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Kojirō Sasaki

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Kojirō Sasaki
Character Information
Clan(s)/Alliance(s): Sasaki
Eastern Army
194 cm (6'4")
Weapon(s): Nodachi (2)
Nodachi and two flying broadswords (2XL, 4)
4th Weapon:
5th Weapon:
Eternal Sleep
Kanemaki's Teachings
Moveset Type:
Playable Debut: Samurai Warriors 2: Empires
Historical Information
Real name:
Sasaki Kojirō
Japanese name:
佐々木 小次郎
May 13, 1612
Warriors Orochi Info
Mystic Weapon:
Mystic Shadow
Character Type:
Technique (WO2)
Power (WO3)

Kojirō Sasaki is a swordsman who is thought to have existed during the early Edo period. Not much is known about his true identity or history, an enigma with scholars to this day. In contemporary fiction, he is immortalized as Musashi's greatest rival. His final duel at Ganryūjima remains his most famous exploit.

He is first introduced in the Samurai Warriors series in its second entry as a unique NPC and bodyguard. Like Katsuie, he is a playable character with a mixed moveset in its Empires adaptation. He gains a new moveset, weapons and story by Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends. He is voted thirty-ninth of the cast in the Samurai Warriors 4 poll and nineteenth place in the first Sengoku Musou Shoot character popularity poll.

Role in GamesEdit

"This guy is pretty disturbed. How did he end up on our side?"

~~Meng Huo; Warriors Orochi 3

Samurai WarriorsEdit

In Samurai Warriors 2, Kojirō appears as reinforcements for the Eastern army at the Battle of Kuzegawa. He is one of the generals who guards their escape point. During Ginchiyo's story mode, he reinforces Yoshihiro and traps Sakon at Shōryuji. He also appears in various other scenarios, mostly limited to dream stages. In Musashi's story mode, he acts as his rival's foil and taunts him at any given opportunity. He is killed in their duel at Ganryujima. If he is impressed during Musashi's dream mode, he will appear as the stage's last challenger. When he's defeated, he dubs his rival as the land's greatest warrior with his dying breath. His recruitment mission in Survival Mode is an open call for a sword instructor, an opportunity he will take if the objectives are completed successfully.

His story in Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends explains how the two swordsmen meet one another. Kojirō, after witnessing villagers being slaughtered by pirates, decides to satisfy his boredom by defeating the brigands. During his unintentional rescue, Musashi appears to help him. At the battle's conclusion, Kojirō sees Musashi as his greatest opponent and becomes obsessed with showing his rival a "truly beautiful" death.

After the other swordsman flees, Kojirō's talents were scouted by the Tokugawa clan. He fights for the Eastern army at Kuzegawa and Sekigahara. After scoring the victory at Sekigahara, the Tokugawa clan hire him to frame Hideyori for scheming to take Ieyasu's life in Kyoto. Unexpectedly, an assassination was actually planned and Kojirō is ordered to kill Hideyori instead. Yukimura, Kiyomasa, and Musashi help the young heir safely escape. More interested in dueling his rival, Kojirō's focus shifts to Musashi and he beats him. Curious to know how a sword can move people, he gives Musashi a year to hone his craft. Kojirō later duels Musashi at Ganryujima and miraculously survives his defeat. He then joins the Tokugawa ranks to destroy Osaka Castle. Once the Tokugawa army claims victory, the two swordsmen have one last match together. In his ending, Kojirō is thrilled to finally achieve his goal but is simultaneously stricken at losing his greatest rival.

In his dream mode, Kojirō and Musashi work together to defeat many of the land's greatest swordsmen at Komaki-Nagakute. They additionally compete with one another to see who can score the most fame.

Kojirō's lone appearance in Samurai Warriors 4's Story Mode is at Ishigakibaru in the Chugoku chapter. He joins the troops in Kyushu for a chance to face his rival in combat and retreats upon his defeat. During the Kyushu chapter's equivalent of the same stage (Yanagawa), Kojirō appears as unexpected ally reinforcements. In this game's Chronicle Mode, the player character can choose to either assist or defeat Kojirō at Ganryujima or face him in a competition against swordsmen.

