Characters are added as the story expands, so you may encounter some spoilers if you are catching up. Feel free to give me feedback on that.
Yoshizane and his allies
Yoshizane [Yoshi-zah-nay]: Satomi Jibu-no-Taifu Yoshizane the Ason (里見 治部大夫 義実 朝臣). Hero of the prologue. Son of Suyemoto and heir to the Satomi Clan. After fighting along with his father in the Battle of Yuki, he escapes to Awa Province with his loyal lieutenants, Ujimoto and Sadayuki and conquers half of Awa Province and owns Takita Castle.
Isarago (e-sah-lah-go, 五十子): An intelligent and beautiful daughter of Mariya no Nyudo Johren. Marries to Yoshizane.
Fuse-hime (foo-seh-he-meh): Princess Fuse (伏姫). The first child and only daughter of Yoshizane and Isarago. As a baby she wouldn’t stop crying and her parents seek to get help of En no Gyoja’s powers.
Yoshinari: Fuse-hime’s younger brother. Yoshizane and Isarako’s only son.
Suyemoto: Satomi Jibu-no-Shoyu Minamoto no Suyemoto (里見 治部少輔 源 季基). Father of the hero Yoshizane. He lets Yoshizane escape certain death in his own last battle.
Ujimoto (oo-ji-moto): Sugikura Kiso-no-suke Ujimoto (杉倉 木曾介 氏元). The older one of the two loyal lieutenants from the clan serving the Satomi for generations. A short-tempered but formidable knight.
Sadayuki: Horiuchi Krando Sadayuki (堀内 蔵人 貞行). The other of the two trusted lieutenants of Yoshizane’s, also from a family traditionally serving the Satomi. Calm and stable of character, even though a lot younger than Ujimoto and presumably closer to Yoshizane in age.
Takayoshi: Kanamari Hachiro Takayoshi (神碗 八郎 孝吉). Jin’yo’s retainer who wanders away disillusioned by his lord Mitsuhiro’s behaviour, only coming back at the news of his death. Taught sword skills to Bokuhei and Mukuzo.
Takanori: Kanamari Daisuke Takanoori (神碗 大輔 孝徳). Takayoshi’s only son and child born to Kohagi, Takayoshi’s only love, whilst Takayoshi was on a journey. Yoshizane had him raised in his care to be Lord Tojo.
Amazaki Juro Terutake (蜑崎 十郎 輝武). Sugikura Ujimoto’s retainer and fights against Maro Nobutoki. First appears as a messenger in Episode 7.
People in Takita Castle and around
Mitsuhiro: Jin’yo Nagasa-no-suke Mitsuhiro (神余 長狭介 光弘). Lord of Takita Castle. Rules Heguri and Nagasa, two of the four counties of Awa Province. Meets a tragic death in a trap set up by Sadakane, his own favourite retainer.
Tamazusa (玉梓): Mitsuhiro’s favourite concubine who exercises control over him for her own good. A beautiful seductress and mastermind behind many things from Mitsuhiro’s decline to people’s suffering. Lays curses on the Satomi clan and their men while being executed (Episode 6).
Sakuza’emon Sadakane: Yamashita Sakuza’emon Sadakane (山下 柵左衛門 定包). Originally taken up as a page by Mitsuhiro for his good looks but gradually gains control over the province through Tamazusa, Mitsuhiro’s concubine.
Bokuhei: Somaki Bokuhei (杣木 朴平). A farm worker from Aoko Village and excellent swordsman, who plans to assassinate Sadakane with the help of his friend Mukuzo. Raised and taught martial arts by Takayoshi’s family from young. ‘Boku (朴)’ means unpretentious.
Mukuzo: Suzaki no Mukuzo (州崎 無垢三). Bokuhei’s farming friend who is a stalwart warrior while somewhat naïve (無垢 – muku). Helps Bokuhei in his secret plot. Also taken care of by Takayoshi’s family.
Nako no Shichiro (那古 七郎): Mitsuhiro’s attendant. One of few steadfastly loyal retainers. Takayoshi’s close friend.
Amatsu no Hyonai (天津 兵内): Another of the loyal attendants Mitsuhiro had. Also Takayoshi’s close friend.
Kokuroku: Shietage Kokurokurou Motoyori (萎毛 酷六郎 元頼). Delegate lord of Tojo Castle. One of Sadakane’s favourite retainrs. Cruel (酷) ruler to his people.
Donpei: Iwakuma Donpei (岩熊 鈍平). Sadakane’s trusted lieutenant who used to be a sumo fighter. ‘Iwa’ (岩) means rock and ‘kuma (熊)’ means bear.
Ikunai: Sabitsuka Ikunai (錆塚 幾内) Another of Sadakane’s favourite sumo-fighter-turned warriors. ‘Sabi (錆)’ means rust.
Togoro: Tsumadate Togoro (妻立戸五郎). Sadakane’s attendant since early age. Volunteers to send a letter to Maro and Anzai in order to invite them to fight against Yoshizane along with Sadakane.
Other people in Awa Province (Counties of Asahina and Awa)
Nobutoki: Maro no Kogoro Byouye Nobutoki (麻呂 小五郎 兵衛 信時): Lord of the County of Asahina in Awa Province. Resides in Hiratate Castle. Said to be an avaricious captain of brute courage who would act in his own interest and is scornful of others.
Kagetsura: Anzai Saburo Taihu Kagetsura (安西 三郎 大夫 景連). The lord of the County of Awa in the Province of Awa. Resides in Tateyama Castle*. Stout both physically and mentally and has a penchant for conspiracies, although not decisive in crisis. Takes over Maro’s Hiratate Castle by deceit.
*The present-day Tateyama Castle houses Hakkenden Museum which is part of Tateyama City Municipal Museum. Many of the images displayed in this blog are kindly on loan from the museum.
*Normally Japanese words including names are written without spaces in-between (里見治部大夫義実朝臣). Here I separated each word just as you would when addressing someone in e-mail messages (里見 治部大夫 義実 朝臣) for the ease of reading.