For the Oboro Clan!
~ Joe Musashi

Joe Musashi (in Japanese: ジョー・ムサシ Jō Musashi) is the flagship character for the Shinobi franchise and the original Shinobi. He is a recurring protagonist in the first 5 games within the Shinobi series and became a hidden costume for Shinobi (2002). He, as Hotsuma did, belonged to a branch of the Oboro called the Oboro School of Ninjutsu. He was skilled in the art of Ninjutsu and throwing shuriken and used a sword passed down in the Oboro clan called Hazy-Moon.


Early LifeEdit

Orphaned at a young age, Joe Musashi was picked up by the Chief of the Oboro-ryu Ninja ; a superlative clan descended from the famed Ninja of Iga that have protected the peace in shadow for generations.  The Chief raised Joe along with the young ninja of the Oboro. Like many great ninja, he started out as the weakest of the bunch, but as he grew, he became the best in the class. Eventually, by the time he was in his twenties, Joe would become a superlative Ninja; a talent seen once in a century, and would receive the coveted katana Oborozuki, a ninja blade which was passed down within the Oboro clan for centuries. On some occasions, he would meet with his fiancée Naoko, the daughter of his master the Oboro Chief . Soon Musashi would work for the Japanese government.

Shinobi (1987)Edit

Joe's first mission is where his legend began. After recieving reports that children from the shinobi village were kidnapped by the criminal syndicate ZEED, Joe is ordered by the chief of the Oboro to save them and bring ZEED down. Through many battles he saves the children, until coming face to face with ZEED's leader, the masked Ninja, who reveals himself to be Nakahara, Joe's senior. After saving the children and helping to bring down the Zeed Syndicate, Joe's reputation would honor the Oboro, earning him the nickname "Super Shinobi".

NEO ZEED's RevengeEdit

Three years passed since his mission. After reducing the ZEED syndicate to ruins, Joe Musashi went away from the Oboro village on a journey of training. He would leave Naoko with his mentor, as he looked to fully master the ways of the Shinobi. But ZEED had returned, more powerful than before, as NEO ZEED. After ZEED's return, they attacked the Oboro clan, and the chief was killed. With his last breath, Joe's master told him that Naoko had been taken prisoner. Enraged, Joe swore to avenge his comrades, rescue his beloved, and avenge his master as he set out to find NEO ZEED.

After many battles, Joe would come face to face with the Masked Ninja, with Naoko held in a death trap cage. Using his shuriken to hold the ceiling above her, Joe eventually defeats his mortal enemy and reunited with his beloved, Joe and Naoko watch the sunset.

The Shadow Dancer (JPN Version)Edit

In the winter of 1977 in the Iga area of Mie, Japan, Joe Musashi decided to go rogue for the sake of his wife and their newborn son Hayate. Pursued by Tracker Shinobi, the two lovers and their son, accompanied by Hayate's Ninken companion Yamato escaped to a ship. But the ship would only take two people, and this would be the last time Joe would see his son.

The Shadow Dancer (USA Version)Edit

After defeating Neo Zeed, Joe felt that his skills were no longer needed, and so he went to spend his time with his student Kato. When Union Lizard, a new and villainous organization led by Sauron take over New York City, Joe Musashi learns that his pupil was fatally hurt, and upon hearing the news he rushed to the hospital. Joe learns that Kato had died before reaching the hospital, leaving only memories and his dog Yamato. Overcome with grief and rage, he swore to Kato's mother he'd avenge her son. Treking through New York City, Joe eventually faces the monstrous Sauron and battles him to the death. Looking at New York

Attack of the Shadow MasterEdit

After defeating NEO ZEED and reclaiming Naoko, the two would wed, and Joe became the new Chief of the Oboro. A few years later, while Joe was away training, NEO ZEED, which many thought was permanently obliterated by Joe, would resurface. After returning from training, Joe Musashi would receive word of ZEED and leaves determined to put an end to the organization once and for all.

After battling hordes of ZEED minions he faces off against the true master mind of NEO ZEED; the Shadow Master. After defeating the Super Ninja Cyborg, Joe watches from a cliff as ZEED's mothership falls to the ground and burns away.

Videogame appearanceEdit

Musashi is an unlockable secret character in the 2002 Shinobi, the 2011's Shinobi 3D, and the 2003's Nightshade (also known as Kunoichi). Outside of the Shinobi series, he is also a playable character in the upcoming racing game Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, where he is using a quad bike.

In addition, the heroes of Shadow Dancer (1989), Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi (1990) and The Cyber Shinobi (1990) are his descendants - his estranged son Hayate and his grandson also named Joe, while the protagonist of Shinobi 3D is his father Jiro. The original Joe Musashi himself is starring in the English versions of the Shadow Dancer games.

When debuting in the Shinobi series, Musashi was designed with a costume that would be described by IGN as "thoroughly traditional", whereas Sega would coordinate later characters with a post-modern aesthetic. His primary weapons in most games are shuriken or kunai-like throwing knives and he also has a sword named Hazy Moon (in Japanese: 朧月 Oborozuki) that he can charge for a powerful special attack. In addition, he also possesses various Ninjutsu skill techniques and jutsu spells.


Joe Musashi is a resolute and benevolent man. He is also dedicated in his pursuit of true strength as a Ninja, going on Musha Shugyo (武者修行;warrior pilgrimages) to train himself to the limits of his Shinobi prowess and beyond. Loyal to the Oboro clan he fights against injustice with all his might. In the Japanese version of his very first appearance he fought against ZEED to save several of his clan's students who were kidnapped by the syndicate. When he confronted Nakahara, the very man who taught him Oboro-ryuu Ninjutsu, Musashi followed through with the teachings of the Oboro and killed him as a shinobi.

He is also a loving man, as he cherishes Naoko, his fiancée more than anything, and flew into a rage when his Oboro brethren were killed and his master, the Chief of the Oboro Ninja was murdered. In the Japanese version of Shadow Dancer, his story shows that he sacrificed his own happiness for his wife and child, so he went rogue from the Oboro Ninja, and sent his son Hayate overseas in hopes of his safety.

Musashi has zero tolerance for treachery, and will quickly cut down villains on the spot to insure world peace.


~ Joe Musashi that your best?
~ Joe Musashi.
Come get me!
~ Joe Musashi
Take this!
~ Joe Musashi
You fought well.
~ Joe Musashi
~ Joe Musashi
~ Joe Musashi
Rin Pyo Toh Sha Kai Jin Retsu Zai Zen. 「臨兵闘者皆陣烈在前」
~ Invocation of the Kuji. Joe Musashi (spoken in Japanese) after Stacked Kills.



  • Joe Musashi is a guest character in PS2's Shinobi and Nightshade, and an unlockable in Shinobi 3DS.
  • While Jiro is his father, their bloodline is linked via an alternate universe. In Jiro's universe Joe wasn't born in the 20th Century but will be born to him in the late 21 Century.
  • He is voiced by Casey Roberson in Shinobi (2002) and Nightshade, and by Toshiyuki Morikawa in Japanese. Instead of his own lines, he shares them with Moritsune in Shinobi, while in Nightshade he shares some additional words from Aomizuchi, plus new lines depending on the Ninjutsu he uses.
  • In Sega All Stars, one of his victory quotes is "For Jiro my ancestor" confirming his familial ties with Jiro Musashi.
  • In Sega All Stars, Joe's All Star theme is a shortened remix of the song "Shinobi ~An Ephemeral Tale" used as the main theme of 2002's Shinobi.

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