During his personal events, Kojirō insists the person underneath his makeup is dead and avoids talking about it to the player character. After Kojirō cleaves a boulder in twain at the player character's request, an observing Munenori recognizes the swordsman's technique and identifies him as a young successor to a clan in Kyushu who was once presumed dead. Kojirō later elaborates that a samurai family once existed in Kyushu yet was completely massacred when they lost in their defiance to the land's unifier. He is aware that his clan's landless retainers and the Emperor wish to raise arms to revive his family's territory, but Kojirō is tired of war. He assumed his new lifestyle to forget his past life and to stay true to his dedication for his sword training.

Kojirō rejoices when Musashi later agrees to duel him at Ganryujima and tells his traveling companion the good news before he leaves. The player character can either offer to run away with him to the southern islands afterwards or congratulate him. Kojirō brightens at the former option since he is aware that his family's followers are closing in on their location. He promises to share a happy future with the player character forever escaping them, feeling that he may someday show him/her the real him. Either option leads to his death at Ganryujima. Rumors say that he was killed by Musashi's disciples yet the true reasons for his death are shrouded in mystery.

Warriors OrochiEdit

In Warriors Orochi 2, Kojirō plays a small role in the Samurai story mode. He was on Da Ji's side but after he was defeated by Xu Huang and Musashi, he decides to fight alongside them. In his dream mode, he joins a mock battle with Taishi Ci and Wei Yan. In it he confuses Musashi by helping the peasants. He also appears as an enemy in various dream modes, such as the Itsukushima dream mode where he teams up with Kotarō to try and kill Liu Bei, and the dream mode in Rescue at Nan Zhong to harm peasants.

Having lost sight of Musashi in the dimensional realm, Kojirō wanders the land for his rival in Warriors Orochi 3. He happens to be in Nanzhong when it is invaded by a large serpent army battalion. As he satisfies his bloodlust, he and Zhang He share an understanding with one another regarding the beauty in battle. When the battle ends, Kojirō joins the coalition as an excuse to properly sate his murderous desires. If he goes to Dongkou with Kai and company, he will issue that no one should be allowed to murder Musashi but himself.

His conversations with Musashi in the camp has a sub story of Musashi finding and taking care of an injured bear cub. Kojiro states he does not understand why Musashi would help a creature, when he him self is a swordsman, since Kojiro considers all swordsmen to be killers at heart, and that he should have just killed it to put it out of its misery. Musashi, over time, explains that being a swordsman comes second to being human, and that helping the poor creature is the more humane thing to do, than just out right killing it. Eventually the Bear is found missing, and when Musashi confronts Kojrio about it, he claims he set the bear free by cutting its chains, because the animal had reached full health.

He also appears in the downloadable scenario "Phantoms of Nanzhong", where he assists Kanbei Kuroda and Zhou Tai in rescuing the wrongly assumed phantom Guo Huai from Meng Huo's army.

Character InformationEdit

Kojiro Sasaki SW2 Art

Kojirō's artwork in Samurai Warriors 2.


Designers remark that Kojirō was developed to be the "cool and handsome villain" to contrast Musashi. The serpent design on his long sword is meant to invoke an insidious and demonic presence for him. His designer was surprised to see his 3D model's ghastly white skin complexion.


Kojirō appears as a sadistic narcissist, who loves to kill and prove his strength with his sword. Most of his appearances have him talk about him enjoying the opportunity to kill, and he is easily angered by the thought of someone better than him. He becomes intrigued by Musashi's skill and is motivated to outdo him and prove himself as absolute best swordsman.

Aside from obsessing over Musashi, he offers special praise to Zhang Jiao, Zhang Liao, Zhang He, Meng Huo, Zhurong, and Wei Yan in the Warriors Orochi series. He shares the interest of finding beauty in battle with Zhang He. Zhang He idolizes Kojiro as a fighter matching his beauty and wishes to learn from him. The two eventually form a bond akin to brothers to the point that Kojiro can't bring himself to kill Zhang He. His associations with the Nanman leaders are awkward for him at first, since the Nanman treat him warmly as family. Although their generosity is alien to him, he gradually welcomes the prospect of living amongst them.

Character SymbolismEdit

One of Kojirō's most famous traits is his allegedly famed technique, Tsubame Gaeshi, known to be a slashing technique that resembles a swallow in flight, observed from Iwakuni's Kintai Bridge. His Warriors character names the move randomly during his attacks. Kojirō attempts a Tsubame Gaeshi on Musashi before being slain in the pre-rendered cutscenes for Samurai Warriors 2 during the Japanese script. In the English versions, Kojirō instead yells, "Now you die!", when performing it.

