During the Sengoku Period, the powerful Oda Clan invaded much of Japan under Oda Nobunaga and Oda Nobutomo, sweeping through the main island of Honshu with deadly force and skill. Almost unmatched in skill, the samurai of the Oda Clan struck down countless other samurai and, if legend has it, vicious Yōkai. Every samurai, oni, warrior, and demon that fell at the blades of the Oda clan only meant more honor for their lord and Daimyo. More blood spilled during the Sengoku period of Japan. More death and destruction. Countless samurai of competing daimyos became ronin after the deaths of their masters. The brave samurai of the Shiba clan were among these ronin.
In 1554, after sustained combat with the Oda clan, Shiba was on its last leg. The power-hungry Oda Nobutomo conspired to strike down Oda Nobunaga, taking control of the Oda clan. Catching wind of this deceit, Shiba Yoshimune, the last daimyo of the Shiba clan, informed Oda Nobunaga of Oda Nobutomo's treachery. The angry Oda Nobutomo, in turn, struck down Shiba Yoshimune, ending the Shiba clan. Oda Nobunaga avenged Shiba Yoshimune by striking Oda Nobutomo down at Kiyosu Castle. Some of the samurai of Oda Nobutomo and Shiba Yoshimune found masters in the Oda clan. Others, unable to find masters, became ronin, masterless samurai. Forced to travel Japan in search of work and honor, these warriors were shamed by Japanese culture.
As the Oda clan continued to catch its bearings under Oda Nobunaga, eight ronin traveled to the northern lands of Honshu for work. Their travels through northern Honshu and eventually the wilderness of Hokkaido are chronicled in the Ronin Scrolls. Found in Matsumae Castle, the Ronin Scrolls are the haunting tales of encounters between these eight ronin and the Yōkai of Japan.