Path of the Assassin, called Hanzo no Mon in Japan, is the story of Hattori Hanzo, the fabled master ninja whose duty it was to protect Tokugawa Ieyasu. Ieyasu was the shogun who would unite Japan into one great nation. But before he could do that, he had to grow up and learn how to love the ladies! As the secret caretaker of such an influential future leader, not only does Hanzo use vast and varied ninja talents, but in living closely with Ieyasu, he forms a close friendship with the young shogun.
Kazuo Koike is a prolific Japanese manga writer, novelist, and entrepreneur. Early in Koike's career, he studied under Golgo 13 creator Takao Saito and served as a writer on the series. Koike, along with artist Goseki Kojima, made the manga Kozure Okami (Lone Wolf and Cub), and Koike also contributed to the scripts for the 1970s film adaptations of the series, which starred famous Japanese actor Tomisaburo Wakayama. Another series written by Koike, Crying Freeman, which was illustrated by Ryoichi Ikegami, was adapted into a 1995 live-action film by French director Christophe Gans. Goseki Kojima was a Japanese manga artist known for his collaborations with Kazuo Koike. The team was often referred to as the "Golden Duo." Kojima's best-known work was Lone Wolf and Cub. Other titles attributed to Kojima are Samurai Executioner and Path of the Assassin. In 2004, Kojima won an Eisner Award.