HistoryEditIt is never mentioned as to when or why the Kouga and Iga became such bitter enemies but the clan came close to achieving peace at the time when Danjou was young. He became engaged to Ogen, much to the anger of his fellow ninja. In order to eradicate the Iga the Kouga went behind Danjou's back and joined forces with Nobunaga Oda, who invaded Iga. The Kouga, lead by Renbu Kasumi, hid in the woods and killed any Iga trying to escape from Nobunaga's bloody attack. They met Danjou and Ogen trying to escape and explained the events to them, leading to Ogen ending the relationship once and for all. Some time later Renbu Kasumi was sent by Danjou with other ninja as a peace envoy, hoping to ease the tension between the clans. The entire group was assassinated by the Iga in revenge for their part in Nobunaga's invasion. The next day Hattori Hanzo's war-pact was signed, forbidding the Kouga and Iga from engaging each other in combat.
Years later Danjou and Ogen brought their heirs Gennosuke and Oboro to meet Hattori Hanzo the 2nd and discuss an arranged marriage between the two, hoping once again to achieve true peace. The pair were introduced again at a meeting in Iga when they were adults, where they both decided to go ahead with the marriage. While seemingly more accepting than the Iga the Kouga were still slightly opposed to the wedding, with Kagerou in particular dsperately hoping for it to fail. The Kouga were less resistant as Gennosuke would become leader of Iga if the marriage succeeded.
The Kouga Ten are the ten best ninja in Kouga, as selected by Danjou. The Kouga specialize in stealth and assassination with techniques that, for the most part, rely on subterfuge. Even abilities designed for battle, such as Gennosuke's Dojutsu, tend to be defensive in nature.
|Picture||Name||Ability||Number of Kills/Assists||Killed By|
|Danjou Kouga||Specialises in Needle Throwing|
|Saemon Kisaragi||Morphing Appearance|
|Gyoubu Kasumi||Merge with Solid Objects|
|Jousuke Udono||Body has the Consistency of Rubber|
|Shougen Kazamachi||Spider-like Abilities|
The Kouga also have many more ninja and, as seen from the Iga's invasion, are always ready to jump into battle against any possible intruders.
The Kōga-ryū was the famous school of ninjitsu located in Kōka. Members of the Kouga school of shinobi were trained in disguise, escape, concealment, explosives, medicines and poisons, they were trained in techniques of unarmed combat and in the use of various weapons.
Kōka (甲賀市, Kōka-shi) is a city located in the southern part of Shiga Prefecture, Japan. (The word 'Kōka' is often rendered as 'Kouga' in English, especially when referring to the Kouga Ninja.)
As of April 2008, the city has an estimated population of 93,882 and a density of 195 persons per km². The total area is 481.69 km². The city was founded on October 1, 2004 when the towns of Kōka, Kōnan, Minakuchi, Shigaraki, Tsuchiyama, all from Kōka District, merged to form the new city of Kōka.
Kōka is quite well known for its ninja history, fine quality ceramics and for containing two post stations (Tsuchiyama-juku and Minakuchi-juku) from the historic Tōkaidō. The city launched a new English version of their homepage in April 2007, and they have begun to actively promote themselves as a little known yet highly authentic sightseeing destination.
The beginnings of the Kōga-ryū may be traced to near the end of the Muromachi period. While the town of Kōka was under the jurisdiction of the Rokkaku (lit. "hexagon") clan, it was a kind of autonomous municipality composed of peasant unions, then called sō (惣). All important decisions in the municipality were made by a majority vote from the union representatives, this kind of system was uncommon for the period in question.
Sasaki Rokkaku of Ōmi Province, using the castle of Kannonji as a base, started to steadily build up military might. He made light of commands from the Ashikaga shogunate, and eventually began to ignore the shogunate altogether. In 1487, General Ashikaga Yoshihisa brought with him an army to stamp out this rebellion, and a battle between Ashikaga and Rokkaku’s camps ensued. Ashikaga mobilized daimyo from several provinces in the castle of Kannonji, the headquarters of the Rokkaku; as a result, Rokkaku Masayori and Rokkaku Takayori (Masayori's son) were forced to flee to the castle of Kōka. The factual accuracy of their escape is debated and it is likely that they gave up the town to avoid a direct confrontation instead.
Ashikaga then moved his base to Anshiyoji of Kurita District and attacked the castle of Kōka. Kōka fell, but the Rokkaku duo escaped and ordered the Kōka warriors who followed them to mount a heavy resistance against Ashikaga using guerrilla warfare. Exploiting their geographical advantage in the mountains, the Kōka warriors launched a wide range of surprise attacks against Ashikaga’s forces, and tormented them by using fire and smoke on Ashikaga’s camp during the night. The guerilla warfare prevented a final showdown, until Ashikaga died in battle in 1489, ending the three-year conflict and sparing the lives of the Rokkaku duo.
The elusive and effective guerilla warfare used by the Kōka warriors became well-known throughout the whole country. This also marked the first time that the ninja of Kōka were drafted as a regular army by their lord. Previously, they were only mercenaries and it was not uncommon to have warriors from Kōka on both sides of a battle. As a result of this victory, the local samurai in the 53 families who participated in this battle were called "the 53 families of Kōka".