATA TAICHIRŌ (尾形太一郎): he seems to be the leader of the Yagyū men sent by Tenkai to kill Grampa. He dies for last by Azumi hands.

OGURI TESSHŪ (小栗鉄舟): Grampa's identity while serving under Hideyori.

OICHI (お市1547–1583): a female historical figure in the late Sengoku period. She is known primarily as the mother of three daughters who married well – Yodo-dono, Ohatsu and Oeyo. Oichi was the younger sister of Oda Nobunaga; and she was the sister-in-law of Nōhime, the daughter of Saitō Dōsan. Oichi was equally renowned for her beauty and her resolve. She was descended from the Taira and Fujiwara clans. Following Nobunaga's conquest of Mino in 1567, in an effort to cement an alliance between Nobunaga and rival warlord Azai Nagamasa, Nobunaga arranged for Oichi, then twenty years old, to marry Nagamasa. Their marriage was through political means, ensuring an alliance between the Oda and the Azai clans. She bore Nagamasa one son (Manjumaru) and three daughters – Yodo-dono, Ohatsu and Oeyo. In the summer of 1570, Nagamasa betrayed his alliance with Nobunaga and went to war with him on behalf of the Asakura family. A story relates that Oichi sent her brother a sack of beans tied at both ends, ostensibly as a good-luck charm but in reality a warning that he was about to be attacked from both front and rear by the Asakura and Azai clans. According to the story, Nobunaga understood the message and retreated from his brother-in-law's assault in time. The fighting continued for three years until the Asakura and other anti-Oda forces were destroyed or weakened. Oichi remained with her husband at Odani Castle throughout the conflict, even after Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a trusted vassal of Nobunaga at the time, began laying siege to the castle. When Odani was surrounded, Nobunaga requested that his sister be returned to him before the final attack. Nagamasa agreed, sending out Oichi and her three daughters. Nagamasa had no hope of winning, and chose to commit seppuku. Oichi and her daughters remained in the Oda family's care for the next decade. After Nobunaga was assassinated in 1582, his sons and vassals broke into two major factions, led by two of Nobunaga's favored generals, Katsuie and Hideyoshi. Nobunaga's third son, Nobutaka, belonged to the former group, and arranged for his aunt Oichi to marry Katsuie in order to ensure his loyalty to the Oda clan. But in 1583, Katsuie was defeated by Hideyoshi in the Battle of Shizugatake, forcing him to retreat to his home at Kitanosho Castle. As Hideyoshi's army lay siege to the castle, Katsuie implored Oichi to flee with her daughters and seek Hideyoshi's protection. Oichi refused, insisting on dying with her husband after their daughters were sent away. The couple reportedly died in the castle's flames. Oichi's three daughters each went on to become important historical figures in their own right. The eldest and the most famous, Yodo-dono became a concubine to Hideyoshi, whose army had killed not only both her birth parents but also her stepfather. She became known as Yodo-dono or Yodogimi (from Yodo Castle, given to her by Hideyoshi), and she bore him his only two sons, including his heir Hideyori. Yodo-dono and Hideyori later died in the Siege of Ōsaka, the final battle of the Warring States era. The second, Ohatsu, married Kyogoku Takatsugu, a man from a noble family once served by the Azai clan. The Kyogoku clan sided with Ieyasu after Hideyoshi's death, giving her the means to serve as an intermediary between Ieyasu and Yodo-dono. She worked in vain to end their hostilities, and after Yodo-dono and Hideyori's death, managed to save Hideyori's daughter by putting her in a convent. The youngest, Oeyo (also called Ogō), married Tokugawa Hidetada, Ieyasu's heir and the second Tokugawa Shogun. They had many children, including the third Shogun Iemitsu, and Kazuko, consort to Emperor Go-Mizunoo. Kazuko's daughter Okiko became Empress Meishō, thus posthumously making Oichi both a grandmother to a Shogun and a great-grandmother to an Empress.

OJICHAN (おじちゃん, 伯父ちゃん, 叔父ちゃん, 小父ちゃん): middle-aged man, “uncle”. A word used to refer to middle-aged men you don't know.

OKŌ-SAN (おこうさん): Kennosuke's mother. She accepts his son request to give Azumi and Kiku hospitality.

OKUDANI (奥谷): “interior valley”, “depht valley” and so on, the place where the chosen children and Grampa live.

OKYŌ (お鏡): the female boss of the niwauchi. Chiyozō's older sister. It is still not clear if the daimyō of that land let her run the business in exchange for some of her profit or if there is someone powerful behind the scenes moving her. When Azumi asks about this, she makes her leave. The one pulling the strings behind her is Kanō. She is his lover, and for love she accepts to have Chiyozō kill the men who could hindrance him. Her brother is so clingy that she needs an expedient to separate him from her when she meets alone with her lover. She is the only one who can effectively comunicate with his brother with gestures and she takes care of him almost for everything. She accepts to help Kanō in his rescue plan concerning Bontenmaru, but Chiyozō misinterprets the signs and instead of taking the shōgun's son with him he makes Tachibana faints, and he takes with him even Kanō's shinobi. After returning to her mansion, the place is stormed by Azumi and Tachibana. She orders Chiyozō to kill Azumi, because it is all her fault that their house is become such a mess. She is left alone and while Chiyozō exchanges some blows with Azumi, some men menace her to have her saying where are the money boxes. Chiyozō stops fighting Azumi and rushes to her sister to saves her from danger. When Okyō notices that her supposed allies are stealing away the money boxes from her burning house she orders Chiyozō to stop them. After seeing Kanō slain by Azumi, Okyō tries to shoot and exploding arrows to her but Tachibana throws his katana in her side and she collapses. Still alive, she witnesses Chiyozō's fight with Azumi. When his brother is defeated she thinks that Azumi has killed him by chocking him and crawls to his side and dies after some time.

ŌGOSHO (大御所): a title indicating a leading, outstanding or influential figure. In our case, a Retired Shōgun.

ON (おん): a small orphan child with ID. He is Kanta's friend. He wants to become a useful man too and so he is tasked by whom seems a sweet manufacturer to deliver some botamochi to Gohei's house. During his trip some bullies take his package away, eat the sweets and hurt him with punches and kicks. He unexpectedly meets Chiyozō who got lost. His name comes from what he usually says, “on!”. He brings Chiyozō home. As soon as he arrives, like he predicted, the guy who gave him the botamochi accuses him to have eaten them and hits him in the head, but Chiyozō scares him away. On becomes emotionally attached to Chiyozō. We also come to know that he is almost always left alone when the other little guys work because he is not suited for quick jobs (or so Pekkuma says). This time though he can play with Chiyozō and not feel lonely, but happy! He goes out with him and Azumi and they play hide and seek. He doe not want at the beginning because he is always found out immediately and made into the “it”, but this time Chiyozō will be “it” first! This is just a simple plot by Azumi to have him and Chiyozō stay far away from the near battle where Azumi wants to go help, but On runs exactly where the men are fighting...Azumi grabs him and hides him in her cloack, carrying him around and leaving him here and there while she takes out four of the enemies. For On it is all a game. With his friends he starts living inside the castle, an easier place for being protected. Due to some samurais'son bullies they decide to hide in the space under the floors, not knowing that the enemies would have used that to approach their targets. They find themselves in danger but are saved by Bakin. They then decide to hide inside the castle tower but they are found again and in danger. Chiyozō saves them. On starts crying non-stop because Azumi and Chiyozō are leaving forever. Azumi manages to calm him down and give him a valuable lesson in life. On decides that he will cry no more and when he sees them for the last time he is the only one holding back his tears while his friends can not hold their emotions any more.

ONI (): a kind of yōkai from Japanese folklore, variously translated as demons, devils, ogres or trolls. They are popular characters in Japanese art, literature and theatre. Depictions of oni vary widely but usually portray them as hideous, gigantic ogre-like creatures with sharp claws, wild hair, and two long horns growing from their heads. They are humanoid or the most part, but occasionally, they are shown with unnatural features such as odd numbers of eyes or extra fingers and toes. Their skin may be any number of colors, but red and blue are particularly common. They are often depicted wearing tiger-skin loincloths and carrying iron clubs, called kanabō (金棒). This image leads to the expression "oni with an iron club" (鬼に金棒oni-ni-kanabō), that is, to be invincible or undefeatable. It can also be used in the sense of "strong beyond strong", or having one's natural quality enhanced or supplemented by the use of some tool. See wikipedia for more information.

ONIGIRI (お握り): or simply, nigiri. Also known as omusubi (お結び; おむすび), nigirimeshi (握り飯; にぎりめし) or rice ball, is a Japanese food made from white rice formed into triangular or oval shapes and often wrapped in nori (海苔 seaweed). Traditionally, an onigiri is filled with pickled ume (梅干し umeboshi), salted salmon, katsuobushi, kombu, tarako, or any other salty or sour ingredient as a natural preservative. Because of the popularity of onigiri in Japan, most convenience stores stock their onigiri with various fillings and flavors. There are even specialized shops which only sell onigiri to take out. See wikipedia for more information.

ONO TADAAKI (小野忠明): see Mikogami Tenzen and Onoha Ittōryū.

ONOHA ITTŌRYŪ (小野派一刀流): it is the oldest of the many Ittōryū styles which branched off from Ittosai Kagehisa's original art. It continues to be one of the most influential of the traditional kenjutsu styles today, exerting a major influence, along with Hokushin branch, upon modern kendō's kata, tactics, and aesthetic. Onoha was founded by Ittosai's immediate successor, Ono Jiroemon Tadaaki (1565–1628), from whence the name of the art is derived. Oral tradition indicates that Ittosai made Tadaaki fight a serious duel with another student, Zenki, in order to establish a successor to the style. Serving as an instructor to both the second and third shoguns, along with Yagyū Munenori of the rival school the Yagyū Shinkageryū, Tadaaki was able to continue to give his art wide exposure. It was said that Tadaaki was Munenori's superior in swordsmanship, but that his severe character led him to be the less favoured and respected of the two. Known as a dueling style which focused upon the sword rather than a more multifaceted, multi-weapon, battlefield style, Ono developed a mock sword (shinai) in order to reduce training injuries and allow more committed fighting practice. From a technical standpoint this style consists of more than 150 techniques for both long and short swords. Kiri-otoshi, which translates simply as "cutting down", is still the defining technique, like that of its parent style. Characteristically, practitioners often feel that they have the ability to strike freely due to their technique of cutting down the centre-line during an opponent's cut in order to displace their attacker's sword and gain victory. The style adheres to a philosophy articulated in the phrase "itto sunawachi banto" or "one sword gives rise to ten thousand swords," meaning that a thorough understanding of the fundamental technique of cutting will lead one to understand the myriad variations. Although formally established as a system for unarmoured fighting, the techniques maintained an awareness of the demands and tactics of armoured fighting, making the techniques adaptable to such circumstances. The transmission of the system passed out of the Ono family briefly and was maintained by the feudal lord Tsugaru Nobumasa. The second headmaster from this family taught Ono Tadakata, allowing the Ono family to continue preserving the line while the Tsugaru family continued their practice of the art, thereby having two families maintain the main line of the Onoha Ittōryū tradition thereafter. The Tsugaru family also taught the system to members of Yamaga family, and they worked together to preserve the line of their art. Sasamori Junzo, a well known and high ranking kendo practitioner, took over the preservation of the system in the Taishō period and his son, Sasamori Takemi, is presently the 16th headmaster of the system.

ŌNO HARUNAGA (大野治長, 1569 – June, 1615): was a Toyotomi retainer who served in the Sekigahara campaign on the Tokugawa side under Fukushima Masanori. He became one of the noted defenders of Ōsaka castle during the two campaigns there in 1614 and 1615. He was killed during the climactic Battle of Tennōji in June 1615. In “Azumi” he tries to kill Grampa and the other with Kanbee but he let them escape, making Yodo furious. In the Summer Siege, he devise a plan to let Senhime escape so she can go and plead her grandfather, Ieyasu, to spare Hideyori and Yodo's lives. Senhime escapes but the attack at the castle does not end. He then commits suicide after Hideyori and his mother.

ŌSAKA (大坂old, 大阪 modern): a city in the Kansai region of Honshū, the main island of Japan. Talking about Ōsaka back in the day meant almost immediately Ōsaka Castle, the magnificient and formidable castle built from 1583 to 1597 by Hideyoshi and then passed to his son Hideyori when he died.

ŌSAKA CASTLE (大坂城 old, 大阪城 modern): is a castle in Chūō-ku, Ōsaka. The castle is one of Japan's most famous, and played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period. In 1583 Toyotomi Hideyoshi commenced construction on the site of the Ikkō-ikki temple of Ishiyama Honganji. The basic plan was modeled after Azuchi Castle, the headquarters of Oda Nobunaga. Toyotomi wanted to build a castle that mirrored Oda's, but surpassed it in every way: the plan featured a five-story main tower, with three extra stories underground, and gold leaf on the sides of the tower to impress visitors. In 1585 the Inner donjon was completed. Toyotomi continued to extend and expand the castle, making it more and more formidable to attackers. In 1597 construction was completed and Hideyoshi died. Osaka Castle passed to his son,Toyotomi Hideyori. In 1600 Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated his opponents at the Battle of Sekigahara, and started his own bakufu in Edo. In 1614 Tokugawa attacked Hideyori in the winter, starting the Siege of Ōsaka. Although the Toyotomi forces were outnumbered approximately 2 to 1, they managed to fight off Tokugawa's 200,000-man army and protect the castle's outer walls. Tokugawa had the castle's outer moat filled, negating one of the castle's main outer defenses. During the summer of 1615, Hideyori began to dig the outer moat once more. Tokugawa, in outrage, sent his armies to Ōsaka Castle again, and routed the Toyotomi men inside the outer walls on June 4. Ōsaka Castle fell to Tokugawa, and the Toyotomi clan perished. In 1620, the new heir to the shogunate, Tokugawa Hidetada, began to reconstruct and re-arm Ōsaka Castle. He built a new elevated main tower, five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and assigned the task of constructing new walls to individual samurai clans. The walls built in the 1620s still stand today, and are made out of interlocked granite boulders without mortar. Many of the stones were brought from rock quarries near the Seto Inland Sea, and bear inscribed crests of the various families who contributed them. In 1660, lightning ignited the gunpowder warehouse and the resulting explosion set the castle on fire. In 1665, lightning struck and burnt down the main tower. In 1843, after decades of neglect, the castle got much-needed repairs when the bakufu collected money from the people of the region to rebuild several of the turrets. In 1868, Ōsaka Castle fell and was surrendered to anti-bakufu imperial loyalists. Much of the castle was burned in the civil conflicts surrounding the Meiji Restoration. Under the Meiji government, Ōsaka Castle became part of the Ōsaka Army Arsenal (Ōsaka Hohei Kosho) manufacturing guns, ammunition and explosives for Japan's rapidly-expanding Western-style military. In 1928, the main tower was restored after the mayor of Ōsaka concluded a highly successful fund-raising drive. During World War II, the arsenal became one of the largest military armories, employing 60,000 workers. Bombing raids targeting the arsenal damaged the reconstructed main castle tower and, on August 14, 1945, destroyed 90% of the arsenal and killed 382 people working there. In 1995, Ōsaka's government approved yet another restoration project, with the intent of restoring the main tower to its Edo-era splendor. In 1997, restoration was completed. The castle is a concrete reproduction (including elevators) of the original and the interior is intended as a modern, functioning museum. The Castle grounds, which cover approximately 60,000 square meters (15 acres).

