Sarutobi Sasuke, One of The Legendary Ten

猿飛佐助 Saturobi Sasuke popular novel from the Meiji period via Penn Japanese Collection
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Sarutobi Sasuke is probably a fictional character that appeared in many children’s stories in the early 20th Century. His life and story is probably based on a Kozuki Sasuke, a famous ninja of the Meiji era. The word “Sarutobi” means “Monkey Jump”, and like many Japanese names it is actually a nickname that describes the qualities of a person. Sarutobi Sasuke was renowned for his acrobatic abilities. He could dodge the fastest warrior, ducking and jumping around a sword slash.

According to the legend, Sarutobi Sasuke began training at the age of ten. It is said that he met his sensei (teacher) when he was practicing fencing on a tree. An old man happened to come by and laughed at the child’s efforts. Sasuke got angry and rebuked the old man for having laughed at him.

“Child, practicing swordfight with a tree is like fighting a dead enemy!” the old man said.

Hearing these wise words, Sasuke was immediately alert, recognizing that the old man was probably a master swordsman. Sasuke pleaded to the old man to teach him sword fighting. The old man revealed himself to be Haakunsai Tozawa, a prominent Ninja of that time. Thus, Sasuke gained instruction as a Ninja.

After instruction, Sasuke joined the Sanada Clan, led by Yukimura who was at that time fighting against the forces of Tokugawa. Yukimura formed a group of ten Ninjas, called the Sanada Ten Braves, who took active part in the battles between the Sanada Clan and Tokugawa’s forces. During the Siege of Osaka, the Sanada Ten Braves were a crucial element of Yukimura’s strategy as they spied and brought forth instrumental information to their master.

In one popular story, Sasuke was sent to spy Tokugawa in his castle. He made a successful entry into the castle and overheard conversations of a plan to attack his master. However, when leaving, guards caught him. Sasuke was a master of evasion, having gone through many such situations in the past. He easily jumped over a high wall.

Unfortunately, there was a bear trap on the other side. Sasuke fell right into the trap. Before the guards arrived, Sasuke amputated his leg in order to get out of the trap. Realising that escape was impossible in this condition, Sasuke committed suicide rather than being caught.

  1. Carlos romero says

    Very well written

  2. Palirano says

    I watch a lot of anime, and I stumbled over something called Naruto.
    In here there is an awesome ninja child called Sarutobi Sasuke!
    May they have stolen it from this?

  3. Bradley says

    they probably did, Palirano. Sasuke is a young powerful ninja in Naruto.

  4. Sun says

    Plus Sarutobi is the name of the third Hokage.

  5. izumii says

    i havent actually watched naruto but i have watched alot of ninja animes and i was told tht naruto was a dumb anime …. is that true ???

    1. ayesha says

      Nope its not dumb. You should check it out it has a really strong story line.
      I think Masashi Kishimoto must have been inspired by Sarutobi Sauke so he named his characters after him, stealing woundn’t exactly be the right way of putting it.

      1. Logen Lanka says

        Agreed. I like Naruto. The storyline is good, though the number of twists in the plot annoys me occasionally.And yes, stealing is a wrong way of putting it. JK Rowling has taken inspiration from many myths and legends when writing Harry Potter. Being inspired by myths (in this case a popular Japanese folklore, very much like western fairytale), does not constitute stealing.

        1. Kuro Tetraskai says

          Iveonly seen up to the big naruto/sasuk duel where his curse mark goes all level 2, but it wasnt too bad. And the game is fun. GAARA FOR THE WIN!

          1. ayesha says

            Haha you should watch Naruto Shippunden, Kuro. Its pretty good.

  6. otome kawaii says

    Actually, its not only Naruto. Plus theres a Sarutobi Sasuke but he’s already dead and it’s the father of the third hokage. There is a Sarutobi Sasuke in the anime Brave 10. And he’s a ninja that works with Kirigakure Saizo for Sanada.

  7. otome kawaii says

    May I use some information from this post for my blog? Actually I am Brazilian so I would like to adaptate it into Portuguese.

    1. says

      Hi, you may use the information for your blog. Please leave a link back to the original article though. 🙂

  8. Darren Snakeman says

    I’d say ninja anime like this rank among important martial arts anime, if you consider ninjutsu as a martial art.

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