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BLADE OF THE SAMURAI
Cast of Characters
(In Alphabetical Order)
Where present, Japanese characters’ surnames precede their given names, in the Japanese style. Western surnames follow the characters’ given names, in accordance with Western convention.
Ana – Father Mateo’s housekeeper
Ashikaga Saburo – a cousin of the shogun, and a supervisor in the shogunate’s records office
Ashikaga Yoshiteru* – the shogun of Japan
Den – a stable boy; Masao’s assistant
Father Gaspar Vilela* – The senior Jesuit, and head of the Portuguese mission, in Kyoto
Father Mateo Ávila de Santos – a Christian priest from Portugal, currently working in Kyoto
Gato – Hiro’s cat
Ginjiro – a sake brewer; owner of Ginjiro’s brewery
Goro – a carpenter
Hattori Hiro – a shinobi (ninja) assassin from the Iga ryu, hired by an anonymous benefactor to guard Father Mateo
Ichiro – Saburo’s son
Izumo – a Japanese acolyte, and Christian convert, who works for the main Jesuit mission in Kyoto
Jun – a maid at the shogunate
Kazu – a shinobi from the Iga ryu, working undercover as a clerk at the shogunate
Luis Álvares – a Portuguese merchant whose weapon sales finance Father Mateo’s work
Magistrate Ishimaki – a judge appointed to oversee justice in Kyoto
Masao – the shogun’s stable master
Matsunaga Hisahide* – a samurai ambassador working on behalf of the Miyoshi clan.
Mayuri – a retired entertainer; owner of the Sakura Teahouse
Miyoshi Akira – nephew of the Miyoshi daimyo (lord), sent to work in Kyoto as an associate of Matsunaga Hisahide.
Netsuko – Saburo’s wife
Oda Nobunaga* — a samurai warlord
Ozuru – a master carpenter, currently working in the shogun’s palace
Suke – a Buddhist monk who frequents Ginjiro’s brewery
Tomiko – Ginjiro’s adult daughter
* Denotes a real historical figure, though all characters are fictionalized for purposes of this novel.