OTAMA (おたま): Kohyōta asks her to make lunch boxes for four, so she should be one of the women tasked with coocking duties in the Ono mansion.

OTERU (お照 luster”, “shine”): one of the prostitutes working at the same inn of Akane. She lures in a client but as soon as he sees Akane, he chooses her.

ŌTSUKA HYŌE (大塚兵衛): a great tactician who gives strategy lectures to Hideyori. He is killed by Azumi after he tries to surprise her using a temari.

ORE (): a very male and rude way to speak about oneself. Azumi always speaks of herself using it.

OWARI (尾張): it was a province of Japan in the area that today forms the western half of Aichi Prefecture, including the modern city of Nagoya. The province was created in 646. Owari bordered on Mikawa, Mino, and Ise Provinces. Owari and Mino provinces were separated by the Sakai River, which means "border river." Its abbreviated form name was Bishū (尾州). Owari is classified as one of the provinces of the Tōkaidō. Under the Engishiki classification system, Owari was ranked as a “superior country” (上国) and a “near country” (近国). See wikipedia for its history.

OWARI YAGYŪ (尾張柳生): see Yagyū Shinkageryū.

OZEN (お膳): a four-legged tray for festive food.


PEKKUMA (ぺっ熊): Kanta and the other children's neighbor, the guy who makes them work hard. His nickname comes for sure from his face resembling that one of a bear (kuma ). As for the “pe” () it could be referring to the shape of his eyebrows...but even the part inside his mouth among his only three teeth looks like it...


RASETSUGARASU (羅刹鴉): a seven men squad of assassins that uses conventional and non conventional weapons to do what they have to do. They seem to be very well acquainted with Gensai. Rasetsu is the Japanese for the Sanskrit “Rakshasa”, a type of evil spirit, and “garasu” comes from “karasu”, meaning “crow” (infact, they're completely claded in black clothes). They come to the snow country to “hunt” as much as they want, as Gensai told them. They make a massacre at the country border, kill innocent people waiting for Shizune to cross from the other side of the valley, slaughter Matsuchiyo, his escorts and Gacchi's father. One of the seven dies by Azumi's hands while “testing” her at Gensai's house. Three of them face Tobizaru, gravely injuring him and making him fall into the valley. They all get killed by Azumi during a six vs one showdown at the Devil's Face Rock.

RED RICE: Sekihan (赤飯, rice boiled together with red beans) is a Japanese traditional dish. It is sticky rice steamed with azuki beans, which give a reddish color to the rice, hence its name. The rice of ancient times of Japan was red. Therefore, red rice was used in the ancient divine work. Red rice has a strong taste of tannin, and its cultivation has been almost completely abandoned. The present Sekihan is colored red using azuki. Sekihan is often served on special occasions throughout the year in Japan, for example, birthdays, weddings and some holidays, such as Shichi-Go-San. In some places it is customarily made when a young woman reaches menarche, although this is less common now than it was in the past. Sekihan is so strongly connected with celebration that the phrase "Let's have sekihan" has acquired the meaning "Let's celebrate." It is believed that sekihan is used for celebrations because of its red color, symbolic of happiness in Japan. It is usually eaten immediately after cooking but it may also be eaten at room temperature, as in a celebratory bento (boxed lunch). Sekihan is traditionally eaten with gomashio (a mixture of lightly toasted sesame and salt). There are also regional varieties of sekihan. Some versions call for sugar instead of salt to give a sweet flavor. Others use amanattō (sweetened bean confectionery) instead of azuki.

RENSHŌJI (蓮正寺): a temple in Sunpu.

RIKAI (梨恢): a monk Date uses as an envoy to give Azumi his message.

RŌNIN (浪人): a rōnin was a samurai with no lord or master during the feudal period (1185–1868) of Japan. A samurai became masterless from the death or fall of his master, or after the loss of his master's favor or privilege. In modern Japanese usage, the term also describes a salaryman who is "between employers" or a secondary school graduate who has not yet been admitted to university. See more information on wikipedia.

ROPPONMATSU (六本松): the place where Yae-chan lives in Tango.

RYŌ (): it was a gold piece in pre-Meiji Japan. It was eventually replaced with a system based on the yen. See wikipedia for more information.


SADO (佐渡): it was a province of Japan until 1871; since then, it has been a part of Niigata Prefecture. It was sometimes called Sashū (佐州) or Toshū (渡州). It lies on the eponymous Sado Island, off the coast of Niigata Prefecture (or in the past, Echigo Province). Sado was famous for the silver and gold mined on the island. In the Kamakura Period, the province was granted to the Honma clan from Honshū, and they continued to dominate Sado until 1589, when Uesugi Kagekatsu of Echigo Province took over the island. The Tokugawa shōguns later made Sado a personal fief after Sekigahara, and assumed direct control of its mines. Since 2004 Sado city has comprised the entire island.

SAGAWA SŌZABURŌ (佐川惣三郎): one of the bosses of the rōnin group in the snow country. He's killed by Azumi while he's trying to rape her with some of his comrades at the secret hot springs.

SAIGANJI (西願寺): a buddhist temple. Gacchi orders his siter to go there and wait for him.

SAIKA (斎嘉): one of the best monks at Seikain in the Hōzōin spear style, easily beaten by Kanei or Tachibana.

SAJI (佐治): one of the ten shinobi chiefs, and the first to be killed. His name is unknown. Disguised as a traveling priest, he sees Musashi fighting. After, he enters in the same place where Musashi stops to refresh. Azumi comes in and he thinks that she could not already know his face, so he plans to kill her with a surprise attack. The moment he tries, he is killed by her in the blink of an eye.

SAJIKAWA BUNDAI (佐治川文内): one of the ten shinobi chiefs who are going to work with Date. After Hatsune is interrogated he sneaks in her room in the dead of night trying to have her sexual favors, but he falls in her trap to have her ropes unfastened a bit. She escapes but he catches up to her and throws a shuriken in her naked back. After, he takes part in the assault to the knew lodging where Azumi group resides, taking Tobizaru as an opponent. The fight drags out and there is no victor. After he goes along with Kurando final plan he is challenged by Tobizaru to settle things once and for all. Tobizaru kills him.

SAJIKI BROTHERS (佐敷三兄弟): three brothers summoned by Kanbee to give chase and kill the children and Grampa. Sanzō (三蔵) is the youngest, Nisai (二斎) the second one and Isshin (一心) the eldest. Their names contain the numbers 1, 2 and 3 as the order in which they were born, plus they all have some meaning connected with Buddhism. “Isshin”, a whole, single mind, “sai”, worship, purification, Buddhist food, and “sanzō”, three branches of Buddhist sutras (whatever it means). The three mistake Yae-chan, Tasuke and their Master for Grampa and the children. The former is raped while the latter are killed. Realizing their mistake they keep searching for their targets. They find Grampa and Ukiha and fight them. Grampa is deeply wounded but he manages to escape, likewise Ukiha, who's almost unscathed. They go at the inn where they found Grampa and Ukiha to kill the remaining children and engage a fight with Azumi and Hyūga, who kills Nisai, while Azumi herself kills both Isshin and Sanzō.

SAKAI (): it is a city in Ōsaka Prefecture. It has been one of the largest and most important seaports of Japan since the Medieval era. See wikipedia for a lot more information.

SAKAKURA (坂倉): a very clever man who tried, on Munenori's orders, to use Bishamonten and his men for stealing some shogunate gold bars, giving then the blam to the local Lord in order for the shogunate to confiscate the fief, so that Hidetada can give it to Bontemaru, his illegitimate child, to govern and make practice. The plan is accidentally destroyed by Azumi. Sakakura manages to flee and he is now one plotting something else in another domain. Bontenmaru is there too. There is a reward for killing Azumi, but because Bontemaru is head over heels for her, the killing must be postponed. He has a hard time dealing with the Tsujidō family who comes to his place to have information on Azumi to kill her for the reward to buy medicines for themselves. He later assists with Kanō at Azumi's duel with Mineishi.

SAKE (): Sake or saké is an alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin that is made from fermented rice. Sake is sometimes called "rice wine" but the brewing process is more as rice beer, converting starch to sugar for the fermentation process. In the Japanese language, the word "sake" generally refers to any alcoholic drink, while the beverage called "sake" in English is usually termed nihonshu ("Japanese liquor"). Under Japanese liquor laws, sake is labelled with the word "seishu" ("clear liquor"), a synonym less commonly used colloquially.

SAKUZŌ (作造): one of the other boys Kiku's boss uses for missions.

-SAMA (): a polite suffix to indicate high respect towards a person, due to his title, position in life or personal importance to whom is speaking.

SAMURAI (): usually referred to in Japanese as bushi or buke, were the military nobility of medieval and early-modern Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany persons in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean "those who serve in close attendance to the nobility," the pronunciation in Japanese changing to saburai. According to Wilson, an early reference to the word "samurai" appears in the Kokin Wakashū (905–914), the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century. By the end of the 12th century, samurai became almost entirely synonymous with bushi, and the word was closely associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class. The samurai followed a set of rules that came to be known as bushidō. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of Japan's population,their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.

-SAN (さん): the most common suffix to show respect toward a person.

SANADA MASAYUKI (真田昌幸 1544 (1547?) – July 13, 1611): he was a Japanese Sengoku period daimyō. He was the third son of Sanada Yukitaka, a vassal daimyō to the Takeda family in Shinano province. He is known as a master strategist. Sanada Nobuyuki and Sanada Yukimura were his sons. See wikipedia for a lot more information. In “Azumi” he's killed by Azumi's comrades.

SANADA YUKIMURA (真田幸村1567 – June 3, 1615): also known as Sanada Nobushige (真田 信繁), was samurai warrior of the Sengoku period. He was especially known as the leading general on the losing side of the Siege of Ōsaka. Yukimura was called "A Hero who may appear once in a hundred years" and "Crimson Demon of War", and the famed veteran of the invasion of Korea, Shimazu Tadatsune, called him the "Number one warrior in Japan" (日本一の兵). See wikipedia for a lot more information. In “Azumi” he sends Bijomaru to kill Grampa and the children, failing, again, after trying to blow them up with some horses transporting explosives. We are told that he died in battle during the Summer Siege.

SANJŌ-ŌHASHI (三条大橋): a bridge in Kyōto. It spans the Kamo River as part of Sanjōdōri (三条大通りThird Avenue). It is well-known because it served as the ending location for both the Nakasendō and the Tōkaidō. It is unclear when this bridge was first built, but there are records of Toyotomi Hideyoshi orders for it to be repaired in 1590 as well as one of the original gibōshi (擬宝onion-shaped posts that are located on bridges, shrines and temples in Japan). The current concrete bridge, which includes two lanes for driving and a walking path on either side, was built in 1950.

SANNOMARU (の丸): the “third circle”, a region that serves as an outside layer for a castle. It may vary in size and shape. Expansive ones can also house large living spaces similar to the structures within the core part of the castle area itself.

SAN'YŌDŌ (山陽道 literally, "southern mountain circuit" or "southern mountain region") is a Japanese geographical term. It means both an ancient division of the country and the main road running through it. The San'yōdō corresponds for the most part with the modern conception of the San'yō region. This name derives from the idea that the southern side of the central mountain chain running through Honshū was the "sunny" side, while the northern side was the "shady" (山陰 San'in) side. The region was established as one of the Gokishichidō (Five provinces and seven roads) during the Asuka period (538-710), and consisted of the following eight ancient provinces: Harima, Mimasaka, Bizen, Bitchū, Bingo, Aki, Suō and Nagato. However, this system gradually disappeared by the Muromachi period (1333-1467). The San'yōdō, however, continued to be important, and highly trafficked through the Edo period (1603-1867). Running mostly east-west, its eastern terminus, along with those of most of the medieval highways (街道, kaidō), was at Kyōto. From there it ran west through Fushimi, Yodo, Yamazaki, and Hyōgo; from there it followed the coast of the Seto Inland Sea to Hagi, near Shimonoseki, the western terminus of both the San'yōdō and the San'indō, and very near the westernmost end of the island of Honshū. It ran a total of roughly 145 ri (approx. 350 miles). As might be expected, the road served an important strategic and logistical role in a number of military situations over the course of the years. Emperor Go-Daigo in the 14th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 16th century, and many others used it to flee from conflict, to return to the core of the country (kinai), or to move troops. Many daimyō also used this road as part of their mandatory journeys (sankin kōtai) to Edo under the Tokugawa shogunate. Of course, the road also served the more everyday purpose of providing transport for merchants, traveling entertainers, pilgrims and other commoners. The modern national highway, Route 2, the San'yō Expressway, and the San'yō Main Line of the West Japan Railway Company, follow the approximate route of the San'yōdō.

SARUTOBI (猿飛): Bijomaru always call Tobizaru like this. Incidentally, Sarutobi Sasuke (猿飛佐助) is a fictional ninja who appears in kōdan narrative art and fictional writings. The nickname is generally believed to have been concocted from Meiji to the Taisho period. Some argue he is based on real live personages, such as Kōzuki Sasuke (上月佐助). See wikipedia for more information.

SASAKI KOJIRŌ (佐々木 小次郎also known as Ganryū Kojirō, 1585? – April 13, 1612): was a prominent Japanese swordsman widely considered a master of his craft, born in Fukui Prefecture. He lived during the Sengoku and early Edo periods and is most remembered for his death while battling Miyamoto Musashi in 1612. See wikipedia for much more information.

SATONOURA (佐多乃浦): a small inlet in the West province that waged war against Tokugawa by abducting Kunichiyo. It is the place of Natori's torture and his death.

SAYO (小夜): Yae's prostitute name in Kyō.

SAYO (小夜): a kunoichi under Jinza's orders. She easily kills Warita, one of Hanzō's men and she evesdrops from below the floor on Kunichiyo and Azumi conversation in Takenobu's mansion. After, she disguises as a street performer and tries to approach Azumi with Koroku and Heiza, but they fail. Her comrades get brutally killed in broad daylight, but she is spared. He is Jinza's woman, or, at least, his comfort woman. She is also sent as comfort to Kunichiyo. Then, by Takenobu's orders, she is sent to Bakin's house. She has to stay there from now on, because a woman can probe and see things about another woman that a man can not. When Azumi is called by Kunichiyo at the castle, we find her under the floor of his room, evesdropping again. And not only that. She then takes part as a simple onlooker to Bakin's training regime. When Chiyozō and Azumi are summoned by Takenobu, she is tasked with the duty of making him sleep drugging the fruits. When Kunichiyo asks to meet Samadamaro's guards, she is again under the floor, eavesdropping. She is almost skewered by Gōra's blade, but Kunichiyo stops him before he does anything. Understanding what was happening, she leaves. She will fight to protect the castle with Jinza and the other few remaining ninjas. While she is off duty she happily passes the time in bed with Kunichiyo...When things get worse, she is ordered by Jinza to find in which temple Kyōgoku is hiding. Her comrades finds him and, while fleeing, manage to tell her. After being killed, their pursuers turns to her, disguised as a poor and dirty young girl asking for food along the road. She manages to fool them but she gets gangraped in return. Her life is safe but she is burning with desires of revenge. She quickly comes back with Azumi and Chiyozō. She does not want to follow Azumi's plan and she charges in the temple from one of the sides and she meets two of the men who had their way with her. She wants to make them pay but she almost get killed. Azumi saves her. After Azumi leaves the fief, Sayo is still a kunoichi thereand recognizes how much of an amazing woman Azumi is.

