Shinto Samurai

Real Name


First Appearance

Four Favorites #16 (1944)

Original Publisher


Created by


Golden Age Origin

Shinto's tale is a strange one. Centuries ago, he was a samurai, one so mighty that legend says he was immortal. He did die, but scientists kept his brain alive for hundreds of years, hoping to place him in a body powerful enough to suit him. Captain Nippo hit upon a plan (or rather borrowed a plan from Dr. Frankenstein) and built a body from the honored dead - an arm here, a leg there. Once brought back to life, the towering Shinto was brought up-to-date on Captain Nippo¹s version of history and sent off to fight Captain Courageous. However, when Captain Courageous defeated him and was willing to hold him for trial, Shinto realized that Nippo's version of events and Americans was one-sided. Courageous is willing to let him redeem himself, and the two go after Captain Nippo, who is trying to convince some American-born Japanese soldiers to turn against America. Nippo manages to stab Shinto in the chest with his sword, the only weapon that can supposedly kill the immortal.

Historical Notes

As it has been pointed out elsewhere, Japanese do not usually bury their dead - they cremate them. There is also the fact that Shinto Samurai did not dress like a samurai, nor did he use any of the traditional samurai weaponry. Rather, he wore a Chinese garb and used a weapon resembling a Chinese dadao or even a scimitar. In fairness, Golden Age writers didn't usually have time or interest to do any sort of in-depth research, so these kinds of mistakes were far from uncommmon.

The identity of the samurai whose brain was used to create Shinto is unknown. One possibility is that it is Miyamoto Musashi, the famous swordsman who literally wrote the book on martial arts. (The Book of Five Rings) Mushashi's body was in fact buried rather than cremated; whether or not it is currently in possession of its brain is unknown.

Golden Age Appearance

  • Four Favorites #16
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