Akikusa Shintarō

Ōse Kōichi

Kiri no Tonbei

Maki Fuyukichi

Baba Shūsaku

Ōmori Shunsuke

Kōga no Kongō

Amatsu Bin

with Segawa Eizō, Takagi Shinpei

Set in Kyushu, this story was about Shintarō's battles with a group of Puppet ninja, led by the ancient and rather eldritch Genshin who had lost little of his own skill with the passing of the years. Tonbei and some other Iga ninja were sent to different provinces in Kyushu to spy on the lords there because of suspected smuggling.. Tonbei drew Hizen (modern Nagasaki and Saga pefectures) where smuggling was suspected. When he failed to report in, Shintarō went after him. Genshin controlled the Shiranui Clan and had them bring  in guns and gunpowder smuggled from abroad. These were distributed to other lords in Hizen. Genshin ultimately wanted to topple the bakufu and control Japan completely.. Kongō reappeared throughout this story, stalking Shintarō like a cat hunting a mouse and with something of the same cruelty since he saved him from the hands of the Puppet ninja once only so he could kill him himself later. This story was shorter than usual because of the broadcasting of the Olympic Games in October 1964.


Nazo no kugutsushi

The Puppet Master

Matsudaira Sadanobu sends eight groups of Iga ninja to investigate the eight provinces of  Kyushu following reports of smuggling .Tonbei, Kansai and Unosuke are assigned to Hizen. They infiltrate Shiranui Castle where they discover  guns and gunpowder being distributed to other lords but one is wounded, one escapes to Edo and warns Shintarō before being killed while Tonbei searches for his wounded comrade.

25th October 1964

29th June 1965


Fukushū oni Kongō

Chinese Poison

Kongō approaches Dōhaku of the Puppet Ninja and offer to help him kill Shintarō. Dōhaku rejects the offer and warns Kongō about interfering. Later Dōhaku in his guise as a puppeteer, kidnaps a young girl to force her mother to put poison in Shintarō 's food, Shintarō  having journeyed to Kyushu to find Tonbei.

1st November 1964

30th June 1965


Ninshi Kokufūdō Genshin

The Magic Stick

Genshin sends Dōhaku and Kagehiko to trap Shintarō  at the border but he escapes. Tonbei returns to Shiranui Castle, finds the wounded Kansai and rescues him. Shintarō finds them in a temple where they have paused to rest.

8th November 1964

1st July 1965


Yamizō no henge

The Impersonator

Puppet ninja Yamizō attacks Tonbei, impersonates him and leaves him  for dead in a river where he is found by Maya and Taimon, both Christians. Yamizō lures Kansai and Shintarō  out of the hut where they were staying but Kansai sees him talking to some Puppet ninja when he is supposed to be on watch, realises he is not Tonbei and challenges him. In the fight, Kansai is mortally wounded. Tonbei captures Yamizō.

15th November 1964

2nd July 1965


Ninpō kassen

Kongo's Revenge

Kongō disguises himself as a shogunate messenger with a message for Genshin to gain an interview with him. After a brief bitchfest on the respective merits of Kōga versus Puppet ninja, Kongō claims that his real purpose in coming was to kill Genshin and take his place the better to kill Shintarō . He backs off when he sees the trapdoor at Genshin's feet. Shintarō gains access to Genshin, pretending to be captured by Yamizō in  his guise as Tonbei. Genshin tells him of his plans to take control of Japan. Yamizō escapes and Genshin realises he is dealing with impostors, drops Shintarō through the trapdoor and pins Tonbei to the ceiling. However, Kongō frees them so he can kill Shintarō  himself.

22nd November 1964

5th July 1965


Kugutsunin shitennō

Strings of a Puppet

Dōhaku, Kagehiko and Yamizō have captured Maya and Taimon and are using them as bait in a trap. Sumie, a young Iga ninja, claiming to be Kansai's sister, rescues Shintarō and Tonbei rescues Maya and Taimon.. Shintarō resolves to get into the castle to "talk sense" into Lord Shiranui. Maya lends him her cross so he can pass as one of the Christians forced to carry the smuggled guns into the castle.

29th November 1964

6th July 1965


Genshin mangekyō

Spy's Execution

Shintarō uses the chief minister, Tanba Hyōgo to get an interview with the castle lord. He talks of his plots and tries to tell him he is being controlled by Genshin. He will not listen and becomes angry. Genshin appears and captures Shintarō. The lord wants him executed immediately as a spy as is the custom but Genshin demurs. Sumie and Tonbei mount a rescue mission but Sumie leads him into a trap, revealing herself to be a Puppet ninja, Higure Usuzumi.

6th December 1964

7th July 1965


Dōhaku kyoei

Bring Me His Head

Tonbei and Shintarō create and set up a series of notice boards in town calling the Shiranui lord and all who serve him fools being manipulated by the Puppet ninja. This serves to enrage to lord who wants Shintarō killed. Genshin has to obey though he would rather use him as a powerful ally. Genshin also warns the lord of Kongō, a "troublesome man". Tonbei and Shintarō hide themselves on some carts carrying the smuggled weapons but it is a trap.

13th December 1964

8th July 1965


Izayoi ninpō

Deadly Hostages

The Puppet ninja capture Maya and Taimon and hold them on a boat offshore as hostages while Yamizō orders Shintarō (Tonbei in disguise) to disarm. The real Shintarō swims to the boat and rescues the two Christians. Taimon warns him that the Puppet ninja plan to kill all the Christians that night. Watching this from afar, Kongō congratulates Shintarō on a job well done but wonders if he will see through to the real Puppet plan.

20th December 1964

9th July 1965


Kugutsu manji

Cut the Puppet Strings

Kongō is captured by Kagehiko and Usuzumi who want to kill him for always interfering. However, Genshin has other plans and asks him to kill Shintarō while he carries out his own plans. He does so apparently but Kagehiko and Usuzumi attack him under Genshin's order. Genshijn plans to send the guns to Edo by sea while the lord goes overland. Shintarō arrives and tells them the conspiracy is known and the other lords have pulled out after being talked to by Sadanobu. He succeeds in breaking Genshin's hold over the lord. The Christians help scuttle the boats with the guns. Genshin and Shintarō duel and Genshin is killed.

27th December 1964

12th July 1965

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