Cast of Characters

There are a variety of recurring characters in the Tales of the Ninja Coder. It would be silly to put underlines on them every single time, so here’s a guide to everyone I talk about with any real frequency.

My Love

The love of my life is a woman named Akane. I met her in the forests high in the mountains, on the border of Iga Province, one moonlit night. We now live together in the village of Hoshiakari, in the heart of Iga. I mention her a lot, so it’s very important that you know who she is!

Co-Workers

Most of the tales I have to tell concern my daily activities with Clan Noriaibasha. (I do some ninja-ing of my own, in my off-hours, but that’s not as frequent.) Here are some of the people at Castle Noriaibasha who I talk about the most:

  • Kento: My captain, a ninja who has been with Clan Noriaibasha for some time, and is slowly climbing the ranks. He assigns me my tasks.
  • Tsukimi: A Nichiren priestess who is in charge of the platoon called the Keitai Team. This includes Kento and his team (which in turn includes me).
  • Ginsaku: Another urban-fighting ninja who was hired just after me. Like me, he reports to Kento. He is a hard worker, very dedicated and loyal.
  • Satonori: Another of the fighters on Kento’s team. He is a mercenary of many talents, including urban fighting and some ninja skills.
  • Sakito: Yet another of Kento’s ninjas, very skilled with the kama. Though he is highly adept at fighting in city streets, he is not so good on the rooftops as I am.
  • Makishi: A young priest with some combat experience. His demeanor is brash and friendly, and I like him.
  • Amon: A priest of the Nichiren order, and a friend of Kento’s.
  • Atsuhiko: One of the samurai under Makishi’s command.
  • Risako: One of the most holy of the Nichiren priestesses, highly placed in the clan. She and I agree on many points of Harmony and the Way, and are becoming friends.

Friends

The people of Iga Province tend to stick together, so most of my and Akane’s friends are fellow Iga-dewllers. Even those who now live in more distant areas have their roots in Iga.

  • Arisa: One of my and Akane’s dearest friends, Arisa is a priestess of Batō KannonKannon, or Kwannon, is the goddess of mercy and compassion. Batō Kannon is one of Her incarnations, the one most concerned with helping animals.Kannon, or Kwannon, is the goddess of mercy and compassion. Batō Kannon is one of Her incarnations, the one most concerned with helping animals.. She maintains a temple near the village of Zendōbutsu. Akane and I helped clear bandits out of the area so that she could set up the temple; now many villagers recognize Arisa as a very holy priestess. Tending to the animals around Zendōbutsu keeps Arisa very busy, so we don’t see her often, but it also makes her happy.
  • Araiguma: His real name is Shunma, but everyone calls him by his nickname, AraigumaJapanese for "badger"Japanese for "badger" — or even just ‘Guma for short. He is a very experienced warrior who has skill in weapons ranging from the katana to the A fighting staff, generally about six feet long. Similar to the European quarterstaff. Often carried by mountain men and travellers as well as dedicated warriors.A fighting staff, generally about six feet long. Similar to the European quarterstaff. Often carried by mountain men and travellers as well as dedicated warriors. staff to the nunchaku. He also knows the arts of ShugendōThe mystical path or religion practiced by the yamabushi, and is currently a member of Clan Tetsumon, where he once fought alongside Seito.
  • Seito: Once a yamabushiThe yamabushi were (and still are) a group of mystical ascetics who live high in the mountains, practicing a nature-based spiritual path called Shugendō. In the world of the ninja coder, they’re invaluable to any clan that aims to conquer more than a tiny territory, because their knowledge of the trails and mountain passes is critical for moving troops and supplies from place to place. The word "yamabushi" is both singular and plural; it can mean the group or a single mountain man.Mystical mountain warriors who know the trails and passes in the mountains, and can help clans move troops and supplies around. The word "yamabushi" is both singular and plural; it can mean the group or a single mountain man. of Clan Tetsumon, he rose through the ranks to become a commander of a squadron. He entered the Tendai priesthoodmoved into technical managementmoved into technical management, to better guide his clan’s course in accordance with the ways of Buddha-nature, but found the nobles unwilling to heed his words, and so has left Tetsumon entirely. He now seeks his fortunes as a priest and storyteller.
  • Reiko: She has many skills, but her true calling is as a healer. She has recently found a clinic where her skills can be put to good use. Though she lives far down the Kii Peninsula, she sometimes comes to visit the capital or to see Iga Province again.
  • Arihiro: He is in command of a network of couriers for the famed daimyōA feudal warlord; the leader of a clan and/or army with a significant area of land under its control. Usually also has aims to expand his holdings; many daimyō are trying to become rulers of whole regions, or even of all of Japan. Pronounced “dime-yo”.A feudal warlord; the leader of a clan and/or army with a significant area of land under its control. Usually also has aims to expand his holdings; many daimyō are trying to become rulers of whole regions, or even of all of Japan. Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Arihiro and his wife and children live some distance away, so Akane and I rarely see them face-to-face.
  • Michio: He is the lover of an old friend of mine named Nijiko. The two of them live near the seaside, in rustic Kii Province, where Michio is learning the arts of combat. He enjoys the ninja-tōThe short sword most associated with ninjas. Note that unlike the katana and wakizashi carried by samurai, the ninja-tō was straight rather than curved. It was roughly the length of a wakizashi.

    The ninja-tō was also generally of inferior workmanship compared to the more expensive blades available to samurai. Even if a ninja could acquire a katana, it would be too long and unwieldy to carry on most missions; ninja generally relied on smaller weapons like the shuriken and manrikigusari, and on more deniable weapons like the kama.

    “Ninja-ken” is another perfectly acceptable name for this weapon; it’s like the difference between saying “ninja blade” and “ninja sword” in English.The short sword most associated with ninjas. Note that unlike the katana and wakizashi carried by samurai, the ninja-tō was straight rather than curved. Also known as a “ninja-ken”. and is becoming adept in the Pagoda Bearer ryūA school, tradition, or style in martial arts.A school, tradition, or style in martial arts..