Fujibayashi (藤林) Scroll: Sasuke Sarutobi (猿飛 佐助)

The sun rose and set countless times; still, there was no word from the man named Sandayuu Washio of Torii Pass. Seeing him away for a prolonged amount of time was nothing out of the ordinary, since he was a samurai serving the Takeda Family.

In the ninth year of the Tensho era (1581), fate grew against the favor of the Takeda. Their Takatenjin Castle was plundered by the Tokugawa Family; during a seige, the bodies that had drawn their last breaths would be many.

Among the bodies were many brothers, many sons, many fathers—even Sandayuu Washio, the father of one boy named Koukichi (幸吉). That was the birth name of Sasuke Sarutobi.

A messenger visited Koukichi's house to give him the news, but there was no one there to receive it. Five-year-old Koukichi was assumed to be lost that day; his beautiful mother was obviously not present, who had been brutally murdered just a year before.

Captured? Killed? Taken in by another family? Where was little Koukichi?

Five years later, an old man was traveling through Togakushi Mountains. Momentarily, he went astray from his path, the sounds of animals enticing him. Within those sounds, there were also battle grunts and the sounds of impact.

Going by a hunch, the old man moved towards the source. Next, his eyes met with a stranger's. The old man saw a little boy in a two-piece robe holding a bokken (wooden sword) in front of a tree trunk. Surrounding him were monkeys, imitating his movement.

A brave, or rather an arrogant scowl that showed no regard for seniority, was lodged upon the countenance of ten-year-old Koukichi, "What do you want, old man? I'm training here!"