Some of you may remember that I joked, after we found out there were samurai among the many canonized Japanese martyrs, that now all we needed was a ninja saint.
Um. Well. Maybe there is one.
See, the 26 Martyrs Museum site actually has lists of every martyr. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. So I saw a clan name among them that I hadn’t noticed before: Hattori.
Now, I’m not saying that this is the same Hattori clan. Probably it’s not. But there’s no denying that Hattori Hanzo was a real historical ninja, from the Iga Province ninjas up in the mountains. These clans were attacked and nearly wiped out by Oda Nobunaga (in 1581, I think), and the survivors fled to Tokugawa Ieyasu and served him from then on as his “garden” bodyguards. (Meaning that they guarded the inside of the palace, while others guarded the outside stuff.) Some probably did flee elsewhere. There’s no reason to think that none of them became Christians. (And this is probably where that ninja-Hidden Christian trilogy came from.) 🙂
However, the elder Bl. Hattori allegedly came from Harima province, but that’s not all that far from Iga province.
Anyway, among the 188 Martyrs beatified on March 24, 2008, we find:
Joannis Hattori Jingoro. About 39 years old.
Petrus Hattori, his son. 5 years old.
They both were beheaded in Yatsushiro, on January 11, 1609. Whether or not they were from a ninja clan, they were faithful and brave warriors for Christ… and that’s a lot more important.