SEIGAIN (青華院): a buddhist temple where monks train not only in the hōzōin spear style but also in other bujustsu. Azumi resides there for some motive, probably on Tenkai's orders.

SEIRYŪ (青龍, “azure dragon”): one of the main men of Bishamonten gang of rōnin. He too has a bold name. The azure Dragon is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. It represents the east and the spring season. It should not be confused with the mythological yellow dragon that is associated with the Emperor of China. It is also referred to in media, feng shui, other cultures, and in various venues as the Green Dragon and the Avalon Dragon. It is known as Qinglong in Chinese, Seiryū in Japanese, Cheongnyong in Korean, and Thanh Long in Vietnamese. It is sometimes called the Azure Dragon of the East. See wikipedia for more information.

SEKIGAHARA (関ヶ原): it's in present-day Gifu Prefecture. Sekigahara was the site where the decisive battle between the western army, lead by Ishida Mitsunari of the Toyotomi faction, and the eastern army, lead by Tokugawa Ieyasu, took place on October 21, 1600 which cleared the path to the Shogunate for Ieyasu himself. Though it would take three more years for Ieyasu to consolidate his position of power over the Toyotomi clan and the daimyō, Sekigahara is widely considered to be the unofficial beginning of the Tokugawa bakufu (military government), the last shogunate to control Japan. Japan had a long period of peace after the battle. Sekigahara was chosen because it was the largest place were tens of thousands of troops could maneuver.

SENDAI (仙台): it is the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, and the largest city in the Tōhoku region. In 2005, the city had a population of one million, and was one of Japan's 20 designated cities. The city was founded in 1600 by the daimyō Date Masamune, and is well known by its nickname, the City of Trees (杜の都 Mori no miyako); there are about 60 zelkova trees on Jōzenji Street (定禅寺通Jōzenji dōri) and Aoba Street (青葉通Aoba dōri). In the summer, the Sendai Tanabata Festival, the largest Tanabata festival in Japan, is held. In winter, the trees are decorated with thousands of lights for the Pageant of Starlight (光のページェント), lasting through most of December. Although the Sendai area was inhabited as early as 20,000 years ago, the history of Sendai as a city begins from 1600, when the daimyō Date Masamune relocated to Sendai. Masamune was not happy with his previous stronghold, Iwadeyama. Iwadeyama was located to the north of his territories and was also difficult to access from Edo (modern-day Tōkyō). Sendai was an ideal location, being in the centre of Masamune's newly defined territories, upon a major road from Edo, and near the sea. Tokugawa Ieyasu gave Masamune permission to build a new castle in Aobayama (Mount Aoba), Sendai after the Battle of Sekigahara. Aobayama was the location of a castle used by the previous ruler of the Sendai area. At this time Sendai was written as 千代 (which literally means "a thousand generations"), because a temple with a thousand Buddha statues (千体sentai) used to be located in Aobayama. Masamune changed the kanji to 仙臺, which later became 仙台 (which is literally "hermit/wizard", "platform/plateau" or more figuratively, "hermit on a platform/high ground"). The kanji was taken from a Chinese poem that praised a palace created by the Emperor Wen of Han China, comparing it to a mythical palace in the Kunlun Mountains. It is said that Masamune chose this kanji so that the castle would prosper as long as a mountain inhabited by an immortal hermit. Masamune ordered the construction of Sendai Castle in December 1600 and the construction of the town of Sendai in 1601. The grid plan roads in present day central Sendai are based upon his plans. More information on wikipedia.

SENDŌ (千堂): a hatamoto embarked on a ship with other men with the mission to kill Azumi.

SENGOKU PERIOD (戦国時代): or the Warring States Period in Japanese history was a time of social upheaval, political intrigue, and nearly constant military conflict that lasted roughly from the middle of the 15th century to the beginning of the 17th century. Its name is a reference to the Warring States period in ancient China, and it is sometimes called by that name in English. The Sengoku period in Japan would eventually lead to the unification of political power under the Tokugawa shogunate. See wikipedia for more in-depht information.

SENHIME (千姫, Princess Sen or Lady Sen, April 11, 1597 – February 6, 1666): she was the eldest daughter of the shogun Tokugawa Hidetada and his wife Oeyo. She was born during the warring-states period. Her paternal grandfather was the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu; her maternal grandfather was Azai Nagamasa; her grandmother was Oichi, whose brother was Oda Nobunaga. In 1603, when Senhime was seven years old, she married the successor to the Toyotomi clan, Toyotomi Hideyori and lived with him in Osaka Castle along with his mother, Lady Yodo, who was a sister of Oeyo. Little is known about their life together, but it didn't last long as her grandfather, Ieyasu, besieged the castle in 1615, when she was just nineteen. When Osaka castle fell, Hideyori was forced to commit suicide along with his mother and his child by Senhime. Senhime was luckier and had been rescued from the castle before it fell. In 1616, Ieyasu remarried Senhime to Honda Tadatoki, a grandson of Honda Tadakatsu, and in few years she moved to Himeji. A famous legend tells that a certain Sakazaki Naomori planned to capture Senhime just before her remarriage, wishing to marry her himself. However his plan was revealed and Naomori was either killed or forced to commit suicide. It was long believed that Naomori was the one who saved Senhime out from the Osaka Castle, believing the words of Tokugawa Ieyasu that he would give Senhime to whoever rescued her, though recently this has been doubted. Stories tell that Senhime refused to marry Naomori, whose face was ill-favored because of the burn he got when he saved her, and rather preferred handsome Tadatoki. Senhime and Tadatoki had an amicable marriage and had two children together, a daughter, Katsuhime and a son, Kōchiyo. However tragedy struck when Kōchiyo died at the age of three, and five years later in 1626, Tadatoki died of tuberculosis. His mother and Oeyo (then known as Sūgen'in) died in the same year. As was the tradition for a widow at that time, Senhime cut her hair short and became a Buddhist nun, taking the name Tenjuin(天樹院), moved back to Edo and spent the long years of the rest of her life there.The dramatic life of Senhime produced many legends. Some legends talk about her tenderness, such as how she saved a daughter between her husband Hideyori and another wife of him at the Siege of Ōsaka. Some other tell her lecherousness during her later days at Edo. Today, Senhime figures prominently in jidaigeki ("period dramas", a genre of film, television, and theatre most often set during the Edo period of Japanese history, from 1603 to 1868) and taiga dorama ("Big River Drama", the name NHK gives to the annual, year-long historical fiction television series it broadcasts). Senhime is also a beloved figure in Himeji. Little after her marriage to Honda Tadatoki, they moved to Himeji Castle, a present-day world heritage, and its west wing was mostly constructed at this time. Most of the west wing is lost now, but a tower called keshō yagura (Dressing Tower) remains, where it is believed that she actually dressed herself. In “Azumi” we see her being completely against his husband hobbies. She dislikes bugs and so on. She flees on the night before the castle falls thanks to a plan by Ōno to have her plead her grandfather, Ieyasu, to spare the lives of Hideyori and Yodo. She knows that he will never grant her request. That night she meets Azumi. She tells her everything she has in her heart, she even slaps her many times, she is frustraded that in ten years of marriage Hideyori never gave her his heart or looked at her like he did with Azumi and wishes for him to die in the castle aflame as retribution. Only for, moments later, asl Azumi to save him, taking him away in a far place so he can live in pieace with his bugs and butterflies.

SENSEI (先生 lit. "person born before another"): in general usage, it is used, with proper form, after a person's name, and means "teacher", and the word is used as a title to refer to or address teachers, professors, professionals such as lawyers, CPA and doctors, politicians, clergymen, and other figures of authority. The word is also used to show respect to someone who has achieved a certain level of mastery in an art form or some other skill: accomplished puppeteers, novelists, musicians, and artists for example are addressed in this way.

SEPPUKU (切腹): "stomach-cutting" is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku was originally reserved only for samurai. Part of the samurai bushido honor code, seppuku was either used voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies (and likely suffer torture), or as a form of capital punishment for samurai who had committed serious offenses, or performed for other reasons that had brought shame to them. The ceremonial disembowelment, which is usually part of a more elaborate ritual and performed in front of spectators, consists of plunging a short blade, traditionally a Tantō, into the abdomen and moving the blade from left to right in a slicing motion. See wikipedia for more information.

SETO SEA (瀬戸の海): today, Seto Inland Sea, often shortened to Inland Sea, is the body of water separating Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū, three of the four main islands of Japan. It serves as a waterway, connecting the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Japan. It connects to Ōsaka Bay and provides a sea transport link to industrial centers in the Kansai region, including Ōsaka and Kōbe. Before the construction of the San'yō Main Line, it was the main transportation link between Kansai and Kyūshū. Yamaguchi, Hiroshima, Okayama, Hyōgo, Ōsaka, Kagawa, Ehime, Fukuoka, and Ōita prefectures all have coastlines on the Inland Sea; the cities of Hiroshima, Iwakuni, Takamatsu, and Matsuyama are also located on it. The Inland Sea region is known for its moderate climate, with a stable year-round temperature and relatively low rainfall levels: the area is often called "the land of fair weather" (晴れの国 hare no kuni). The sea is also famous for its periodic red tides (赤潮akashio) caused by dense groupings of certain phytoplankton that result in the death of large numbers of fish.

SHIBATA KATSUIE (柴田 勝家, 1522 – June 14, 1583, or Gonroku (権六): he was a Japanese military commander during the Sengoku Period who served Oda Nobunaga. Katsuie was born in the village of Kamiyashiro (present-dayMeitō-ku, Nagoya), a branch of the Shiba clan (who descended from the Ashikaga clan, and were the former suzerains of the Oda clan). Note the differences between Shibata (柴田), Shiba (斯波), and the Shibata clan of Echigo (新発田). Katsuie was the retainer of Oda Nobukatsu (Oda Nobuyuki). When control of the Oda clan was contested, Katsuie initially supported his lord, Nobukatsu, against his elder brother Oda Nobunaga. In 1556, Katsuie launched a coup d'etat against Nobunaga. He was defeated at the Battle of Inō, and in the aftermath Nobunaga had his brother executed, but impressed with the retainer's loyalty and bravery, decided to spare the life of Katsuie. Katsuie pledged his services to Nobunaga, earning his praises. In 1570, while a joint Oda-Tokugawa coalition fought the battle of Anegawa, Katsuie was under siege at Chokoji Castle by 4000 soldiers of the Rokkaku clan. Katsuie eventually won via an all-out attack, forcing the Rokkaku to retreat. This action, along with a series of brilliant victories, gained him renown as "Oni Shibata". In 1575, after gaining control of Echizen, he took command of Kitanosho Castle (Hokujō) and was ordered to conquer the Hokuriku region. After controlling Kaga and Noto, he began a campaign against Etchu Province in 1581. In 1582, Nobunaga was betrayed at Honnō-ji by Akechi Mitsuhide and although Katsuie wanted to join the hunt for Akechi, he was unable to return south as he was heavily invested with the Siege of Matsukura and the army of Uesugi Kenshin. In a meeting in Kiyosu to determine the successor to Nobunaga, he supported Oda Nobutaka, the third son, for whom Katsuie had performed the genpuku ritual (an historical coming-of-age ceremony). He allied with Oda Nobutaka and Takigawa Kazumasu to battle Hideyoshi. However, his domain was sealed off in the winter by snowfalls and this limited his ability. Both of his allies were defeated while Katsuie battled snowfalls and Uesugi. His forces, under the leadership of Sakuma Morimasa, besieged Nakagawa Kiyohide at Shizugatake in a move to turn the tide launching the battle of Shizugatake. Sakuma ignored Shibata's orders to merely test the enemy's defence and was destroyed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi's returning forces. He retreated to Kitanoshō castle but with the army destroyed, Katsuie had no option but to surrender. Katsuie committed seppuku and set the fire to the castle. He implored Oichi to take their daughters and leave, but she decided to follow his death, while letting her daughters escape. Ironically, Katsuie had not so much as lifted a spear personally during the battle.

SHIBATAYAMA TATSUNOJŌ (柴田山辰之丞): one of the two men accompaning Man in her travel to search for Gōzan. He is the shortest of the two. He wants to make a living with his studies. He reads difficult books. He is charmed by Azumi's beauty and is completely embarassed while Man tells everyone her experience with Gōzan in bed. Shibatayama has an incredibly good memory and sense of direction, while Man has almost any. That is why when Man goes out she always brings him with her to show her the way around, being on the road or even to take her to the privy in places she is not familiar with (and could easily get lost in). He also helps Kawata with Man's laundry. The next day, she is asked by Man to take her to Gōzan's room, but on the way there he overhears just a bit of conversation between and Azumi and she misunderstands. Shibatayama managae to make her reason, though. When they are traveling, Man flees on her horse and Shibatayama is tasked to bring her back but after a short run he decrease his speed.

SHIDZUKIGAHARA (指月ヶ原): a place Musashi choses for his match with Azumi.

SHIJIMI (): shijimi clam (corbicula japonica).

SHIMAZU YOSHIHISA (島津 義久, February 9, 1533 – March 5, 1611): he was the eldest son of Shimazu Takahisa (1514-1571) and a lady of the Iriki-in family. As talented as his father, whom he succeded in 1566, Yoshihisa continued the long struggle to unify the fragmented Shimazu domain. To this end he was compelled to subdue both the Tomotsuki and Hisikari within the borders of Satsuma and Ôsumi while fighting hard to fend off advances from the outside lords Sagara and Ito. In these difficult endeavors Yoshihisa was well-served by his brothers (Yoshihiro, Iehisa, and Toshihisa) and his steadily growing retainer band, which included the noted generals Ijuin Tadamune, Niiro Tadamoto, and Uwai Akitane. See wikipedia for more informations.

