Banzuiin Chobei

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  • Born: 1622
  • Died: 1657
  • Japanese: 幡随院 長兵衛 (Banzuiin Choubei)

Banzuiin Chôbei was a historical street tough of Japan's Edo period who, according to later fictionalized portrayals of his life in literature and drama, fought against injustices, and to protect the common people from the abuses of the samurai aristocracy[1]. Born in Karatsu, he established himself in the Asakusa district of Edo, where he led of a band of machi-yakko and founded an employment agency for ronin. Trained as a warrior, he was renowned for his swordsmanship.

In Asakusa, Chôbei organized a kumi (group or gang) which opposed the hatamoto-yakko in seeking to control the area's markets. He was eventually killed by hatamoto Mizuno Jûrozaemon.

Following his death, Chôbei became a popular figure in literature and drama.


  1. This character type is known as an otokodate in Japanese literature and drama.


  • This article was written by User:LordAmeth and contributed to both S-A and Wikipedia; the author gives permission for his work to be used in this way.
  • Frédéric, Louis. "Banzuiin Chōbei." Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002.
  • Sansom, George. A History of Japan: 1615-1867. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1963.