He's symbolized by the kanji for "sword" (剣) and "swallow" (燕) and by camellia petals for his Samurai Warriors counterpart. Kojirō's fourth weapon for his Empires appearance is named after his swordsman's name, Ganryū. The original name implies it's forged from diamond.

Kojirō's titles in Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends are "Stick Wielder", "Painted Clown", "Aesthete", "Flashing Blade", "Mortiferous Grace", "Netherworld Swordsman", and "Musashi's Conqueror".

His first two blades for his playable appearance are named after twilight. The first sword is literally named "Child of Darkness" while his second sword describes a gust of wind blowing from the shadows. Drying Pole (物干竿, monohoshizao) is actually his third weapon in Asian ports.

The Asian name for his fourth weapon is named after Tajimamori, a person found within Japanese mythology. On the order of the Emperor Suinin, Tajimamori was ordered to search for Tokijiku-no-Kagu-no-Konomi. Crossing to the great unknown lands of Tokoyo-no-Kuni, Tajimamori spent ten years on his journey. He successfully found and collected two branches and one had fruit. By the time he returned to Nakatsu Kuni, the emperor had long passed away. He presented one branch to the empress and the other at Emperor Suinin's grave. Tajimamori spent his remaining days feeling hollow and depressed, weeping every day until he died shortly after his return home. The fruit he returned with eventually became a snack for the gods and were named after him.

Kamimusubi forms the namesake for Kojirō's fifth weapon. The Japanese god is one of the Three Pillars within Japanese mythology and existed before Izanami or Izanagi. Kamimusubi is said to have been a "sole god", or a being that was created without the need of a male or female entity. Neither a female or male, the god is one of creation who gains its power from the shadows. With the ability to create anything from nothing, Kamimusubi is sometimes romanticized as a goddess of Izumo. According to their legends, she rebuilt the land from nothing and is a mother-like entity. When joined with Takamimusubi, they represent masculine and feminine traits.

Voice ActorsEdit

  • Maxime Mensah - Samurai Warriors 2 (English)
  • Antoine Yared - Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends (English)
  • Johnny Yong Bosch - Warriors Orochi 2 (English-uncredited)
  • Yūji Ueda - Samurai Warriors and Warriors Orochi series (Japanese)


See also: Kojirō Sasaki/Quotes
  • "...I smell strength. Ah, now here's someone worth chopping to pieces."
  • "Look out! The spirit of a dead woman walks among the enemy!"
"Are you trying to insult me, or are you just stupid?"
~~Nagamasa and Kojirō; Samurai Warriors 2: Empires
  • "Do it. Kill me now. I want you to be the one."
"Can you really deny what I'm saying? You've trained your whole life to kill. That's what a sword is for."
"You...You...You're wrong! You...You don't see it yet. But I'll show you. Then you'll see... A sword; it can do a lot more than just kill!"
~~Kojirō and Musashi, Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends
  • "I sense nothing but madness in your blade."
"You truly flatter me. I thank you."
"Well, I didn't mean for you to take it that way..."
"(chuckles) Ah, I feel so good right now I just have to chop you up. Now, come to me."
"(laughs) I may be old, but don't think I'll be an easy win."
"Oh, I won't. Because I'm facing you, I'll make you my finest kill."
~~Nobutsuna Kamiizumi and Kojirō; 100man-nin no Sengoku Musou
  • "Poor thing, you've been waiting for me to give you a beautiful end haven't you?"
"Thank you, you saved us! We owe you our life!"
"I'm warning you, don't make me have to cut you down."
~~Talking with peasants; Warriors Orochi 2
  • "If you want to be surrounded in beauty until your dying breath, I could cut you down in a most elegant manner."
"You would even consider the manner of my death? You are a great seeker of beauty!"
"Then I will not kill you. I cannot even bring myself to pity you."
~~Kojirō and Zhang He; Warriors Orochi 3