SHIMAZU TADATSUNE (島津忠恒, November 27, 1576 – April 7, 1638): he was a tozama daimyō (“outside daimyō”, a daimyō who was considered an outsider by the rulers of Japan) of Satsuma, the first to hold it as a formal fief (han) under the Tokugawa shogunate, and the first Japanese to rule over the Ryūkyū Kingdom. As lord of Satsuma, he was among the most powerful lords in Japan at the time, and formally submitted to Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1602, to prove his loyalty, being rewarded as a result with the name Matsudaira Iehisa; Matsudaira being a branch family of the Tokugawa, and "Ie" of "Iehisa" being taken from "Ieyasu", this was a great honor. As of 1603, his holdings amounted to 605,000 koku. Tadatsune was the third son of Shimazu Yoshihiro. Since Yoshihiro's elder brother Shimazu Yoshihisa did not have a son and his other elder brother Shimazu Hisakazu died of illness in Korea, he was deemed successor to their uncle and he later took the name of Iehisa (家久). Like his father and uncle, he was known for bravery on the battlefield, and during the latter half of Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea, fighting beside his father, he helped drive off the Ming army of over 100,000 men with only 8000 men. As head of the Shimazu clan, he sought to remove corrupt or disloyal counselors, and to reform the clan leadership. To this end, in 1599, he killed a long-time retainer and karō (家老house elder", top-ranking samurai officials and advisors in service to the daimyō), Ijuin Tadamune as well as his son Ijuin Tadazane when they tried to part with the Shimazu clan. In 1602, he became the head of his clan but his father held real power until 1619. In 1609, Tadatsune led an expeditionary force to the Ryūkyū Kingdom, subjugating it and using it to effect trade with China. The Ryūkyūs were allowed to remain semi-independent, and would not be formally annexed by Japan until after the Meiji Restoration (1868); if China knew that the Ryūkyūs were controlled by the Japanese, trade would have come to an end. Thus, Tadatsune forced this unusual status upon the Kingdom.

SHIMOTANI (下谷): the place were Yazaemon-sama lives. The name can mean “low valley” or “inferior valley” and it's probably derived by the placement of the vally itself on the land. A ninja village.

SHINANO PROVINCE (信濃国): also called Shinshū (信州), it is an old province of Japan that is now present day Nagano Prefecture. Shinano bordered on Echigo, Etchū, Hida, Kai, Kōzuke, Mikawa, Mino, Musashi, Suruga, and Tōtōmi Provinces. The ancient capital was located near modern-day Matsumoto, which became an important city of the province. The World War II–era Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano was named after this old province. In 713, the road which traverses Mino Province and Shinano Province was widened to accommodate increasing numbers of travelers through the Kiso District of modern Nagano Prefecture. In the Sengoku Period, Shinano Province was often split among several fiefs and several other castle towns developed, including Komoro, Ina, and Ueda. Shinano was one of the major centers of Takeda Shingen's power during his wars with Uesugi Kenshin and others. Suwa taisha was designated as the chief Shintō shrine (ichinomiya) for the province. In 1871, during the Meiji period, with the abolition of the han system and the establishment of prefectures (Haihan Chiken) after the Meiji Restoration, Shinano Province was administratively separated in 1871 into Nagano and Chikuma prefectures. These two tentative governmental and territorial units were then reconfigured together again in 1876. This became the modern prefecture of Nagano, which remains substantially unchanged since that time. Shinano Province contained the following districts: Azumi District (安曇郡) became Kitaazumi and (the now dissolved) Minamiazumi districts; Chiisagata District (小県郡); Chikuma District (筑摩郡) became Higashichikuma and Nishichikuma (now Kiso) districts; Hanishina District (埴科郡); Ina District (伊那郡): became Kamiina and Shimoina districts; Minochi District (水内郡): became Kamiminochi and Shimominochi districts; Saku District (佐久郡): became Kitasaku and Minamisaku districts; Sarashina District (更級郡); Suwa District (諏訪郡); Takai District (高井郡) became Kamitakai and Shimotakai districts.

SHIN'ICHIRŌ (辰一郎 can be read “Tatsuichirō” too): one of three young samurai attendants belonging to the Genbu group. They were all trained by Gōra and achieved remarkable skills. Or so they think. Wanting to accomplish a meritous deed to climb the ranks quickly and have Sadamaro notice them, they go to slay Azumi, but they are vanquished in the blink of an eye.

SHINKAI (真快): one of the teachers of the Hōzōinryū at the temple where Nishida Benzō is in charge and where Azumi is being sheltered.

SHINKEN SHIRAHADORI (真剣白刃取り): “live blade catching”, an extremely dangerous technique used to catch blades using only the bare hands when the swings come from above the head.

SHINOBI (忍び): see ninja.

SHINSUKE (晋介): one of Munenori's men who are pursuing Grampa and Azumi. He does not hesitate and finds some pleasure in training Kazuma from scratch again, with the help of Jōjirō.

SHINZABURŌ (新三郎): Lady Yodo's lover, one of Hideyori's guards. Checking if Ukiha died in the pitfall trap he activated, he gets pulled down with him and dies while Ukiha uses his body to survive the fall impact.

SHIOJI (汐路 sea route”): the current Fūma clan head, daughter of the famous Fūma Kotarō. A kunoichi. She has a sexual relationship with Konchiin and does what he wants. She is tasked to find Azumi and kill her, helping Kyōgoku. She spreads the orders to all the many Fūma families in the Kōshū area. She wants to be informed when they find her and orders to not attack her. They need a very precise and clever plan. Some of her men does not obey and end up dead by Azumi hands. When she finds her, she employs a starvation tactics but Azumi escapes. She has subordinates spread everywhere on the Kōshū highway. She is ahead of Azumi's position and Kyōgoku is behind her. She is informed of Azumi new companions and when the opportunity to capture Man arises, she have her taken alive.

SHION (紫苑): one of three skilled men summoned by Sadamaro in the western fief. During an audience with Takenobu, when Kunichiyo appears, he suddenly leaves, says that he missed him very much, takes out all the guards, embrace him and slips a secret message in his kimono. Surprise! She is a woman! She participates in Takenobu's castle attack showing no mercy. She detests ugly men, so when she finds one, like Jinza, she can not help but bully him. She takes her time and has a lot of fun torturing him before Kagei decides to stop her game and go on the floor above where Kunichiyo awaits. Face to face with Takenobu she is killed by Azumi who suddenly arrives behind her.

SHIRAISHI KINSUKE (白石金助): one of the ten shinobi chiefs who are going to work with Date. He is impressed to meet Abe Kurando. He tails Hatsune with Yamanaka and when she faints he transport her in the temple. He is one of the men for the inn attack group, with ten of his followers he secretly brought with him. He is killed by Azumi during the attack at the inn.

SHŌGI (将棋generals' chess): also known as Japanese chess, is a two-player strategy board game in the same family as Western chess, chaturanga, makruk, shatranj and xiangqi, and is the most popular of a family of chess variants native to Japan. Shōgi means general's (shō) board game (gi). The earliest predecessor of the game, chaturanga, originated in India in the 6th century, and sometime in the 10th to 12th centuries Chinese chess, xiangqi, was brought to Japan where it spawned a number of variants. Shōgi in its present form was played as early as the 16th century, while a direct ancestor without the "drop rule" was recorded from 1210 in a historical document Nichūreki, which is an edited copy of Shōchūreki and Kaichūreki from the late Heian period (c. 1120). See wikipedia for more information.

SHŌGUN (将軍): a shōgun (literally, "military commander") was one of the (usually) hereditary military dictators of Japan from 1192 to 1867. In this period, the shōguns, or their shikken regents (1203–1333), were the de facto rulers of Japan though they were nominally appointed by the emperor. When Portuguese explorers first came into contact with the Japanese (Nanban period), they described Japanese conditions in analogy, likening the emperor, with great symbolic authority but little political power, to the Pope, and the shōgun to secular European rulers, e.g. The King of Spain. In keeping with the analogy, they even used the term "emperor" in reference to the shōgun/regent, e.g. in the case of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, whom missionaries called "Emperor Taicosama" (from Taikō and the honorific sama). The modern rank of shōgun is equivalent to a generalissimo. Although the original meaning of "shogun" is simply "a general", as a title, it is used as the short form of seii taishōgun (征夷大将軍), the governing individual at various times in the history of Japan, ending when Tokugawa Yoshinobu relinquished the office to the Meiji Emperor in 1867. A shogun's office or administration is known in English as the "office". In Japanese it was known as bakufu (幕府) which literally means "tent office", and originally meant "house of the general", and later also suggested a private government. Bakufu could also mean "tent government" and was the way the government was run under a shogun. The tent symbolized the field commander but also denoted that such an office was meant to be temporary. The shogun's officials were as a collective the bakufu, and were those who carried out the actual duties of administration while the Imperial court retained only nominal authority. See other information on wikipedia.

SHŌJIRŌ (正二郎): could even be read Seijirō, Tadajirō or Masajirō. He's the second son of a samurai and a friend of Shunjirō. They have the same age. He trains with zeal at the dōjō.

SHŌREN (庄蓮): one of the best monks at Seikain in the Hōzōin spear style, easily beaten by Kanei or Tachibana.

SHŌSUKE-SAN (庄助さん): this is a part of a very nonsensical popular song in the 1600 period, sang by itinerant entertainers (Echigojishi or Kakubeejishi) wearing a lion mask and doing tumbling acts. Usually the Master (Oyakata), hitting a drum or little drum with a stick in his right hand, sings the song, while little boys and girls do acrobatics. Here, the Master was somewhere else, as you saw. The song does something like “Bring a bucket and hit it with a stick in your hand, boom boom boom. Shōsuke-san, no matter how many bowls of rice you eat, it's not difficult for you”. Nonsense. In other versions of this song there's a lion that eats southern barbarians (the early Europeans who came to Japan back in the day).

SHOSHŪ HONZAN HONJI SHOHATTO (諸宗本山本寺諸法度 lit. Acts Relating to the Head Temple and Temples of Each Sect): it was a code of laws established in 1615 that regulated the conduct of temples and head temples of each sect.

SHURIKEN (手裏剣): a metal throwing star shaped weapon.

SŌAN (宗庵): a priest Date leaves outside the hotspring where he is waiting for Azumi. He will take care of things after they have finished.

SŌJŌ (僧正): a High Buddhist Priest, like Tenkai.

SUE (すえ): Kiku's little sister. She becomes Azumi's friend. Her father and elder sister die to protect her.

SUE (): Iku's younger sister. She sews and stiches a little “doll” for her, so her older sister will never forget her.

SUGI (すぎ): Kogenta/Kanbee's little sister.

SUMMER SIEGE OF ŌSAKA (大坂夏の陣): in April 1615, Ieyasu received word that Toyotomi Hideyori was gathering even more troops than in the previous November, and that he was trying to stop the filling of the moat. Toyotomi forces (often called the Western Army) began to attack contingents of the Shogun's forces (the Eastern Army) near Ōsaka. Commanded by Ban Danemon, they raided Wakayama Castle, a coastal fortress belonging to Asano Nagaakira, an ally of the Shogun, on April 29. Asano's men sallied forth from the castle, attacking the invaders, and driving them off. By early June, the Eastern army had arrived, before Hideyori managed to secure any land to use against them. At the battle of Dōmyōji, on June 2, 2,600 of his men encountered 23,000 of the Eastern Army. Hideyori's commander at the battle, Gotō Matabei, attempted to retreat into the fog, but the battle was lost and he was killed. After this, Tokugawa forces intercepted those of Toyotomi general Sanada Yukimura at Honta-Ryo. Sanada tried to force a battle with Date Masamune, but Date retainer Katakura Shigenaga retreated since his troops were exhausted; Sanada's forces followed suit. The same night, Chōsokabe Morichika and Tōdō Takatora battled at Yao. Another battle took place at Wakae around the same time, between Kimura Shigenari and Ii Naotaka. Chōsokabe's forces achieved victory, but Kimura Shigenari was deflected by the left wing of Ii Naotaka's army. The main Tokugawa forces moved to assist Tōdō Takatora after Shigenari's death, and Chōsokabe withdrew for the time being. After another series of shogunate victories on the outskirts of Ōsaka, the Summer Campaign came to a head at the battle of Tennōji. Hideyori planned a hammer-and-anvil operation, in which 55,000 men would attack the center of the Eastern Army, while a second force, of 16,500 men, would flank them from the rear. Another contingent waited in reserve. Ieyasu's army was led by his son, the Shogun Tokugawa Hidetada, and numbered around 155,000. They moved in four parallel lines, prepared to make flanking maneuvers of their own. Mistakes on both sides nearly ruined the battle, as Hideyori's rōnin split off from the main group, and Hidetada's reserve force moved up without orders from the main force. In the end, however, Hideyori's commander Sanada Yukimura was killed, destroying the morale of the Western Army. The smaller force led directly by Hideyori sallied forth from Ōsaka Castle too late, and was chased right back into the castle by the advancing enemies; there was no time to set up a proper defense of the castle, and it was soon ablaze and pummeled by artillery fire. Hideyori committed seppuku, and the final major uprising against Tokugawa rule was put to an end, leaving the shogunate unchallenged for approximately 250 years. History indicates that the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi participated in the battle on the Tokugawa Shogunate side, though he has no recorded accomplishments in this battle

SUNPU (駿府): today's Shizuoka.

SURUGA (駿河): it was an old province in the area that is today the central part of Shizuoka prefecture. It was sometimes called Sunshū (駿州). Suruga bordered on Izu, Kai, Sagami, Shinano, and Tōtōmi provinces and had access to the Pacific Ocean through Suruga Bay. See wikipedia for more information.

SŪGEN (崇厳): one of the monk attendants working with Azumi and her group. He is one of the only two monks there who knows what face Date has.

SUZUHIME (鈴姫, Princess Suzu or Lady Suzu): Takenobu's younger sister. She often plays with Kunichiyo and she is almost tricked by him in having sex, but she refuses. She loves his brother Takenobu a lot and her only worry is about the woman his brother will fall in love with. She asks Azumi what she thinks of him and she replies with some level headed things, disappointing her. At the time to say goodbye she tries to have her stay there becoming her sister in law by marrying her brother, but Azumi refuses the kimono she was offered, the haipin, everything. Suzu can only accept her decision.


TACHIBANA HIKOSHIRŌ (立花彦四郎): he leaves his home village with Toranosuke to be trained by Azumi. He is instead used as a shōgi opponent by Tobizaru. He accompanies her to the niwauchi. After, he trains at the temple, giving proof of his skills. He does not want to kill people unless a direct order from Tenkai comes, so the next time he goes to the niwauchi he brings a wooden sword with him. When the Tsujidōs attacks Azumi, he and Kanei defend her, but using wooden swords they are not in a good situation. When Kanei is almost getting killed by the older Tsujidō brother, Azumi intervenes and cuts him down, saving his life. After Azumi visits Kanō's mansion he decides with Toranosuke to follow her in her battle against Kanō's men. They manage to survive their first battle, but they are shocked for their pathetic performance, even though Azumi tries to comfort them. Because they could be dead tomorrow, they confess their feelings for Azumi, but she does not know how to answer them. After some events he takes a very active part in Azumi's plan to escape safely from Seigain, survives, and helps her taking Bontenmaru as prisoner. When he is escorting him to the privy at the Myōōji he almost gets killed by Kanō's shinobi but he manages to make him lose consciousness, and at the same time, Chiyozō does the same with him, taking him away instead of Bontenmaru. He is almost killed during the hostages exchange but he manages to get away. Azumi frees him and he starts fighting with her in the Niwauchi. They manage to get to a house where they are temporarily safe and he suggests that the best course of action would be to kill Kanō and instigate the other men to take the money from Okyō's mansion instead of trying to having them killed. Azumi accepts and the two cut through the enemies reaching the mansion and entering inside. Tachibana is tasked to find Kanō and not fight him, but he must call Azumi immediately. While he searches he fights many opponents and even kills one of Okyō's most faithful servants. He is also cought up in the mess that the ground floor becomes due to all the exploding arrows firing that Mōzō's men do, but he is unhurt. He finally founds Kanō and informs Azumi who says to run away to the front of the mansion without fighting him, but when he exits Kanō manages to stand in his path. He has no choice but to fight and he gets heavily wounded by him while Azumi is dealing with the other Yagyū veterans. He manages to save Azumi from Okyō who was trying to shoot an exploding arrow to her by throwing his katana in her right side. After seeing Azumi dealing with the eldest of the Tsujidos, he dies after confessing his feelings to her.

