In 1973, TBS decided to revive its hit series of 11 years before with a new cast and staff, as Funatoko was dead by this and Senkōsha Productions had disbanded. The only link with the old series was Maki Fuyukichi reprising his role as a ninja sidekick (who may or may not have been Tonbei). The timeslot and sponsors were the same as for the earlier series. As with The New Samurai, the hero not only had the obligatory boy companion but also a female love interest. Once more, one of the chief villains was played by Amatsu Bin.

However, like The New Samurai, it failed to gain popularity and was cancelled after only two stories (26 episodes), despite attempts to jazz it up with appearances by pop singers of the day and the introduction of a fantasy element in the second story. It was never released in Australia, hence there are no English titles for this. Instead I have put literal translations of the Japanese titles in square brackets underneath the original titles.

The hero, Matsudaira Shintarō Nobukatsu, was played by Ogishima Shinichi. Like his predecessors, he was in his mid-20s (26 going 27) at the time the series was made. He wore the same ponytail hairstyle, though with an even floppier forelock that Hayashi Shinichirō sported in the first story of The New Samurai. He was dressed in a simple kimono with a discrete pattern of open squares. His face was thinner with high cheekbones. Tonbei looked much the same and the little boy looked like a clone of Shūsaku.

The series was broadcast on TBS, Sundays at 7-7.3opm from 7th October 1973 to 31st March 1974. It was sponsored by Takeda Pharmaceuticals and directed by Kikuchi Akira who had been an assistant director on the original series. The first story was made at Tōei's Kyoto studios, the second was shot in Tokyo and given the title Onmitsu kenshi tsuppashire! [Run fast, spy swordsman!].


STORY ONE (title unknown). The cast included Yamada Masahide as the boy companion, Yoshizawa Kyōko as the love interest and Amatsu Bin as the villain, Garō Tessō. The story concerned the Akame ninja, led by Garō Tessō. The format looks similar to the original series, even down to the sort of titles given each episode.


Onmitsu kenshi no tanjō

[Birth of a Spy Swordsman]

7th October 1973


Akame ninpō Kodama


14th October 1973


Akame ninpō jūhōseme

[Akame Ninja Attack from Ten Directions]

21st October 1973


Akame ninpō menutsushi

[The Face-Stealer]

28th October 1973


Akame ninpō sōnin kuzushi

[Double Ninja Destruction]

4th November 1973


Akame ninpō musasabi

[The Flying Squirrel]

11th November 1973


Akame ninpō kumoshibari

[Akame ninja spider-binding]

18th November 1973


Akame ninpō hissatsu Dōryūjin

[Certain Death Dōryūjin]

25th November 1973


Akame ninpō Garō Tessō

[Garō Tessō i.e. Garo Steel-Claw]

2nd December 1973


Shiseru Gayazaru

[Gayazaru, Harbinger of Death]

9th December 1973


Dai yōsai o buttobase

[Fire on the great fortress]

16th December 1973


Tenshukaku no kettō

[Duel in the Castle Keep]

23rd December 1973


Honoo o yaburu Shintarō

[Shintarō Destroys the Flames]

30th December 1973

STORY TWO (title unknown). Cast included, apart from the regulars, Yamase Hiroshi, Katsuma Fumihiko, Nara Fujiko, Yuki Mino


Soratobu Shintarō

[Flying Shintarō}

6th January 1974


Majin o kiru Shintarō

[Shintarō Kills an Evil God]

13th January 1974


Kairyū ou Shintarō

[Shintarō Pursues a Mysterious Dragon]

20th January 1974


Kechō o nerau Shintarō

[Shintaro Takes Aim at an Ominous Bird]

27th January 1974


Maboroshi o kiru Shintarō

[Shintarō Kills a Phantom]

3rd February 1974


Tetsukamen o tatsu Shintarō

[Shintarō Cuts Off the Iron Mask]

10th February 1974


Bakudan ningen o taosu Shintarō

[Shintarō Defeats the Bomb-Men]

17th February 1974


Tatsumaki ni noru Shintarō

[Shintarō Rides the Whirlwind]

24th February 1974


Kikyū ni noru Shintarō

[Shintarō Rides the Air Balloon]

3rd March 1974


Kaen tengū o saku Shintarō

[Shintarō Rends the Fire Demon]

10th March 1974


Kūma o utsu Shintarō

[Shintarō Attacks the Sky Demon]

17th March 1974


Akame ninpō kasumigiri

[Akame Ninja Mist-Cutting]

24th March 1974


Kurayami shuryō o kiru Shintarō

[Shintarō Kills the Chief of Darkness]

31st March 1974



Ogishima Shinichi ("Matsudaira Shintarō Nobukatsu"). Born 7th October 1946, Itsukaichi City, Tokyo, of a mercantile family. He has four sisters. After graduating from Tama Geijutsu Gakuen University, Department of Drama, he entered the theatre troupe Shiki (Four Seasons) in 1968 and continued stage work. In 1973 he came to notice on TV in the lead role in Onmitsu Kenshi. He left the Four Seasons troupe in 1975 and concentrated on TV work. He appeared in the 1974 film directed by Kamishiro Tatsumi, Yoimachigusa and in 1976 in Tsuma to onna no aida, directed by Makiguchi Yōji and Ichikawa Kon. In 1977 he had a major role in Rashamen, also directed by Makiguchi. He has also given good performances in other films. He has led a rather colourful private life and been the subject of many articles in popular magazines which focus on his love life, linking him with various actresses and others, either living with him or about to marry him, throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. This is in stark contrast to the rather staid Ōse who only got into the weeklies when one of them did an exclusive on his marriage to Takachiho Hizuru. Ogishima was also invoked in a motorbike accident.

Yoshizawa Kyōko (the female love interest). Born 2nd March 1954, Tokyo then moved to Toda city, Saitama Prefecture. In 1966 she entered Himawari theatre troupe and was active as a young girl model. Her movie debut was as the younger sister of Sakai Wakako in the 1967 Toho film, Moeru Taiyō. Afterwards she gained popularity through her appearances on TV commercials. Her first regular TV appearance was in NET's Fruit Punch 3 vs 3. The following year, in 1969, she became an idol of the young when she appeared with Sakuraki Kenichi in TBS' Judō itchokusen. She had her first lead role in Tōhō's school comedy, Batsugun Joshi Kōkōsei 16-sai wa kanjinchō, playing a bright high school student who moves from Tokyo to the country. Thereafter she concentrated on TV. She starred in Nihon TV's 1971 Saboten to marshmallow and received a Newcomer's Prize from Seisakusha Kyōkai (Producers' Association}. She appeared in movies throughout 1972, 1973 and 1974 but none since then. On TV she was in NET's Jagaimo in 1975; TBS' Zesshō in 1976; Fuji's Tokugawa no onnatachi and many others in 1980. She has also done stage work, including period pieces.