See also: Kojirō Sasaki/Movesets‎‎

Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme LegendsEdit

Keys: Square Normal Attack • Tri Charge AttackCircle MusouX Jump/Mount

Ground MovesetEdit

  • Tri: Throws a broadsword forwards that breaks the enemies guard.
  • Square, Tri: An upward slash with a broadsword that launches the enemy up.
  • Square, Square, Tri: Back flips and throws a broadsword forwards that stuns the enemy.
  • Square, Square, Square, Tri: Slashes horizontally inwards-forward with both his broadswords.
  • Square, Square, Square, Square, Tri: Spins both broadswords around him that launches the enemy up.
  • Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Tri: Sends both broadswords spinning out moving forward in front of him like a windmill that stuns enemies.
  • Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Tri: Grabs an enemy in front of him with his free hand, and then rips them from inside out, flinging them away thus causing ripples of attacks.
  • Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Tri: Generates a field that slows time in front of him and then slashes to the left in a full circle around himself with both his broadswords.
  • Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Tri (Xtreme Legends only): Disappears and then does a spinning horizontal slash with his nodachi to his left at the back of any targets in front of him.
  • Circle: Repeatedly throws multiple horizontal Tsubame Gaeshi (as he says at the start of the musou) in front him from left to right, generating blue energy waves as he does. Kojirō stands in one place while doing this. In his level three version, the energy will be projected at a quicker rate.
  • X, Square : A midair inward slash to his left diagonal at the ground.
  • X, Tri : Falls down with his nodachi in an upright planting fashion, causing a quake to hit downed foes with.
  • Dashing Square : The only non-charge attack to involve his broadsword(s). Steps/advances forward while sliding to a brake where he gestures his free left-hand to summon a broadsword forward and downward to knockback his foe(s), similar to his C1.
R1 + Square : Kojirō charges for a moment and performs his Tsubame Gaeshi (Swallow Return). He does an unblockable upward cut from a quick downward swing.
R1 + Tri : Using a bit of Musou, Kojirō prepares to take a step back as he gestures with his blade outward to the right, temporarily making himself invisible. If he attacks, the effect will wear off but his attack will be stronger.
Personal Skill : (Intimidation) Shockwave produced when entering special stance.

Mounted MovesetEdit

Square, Tri: Swings a broadsword straight down.
Square, Square, Tri: Swings a broadsword forward at a downward at an angle.
Square, Square, Square, Tri: Sends two broadswords flying directly in front of him.
Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square: Alternating forward and backward stabs to the right side with his nodachi.

Samurai Warriors 4Edit

『戦国無双4』 佐々木小次郎00:28

『戦国無双4』 佐々木小次郎

Mighty strike is the same as Deadlock Attack. Moveset returns with some changes.

Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Tri: Conjures multiple red and black swords to orbit above and around the area in front of him before slicing to his front.
Circle: Finisher changes to summon five glowing red and black demonic swords that float about in front of him a few moments, before spiraling forward to slash at his opponents.
Rage Attack/Musou Gokui effect: Activates Ultimate/Kaidan Musou if Circle is used. Performs ending pose for previous Circle if the effect ends without activating Ultimate/Kaidan Musou.
Circle (Ultimate/Kaidan): Summons two broadswords that stand straight up, and then begin spinning around his body while damaging opponents. This generates a black and red aura under him that spreads out a great distance, forming a red and black pool of energy under him and his enemies, continuously dealing damage. He then holds his hand up into the air, the two broad swords shoot straight up into the sky, this action summoning countless black and red energy swords to follow the two broadswords, continuing to damage enemies while also sending them flying.
Awakened Skill effect (4-II only):

Hyper MovesetEdit

Tri, Square:
Tri, Tri, Square:
Tri, Tri, Tri, Square:
Tri, Tri, Tri, Tri, Square:
Tri, Tri, Tri, Tri, Tri, Square:
Tri, Tri, Tri, Tri, Tri, Tri:

Fighting StyleEdit

Despite his low durability and health, Kojirō is one of the easiest characters to control due to his straightforward moveset and decent attack coverage. Most of his charge attacks provide various effects, ranging from guard-breaking strikes to crowd clearing maneuvers.

When used in tandem, his Musou attack and special skills make him highly suitable for slaying generals even in harder difficulty settings, and allowing him to fight from nearly any range. The ice element works well with his fighting style.


