Perhaps the figure whose very name is affiliated with the word 'ninja
', Sarutobi Sasuke was a character featured in children's tales beginning in the early 1900s.
He is generally believed to be a fictional creation of the Meiji era based on the historical ninja Kozuki Sasuke, though some argue for his actual existence. He is commonly listed as one of the Sanada Ten Braves, a legendary group of ten ninja that supposedly assisted Sanada Nobushige (more widely known as Sanada Yukimura
) at the battles of Osaka Castle during the Sengoku Period, and he is one of the best known amongst the Ten Braves. Since then, he has been featured in many anime and manga series, and various fictional ninja have been named after him.
Sarutobi means "jumping monkey" — Sasuke is frequently described as being very quick and agile, especially in trees, and in some versions of his story is described as having been raised by wild monkeys
Compare Yagyu Jubei
, Hattori Hanzo
, Fuuma Kotaro
, Oda Nobunaga
and Miyamoto Musashi
Anime and Manga
- As expected in a Ninja series, Naruto features his legacy in Sasuke Uchiha and the Third Hokage (last name Sarutobi) and his relatives.
- It was recently revealed that the Third Hokage's father was named Sarutobi Sasuke.
- Samurai Deeper Kyo, which features historical characters like Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and Sanada Yukimura, has him as a secondary character.
- The Kuno's family ninja is also named Sasuke, but he's hilariously useless.
- In Ninin Ga Shinobuden, all of the ninjas are named Sasuke.
- The main protagonist of the manga Behind Master is Sarutobi Sasuke.
- Was the protagonist for the anime Sarutobi Sasuke, later edited into a feature-length, English-language movie called Ninja, The Wonder Boy.
- He makes an appearance in the Sasuke Samurai series of cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!.