Danjou Kouga (甲賀 弾正, Kōga Danjō) is the leader of Kouga Manjidani and grandfather of Gennosuke Kouga. He allows Gennosuke to become engaged to Ogen's granddaughter, Oboro, in order to bring a truce between the clans.
Danjou is an old man with shoulder-length, white hair that her keeps tied up in a ponytail and a very wrinkled face. He also has large white eyebrows and a long, white beard on his chin. He wears a dark green kosode with a dark blue jinbaori over it. He also wears dark hakama, black socks and traditional sandals.
In his youth, Danjou's hair was slightly longer and, along with his eyebrows, was black. He wore a similar outfit, though with different colours. He also wore a pair of fingerless gloves.
HistoryEditWhen Danjou was younger, he was engaged to Ogen, chieftess of the Iga Tsubagakure clan. Despite hostility from their respective clans, the pair were deeply in love and had every intention of going through with the marriage. One night, the pair met in the mountains surrounding Iga Tsubagakure. The meeting was interrupted by explosions coming from the village below. Danjou grabbed Ogen and they ran to find Iga on fire, with soldiers killing all the villagers. Ogen stops by the body of a dead woman and mourns her before pulling out a dagger to fight the invaders, but is shot by one from a distance. Danjou flies into action, killing the soldier with his needles before checking on Ogen. After confirming she was alright, he followed her to the Iga clan's leader. They reach his residence too late and find him dead, though there they learn from Masanari that Nobunaga Oda was behind the attack. Saddened over the death of her grandfather, Ogen tries to leave to kill him but is stopped by Danjou. Masanari suggests that they escape, so Ogen, Danjou and other Iga ninjas leave through a secret passage.
They exit the passage and arrive in the woods. Danjou attempts to console Ogen, but they are interrupted by the Iga guards being killed by throwing stars. Ogen runs to their aid and is almost hit, but Danjou deflects the weapons. Realising the weapons are from Kouga, he calls out to the attacker. Renbu Kasumi appears and tells Danjou and Ogen that the Kouga had conspired with Nobunaga to eliminate the Iga and that he was in charge of killing any escapees. Ogen looks horrified and confused, so Danjou tries to tell her that he had no part in the plan. She doesn't seem to believe him, but falls to the ground before she can do anything, injured from her previous wound. Danjou tries to help her, but she shrugs him off and he decides that he should leave. As he turns to leave, Ogen begs him to die before attacking him with a sword. He blocks her blow, but their relationship was over and the hatred began.
Many years later, Danjou is seen at a meeting with the second Hattori Hanzo Masanari II to introduce his heir Gennosuke. Ogen is also present to introduce Oboro. This meeting was the first time Gennosuke and Oboro ever met. Danjou is seen again visiting Iga with Jousuke Udono and Gennosuke as an adult in an attempt to have Gennosuke marry Oboro. He shares a short conversation with Ogen before Oboro bursts in, spilling the tea in the process. Danjou leaped to the ceiling to avoid it, but Gennosuke ended up covered. On the way back to Kouga, he explains Oboro and her abilities to Gennosuke and Gennosuke explains his hopes for Iga and Kouga to co-exist.
Visit to SunpuEdit
Danjou is called to Sunpu by Ieyasu Tokugawa and brings along Shougen Kazamachi as his representative. He sits with Ieyasu, Ogen, Masahiro and Munenori Yagyu to watch the battle between Shougen and Yashamaru, Ogen's representative. Danjou and Ogen teased each other throughout the battle and were both able to stop the fight immediately when Ieyasu ordered it. Ieyasu then asks the pair if they would abandon the peace treaty and battle to the death. Both Danjou and Ogen agree immediately and write the ten names of the ninja they want to participate. Danjou hands his scroll to Shougen and orders him to take it to Kouga. As Yashamaru runs past him, Danjou takes his scroll, unbeknownst to Yashamaru, who continues on to Iga.
Danjou then walks away with Ogen to talk. They talk of the past for a short while, before Danjou asks if she knows all the ninja he picked. She replies by asking him if he knows all ten Iga ninja, which is when Danjou takes his chance to attack, spitting a poisonous needle directly into Ogen's neck. He takes this chance to gloat, teasing that Iga only had nine ninja. He then strikes her name from the scroll before closing her eyes. He asks if their skils should really be used in that way, but turns away when Ogen's hawk swoops at him. Distracted, he never saw Ogen get up and stab him through the back with one of his needles. He dies, and soon after Ogen does too, collapsing on his chest. Their bodies float out into the river and drift away into the sunset together with the brief image of them in their youth.
In his youth, Danjou was much like Gennosuke, intelligent and determined to break the hatred between the two clans. Even after the incident with Ogen, he seemed to hope to destroy the hatred by having Gennosuke marry Oboro. Despite this, he jumped at the chance to have the treaty abolished and had no problem sneak attacking Ogen, the minute the war began, showing all traces of love he had for Ogen were truly gone.
- Senbonjutsu: Danjou specialises in the use of throwing needles. He is able to throw them at high speed and with perfect accuracy. He also throws them hard enough to pierce armour. He is also able to spit them from his mouth, with the same speed and accuracy as throwing them. This makes them perfect for stealth attacks.
- Kenjutsu: Danjou is known to skilled in the use of a sword, shown when he uses a sword to deflect the throwing stars used in the assassination attempt by Renbu.
At one time in his life, Danjou was deeply in love with Ogen and did not hesitate to come to the defense of Iga for her sake. He tried desperately to prove his innocence and tried to convince Ogen to stay with him. Over the years, this love vanished and in the end lead to him eliminating Ogen, the minute she let her guard down, though he seemed to be sad that he had done so.
Danjou truly believed in Gennosuke's skills as a ninja, which led to him selecting Gennosuke to be his heir. Despite this, Danjou never seemed particularly close to his grandson, though they both appear to have similar ideals.
They are both familiarly related to his grandson Gennosuke, but it is unknown if Hyouma is his son or Kagerou is his granddaughter. It is never implied, but is too not impossible, as the Gennosuke's family tree was never fully shown or explained. Depending on which side Danjou is Gennosuke's grandfather or Kagerou his cousin, if maternal they are related to Hyouma.
Appearance in Other MediaEditDanjou is a featured character in the 2005 Japanese live-action film Shinobi: Heart Under Blade and is played by Minoru Tereda. He does not appear to have had a past affair with Ogen of Iga; thus, the most plausible reason for their hostility towards each other was their loyalty to their respective clans. He enforces a ban among the Kouga to interact with the people of Iga, despite the no-hostilities pact set by Hattori Hanzo, frowning upon Gennosuke's relationship with Oboro. Despite not placing their names on the scroll, Danjou and Ogen decide to have a duel and meet each other in secret in the woods. There they do battle, with the end result being both their deaths.
- In the original manga, Danjou's backstory regarding his relationship with Ogen, isn't fully explained and is suggested that the reason their love ceased was due to pressure from both their respective clans to end the affair. Danjou in the manga is also depicted as being more ruthless as he coldly grins after swiping the Iga's battle scroll from Yashamaru, while in the anime, his face remains grimly expressionless.
- It is implied, that Danjou married another women and had one or more offspring, which can include Hyouma and Gennosuke and Kagerou's mothers or fathers.
- (To Ogen) "This isn't about love; it's survival."
- (To Ogen, after killing her) "Farewell, my love. This is the fate of those born into war...Ogen.
- (To Gennosuke) "You are still so young."