See also: Kojirō Sasaki/Weapons

Sengoku Musou 4-IIEdit

Default Weapon - Kojiro Sasaki (SW4) Base Attack: 42
Rare Weapon - Kojiro Sasaki (SW4) Base Attack: 99 Frost: 85 Reaper: 74
Attack: 88 Defense: 68 Agility: 84
Spirit+: 70 Hit Range: 83 Hit Speed: 77
DLC Weapon - Kojiro Sasaki (SW4) Base Attack: 99 Shock: 60 Tremor: 56
Health: 55 Agility: 62 Musou+: 60
Spirit+: 57 Hit Range: 59 Hit Speed: 61
DLC Weapon - Kojiro Sasaki (SW4) Base Attack: 99 Gale: 91 Reaper: 80
Attack: 94 Defense: 76 Musou+: 81
Spirit+: 85 Hit Range: 78 Hit Speed: 88

Rare Weapon AcquisitionEdit

  • Stage: Conquest of Kyūshū (Story of Worthy Opponents)

Historical InformationEdit

Personal InfoEdit

Sasaki Kojirō was a supposedly talented swordsman who is best known in modern times as Miyamoto Musashi's ultimate rival. While fiction commonly portrays him as a handsome and young prodigy, not much is personally written on Kojirō's life to suggest that this is true. Each source that does mention him states conflicting accounts from one another, mainly due to the fact that each record was written during the early to mid Edo Period (long after Musashi's death). One of the glaring faults with relying on the popular opinion about him is that there are no written records that actually name him as "Kojirō". At most, these records only vaguely mention Sasaki or Kojirō's assumed alternate name, "Ganryū" (巌流). His possible grave even states "Sasaki Koshirō" or "Sasaki Koshirau" (佐々木 古志らう).

With many facts regarding his early life left unknown, skeptics are questioning if a man actually known as Sasaki Kojirō truly existed. There are several theories suggesting that Kojirō could have possibly been an entity completely different than the one known in fiction. One plausible theory about the real Kojirō was that he was much older than Musashi and could have actually have been in his fifties or seventies by the time their duel took place. This theory mainly plays on the idea that Kojirō was Toda Seigen's student, who was said to have had taught an elderly man around the time of the Ganryūjima duel.

Another proposes that the Koshirau inscribed on his grave is linked to the alleged Christians living in the area. After he lost to Musashi, this story states that the dying Kojirō converted to Christianity before his final moments.

Life and DeathEdit

Legends state that he was born in either Buzen or Echizen Province. The Nitenki, which was authored by Toyota Kagehide from the Kumamoto Domain and published in 1776, supports the latter and states that a swordsman with the swallow cut resided near Ichijōdani. He was either taught under the Chujōryu by Toda Seigen or the Kanemakiryu under Kanemaki Jizai's tutelage. Both of his "masters" have unknown death dates, which presents the perplexing question if Kojirō was taught by either one of them. The Bukōden, a supposed biography surrounding Musashi that was published in 1755, writes that Kojirō earned the swordsmen alias "Ganryū" when he was eighteen. On the other hand, the Nitenki claims that Kojirō was at this age when he encountered Musashi at Ganryūjima. It remains unknown if Kojirō's alias has any relation to the Ganryū sword techniques found within the Tottori Domain.

He first served under the Mōri clan in Aki Province. He eagerly trained and studied history while in this vicinity, eventually living up to his "Ganryū" name. Kojirō apparently invented his original sword technique, the Swallow Return (燕返し, Tsubame Gaeshi). The details regarding the move are vague at best, but it is roughly described as a strategical maneuver that would lure an opponent to attack the user's front. Moments before the attacker's blow connects, the user of the technique evades and counters with a single, precise and lethal cut. Since the timing is very strict, it is famed as a technique that requires great skill to perfect. According to legend, Kojirō mastered this technique in a short time and then proceeded to teach sword fencing in the Kokura Domain.

In the Nitenki, he reportedly wielded a nodachi named "Bizen Osafune Nagamitsu" (備前長船長光), which was approximately one meter in length, by 1612. After Musashi insulted his sword with the derogatory "Drying Pole" name, implying that the blade wasn't made for cutting, he went to Ganryūjima and faced the other in a duel. The popular opinion assumes that Kojirō missed his pivotal strikes and died in their fateful duel.

Numata Nobumoto, a vassal of the Hosokawa clan at the time, wrote an entirely different account. According to his records, the disciples under Musashi and Kojirō bickered over who was the superior master. When the students' arguments became violent, both masters decided to settle the matter once and for all at Ganryūjima. Both men desired to not fight to the death and, when the duel was over, the defeated Kojirō was given a reprieve. As he was recovering, however, Musashi's disciples killed him. Kojirō's students were outraged by the result and held a grudge against Musashi for their loss. As they began to attack the swordsman, Nobumoto saved Musashi and they safely escaped the island together.

Whether Musashi cheated in the duel or not remains a heated debate to this day.



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