The Hakkenden Story

In 1441, Satomi Yoshizane flees the battle of Yuuki. Whilst at sea, he sees a white dragon in the sky, leading him to land: the province of Awa.

Awa at this time is controlled by three people. Lord Jin-yo Mitsuhiro, Maro Notoubuki, and Anzai Kagetsura. Jin-yo's top advisor, Yamashita Sadakane, kills him and takes over northern Awa. Sadakane is an unjust ruler, and the people despise him. He gains political advantages, though, through the use of his beautiful concubine Tamazusa. Sadakane quickly becomes Awa's most powerful force.

When Yoshizane lands, he meets Kanamari Hachirou Takiyoshi, a once proud retainer to Jin-yo, but he left because of Sadakane. Together, along with many villagers, they overthrow Takita castle, and Sadakane fell to Hachirou and his son Diasuke.

Tamazusa is taken prisoner, and is about to be executed. Her beautiful charms capture Satomi Yoshizane, and he says he would just banish her. Hachirou snaps him out of it and she is beheaded, but not before placing a curse on the Satomi clan: Yoshizane's grandchildren would be cursed to walk the earth as mongrel dogs.

A generation later, the Satomi are at war with Anzai Kagetsura. They are out of provisions and Hachirou is dead. The Satomi are in a state of near starvation, and call upon the house of Anzai for aide. Instead of helping, Kagetsura attacks the Satomi, and forces them into Takita castle. Yoshizane sends his son Yoshinari and Kanamari Diasuke, now his daughter Fuse's fiance, to assassinate Anzai, but when they encounter Anzai, he tears them apart with devilish power. Yoshinari returns, supposedly the only one alive.

At the brink of despair, Yoshizane says jokingly to the family dog, Yatsafusa, that if the dog were to bring him Anzai's head, he would recieve Fuse's hand in marriage. The dog returned later, with Kagetsura's head in his jaws.

With this victory the Satomi gained a new hope and swept the Anzai back. Fuse, ignoring her parents objections, went through with marriage to uphold her father's honour. They left, and went into the sacred Tomi Mountains. She carried with her a Bhuddist rosary of one-hundred and eight prayer beads. And for a year they lived there. Fuse was baraged by strange dreams, through which she learned of the curse upon the Satomi house. She was also told she was carrying Yatsafusa's offspring: a litter of eight.

Kanamari Daisuke Takinori did not die fighting Anzai Kagetsura. But becuase of his failure, he did not wish to return to the Satomi clan. However, when he got wind of Fuse-hime's marriage to Yatsafusa, he went after them. He found them, and had prepared to shoot the dog. But when the trigger was pulled, Fuse also came in range. Daisuke shot his fiance.

As she lay there dying, Fuse told Daisuke of the curse upon the Satomi, and asked for his help. The rosary of beads began to glow, and eight virtues of Confucisism appeared. The beads flew into the sky. One-hundred fell to the ground, and the eight were scattered to the four winds. Daisuke became a monk called Chudai, and started his quest to break the curse.

Thus is the opening of the Hakkenden. The eight beads are to be borne with eight young samurai, born in the following years. Together they must face their destiny: to unite and defeat the curse upon the Satomi house.

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