TACHINO YŌSUKE (立野要助, could even be read Tatsuno or Tateno): one of the Yagyū men sent by Tenkai to kill Grampa. He dies fighting Azumi.

TAE (たえ): Gacchi's little sister. She manages to escape death by staying inside the closet behind the futon while the Rasetsugarasu massacre everyone. Gacchi sends her to take refuge at the Saiganji and after he frees Azumi he goes there too. Tae will be taken in at the temple with him by the high priest and she'll say farewell to Azumi after receiving one of her tops. Seeing her beaten up with snow balls by the villagers she rushes to shield her but Gacchi takes her away and starts hitting Azumi with snow balls too.

TAIKŌ (太閤): In Japan, Sesshō (摂政) was a title given to a regent who was named to assist either a child emperor before his coming of age, or an empress. The Kanpaku (関白) was theoretically a sort of chief advisor for the emperor, but was the title of both first secretary and regent who assists an adult emperor. During the Heian era, they were the effective rulers of Japan. There was little, if any, effective difference between the two titles, and several individuals merely changed titles as child emperors grew to adulthood, or adult emperors retired or died and were replaced by child emperors. The two titles were collectively known as Sekkan (摂関), and the families that exclusively held the titles were called Sekkan-ke or Sekkan family. After the Heian era, shogunates took over the power. A retired kampaku is called Taikō, which came to commonly refer toToyotomi Hideyoshi. For all the differences and more in-depht information, see wikipedia.

TAKAGAKI JIN'ICHIRŌ (高垣陣一郎): one of Yagyū Munenori close men who are pursuing Grampa and Azumi. He devises the plan to kill them while they are blocked on a bridge. Because many men lose their lives, he decides to go in person to kill Grampa, but he himself is killed. He is Jōjirō's older brother.

TAKAGAKI JŌJIRŌ (高垣丈二郎): one of Munenori's men who're following Grampa and Azumi. He's very shocked by his older brother's death by the hands of Grampa and tries to run to him and kill him, but Munenori stops him. When Kazuma fails to pursue Azumi, he helps Shinsuke in “training” him from scratch again.

TAKAGI KANSUKE (高木勘助): Inoue Kanbee's new identity while sojourning at Ono Tadaaki's residence.

TAKANO (高野): could be read Kōno or Kōya too. One of the key members of the operation against the rōnin who is surprised in his sleep, captured and held hostage at the Anpuku temple.

TAKAYAMA YAEMON (高山八衛門): one of the ten shinobi chiefs who Azumi and her group must prune. When confronted by Azumi, instead of accepting her offer to change places and have a one on one, he suddenly attacks and gets killed on the spot.

TAKEDA KATSUYORI (武田勝頼, 1546 – 3 April 1582): he was a Japanese daimyō of the Sengoku Period, who was famed as the head of the Takeda clan and the successor to the legendary warlord Takeda Shingen (武田信玄, December 1, 1521 – May 13, 1573). He was the son of Shingen by the Suwa goryōnin (諏訪御料人, real name unknown), the daughter of Suwa Yorishige (諏訪頼重, 1516 – 1542 ). Katsuyori's children included Takeda Nobukatsu (信勝) and Katsuchika (勝親). Katsuyori, first known as Suwa Shirō Katsuyori (諏訪四郎勝頼), succeeded to his mother's Suwa clan and gained Takatō Castle (高遠城) as the seat of his domain. After his elder brother Takeda Yoshinobu (武田義信, 1538 – November 19, 1567) died, Katsuyori's son Nobukatsu became heir to the Takeda clan, making Katsuyori the true ruler of the Takeda clan. He took charge of the family after the death of Shingen and fought Tokugawa Ieyasu at Takatenjin (高天神) in 1574 and at Nagashino (長篠) in 1575. He captured Takatenjin, which even his father could not; this gained him the support of the Takeda clan, but he suffered a terrible loss at Nagashino, succumbing to one of the earliest recorded uses of volley fire (Oda Nobunaga's 3000 guns), in which he lost a large part of his forces as well as a number of his generals. Katsuyori incurred the wrath of the Hōjō family by helping Uesugi Kagekatsu (上杉景勝, 8 January 1556 – 19 April 1623 ) against Uesugi Kagetora (上杉景虎, 1552 – April 19, 1579 ) who was Hōjō Ujiyasu (北条氏康, 1515 – October 21, 1571 )'s seventh son, adopted by and heir to Uesugi Kenshin (上杉謙信, February 18, 1530 – April 19, 1578). He lost Takatenjin in 1581 and this led clans like Kiso (木曾) and Anayama (穴山) to withdraw their support. His forces were destroyed by the combined armies of Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu at Temmokuzan (天目山) in 1582, after which Katsuyori, his wife, his son Nobukatsu and several maids of their retinue committed their ritual suicide, known as seppuku. There has been rumours that Oda Nobunaga had great pleasure in seeing Katsuyori's severed head, since the Takeda clan had always been his biggest rival. The nun Rikei (died 1611) wrote an account of his wife's suicide and, pitying them, wrote several verses in their honour. Rikei was the eldest daughter of Katsunuma Nobutomo (勝沼信友, died August, 1535), a samurai of the Sengoku Period. She lived as a nun on Mount Kashiwao (柏尾山) and is most notable for her military history, Rikeini no ki (理慶尼の記, Nun Rikei’s Account).

TAKEMOTO (竹本): one of Shino's bodyguards.

TAKEMUNE (武宗): Takenobu's father. While he was desparing and grieving after knowing that the shōgun was scheming to suppress his fief, his son took action and abducted Kunichiyo, Hidetada's most beloved son. He is nothing more than a political figure; his son is who truly runs the fief. Even so, he bravely declares in front of Tenkai that he is the ringleader who planned everything and commits seppuku after ascertain that with the ringleader's death the matter will be settled and the soppression of their fief called off.

TAKENOBU (武信): the son of the Lord managing the fief where Kunichiyo was abducted. He seems to be quite the leader and many say that he is Oda Nobunaga reincarnated. He has a lot of confidence. He thinks that it does not matter if you are an orphan or have a social status or not, if you become strong and can be a useful man for the fief, you can make a career for yourself. He wants to build a society where only actual strength counts instead of social positions. During a horseback archery session he meets Azumi and Chiyozō. After Azumi explains why she is there, he sees through her lies. The truth is, he was just testing her and she passess. He takes the letter to his father and Kunichiyo and the next day he comes to pick up Azumi and Chiyozō and brings them to a mansion to entertain them. He talks a bit about his fief, for example one of the main factors of its wealth is due to the constant smuggling with foreign countries. After Chiyozō, drunk, draws his katana, he stays there to watch how the situation unfolds for a little, then he makes Azumi go. He invites Azumi and Chiyozō to the castle, wanting them to meet Bakin to show him the tops stunt. After Azumi and Chiyozō go away, he has one of his men tail them to see if they contact someone. Tōji offers himself. In the meanwhile he talks to Jinza, telling him to keep watching over the three spies without doing nothing until they scheme something big, because they have already lost too many men and he does not want to lose more. And Tōji is killed. He asks Bakin if he can test in some way Chiyozō to see if he could be the assassin, but after engaging him for some brief moments barehanded, he reports that he can not really say. After, Takenobu allows Kunichiyo to meet Azumi and Chiyozō. After two of Jinza's men are killed, Takenobu calls Azumi and Chiyozō at the castle to have him fight Bakin to know the real extent of his ability with the sword. He wants Bakin to break Chiyozō's dominant arm with a wooden sword. After some blows, Chiyozō tries to open a path for Azumi to escape, but she does not follow him. He then tries to go after Takenobu, but Bakin stops him. Takenobu puts three men at his home to surveil him and Azumi. At night, those men are killed and Chiyozō is put in jail the next morning. Takenobu even thinks that his men were killed by Azumi, but decides to trust her and does not executes Chiyozō. She gives her time to prove their innocence. When it comes out that a group of black dressed men is responsible for the murders, he frees Chiyozō and because it became a problem where to have him and Azumi lodge, he forces Bakin to take them at his home. He will be able to keep an eye on them and find out if Azumi is really a street performer or not. In the meanwhile, they find out that the black dressed men have all a Genbu tattoo on their backs. Now they have even another problem: an envoy from the Imperial Court is coming, and so they can not have a reply written quickly. Azumi will have to wait. He witness his sister screaming and running away from some bushes, and behind her he sees Kunichiyo. He immediately understands what he was trying to do and advise his sister to knock him down if he tries to do to her something that she does not want to. Kunichiyo is an hostage an he must follow what they say, not the other way around. After racking his brain a lot and pounding what his enemies could do, he summons Azumi and Chiyozō. He tells Azumi all the possibilities he has thought about and he evn guesses right her plan. After she tells him the truth, he asks her to explain how could she have so much influence on the Shōgun and Tenkai. After, he asks Sadamaro to come for a meeting, in which he exposes that his men are those with the Genbu tattoo on their backs. Sadamaro skilfully replies to the accusations and invetes Takenobu to ponder well who the real ally of his fief is. After Azumi speaks with Tenkai and reports back, he tells him that he should let the shogunate do a thorough inspection of the fief and if they find no proofs of his secret trades with foreign countries and that he has not increased the military forces, then, after giving back Kunichiyo-sama, Tenkai will convince Hidetada to leave the matter at that. Takenobu though knows very well that the shogunate has always known about their secret trades. He then asks Azumi to think with him about a new method to resolve the matter to avoid the fight with Hidetada's army, the death in battle of his retainers and to find a way to go on to live happily. Deciding to believe in Azumi, he tells Kyōgoku during a meeting that he will try to negotiate with Tenkai. He tries to have him weaver revealing who Azumi really is, but Takenobu does not change his mind. The meeting is interrupted by Kunichiyo who is shouting Takenobu's name because he wants an explanation about why he can not meet Suzu or Azumi anymore. Takenobu reassures him that from the next day he will be able to meet them again. After he receives a request from Sadamaro to lend him a room where he can talk to Azumi alone, he complies. After she survives the assassination attempt, he orders Sadamaro to leave his fief first thing in the morning. He will send two thousand soldiers at his temple, and if he finds him still there he will attack. Talking to Azumi later he says to her that basically he will not change his policy of trades with foreign countries, even though prohibited by the Shōgun. The next day he calls his vassals to the castle, to defend it, but as soon as they leave their homes vacant, Shion and his comrades start killing their families. Takenobu orders his men to return home and protect their families and to not come at the castle the next day. He will select a few elite fencers to defend the castle. Their families will move inside there to be protected too. He choses his most close retaineres and friends, Mori, Yokogawa and Munekata who had their families killed plus some other skilled men, mainly young ones who are second sons or more, because they do not have heavy responsibilities towards their families like the eldest ones. He made them lodge in buildings near the central castle tower, so when the enemy comes they can be quickly and easily moved to the castle tower to defend them well. The castle tower will also serve as an ambush site, due to its narrow places. He is persuaded by Azumi to release Magokoro and to have him, Hattori and Takeuchi join their ranks. During the castle attack he basically does not do anyhing aside from standing his ground on the top floor of the tower where Kunichiyo is. When Kagei and Shion reach him, he is ready to fight but Azumi steals his thunder and kills them both. At the audience with Tenkai, his father takes responsibility from everything that happened in his stead. The matter is settled, but he does not intend to cease his tradings with some foreign countries. He plans to board on a ship and go abroad and asks Azumi to come with him. He wants to marry her but, even though she loves him, she refuses due to her responsibility toward Grampa and her dead comrades. Takenobu can only say farewell to her and Tenkai, even if his sister tried a last minute plan to concinve her to marry her brother.

TAKEUCHI GINBEE (竹内銀兵衛 could be read Takenouchi, Takeutsu, Takeuna, Tachiuchi too): the oldest of Hanzō comrades. He fights with him against seven assaulters and he survives. He thinks that Hanzō killed six men while he killed only one but it is not so. Seeing Chiyozō passing by they conclude that Azumi sent him to help them. After they regroup with Warita, a weird girl comes asking for food. Warita sends her away, but Ginbee gives her an onigiri. After many events and being in hiding he is brought to Takenobu's castle. Ginbee survives the attack and returns back with Hanzō.

TAKICHI (太吉): the only man working at the inn where Akane, Oteru and Iku work as prostitutes. He runs errands for the Mistress, announces customers and so on. He is kidnapped along with Akane and Iku by one of the Fūma bosses and his men. He tries to escape but he is captured again in no time. He does not understand why he was brought there too if Azumi is only friends with Akane and Iku. The boss explains that he has a duty to carry out, and indeed, he will bring to Azumi Akane's hand and then lead her to the place where those men are waiting to ambush her.

TAKIGAWA (多喜川could be read Takikawa too. ): one of the key members of the operation against the rōnin who is surprised in his sleep, captured and held hostage at the Anpuku temple. He is Shino's father.

TAKIGAWA SHINO (多喜川志乃): the daughter of the military commander who should have been in charge of the battle to deal with the rōnin who invaded their domain. Kennosuke wants to help her. She secretly loves him.

TAKIZAWA RYŪTARŌ (滝沢柳太朗): waterfall+swamp+willow+thick+serene/cheerful/bright. You can understand why for Azumi it sounds like a strong name. Moreover, “rō” is one of the most used suffix for male names. He was invited by his friend Narita Shinzō to serve under Lord Katagiri Hyōbu. While going to Daiganji he meets Azumi and the two become friends, but since her mission is to kill Katagiri and his is to protect him, the two ends up fighting and he dies by Azumi hands.

TANEGASHIMA (種子島): a type of matchlock or arquebus firearm introduced to Japan through the Portuguese. The name comes from the Japanese island where a Chinese junk with Portuguese adventurers on board was driven to anchor by a storm in 1543. The lord of the Japanese island, Tanegashima Tokitaka (1528–1579), purchased two matchlock rifles from the Portuguese and put a swordsmith to work copying the matchlock barrel and firing mechanism. The smith (Yaita) did not have much of a problem with most of the gun but "drilling the barrel helically so that the screw could be tightly inserted" was a major problem as this "technique did apparently not exist in Japan until this time." The Portuguese fixed their ship and left the island and only in the next year when a Portuguese blacksmith was brought back to Japan was the problem solved. Within ten years of its introduction, an upwards of 300,000 tanegashima firearms were reported to have been manufactured. Tanegashima were used by the samurai class and their foot soldiers (ashigaru) and within a few years the introduction of the Tanegashima in battle changed the way war was fought in Japan forever.

TANGO (丹後): the old name for north Kyōto Prefecture.

