Iga-goe(Crossing Iga)

TOKUGAWA Ieyasu experienced four disasters in his life, among which, according to him, Crossing Iga was the most difficult. When he learned his predecessor OTA Nobunaga committed suicide because of rebellion, he was on his way home with only 30 odd allegiants in civilian clothes, although they were all chief retainers. Ieyasu said, “I should kill the rebel, but we are too small a party to fight against the rebel force. It may be better for me to remain in dignity by committing suicide by harakiri.” A follower then made a proposal, however, “Let’s return home, raise forces, and send a punitive expedition against the rebel. That is our obligation to Nobunaga.” So, they discussed how they would be able to escape.

Although they were annoyed by bandits and riots that usually accompanied rebellion, they could somehow come to Iga through a number of dangerous points with the aid of several local lords. After they entered Iga, local warriors of Koka and Iga guided them to Ise. Thereafter, they returned home on ships. Ieyasu later hired two hundred Koka and Iga men and appointed HATTORI Hanzo to the head of the group, which is the beginning of the Iga section of Tokugawa shogunate.