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is a series of jidaigeki novels written by Tomoyoshi Murayama originally serialized in the Sunday edition of the newspaper 'Akahata'[http://home.netspeed.com.au/reguli/samjap.htm PARDON ME, BUT YOUR SHURIKEN IS IN MY NECK: the - NetSpeed] from November 1960 to May 1962. Shinobi no mono is the long form of the phrase meaning ninja, see the Ninja article for details.
Set during Japan's Sengoku period, the novels depicted Goemon Ishikawa, a famous outlaw hero who was boiled alive at the end of the 16th century by order of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, as a ninja who fought against samurai warlords.
Between 1962 and 1966, a series of eight 'Shinobi no Mono' films (aka 'Ninja, a Band of Assassins', aka 'Ninja Spy') starring Raizo Ichikawa were produced and released by the Daiei Motion Picture Company. The first three films are based on the novel, while the five subsequent films are based on four original screenplays by Hajime Takaiwa (also the screenwriter on the first three films) and one original screenplay by Kinya Naoi.
'*' Following the death of series lead Raizo Ichikawa in 1969, Daiei attempted to revive/continue the series with a 9th film entitled 'Shinobi no Sh' ('Ninja Spies') starring Hiroki Matsukata, who also replaced Ichikawa in their other popular series Nemuri Kyoshiro.[http://www.samuraidvd.net/recent.asp SAMURAIDVD.COM - RECENT ARRIVALS]
The novels were also adapted into a 52-episode television series starring Ryuji Shinagawa and co-produced by the Toei Company and television network NET (now known as TV Asahi) and broadcast from July 24, 1964 to July 30, 1965. Only the first episode remains in existence.
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