Great article on the Iga-Shu by Sean Askew, originally posted on Facebook on his own account, and their connection to the Bujinkan. Shared with permission.
"During the Warring States Period, an autonomous group called the Iga-Shu (伊賀衆) was more powerful in the Iga region than the Niki clan, the head guardian clan of the region.
In the midst of this situation, the Oda clan, which had been expanding its power in the Kinki region, invaded the area. The battle between the Iga warriors and the Oda clan was called the Tensho Iga Rebellion (「天正伊賀の乱」).
In the first battle in Tensho 6 (1579), the Iga were victorious, but in the second battle in 1581, Oda Nobunaga attacked with an overwhelming force.
The Iga, led by Momota Tobei and Toda Zairoku, holed up in Hijiyama Castle and fought against the Oda forces of Gamo Ujisato and Tsutsui Junkei. The Iga warriors fought hard against the Oda forces, but finally escaped from the castle during the night before Oda's main and final attack. The fact that Momota and Toda knew the day of the main attack highly suggests that they were indeed Iga shinobi or "ninja".
Recently, an Iga Ryu ninjutsu tourist shop made stamped seals for the castle of the Iga-shu, the "ninja" of the Warring States period. (picture attached)
As Toda Zairoku is considered to be highly likely an ancestor to our Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu (Toda Hisajiro) of the Bujinkan Dojo heritage, I plan to visit the ruins of Momota Tobei's castle and the Toda family estate ruins in Iga this year.
Dōtō 導冬 (Winter Guide)
Bujinkan Kokusai Renkoumyo
— with Kei Askew."
Shared from a Facebook post on his personal account. He also has a blog on his dojo's website, BKRBudo.com
Shane Sensei is a licensed Shidoshi in the Bujinkan and member of the Shidoshi-Kai. He has trained in the Bujinkan since 1998 and regularly travels to Japan for training.