The Kouga Ninja Scrolls: A Novel by Futaro YamadaThe Kouga Ninja Scrolls: A Novel by Futaro Yamada

The Kouga Ninja Scrolls: A Novel

byFutaro Yamada

Paperback | December 26, 2006

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An epic novel that takes you deeper into the world and history of Basilisk! 

To resolve a clash over succession, the shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa has devised the ultimate contest. Two rival ninja clans, the Kouga and the Iga, will meet in a battle to the death. The victor will rule Japan for the next thousand years. But in the midst of this bloody war, an unlikely romance blooms between Gennosuke of the Kouga clan and Oboro of the Iga clan. Gennosuke and Oboro are the next leaders of their clans and their fates are inextricably bound with that of their families. In the colossal fight, the star-crossed lovers are faced with a fatal choice between true love and destiny. Can romance conquer a four-hundred-year-old rivalry? Or is their love fated to end in death?
Fūtaro Yamada was born in Japan in 1922. He published his first detective novel in 1947 while in medical school. In 1958, he published The Kouga Ninja Scrolls, the first in a series about supernatural ninjas. The immense popularity of the series led to numerous adaptations, including the manga series Basilisk and the 2005 movie Shinobi...
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Title:The Kouga Ninja Scrolls: A NovelFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:336 pages, 7.5 × 5 × 0.73 inShipping dimensions:7.5 × 5 × 0.73 inPublished:December 26, 2006Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345495101

ISBN - 13:9780345495105

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing This book is amazing, just amazing. It isn't just a ninja love story, if I were to give a in depth review I would spoil the readers emotions and Futaro Yamada did a good job in that aspect of the book. I can only say, this novel covers a lot of genres in one story and mostly everyone can find something to relate to. I apologize for the vague review and hope this or other reviews give the interested a reason to purchase or seek a copy.
Date published: 2017-08-10

