Another name that is emerge from the mists of time regarding the history of ninjas has been Ishikawa Goemon.
Ninjas were known to utilize rumors to encourage fear of their reprisals. While this was an effective tactic, it has made it difficult for historians to sort fact from fiction regarding some of history’s most elusive warriors.
The story of Ishikawa goemon truly begins in 1573. That is when Ishikawa goemon began to study the arts of Iga ninjutsu from his mentor, Momochi Sandayu. Momochi was another renowned ninja that we have shared information upon before.
Ishikawa Goemon decided to become a ninja so that he could enable himself to avenge the murder of his father, who was killed by Samurai serving a shogunate. It was after this brutal loss that he took to studying the arts of stealth and killing that the ninjas had so mastered.
His ninja training was cut short once it was revealed that he had been having an affair with a mistress of Momochi’s. Ishikawa Goemon then chose to steal a favored sword from his mentor before fleeing the compound. Various historic records show that several sources refer to Ishikawa Goemon as a thief or having engaged in theft.
Ishikawa Goemon has also been referred to as the ninja Robin Hood, as he formed a band of rogues after fleeing his ninja training to engage in burglarizing the prosperous warlords and merchants in the area then sharing the bounty with the local villagers. He utilized his ninja training, shared it with his followers, and leverage those skills to become very effective thieves.
This legendary ninja was also said to have attempted to assassinate Oda Nobunaga. Oda Nobunaga was one of the greatest enemies that ninjas had ever faced, as he engaged in a campaign to wipe ninjas out. Ishikawa Goemon was said to have attempted to poison Nobunaga in his own home.
While it might sound as though Ishikawa goemon had a life of adventure, his ending sounded quite brutal…
According to record, this renowned ninja was boiled to death after being captured attempting to assassinate a government official.
While the truth may be difficult to discern at times, it goes without question that for a ninja to have their name passed on throughout generations that they must have lead a bold and adventurous life.