TANUKI (): or Nyctereutes procyonoides viverrinus, a subspecies of the raccoon dog. As the tanuki, the animal has been significant in Japanese folklore since ancient times. The legendary tanuki is reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absentminded. It is also a common theme in Japanese art, especially statuary.

TANZEN (丹前): large padded kimono.

TASUKE (太助): a little street performer that Azumi and co. meet during their journey. Thinking he's one of the children, he gets killed with his Master by mistake by the Sajiki Brothers.

TATAMI (): a type of mat used as a flooring material in traditional Japanese-style rooms. Traditionally made of rice straw to form the core (though nowadays sometimes the core is composed of compressed wood chip boards or polystyrene foam), with a covering of woven soft rush (igusa 藺草) straw, tatami are made in standard sizes, with the length exactly twice the width, an aspect ratio of 2:1. Usually, on the long sides, they have edging (heri ) of brocade or plain cloth, although some tatami have no edging. See wikipedia for more information.

TEMARI (手毱 old, 手毬modern): balls that are a folk art form that originated in China and was introduced to Japan around the 7th century A.D. "Temari" means "hand ball". Embroidered balls may be used in hand ball games. Historically, temari were constructed from the remnants of old kimonos. Pieces of silk fabric would be wadded up to form a ball, and then the wad would be wrapped with strips of fabric. As time passed, traditional temari became an art, with the functional stitching becoming more decorative and detailed, until the balls displayed intricate embroidery. With the introduction of rubber to Japan, the balls went from play toys to art objects, although mothers still make them for their children. Temari became an art and craft of the Japanese upper class and aristocracy, and noble women competed in creating increasingly beautiful and intricate objects.Temari are highly valued and cherished gifts, symbolizing deep friendship and loyalty. Also, the brilliant colors and threads used are symbolic of wishing the recipient a brilliant and happy life. Traditionally, becoming a craftsman in Japan was a tedious process. Becoming a temari artist in Japan today requires specific training, and one must be tested on one's skills and technique before being acknowledged as a crafter of temari. Traditionally, temari were often given to children from their parents on New Year's Day. Inside the tightly wrapped layers of each ball, the mother would have placed a small piece of paper with a goodwill wish for her child. The child would never be told what wish his or her mother had made while making the ball. Alternately, some balls contained "noisemakers" consisting of rice grains or bells to add to the play value. It is said that traditional temari were wrapped so tightly they would bounce.

TEMPURA (天ぷら or 天麩羅tenpura): a dish of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried. See wikipedia for more information.

TENDAI SECT (天台宗): it is a Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism, a descendant of the Chinese Tiantai or Lotus Sutra school. The Tiantai teaching was first brought to Japan by the Chinese monk Ganjin (鑑眞) in the middle of the 8th century, in what became the short-lived Ritsu () school, but it was not widely accepted. In 805, the Japanese monk Saichō (最澄, also called Dengyō Daishi 伝教大師) returned from China with new Tiantai texts and made the temple that he had built on Mt. Hiei (比叡山), Enryakuji (延暦寺), a center for the study and practice of what became Japanese Tendai. Philosophically, the Tendai school did not deviate substantially from the beliefs that had been created by the Tiantai school in China. However, what Saichō transmitted from China was not exclusively Tiantai, but also included Zen (, trad. ), esoteric Mikkyō (密教), and Vinaya School (戒律) elements. The tendency to include a range of teachings became more marked in the doctrines of Saichō's successors, such as Ennin (圓仁) and Enchin (圓珍). However, in later years, this range of teachings began to form sub-schools within Tendai Buddhism. By the time of Ryōgen (良源, 912 – January 31, 985 AD was a chief abbot of Enryakuji in the 10th century, and the founder of the tradition of sōhei, 僧兵, the warrior monks), there were two distinct groups on Mt. Hiei: the Sammon (山門), or Mountain Group who followed Ennin, and the Jimon (寺門) or River Group who followed Enchin. The Tendai sect flourished under the patronage of the imperial family and nobility in Japan, particularly the Fujiwara clan (藤原氏); in 794, the Imperial capital was moved to Kyōto. Tendai Buddhism became the dominant form of main-stream Buddhism in Japan for many years, and gave rise to most of the developments in later Japanese Buddhism. Nichiren (日蓮, February 16, 1222 – October 13, 1282), Hōnen (法然, May 13, 1133 – February 29, 1212 ), Shinran (親鸞, May 21, 1173 – January 16, 1263), and Dōgen (道元禅師, Dōgen Zenji, also Dōgen Kigen道元希玄, or Eihei Dōgen 永平道元, or Koso Joyo Daishi, 19 January 1200 – 22 September 1253)—all famous thinkers in non-Tendai schools of Japanese Buddhism—were all initially trained as Tendai monks. Japanese Buddhism was dominated by the Tendai school to a much greater degree than Chinese Buddhism was by its forebearer, the Tiantai. Due to its patronage and growing popularity among the upper classes, the Tendai sect became not only respected, but also politically and even militarily powerful. During the Kamakura Period, the Tendai school used its patronage to try to oppose the growth of rival factions—particularly the Nichiren school, which began to grow in power among the merchant middle class, and the Pure Land school, which eventually came to claim the loyalty of many of the poorer classes. Enryakuji, the temple complex on Mt. Hiei, became a sprawling center of power, attended not only by ascetic monks, but also by brigades of warrior monks who fought in the temple's interest. As a result, in 1571 Enryakuji was razed by Oda Nobunaga as part of his campaign to unify Japan. Nobunaga regarded the Mt. Hiei monks as a potential threat or rival, as they could employ religious claims to attempt to rally the populace to their side. The temple complex was later rebuilt, and continues to serve as the head temple of the Tendai school today. See wikipedia for more information.

TENKAI: see Nankōbō Tenkai.

TERASAWA GENSAI (寺沢玄斎): he's the boss of the rōnin group in the snow country. He plans to manipulate Shizune to have the population fight a battle against the castle samurais, so he can have a battlefield to enjoy on. And he succeeds. After the battle, he rushes to the border to have the cannons hidden there ready so he can fire them at Tenkai and his priest soldiers, but at last his plan is put to an and by Azumi, who kills him just in time.

TERUTOMO (輝友): the feudal Lord of the snow country.

TERUTOMO MATSUCHIYO (輝友松千代): the nephew of the feudal Lord of the snow country. With the help of the castle samurai elites he flees from the siege and takes refuge in Gacchi's house. Following the footprints, the Rasetsugarasu are lead to Gacchi's house, where they kill his father, the castle samurais and even Matsuchiyo. They don't find Tae, who was hiding in the closet behind the futon.

TOBIZARU (飛猿): Inoue's personal ninja. He follows Azumi with his great sense of smell but loses her. After the events at Ōsaka castle, he is tasked by Kanbee to work for Sanada Yukimura as a contact. He acts together with Bijomaru, an assassin employed by Yukimura to kill Azumi and the others. Tobizaru does not like his methods, nor his calling him “Sarutobi” all the time, but he has to obey him. Some time later he lends Hyūga his katana to fight against Bijomaru. He mercifully kills him after Bijomaru deeply wounds him and plans to have some nasty fun. He watches the fight between Bijomaru and Grampa. We find him in the Summer Siege, helping Azumi with a smoke bomb to save Kanbee. He then watches her nursing him but decides to not come out from his hiding place. He swears that one day he will repay her kindness and lives. He returns next day, and when Azumi is not around he takes Kanbee with him and vanishes. Months later she finds Azumi in Sunpu. He tells her that the man she saved was Kanbee and Azumi tells him about her circumstances. Tobizaru informs Kanbee that she will come to visit. After her visit, at night, she suddenly surprises him and asks to share information and collaborate, but Tobizaru refuses. He turns her down even when he is offered money and asks her to pay him with her body on purpose, to make her desist, but he is quite angry by her upfront refusal and turns away. The next day he is spying in a hunting ground, the same where Matsui and Mitsugu came to inspect. Azumi is with them and she spots him right away. After some time, Tobizaru is found by some other spies, who worked for Toyotomi before. One of them claims to be his “teacher”, but Tobizaru does not agree at all. He is alone against three men and soon he is captured and hanged at a tree. Azumi arrives in time and kills them all, after Tobizaru skillfully lies to her saying that he told them everything so they must not escape alive. Now Tobizaru ows her his life too.

TOKUGAWA FACTION/SIDE: it includes all the vassals, retainers and supporters of the Tokugawa clan.

TOKUGAWA HIDETADA (徳川秀忠 May 2, 1579 – March 14, 1632): he was the second shōgun of the Tokugawa dynasty, who ruled from 1605 until his abdication in 1623. He was the third son of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate. See wikipedia for more information.

In “Azumi” we see him having a strong hatred towards his father, who never recognised him or had a good word of praise for him.

TOKUGAWA IEMITSU (徳川家光 , August 12, 1604 – June 8, 1651): he was the third shōgun of the Tokugawa dynasty. He was the eldest son of Tokugawa Hidetada, and the grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Iemitsu ruled from 1623 to 1651. He was born around 1604 (his exact birthdate is unknown). He was the eldest son of Tokugawa Hidetada and grandson of the last great unifier of Japan, the first Tokugawa shōgun, Tokugawa Ieyasu. He was the first member of the Tokugawa family born after Tokugawa Ieyasu became shōgun. Not much is known of Iemitsu's early life; his childhood name was Takechiyo (竹千代). He had two sisters, Senhime and Masako, and a brother, who would become a rival, Tadanaga. Tadanaga was his parents' favorite. However, Ieyasu made it clear that Iemitsu would be next in line as shōgun after Hidetada. An obsolete spelling of his given name is Iyemitsu. Iemitsu came of age in 1617 and dropped his childhood name in favor of Tokugawa Iemitsu. He also was installed officially as the heir to the Tokugawa shogunate. The only person to contest this position was his younger brother Tokugawa Tadanaga. A fierce rivalry began to develop between the brothers. From an early age Iemitsu practiced the shudō tradition. However, in 1620, he had a falling out with his lover, Sakabe Gozaemon, a childhood friend and retainer, aged twenty one, and murdered him as they shared a bathtub. In 1623, when Iemitsu was nineteen, Hidetada abdicated the post of Shōgun in his favor. Hidetada continued to rule as Ōgosho (retired Shōgun), but Iemitsu nevertheless assumed a role as formal head of the bakufu bureaucracy. In 1626, Shōgun Iemitsu and retired Shōgun Hidetada visited Emperor Go-Mizunoo, Empress Masako (Hidetada's daughter and Iemitsu's sister), and Imperial Princess Meishō in Kyōto. Shōgun Iemitsu made lavish grants of gold and money to the court nobles and the court itself. Yet relations with Go-Mizunoo deteriorated after the Purple Clothes Incident (紫衣事件shie jiken), during which the Emperor was accused of having bestowed honorific purple garments to more than ten priests despite an edict which banned them for two years (probably in order to break the bond between the Emperor and religious circles). The shogunate intervened, making the bestowing of the garments invalid. When the wet nurse of Iemitsu and Masako broke a taboo by visiting the imperial court as a commoner, Go-Mizunoo abdicated, embarrassed, and Meishō became empress. The Shōgun was now the uncle of the sitting monarch. In Kan'ei 9, on the 24th day of the 2nd month (1632), Ōgosho Hidetada died, and Iemitsu could assume real power. Worried that his brother Tokugawa Tadanaga might assassinate him, however, he ruled carefully until that brother's death by seppuku in 1633 (or 1634). See wikipedia for other information.

TOKUGAWA IEYASU (徳川家康 January 31, 1543 – June 1, 1616): was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, which ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as shogun in 1603, abdicated from office in 1605, but remained in power until his death in 1616. For a ton of more information, check his entry on wikipedia. In “Azumi” he is depicted as an old man who fights against old age by walking, taking baths, eating and drinking some disgusting stuff, maybe because they say that they are good for longevity. He is very closed to Tenkai. When he was younger, he miraculously managed to escape safely from Sakai, without being ambushed by the Tsutsui corps. He did not hesitate a moment to torture Kanbee's father and mother to death though, thinking that they were hitting the trees making sounds to signal his position. During the Winter Siege, he receives Obata Gessai and offers some words to him. He is able to make his demand to fill the moats surrounding Ōsaka castle accepted by Hideyori. The castle is no more impregnable. He then makes other unacceptable demands to Hideyori and starts the summer siege.

TOKUGAWA TADANAGA (徳川忠長, 1606 – January 5, 1634): he was a Japanese daimyō of the early Edo period. The son of the second shōgun Tokugawa Hidetada, his elder brother was the third shōgun, Tokugawa Iemitsu. Often called Suruga Dainagon (the major counsellor of Suruga), Tadanaga was born in 1606. The date of his birth is uncertain, and is variously given as May 7, June 1, and December 3. As a youth, he received support from his mother, Oeyo (or Sūgen'in), who favored him over her other son Iemitsu to become the third shōgun. In 1624 he is appointed daimyō of Suruga, Tōtōmi, and Kai Provinces, with a rating of 550,000 koku. In 1626 he kills a retainer and commits other acts of violence. In 1631 is placed under house arrest in Kōfu. His misconduct results in his being stripped of office in 1632, and he commits seppuku the following year or in 1634 under arrest in Takasaki. His child name was Kunichiyo (国千代). In “Azumi” he is abducted by a tozama daimyō of the West who demands the independence of his province from the Tokugawa shogunate rule. He seems to be calm and collected, but from what he says to Takenobu, he must not like his older brother very much. He receives a letter from his father, carried by Azumi. He wants to meet her and at the end of their conversation asks her if she has some kind of other secret message for him. After all, the letter will be read by the enemies too. When she says she does not, he thinks that his father sent her, a beautiful woman, as comfort for him...but he is wrong. He starts making his moves on Takenobu's sister, but she rejects him, even if his speech seemed to really have a point. Takenobu sends Sayo to comfort him, but he will not renounce to try sleeping with Suzu, nor Azumi gets out of his mind. He calls for her wantiting to “talk”, but he is taken by surprise by Azumi who seems strangely in the right mood. Some moments later, Azumi takes out a letter and makes him read it and accept her plan, while he makes Sayo, under the floor, believe they are having sex. Takenobu does not allow him to meet Suzu and Azumi anymore, so he goes around the castle searching for him. He arrives when Takenobus is having a meeting with Kyōgoku and demands an explanation. Moments later Shion, faking to know him, aprroaches him and slips a srecret message in his kimono. He then asks to meet him and the other two, and during the meeting he stops Gōra who was almost skewering Sayo under the floor saying that it would be bad to put himself in a position so openly against Takenobu at that time. He is bored to death and finds Sayo in the garden who just ended her shift and invites her to sllep together. Azumi finds them just right when they are having fun. He does not want to enter inside the castle toer but wants to stay where he is, in an easy place where he can be found and rescued by Shion and the others. When the castle is assaulted he still refuses to budge from there, so he is knocked out cold by Chiyozō and carried to the top florr of the castle tower and left in Takenobu's father care. When Shion and kagei reach almost the top florr, he starts screaming that he is on the floor above, not knowing that they have not come to rescue him but to kill him. He is tied with a rope to a pillar so he can not escape and watches with his own eyes Kagei and Shion being killed by Azumi.

