Danzō Katō
Danzo Kato (NAIT)
Character Information
Clan(s)/Alliance(s): Uesugi
Weapon Type:
Unit Type: Fire Ninja
First Appearance: Samurai Warriors 2
Historical Information
Real name:
Katō Danzō
Japanese name:
加藤 段蔵

Danzō Katō is an informant of the Warring States period. Not much is known about the actual Danzō since war records barely mention him and his famous exploits are not in historical records. Legends may paint him as a hypnotist or illusionist or shinobi distrusted by Kenshin and Shingen.

The Nobunaga no Yabou 201X poll for 4-star officers puts him in ninety-seventh place.

Role in GamesEdit

Warriors Orochi 3 has him substitute for Ayane for her battles.

Pokémon Conquest has him as a generic officer who first serves under Kotarō.

Nobunaga no Yabou 201X has him appear in the Tensho Iga War event. Both he and Chiyome Mochizuki serve Shingen; they are commanded by their master to answer Sandayū's call to arms. In spite of his reputation, Danzō admits that he is the junior of the duo who is still learning the ropes from Chiyome. They defend Fukuchi Castle with Nagahide Niwa and Kazumasu Takigawa.

Japanese FolkloreEdit

Katō Danzō is commonly known as "Flying Danzō" (飛び加藤 or 鳶の段蔵, Tobi Katō or Tobi no Danzō) due to his exceptional jumping ability. He reportedly could jump to any height. Danzō's origins are argued to be anywhere from Mount Togakushi, Nara Prefecture, Hitachi Province or Iga Province. Nothing is known about his possible family relations. Records of dubious authenticity claimed he served completely different lords in the west and never associated himself with the east.

His minor historical mentions identify Danzō as an informant, which is believed to have led to many myths about his shinobi origins. Myths identify his expertise with any of the major ninja schools (Iga, Kōga, Fūma). The common story for his shinobi training is that he professed himself to be a professional when he really failed to master the craft. He is mentioned in historical records to have talked with the "lord of the house" (Kenshin and/or Shingen), but Danzō's involvement with either lord is shrouded in mystery.

In legends and folklore, Danzō is known for his mysticism. He reportedly first approached Kenshin to serve as his retainer. To gain his attention, Danzō infiltrated Kasugayama Castle and loudly declared that he could swallow a large black cow whole. He covered a black cloth above his and the cow's head. The cow proceeded to vanish as though it were being absorbed into Danzō, leaving no blood or hair behind. The cow's voice bellowed from his stomach moments after he had "devoured" it; he claimed that the cow was lonely.

Some retainers who watched the spectacle from behind a tree mocked the illusion, stating that Danzō was merely riding on the cow's back. Angered by their remarks, Danzō countered by planting two gourd seeds into the ground. It sprouted magically and bore endless flowers within mere moments. He used a short sword to cut off one of the flowers and threw it towards the disbelievers. The flower sprouted another type of tree, and they writhed within the growing branches. Moments later, their heads dropped onto the ground below.

When Kenshin caught wind of these feats, he ordered for Danzō to see him. He ordered the performer to sneak into Naoe Kagetsuna's quarters and steal a long sword from him to prove his worth. Kagetsuna was made aware of Danzō's invasion in advance and sealed himself within a four way room with no openings. He had his fierce hound Murasame –a canine said to have had the ferocity of a tiger– patrol the manor. Danzō lured Murasame away with a grilled rice ball and killed it. Alternatively, the rice ball was poisoned and the dog died whilst eating it. Then he sneaked past an entrance of sleeping guards and took the long sword. Danzō usually carries a maid with him for his victorious flight back to Kasugayama Castle.

Kenshin feared Danzō's capabilities were formidable to friend and foe alike; if Danzō were to ever betray him, it would cause catastrophe for him. He ordered for Kagetsuna to execute Danzō. The wanted man became aware of the sentence and decided to show the Uesugi one last show. He pulled out a tin wine bottle and tipped it to the floor. Twenty dolls poured from it and grew into a giant size for a lovely dance. While the Uesugi retainers were captivated by the dance, Danzō fled unnoticed. If he did serve Kenshin, he only did it for ten days.

Danzō fled to Shingen's territory. If he did find service under the Takeda lord, he did so by becoming Atobe Katsusuke's retainer or a member of the Takeda ninja. Shingen either doubted the deserter's loyalty towards him due to his ties to Kenshin, feared his illusions, or suspected him of being a secret agent sent by Nobunaga. All scenarios suggest that Shingen felt Danzō had some ulterior motive that didn't agree with him, leading to his orders for Danzō's execution. He was either killed by Takeda ninja, assassinated by a group of hired swordsmen, or slain by Baba Nobuharu and his men.

He is commonly believed to have been the shinobi feared and executed by Shingen in the likely false collection of stories, Ninja, Pain and Retirement, published during the Edo period. The book states that Shingen was 50 and the shinobi who was executed was 67, making 1569 his rough death year. The narrative does not specifically name the man executed to be Danzō nor has it been historically verified.