History of our Clan
The clan has worked under the leadership
of the Shibata family.
The Shibatas fought
in the battle of Shizugatake in 1583 under the feudal lord Katsuie
Shibata, the most powerful relative of the time. But Katsuie was
defeated and killed by Hideyoshi Toyotomi. So the Shibatas went
to serve Ieyasu Tokugawa, the strongest rival of Hideyoshi. When Ieyasu
moved to Yedo (the present day Tokyo) in 1590, they followed
him from their homeland, Mikawa.
the country in 1603, Ieyasu became the first Shogun of the
Tokugawa Clan. Then under the third generation shogun, Iemitsu, the
Shibata clan leader (johnin: ninja master) was given the position of bugyo (magistrate), and his
chuhnin (master ninjas) became yoriki. And the ninpo taijutusu became family martial
arts of those who remained within the shogunate. It was very unique
that they were the samurai and ninja clan leaders at the same
time. Hattori Hanzo had a similar position but the third generarion
Hanzo disappeared during the battle of Osaka and his heir had to
leave from Edo.
We can see that ninjas had a lot to do in the 19th century,
under Shibata Sadataro Takenaka,
the lord of Hyuga who was the commissioner of foreign affairs
in the Tokugawa shogunate. His people worked to check foreign
ships and diplomats.
In 1862, he and his team were despatched to
Europe to negotiate for delaying the opening of some ports in the
country, and to collect information about the western world. Then in 1867 he and his relative Nakagawa Tadamichi,
the lord of Bicchu were sent to Paris to meet
with Napoleon III. Their main objectives were to contract
an agreement to build an iron foundary and to introduce western
military training, here in Japan.
Takenaka in the center (seated) - Paris
1867, Takenaka was appointed to be magistrate of Osaka and Kobe,
and made efforts to open the port of Kobe, when the country
was divided and the shugunate was losing its political power. He
had 12 onmitsu (shinobi) working for him. In a sense, we owe his team that, Japan could avoid battles
against those western countries, as Japan could keep promises with
them to open up her ports.
The day after he exchanged the documents with the British,
French, Italian and Prussian ambasadors, the shogunate government
collapsed in 1868.
from his position and decided to retire, declining the offer from the
Meiji government to work for them, but he agreed to give executive council as
needed. He died at the age of 55, chosing to remain as
a samurai warrior of the shogun.