TOMEJI (留次): Iku's younger brother. He carves a small rock ( or is it a piece of wood? A chestnut?) in shape of his head so that Iku will never forget him.

TOMO NO MAGOROKU (伴孫六 could be read Tomo, Tomonai, Han, Ban, Dan): one of the men accompanying Hanzō in his mission. He is captured by Bakin and put in jail. Takenobu frees him persuaded by Azumi. He is sent to find Hanzō and Takeuchi and bring them to the castle to join Takenobu in his fight. Instead of fleeing, he comes back with his comrades. He survives the attack and later returns home with Hanzō, Ginbee, Azumi, Tenkai and others by ship.

TOMONORI (友則): one of Takenobu's closest friends, who, like many, believes that he is Oda Nobunaga reincarnated. When Chiyozō draws his sword, drunk, he shields Takenobu while Harumasa and Shikanosuke fight him. He faces Azumi in Takenobu's presence with his other three comrades using wooden swords, but he is beaten. Two times. After some events he is chosen by Takenobu as one of the elite warriors who will fight to protect the castle. Being the third son in his family he does not have heavy responsibilities toward it.

TOPPEI (突平): one of the Genbu men and the one who decided to not kill Sayo when the squad assaulted the three street performers who tried to approach Azumi. She was young and cute, so he did not kill her, but he will not hesitate to kill Azumi, accomplice of the evil Tenkai. Kyōgoku is not satisfied though, and asks him if he could even kill children, specifically those who are attached to Azumi. He replies that if he was ordered he would do it, but Kyōgoku asks for proof of his commitment. He asks Toppei to kill a child fishing in the river near the temple and he obeys.

TORAZŌ (寅蔵): the second men that Kiku kills at the inn in order to protect his disguise.

TOSHIYORISHŪ (年寄衆lit. “old persons”): elder chiefs of a village or town during Edo Period; it was called Rōjū after.

TŌDŌ SHIRŌ (藤堂四郎): one of the bosses of the rōnin group in the snow country. He's killed by Azumi while he's trying to rape her with some of his comrades at the secret hot springs.

TŌJI (藤次): one of Takenobu's closest men. He is the one who immobilise Azumi when Chiyozō draws his katana, drunk. He offers himself to watch Azumi at her home in secret to confirm if she contacts someone else. After he confirms that there is nothing srange going on, he goes back, but only his horse arrives at the castle. Someone has killed him and exposed him on a tree along the way.

TŌSHŌ DAIGONGEN (東照大権現): Ieyasu's posthumous name after he was enshrined at Nikkō Tōshōgū.

TA (登太): one of the four disciples accompanying Kōsaka, the smallest and cheerful one. He eats a lot. His forte is cathing fish and shellfish. He is Kochō younger brother. While dining on the beach with what he and his comrades catched in the sea, Azumi arrives. She eats with them and then go back. They tail her discovering where she lodges and decide to inform their Master. They are allowed inside the temple during the assault meeting. After that, they take part in the inn attack but they have a minor role with their Master. Seeing that no enemies are coming on the road they are watching, they go to the inn just to find out that everyone has been killed. While asleep in the temple, he and his sister feel the presence of an intruder. They chase Kagari and face him, running away almost immediately to call the other because he is too strong for them. This in truth is a trap and they tail him to find Azumi's group new lodging. Tōta takes part with his Master and the others in the new assault and confront Azumi. His sister manages to blind Hyōsuke but Azumi easily deals with them without killing them and she manages to escape with Hyōsuke. While keeping watch at the new location, Tōta and his sister spot Kagari who came out thinking that there was no one around and was weeping on Hatsune's dead body. They both face him and kill him. After returning to their positions and seeing Azumi coming back, Moichi wants to attack her and, after his Master comes back, he jumps out and he is going to do it. His Master goes along with his desire and together they strike at Azumi. Tōta can't do very much before his Master is killed. With his comrades, he is persuaded by Katagiri to not pursue revenge for their Master, and moments later, Azumi storms into the room killing Katagiri himself. Noticing that Azumi is just doing her job they think that it is illogical to resent her and go to the temple where she resides to tell her that. While she is talking to them about her past, Moichi tries to suddenly strike at her from behind, but Azumi, without even thinking, pierces him with the short side of her two-sided sword.

TOYOTOMI FACTION/SIDE: it included all the vassals, retainers and supporters of the Toyotomi clan.

TOYOTOMI HIDEYORI (豊臣秀頼 born September 8, 1593, precise time and place of death debated) was the son and designated successor of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the general who first united all of Japan. His mother, Yodo-dono, was the niece of Oda Nobunaga. When Hideyoshi died in 1598, the five regents he had appointed to rule in Hideyori's place began jockeying amongst themselves for power. Tokugawa Ieyasu seized control in 1600, after his victory over the others at the Battle of Sekigahara. Hideyori's arranged marriage to Senhime, the seven-year-old granddaughter of Ieyasu, was designed to mitigate Toyotomi clan dissension and plotting. In this period, the eight-year-old boy practiced calligraphy with phrases wishing for peace throughout the world. However, Ieyasu continued to view the young Hideyori as a potential threat...check the rest on wikipedia. In “Azumi”, Hideyori is weak, completely different from a leader figure. He likes bugs and insects, while is wife, Senhime, detests them. They do not seem to have anything in common. Azumi steals his heart, but he almost goes mad when it comes out that she approached him only to sneak in the castle for her goals, like killing Ōtsuka. He should be the one having the power in there, but instead his mother, Yodo, seems to run everything. When Azumi tries to escape the castle, he almost cheers her on. During the castle fall, he crawls away from his mother who wants to have him commit suicide and fall as a man, but he does not want to die. He meets Azumi and he accepts her plan to aave him and live as a commoner in a far away place. When he he looks at his fallen men though, he realizes that he is the head of the Toyotomi clan and that he must die as a man instead of fleeing away. He asks Azumi to assist him in his suicide she agrees. Hideyori dies manly, as a clan ruler would have.

TOYOTOMI HIDEYOSHI (豊臣秀吉 February 2, 1536 or March 26, 1537 – September 18, 1598 ): was a preeminent daimyō, warrior, general and politician of theSengoku period who is regarded as Japan's second "great unifier." He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle. After his death, his young son was displaced by Tokugawa Ieyasu. Hideyoshi is noted for a number of cultural legacies, including the restriction that only members of the samurai class could bear arms. He financed the construction, restoration and rebuilding of many temples standing today in Kyoto. Hideyoshi played an important role in the history of Christianity in Japan when he ordered the execution by crucifixion of twenty-six Christians. See wikipedia for the rest.

TOZAMA DAIMYŌ (外様大名): “outside daimyō”, a daimyō who was considered an outsider by the rulers of Japan. The term came into use in the Kamakura period and continued until the end of the Edo period. The daimyō who submitted to the Tokugawa shogunate after the Battle of Sekigahara, that is who became Tokugawa vassals only after the battle, were classified as tozama. They included both daimyō who fought with the Tokugawa and those who fought against them. Many of the largest fiefs were ruled by tozama. The biggest was the Maeda clan of Kaga with a value of 1,000,000 koku. Others included the Shimazu family of Satsuma, the Mōri, the Date, Hachisuka, and the Uesugi. Many, but not all, of these families, had been living in roughly the same regions for centuries before the Tokugawa shogunate. Tokugawa Ieyasu had treated the great tozama vassals amicably but later, between 1623 and 1626, Tokugawa Iemitsu was less tolerant of them. Particularly in western Japan, the tozama daimyō heavily profited from foreign trade in the mid 17th century. Their growing success was a threat to the shogunate, which responded by preventing the ports of western Japan and Kyūshū from trading. To keep the tozama in check, the shogunate stationed fudai daimyō (a class of daimyō who were hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa) in strategic locations, including along major roads and near important cities. For much of the Edo period, the shogunate ordinarily did not appoint tozama to high positions within the government. These went instead to the fudai daimyō. However, this began to change in the Bakumatsu era (1853 - 1867); one tozama daimyō (Matsumae Takahiro) even became a rōjū. Tozama daimyō from Satsuma and Chōshū (Shimazu and Mōri clans respectively) were responsible for the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate during the Bakumatsu era. Rallying other tozama to their cause, they fought against the shogunate, Aizu, and the Ōuetsu Reppan Dōmei during the Boshin War of 1868–69. Many people from Satsuma and Choshu dominated politics in the ensuing decades, and well into the 20th century, as part of the Meiji oligarchy.

TSUBOUCHI (坪内): a chief retainer of the country with the “niwauchi”. He is in cahoots with Kanō and sends a false letter to invite all the opposing forces to a secluded place to consult on how to move on against the plan to have Bontenmaru take the Lord of the castle role. This is a trap to rally everyone and it is a success thanks to Chiyozō work with a bit of Yomiji's help behind the scenes.

TSUDZURA (つづら): Azumi firs contact in the snow country and one of her new comrades. His name could stand for a type of wicker basket for storing clothes. He fails a mission were he was searching for or investigating something, gets captured and used as a practice doll by the women folk of the village armed with bamboo spears...

TSUJIDŌ (辻堂): a family made of a father (ill, but his swordmanships seems deadly, cutting almost in half with his katana a fly buzzing near him), and two sons. The eldest is ill too. The youngest seems to be taking care of them. Having know that for killing Azumi there is a big money reward and needing a lot of money to buy expensive medicines for curing his father and brother, he goes with the family to Sakakura's place to ask where is she, but in the meanwhile the situation has changed with Bontemaru having gone mad for her, so her killing must be postponed. Don't understanding the situation well, they return to the niwauchi where they spot Azumi (being called out loud by Bontemaru) and immediately rush to kill her. They engage Kanei and Tachibana, both fighting with wooden swords and when Kanei is in peril, Azumi takes over and kills the older brother. They vow to avenge him and to kill her for the huge money on her head, and when they come to know that Sakakura's men went to attack her, they go where they are to ask why they were left behind and a fight breaks out. When Chiyozō arrives to settle things down, they flee. For the moment. They are in the hostages exchange plan too, and the younger son receives even three koban that brings immediately back to his father. They fight in the big clash next day, but while the father is slightly wounded, his younger son is beheaded by Azumi while he was trying to avenge his older brother's death. The father arrives at Okyō's mansion just in time for the showdown after Azumi has survived all the exploding arrows firing. After her fight with Chiyozō he finds her outside the mansion near an almost dead Tachibana and accuses her to have killed his sons. Azumi does not even remember if she has killed the second one but he kills him instantly, due to Tachibana having not much time left to live and wanting to spend his final moments together.

TSUTSUI CLAN (筒井家): a Japanese clan originating during the Sengoku period (16th century) of Japan. Throughout the time of the 16th century, the Tsutsui clan would mainly control the Yamato province, due to the efforts of the daimyō Tsutsui Junkei (March 31, 1549 – September 15, 1584). The Tsutsui soon on became a retainer family under that of the Oda clan, resulting in a minor rise within their power. After Junkei had been killed during a certain battle against Oda Nobuo, the power of the Tsutsui fell away to a high extent. The Tsutsui are well known for a samurai under the service named Shima Sakon (島左近), though he later became a rōnin. Junkei (順慶), son of Junshō (順昭, 1523–1550 a warlord of the Japanese province of Yamato during the Sengoku period of the 16th century), had very early on his castle (Tsutsui castle) taken away by Matsunaga Hisahide, one of the most powerful warriors of the region in feudal Japan at that time. Later by joining forces of Oda Nobunaga, Junkei defeated Hisahide at Mount Shigi in 1577. Junkei's original castle was regained after the battle, but shortly after had to be abandoned following the order of Nobunaga. He was then appointed to the lord position of Yamato by Nobunaga, and was allowed to build a new castle (Kōriyama Castle) in Kōriyama. During the Battle of Yamasaki in 1582, Junkei refused to take either side and simply stayed neutral. His governance over Yamato was guaranteed by the victorious Toyotomi Hideyoshi. After Junkei’s death the Tsutsui clan was succeeded by Tsutsui Sadatsugu (定次, June 6, 1562 – April 2, 1615) ), a cousin and adopted son of Junkei. The Tsutsui subsequently lost governance of Yamato to Toyotomi Hidenaga, Hideyoshi's stepbrother, at the death of Junkei in 1584. The Tsutsui themselves were moved to the Iga Province by orders of Hideyoshi. There, Sadatsugu built the Iga Ueno Castle. In 1608, however, he was removed from his position by the Tokugawa shogunate, in an accusation of sloppy governance. In addition, the Tsutsui clan was forcefully abolished. The castle of Iga Ueno was accordingly taken over by Tōdō Takatora.


UDA SONJŪRŌ (宇田孫十郎): one of the ten shinobi chiefs who are going to work with Date. He takes part in the assault to the knew lodging where Azumi group resides. In the end, he takes part to Kurando final plan and takes on Azumi together with the three remaining guards of the dead former retainers. They are no match for Azumi and they are all killed.

UJI RIVER (宇治川): a river with it's source in the lake Biwa, in Shiga prefecture. Uji is also the city between Nara and Kyōto that gets its name from the river itself.

UKIHA (うきは): one of the ten chosen children raised up by Grampa. During the trial he fights against Yura and kills him. He is the calm and collected big brother type. He secretely loves Azumi, and after he confesses, Azumi accepts his feelings. Captured in Ōsaka Castle, where he intruded to rescue Azumi, he's forced to fight against her but, weakening his sword on purpose, manages in his original intention: to be killed by his beloved Azumi.

UMEBOSHI (梅干しdried ume): are pickled ume fruits common in Japan. The word "umeboshi" is often translated into English as "Japanese salt plums", "salt plums" or "pickled plums."Ume (Prunus mume) is a species of fruit-bearing tree in the genus Prunus, which is often called a plum but is actually more closely related to the apricot. Umeboshi are a popular kind of tsukemono (pickles) and are extremely sour and salty. They are usually served as side dishes for rice or eaten on rice balls (often without removing the pit) for breakfast and lunch. They are occasionally served boiled or seasoned for dinner. Pickled ume which are not dried are called umezuke (梅漬け). See wikipedia for more information.

UTSUBO (うつぼ): at first glance he seems to be the youngest new male comrade of Azumi in the snow country. His name could stand for the moray eel or for a quiver of arrows. While escaping from inside the castle where he was imprisoned together with Kagari and Hatsune, he's mortally wounded and takes his own life.


WARITA (割田): one of the men under Hanzō's command. He does not particularly like Chiyozō but his life is saved by him. He finds a dilapidated house in a good position to stay with his comrades. He is the one who notices and have first contact with a weird girl who wanted food in exchange for her showing him down there. He chases her away. Some time later he finds her bathing at the river. She tries to lure him with sex or other stuff in exchange for food. Warita accepts and moments later he is brutally killed by this assassin in “disguise”.

WATAKUSHI (): a more feminine and elegant way to speak about oneself.

WATASHI (わたしor ): the normal, common way for everyone to speak about oneself.

