The romanised Japanese title is given first with Japanese airdate, followed by Australian title and Australian airdate. It will be noticed that certain of the stories were shown out of sequence in Australia, that is: the second story, Koga Ninjas, was shown first, followed by the third, Iga Ninjas, then in order from the fifth story, Fuma Ninja through to the final story, Contest of Death, which was followed by the fourth, Black Ninja and somewhat later the first story, Spy Swordsman. Where possible I have included blurb which appeared in the press (whether Japanese or Australian) to describe the episode, or else a summary, either from a viewing of the episode on DVD or from the King Records soundtrack LP sleevenotes.

In Japan, broadcast 7-7.30pm Sundays on TBS from 7 October 1962 to 28 March 1965, sponsored by Takeda Pharmaceuticals and made by Senkōsha Productions.

In Australia, broadcast at various times between 3.30pm and 5.30pm weekdays on its original run, on TCN-9 (Sydney) from 28 December 1964 to 16 March 1967.


Akikusa Shintarō

Ōse Kōichi

Kiba Jinjūrō

Katsuki Toshiyuki

with Fujiyama Ryūichi, Amatsu Bin, Ōmori Shunsuke

Set in 1792 Ezo (Hokkaido) this introduced us to Shintarō, real name Matsudaira Nobuchiyo, the older half-brother of the young shogun, Ienari. He has been ordered by the shogun's chief councillor, Lord Matsudaira Sadanobu, to investigate the resources of Matsumae fief and write a report on it. The lord of Matsumae fief  resents this keenly and suspects it will lead to the shogunate taking control of the fief away from him. He sends against him his fanatically loyal retainer, Kiba Jinjūrō who vows to kill him. During his investigations, Shintarō helps local downtrodden Japanese villagers (not always successfully) and oppressed Ainu, defeats local bandits and smugglers (both Japanese and Ainu) often inadvertently aided by Kiba who, despite his obsession with killing Shintarō, is a just, fair and honest man who can be kind to those in distress. The backdrop of Japanese colonialism and Ainu resistance adds local colour and a touch of exoticism  Also exotic is the use of fire-arms, mainly musketry (which together with a colonial power, foreign settlers, an indigenous race being displaced, convicts and the odd hanging makes one feel one is watching some early colonial Sydney saga). Shintarō is known as one of Japan's finest swordsman but also for having a "modern" pistol, the only one in Japan , a gift to the Shogun from the Dutch, and is a crack shot. (This pistol is actually a revolver, somewhat remarkable for 1792 - who stole the Tardis?). Other points of interest are the appearance of later regulars and semi-regulars in totally unrelated roles. Maki Fuyukichi (Tonbei) appears in several episodes as an Ainu rebel leader; Ōmori Shunsuke  (Shūsaku) appears once as a boy coincidentally also called Shūsaku and Amatsu Bin (Fūma Kotarō/Kongō of Kōga) appears in a sympathetic role as a blind rōnin devoted to his little daughter and more typically as the skilled and ruthless swordsman henchman to a gangster.


Edo kara kita otoko

The Man from Edo

Shintarō saves a young Ainu wrongly accused of murder, relying on his wits and his pistol.

7th October 1962

23rd February. 1967


Kettō Kiritap

Duel at Kiritap

Shintarō captures andescaped thief and takes him to the town of Kiritap to be held until Kiba arrives. However, the villagers' greed allows the thief to free himself and kill one of them and hold another to ransom.

14th October 1962

24th February 1967


Kōya no kenpū

Sword Storm

Shintarō comes upon a woman and her young son who are being terrorised by a loan-shark and his offsider, a disreputable but skilled swordsman.

21st October 1962

27th February 1967


Rakujitsu no adauchi

Revenge of the Ainus

A group of Ainu take a wagon carrying gold from the goldmine on the Shibuchari River in revenge for the death of the son of one of them caused by two of the guards.

28th October 1962

28th February 1967


Onibishi no toride

Imitation Prince

A shipwrecked rōnin impersonates Matsudaira Nobuchiyo at the instigation of a smuggler of guns so he can get them to the Ainu who has purchased them.

4th November 1962

1st March 1967


Funebeshiyama no taiketsu

Sudden Death

Shintarō helps a young boy find his mother who was taken by Onibishi, an Ainu chief. Kiba persuades Onibishi to set a trap for Shintarō.

11th November 1962

2nd March 1967


Jigokudani no machibuse

Ambush at Hell Valley

Shintarō, Sanpei and the refugee Ainu women continue on their way to Kunashiri Island. Sanpei mistakenly thinks Shintarō  is really after Ainu treasure. Kiba and Onibisho are following them and try to ambush them at Hell Valley.

18th November 1962

3rd March 1967


Burai no kyōdai

Outlaw Brothers

Goromatsu's two outlaw brothers break him out of Shiranuka Gaol where he is awaiting transfer to Matsumae. He vows to kill Kiba and enlists their help.

25th November 1962

6th March 1967


Momoku no kenkaku

Blind Swordsman

Shintarō encounters Tendō Sawanosuke, a blind rōnin and his young daughter who are being harassed by Hidaya's bullies. Sawanosuke is well able to defeat them and Hidaya hires him to kill Shintarō because he has a deed of his. He wants to get Shintarō before Kiba does.

2nd December 1962

7th March 1967


Konketsu no mokugekisha

Pirate Treasure

Habaro a young part-Japanese Ainu hunter is persuaded by an ambitious gang leader to kill his boss so he can take over but is shot in turn. Shintarō is accused of the murders but has help from an old friend, a geisha he knew in Edo.

9th December 1962

8th March 1967


Hissatsu Jūmonjiryū

Master of the Sword

Shintarō helps a brother and sister from Aizu take revenge on the man who killed their father who is now using another name and is the sword instructor for the Matsumae Clan. Kiba plays something of a double game.

16th December 1962

9th March 1967


Kaette kita buraimono

Return of the Outlaw

Chusuke the Weasel returns to Usu seeking Yaichi, the man who put him in gaol. None of the villagers will stand by Yaichi. They think he should leave town and then maybe Chusuke won't bother them. Yaichi's son worships him and Yaichi fears to disappoint him because deep down he is afraid.

23rd December 1962

10th March 1967


Onmitsu wataridori

Code of the Samurai

Matsumae government convoys and samurai have been attacked by a man in white who claims to the onmitsu. Shintarō resolves to unmask the impostor and clear his own name. He calls on Kiba to witness this. Kiba does so but still wants him dead to fulfil his mission.

30th December 1962

13th March 1967


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