Read from the Book

THE GREAT SECRET1the castle keep stood in the background, seven stories high. From a distance, it looked like a heap of dancer’s fans piled atop one another.Two men faced off.In the blaze of the sun, the men’s bodies turned transparent. Clouds dropped their shadows upon them, shifting the men into hazy shadows as well. They nearly faded into nothingness. An audience of countless eyes watched them, but these eyes had to squint more and more to see them, frequently losing sight of the two men.But no one looked away. A distance of no more than fifteen feet separated the men, and within that space a charged air of menace billowed back and forth in waves. Yet neither man held an unsheathed sword—rather, both of them stood empty-handed. If the audience had not just witnessed the shocking display of ninja skills, the watchers would probably not have recognized the deadly atmosphere surging between the two men now.One of the men, Kazamachi Shougen, about forty years old, was hideous, with a bumpy forehead and hollow cheeks that contrasted with the shining red dots that served as his eyes. He had a round, swollen hump like a hunchback. His long narrow gray limbs had been bloated abnormally at their limits. Every one of his fingers and toes—which poked out from straw sandals—was as large as a lizard.Moments ago, he had been attacked by five samurai. As they approached him, his arrogant stance said: You wish to cut me down as if I were a mere novice. Unimpressed, his attackers advanced in the intimidating Yagyu sword-fighting stance. Holding their swords out from their bodies, they looked like scarecrows.“Aaah!” Two of the five warriors suddenly screamed and staggered back, clutching at their eyes. Without a word, Kazamachi Shougen had attacked them. They didn’t understand what had happened, or even how it had occurred, but the remaining three men panicked, and their terror sent them into a furious frenzy. Their swords were already drawn, and they had just been attacked, so in a mixture of shock and reflex action the remaining three waved their swords in the air and charged.Shougen darted to the side, toward the stone wall of the castle keep. Escaping from the onrushing, poorly manufactured swords, he scrambled up the wall. Amazingly, he did so without ever turning his back to his enemies. Spiderlike, with his back to the wall, he clambered up the huge stone wall using his hands and feet. Or, one should say, his hand and feet—his right hand continued gripping his sword. Climbing just beyond the men’s reach, he looked down at the three pursuing samurai and smirked.It only seemed to be a smirk. Something flew from his mouth, striking the three remaining soldiers, who all immediately slammed their eyes shut and stumbled in dizziness. The other two soldiers were still writhing and covering their eyes. His back pressing the wall, Kazamachi Shougen noiselessly crept down. The battle was already over.The object that exploded from Shougen’s mouth was no ordinary weapon. It was a glob of mucus the size of a coin from the Keicho reign. From anyone else, it would have been nothing more than phlegm, but Shougen could make his mucus extremely thick and sticky. The five soldiers would be unable to get it out of their eyes for days, not before they had torn out all their own eyelashes in the effort.Meanwhile, Yashamaru—a youth from the province of Iga—had also been pitted against five samurai.The word “youth” would not adequately describe the handsome brilliance of this young man. Although he was dressed in coarse clothing as if he had come from the mountains, he had cheeks the color of cherry blossoms and his black eyes shone. He looked like the ideal image of a handsome young man.Stepping toward the five warriors, he chose not to touch the mountain sword that hung from his waist tied to a rattan belt. Instead, he drew out a black ropelike thing. This “rope” had immense power: It was incredibly thin, yet had the strength of steel wire. Even a direct chop from a sword could not cut it. During the day, it shone with dazzling brilliance. But once the sun went down, it became completely invisible.Suddenly, the mysterious rope twisted around a sword and flung it into the air. A sharp, earsplitting groan erupted as the rope came whistling across horizontally. Two soldiers collapsed, gripping their thighs and backs. Yashamaru used both hands to hurl the ends of the rope in different directions at the same time. He didn’t bother to attack the soldiers closest to him; instead, he brought down two soldiers who were ten feet away. He lassoed them around the necks like bellowing beasts.The rope had been forged through a special technique: Black strands of women’s hair had been tied together and sealed with animal oil. A mere touch of the rope upon human flesh had the same effect as a blow from an iron whip. As the rope coiled around the thighs and bodies of the defeated soldiers, their skin burst open as if sharp swords were slicing them. Several dozen feet long, the rope moved like a living creature—spinning, twisting, striking, encircling, and amputating the limbs of its enemies. And yet, watching it revealed nothing of its next movement—it was inscrutable. Unlike swords and spears, the rope could move autonomously, without regard to Yashamaru’s position. Movements of rope and master were unrelated. Enemies had no way to defend themselves, and certainly no chance to attack.And now, the two mysterious warriors—both of them victors over five attacking samurai—challenged each other, silently, almost magically.The early summer clouds that hung over the castle keep slowly thinned and dissipated into nothingness. It was as if they were melting in the blue sky. And although it took no more than a few minutes, it seemed to last an eternity. That was the way time flowed . . .Kazamachi Shougen’s mouth twisted into a smirk. Simultaneously, a groan erupted from Yashamaru’s fist, and his rope burst forth, striking at Shougen like an unleashed whirlwind. Shougen dropped to the ground. For a second, all those watching seemed to be witnessing the same mass hallucination—it seemed like a gigantic gray spider was scrambling across the ground. It took another second before the observers realized that this was Kazamachi Shougen, and that, instead of being ensnared by the rope, he had escaped. He landed on all fours and, smirking, spat a light blue sticky clump at Yashamaru.The round, filmy membrane had nearly struck Yashamaru’s face when it vanished in midair—lassoed by Yashamaru’s rope. Realizing this, Shougen—for the first time—seemed frightened.Tsu-tsu-tsu. Shougen scampered backward on all fours. With his head hanging upside down, he scurried up the stone tower of the castle keep in one burst. Everyone watching gasped and the sound echoed off the castle walls.Shougen’s body seemed to fly up the white wall, outracing the tip of Yashamaru’s pursuing rope. Shougen glided to the top, then disappeared into the shadows behind an ornamental board at the edge of the curved roof. Using it as his shield, he spat a sticky clump downward. But Yashamaru was no longer there. Yashamaru had lassoed his second length of rope around the edge of the roof and pulled himself up. Yashamaru now floated in midair. Shougen scampered away across the bronze roof tiles. But as soon as he outraced one length of rope, Yashamaru threw another length of rope at him. The battle pitted a trembling bagworm shooting out deadly threads against a scampering spider spitting magical phlegm. The airborne death match that raged against the backdrop of dazzling early summer clouds clearly was not a duel between human beings. This was a fight between monstrous creatures—no, between magical things, far removed from the world of humans.In the midst of the crowd that watched this nightmarish battle was the elderly lord of the castle. He waved his hand and looked to the side. “Enough. Have them cease, Hanzou. Let’s continue this battle tomorrow.”The duel had already ranged over three floors of the castle. The way things were headed, at least one ninja, and maybe both, would end up dead. The old lord of the castle snapped, “This must not become some kind of spectacle for townspeople to gawk at. Sunpu Castle is full of spies from Osaka.” The speaker was Tokugawa Ieyasu, lord of the castle—and the man who had nearly conquered and unified Japan.