WINTER SIEGE OF ŌSAKA (大坂冬の陣): it was a series of battles undertaken by the Tokugawa shogunate against the Toyotomi clan, and ending in that clan's destruction. Divided into two stages (Winter Campaign and Summer Campaign), and lasting from 1614 to 1615, the siege put an end to the last major armed opposition to the shogunate's establishment. The end of the conflict is sometimes called the Genna Armistice (元和偃武 Genna Enbu), because the era name was changed from Keichō (October 1596 to July 1615 ) to Genna (July 1615 to February 1624) immediately following the siege. When Toyotomi Hideyoshi died in 1598, Japan came to be governed by the Council of Five Elders, among whom Tokugawa Ieyasu possessed the most authority. After defeating Ishida Mitsunari in the battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Ieyasu essentially seized control of Japan for himself, and abolished the Council. In 1603, the Tokugawa shogunate was established, with its capital at Edo. Ieyasu sought to establish a powerful and stable regime under the rule of his own clan; only the Toyotomi, led by Hideyoshi's son Toyotomi Hideyori and based at Ōsaka, remained as an obstacle to that goal. In 1614, the Toyotomi clan rebuilt Ōsaka Castle. At the same time, the head of the clan sponsored the rebuilding of Hōkō-ji in Kyoto. These temple renovations included the casting a great bronze bell, with inscriptions that read "May the state be peaceful and prosperous" (国家安康kokka ankō), and "May noble lord and servants be rich and cheerful" (君臣豊楽kunshin hōraku). The shogunate interpreted "kokka ankō" (国家安康) as shattering Ieyasu's name (家康) to curse him, and also interpreted "kunshin hōraku" (君臣豊楽) to mean "Toyotomi's force (豊臣) will rise again," which meant treachery against shogunate. Tensions began to grow between the Tokugawa and the Toyotomi clans, and only increased when Toyotomi Hideyori began to gather a force of rōnin and enemies of the shogunate in Ōsaka. By November of that year, Ieyasu, despite having passed the title of Shogun on to his son in 1605, nevertheless maintained significant influence, and decided not to let this force grow any larger, leading 164,000 men to Ōsaka (the count does not include the troops of Shimazu Tadatsune, an ally of the Toyotomi cause who nevertheless did not send troops to Ōsaka). The siege was begun on November 19, when Ieyasu led three thousand men across the Kizu River, destroying the fort there. A week later, he attacked the village of Imafuku with 1,500 men, against a defending force of 600. With the aid of a squad wielding arquebuses, the shogunal forces claimed another victory. Several more small forts and villages were attacked before the siege on Ōsaka Castle itself began on December 4. The Sanada-maru was an earthwork barbican defended by Sanada Yukimura and 7,000 men, on behalf of the Toyotomi. The Shogun's armies were repeatedly repelled, and Sanada and his men launched a number of attacks against the siege lines, breaking through three times. Ieyasu then resorted to artillery (including 17 imported European cannons and 300 domestic wrought iron cannons) as well as men to dig under the walls. On January 22, the Winter Siege was ended, with Toyotomi Hideyori pledging to not rise in rebellion. The walls of the outer layer defenses were torn down, and the outer moat of Ōsaka castle was allowed to be filled in.


YAE (やえ): a little girl who does street performing with her brother, Tasuke, to earn money for their Master so, one day, he will bring them back to their mother who had money problems. While traveling with her Master and Tasuke, they get mistaken for Grampa and the children. Her brother and Master are killed by the Sajiki brothers, while she gets raped and survives. She's found by Azumi and Hyūga and brought back to the inn where they lodge. She starts traveling with them but soon after she gets involved in Azumi and the others' mission. Hyūga manages to keep her safe, taking some arrows in his back while escaping from the mansion Hideyori gave them. After reuniting with Azumi and Grampa, she is escorted home to Tango by a bodygurad. Before parting, she receives three tops as a gift from Azumi. Azumi tells her to think about them as herself, Hyūga and Yae. She says she will treasure them, she thanks Hyūga for all he has done and tells him that she will always think about him and that one day they will meet in Tango. While she is walking away, Hyūga tries to reach her to properly say goodbye, but Tobizaru stops him. Yae will not see him anymore.

YAGYŪ HYŌSUKE [HYŌGONOSUKE兵庫助 1579 – 1650 or TOSHITOSHI 利厳]: he was the founder of the Owari mainline of the Yagyū Shinkage-ryū style of swordsmanship in the early Edo period. He was a son of Yagyū Toshikatsu and a grandson of Yagyū Muneyoshi (Sekishūsai). From 1603 to 1607, he served Katō Kiyomasa. Thereafter, he became an itinerant warrior. Beginning in 1615, he served Tokugawa Yoshinao, the founder of the Owari branch of the Tokugawa clan. He directly instructed Yoshinao in the Yagyū Shinkage-ryū. In the manga his name is written as Hyōsuke.

YAGYŪ MUNENORI (柳生宗矩, 1571 – May 11, 1646): he was a swordsman, founder of the Edo branch of Yagyū Shinkageryū, which he learned from his father Yagyū "Sekishusai" Muneyoshi. This was one of two official sword styles patronized by the Tokugawa Shogunate (the other one being Ittōryū). Munenori began his career in the Tokugawa administration as a hatamoto, a direct retainer of the Tokugawa house, and later had his income raised to 10,000 koku, making him a minor fudai daimyō (vassal lord serving the Tokugawa), with landholdings around his ancestral village of Yagyū-zato. He also received the title of Tajima no Kami (但馬守). Munenori entered the service of Tokugawa Ieyasu at a young age, and later was an instructor of swordsmanship to Ieyasu's son Hidetada. Still later, he became one of the primary advisors of the third shogun Iemitsu. Shortly before his death in 1606, Sekishusai passed the leadership of Yagyū Shinkage-ryū to his grandson Toshiyoshi. Following a period of musha shugyō (a samurai's quest or pilgrimage, the concept is similar to Knight Errantry in feudal Europe), Toshiyoshi entered the service of a cadet branch of the Tokugawa clan that controlled the Owari province. Toshiyoshi's school was based in Nagoya and came to be called Owari Yagyūryū (尾張柳生流), while Munenori's, in Edo, the Tokugawa capital, came to be known as Edo Yagyūryū (江戸柳生流). Takenaga Hayato, the founder of the Yagyū Shinganryū, was a disciple of Yagyū Munenori and received gokui (secret teachings) of the Yagyū Shinkage-ryū from him. In about 1632, Munenori completed the Heihō kadensho, a treatise on practical Shinkageryū swordsmanship and how it could be applied on a macro level to life and politics. The text remains in print in Japan today, and has been translated a number of times into English. Munenori's sons, Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi and Yagyū Munefuyu, were also famous swordsmen. In “Azumi” Munenori is Hidetada's own fencer instructor. He has many men working under him, like those who tried to kill Grampa but Azumi killed in return, and like Kazuma. After Grampa is captured he is escorted in place. The group of rōnin employed to escort him and slaughter who will come to save him rests in a village and Munenori and his men observe the scene from the forest nearby. Munenori is interested in seeing how many of those children there are and possibly killing Grampa under their eyes while the men executing the order scream that he is being killed by decree (from the shōgun), something Munenori came up with. After having seen all what happened in the village and Azumi in action, he can not believe his eyes.

He follows aplan by one of his men to siege Azumi and Grampa while they cross a bridge.After many of his men get killed, he goes along with Grampa's request to show his face, and goes where he is. He then witnesses Grampa and Takagaki duel. Takagaki loses and Munenori apologise for having let one of his men face him. Grampa asks him why he is trying to kill them and Munenori replies that the Yagyūs have no self-interests and only follow Ieyasu's orders. He will now fight him. Munenori easily wins, but the wound he gives to Grampa is not immediately fatal and goes away. Grampa realises that Munenori is plotting Ieyasu's indirect death by making Azumi believe he is the one who gave the order to kill Grampa.

YAGYŪ SEKISHŪSAI TAIRA NO MUNETOSHI (柳生石舟斎平宗厳 1529 - May 25, 1606 ): was a samurai in Japan’s Sengoku period famous for mastering the Shinkage-ryū school of combat, and introducing it to the Tokugawa clan. See wikipedia for much more information.

YAGYŪ SHINJIRŌ TAIRA NO TOSHIKATSU (柳生新次郎厳勝 1552 - 1616): the oldest son of Munetoshi, second Yagyū family head and successor to the Shinkageryū.

YAGYŪ SHINKAGERYŪ (柳生新陰流): it is one of the oldest Japanese schools of swordsmanship (kenjutsu). Its primary founder was Kamiizumi Nobutsuna, who called the school Shinkageryū. In 1565, Nobutsuna bequeathed the school to his greatest student, Yagyū Munetoshi, who added his own name to the school. Today, the Yagyū Shinkageryū remains one of the most renowned schools of Japanese swordsmanship. Its name roughly means Yagyū New Shadow School. See wikipedia for more information.

YAHEI-SAN (八平さん): the Ono residence garden caretaker.

YAKICHI (弥吉): a man living with his wife and children near a river. Passing by, he founds Kiku on the river bank left there by Azumi when she went to search for medical herbs to get her fever down. He carries her to his home and Azumi tags along. He's a former soldier of the Toyotomi side. He fought at Sekigahara, in the Korea expedition and at the Siege of Ōsaka. He then turned into a nobuseri. He decided to die trying to kill Ieyasu but couldn't do it to his passing out from hunger. He was took in by Kai and for eight months he lived at her house with her two little children. The meeting with Azumi brings him misfortune. He tries to survive the attacks of Kazō and Dozō, exchanging even some blows with the latter and giving the finishing blow after Azumi severely wounds him. He let his guard down and Dozō, still alive, pierces his abdomen with his sword. He dies not long after.

YAKICHI (弥吉): one of other boys Kiku's boss uses for missions.

YAMAGUCHI NOBUTSUNA (山口信綱): one of the bosses of the rōnin group in the snow country. He dies by Azumi hands (just before Hayashi and Terasawa) inside the cave with the cannons on one side of the mountains at the border.

YAMANAKA GENZABURŌ (山中源三郎): one of the ten shinobi chiefs who are going to work with Date. He tails Hatsune with Shiraishi and when she faints he transports her in the temple. He is one of the men for the inn attack group, with the followers he secretly brought with him. He is killed by Azumi during the attack at the inn

YASHA (夜叉 jp, or Yaksha in Sanskrit): Yaksha (Sanskrit: yakṣa) is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. They appear in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist literature. The feminine form of the word is yakṣī or Yakshini (yakṣiṇī). In Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist texts, the yakṣa has a dual personality. On the one hand, a yakṣa may be an inoffensive nature-fairy, associated with woods and mountains; but there is also a darker version of the yakṣa, which is a kind of ghost (bhuta) that haunts the wilderness and waylays and devours travelers, similar to the rakṣasas. See wikipedia for more information.

YASSAN (やっさん): one of the fellows met along the road. He gets struck from behind by a flying weapon. Will he survive?

YAZAEMON-SAMA (弥左衛門様): dweller of Shimotani, teacher of spying skills and other ninja arts. He even teaches some basic common knowledge to the children. He's killed in combat by Azumi.

YODO NO KATA (淀の方speculated to have been born on 1569, died in 1615?) was Azai Nagamasa's eldest daughter. Her mother was Oichi no kata, one of Oda Nobunaga's sisters. Her childhood name was Kikuko (菊子) and her given name was Chacha (茶々) or O-Cha (お茶). She was also known as Lady Yodo (淀殿 Yodo-dono), Ni no Maru-dono and Nishi no Maru-dono. Her other name, Yodo-gimi (淀君), isn't found in historical records and is likely a derogatory alias conceived during the Edo Period. Yodo-gimi was used to describe her as a "wicked and wanton" woman who plotted the death of the Toyotomis. After her parents' deaths, Chacha was sent to live with Oda Nagamasu at Azuchi Castle. It is believed that she was later transferred to Jurakudai (a lavish palace constructed at the order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi in Kyōto) and relied on Kyogoku Maria (Nagamasa's older sister) and Kyogoku Tatsuko (Maria's daughter) for her upbringing. It is said that as she grew older, Chacha bore a striking resemblance to her mother. She was skilled with Waka poetry and was regarded as the highest ranked princess of the Azai family. She treated her sisters and other relatives well though it is said that she was also a passionate speaker regarding the Toyotomi's future. In 1588, she became Hideyoshi's noble concubine. When she was announced pregnant a year later at Yodoko Castle, Hideyoshi was pleased and officially named her Yodo no Kata. Two years after Hideyoshi's death, she commissioned a shrine to be built to honor her father's kin and her mother's remains. During the Sekigahara Campaign, Lady Yodo didn't take an active part during these events and remained within Ōsaka Castle. When the castle fell, many accounts assume that she committed suicide with her son. However, there are few personal records regarding her demise, and a few theories state that she fled from the castle with her maids to either Satsuma or Kozuke Province. In “Azumi” she is depicted as a very beautiful lady, with an assertive character. She know what she wants and obtains it. She is quite the strong figure, even for his son, Hideyori. She has a lover, called Shinzaburō, who dies while falling with Ukiha in a pit trap inside the castle. She plans first to torture Azumi and Ukiha in te same brutal way her enemies did to her grandmother when she was a kid, but then she plans to make them suffer by making them fight each other to the death with the false promise of sparing the lifeof whoever wins. The duel is so quick that she is not satisfied. Now she wants her soldiers to find the other two children to have them fight against each other again. After Azumi escapes the castle, we find her in the events that will bring the castle to its fall. Among the soldiers corpses and the castle wrecks he is searching for his son to have him manly commit suicide. He finds him and Azumi talking about having him escpae and live as a commoner, but Hideyori has come to his senses and decide to die as the Toyotomi head. Yodo is impressed and moved. She thanks Azumi for having assisted Hideyori in his suicide and then she kills herself, wishing for divine retribution to strike down on Ieyasu.

YOHEI-SAN (与平さん): probably the factotum where Yae-chan works as a prostitute. He heats up the bath for her.

YOKOGAWA (横川 could be read Yogawa and Yokokawa too): one of the important clans for Takenobu's castle that is exterminated while its head is not at home by Shion and his comrades.

YOKOUCHI-DONO (横内殿): a retainer that Kinkaku and Ginkaku's men take as hostage.

YOMIJI (黄泉路): “road to the land of the dead”. He is one of Bontenmaru's guards. He wears on his head a small mask portraying Buddha. When he kills people he says to them to enter Nirvana, or “go to heaven”. He is tasked by Kanō with the killing of the entire Kijima family. After, he resumes his role as Bontenmaru's guard, and when kanei frees the former Lord of the castle, he is there too. With a trick he manages to stab and cut down Kanei, then he flees, only to be reache by Azumi and having a one on one with her. He is killed almost instantly.

YOSHIYASU (義安): one of the teachers of the Hōzōinryū at the temple where Nishida Benzō is in charge and where Azumi is being sheltered.

YOTE (よて): the old maid taking care of washing the floors, bringing the meals and so on in the inn where Akane and Iku work. She blabbers non-stop, always with her heavy accent. She is really happy tha Iku and Azumi help her with work.

YURA (ゆら): one of the ten chosen children raised up by Grampa. During the trial he fights against Ukiha and dies.

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