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Takezo Kensei

Updated on December 30, 2010

The Legend of Takezo Kensei, sword saint, samurai hero

Takezo Kensei was once feared for his savage power, which he could not control, until he found a mythical sword in the snow. The sword enabled the warrior to focus his courage and power. Desiring to learn the secrets of the sword, Takezo Kensei asked the Dragon of Kiso Mountain for help.  The Dragon agreed to help, but only in exchange for all of Takezo's love. 

Although Takezo loved a princess with all of his heart, he knew he needed the Dragon's help to become a great swordsman and save Japan. He accepted the Dragon's terms and became a kensei, or sword saint.

After winning the battle and saving his people, the Dragon came to collect payment from Takezo. The Dragon demanded the life of Takezo's beloved princess. Takezo refused, and cut out his own heart instead. He offered it to the Dragon, saying, “My love is in here. Take it.”  Takezo died.

The Dragon, impressed by Takezo's willingness to sacrifice his own life for his people and his princess, replaced Takezo's heart, and breathed fire-life back into his body. 

We find out that Takezo Kensei was actually Adam Monroe

Adam Monroe reveals himself to Peter, after he was supposed to have been blown to smithereens in Hiro's gunpowder explosion. Whoa!

A fan's theory on the identity of present-day Takezo Kensei

Interesting... Could it be?

Hiro explains the legend of Takezo Kensei and his sword

Hiro meets Takezo Kensei - September 24, 2007

Hiro meets his hero, the mythical Takezo Kensei, in the first episode of Season 2. He struggles with the difference between the Takezo Kensei of legend, and the "real" Takezo Kensei, an Englishman more concerned with profit than honor.

Hiro and Takezo Kensei deal with fixing history

By the way, what is a kensei?

In ancient Japan, kensei was an honorary title given to a warrior of legendary skill in swordsmanship. The literal translation of "kensei" is "sword saint." The term is considered by some to imply a higher degree of perfection (possibly morally, as well as with the sword) than the more commonly used kengo or "great sword." Although there is no such written rule, the title carries such prestige that it is commonly understood that there should be no more than one kensei at any given time.

Quick, what do you think of Takezo Kensei?

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Takezo Kensei "documentary" part 1

Takezo Kensei "documentary," part 2 - from NBC's Yamagato Fellowship

Takezo Kensei "documentary," part 3 - from NBC's Yamagato Fellowship

Takezo Kensei "documentary," part 4

The Symbol

possible explanations from heroeswiki

Great Talent and Godsend

When Hiro locates his katana in a New York City museum, Ando believes that the Symbol is actually a combination of two Japanese characters — sai (which translates to great talent) and yo (which translates to godsend).

Later, when Ando sees the symbol in Jittetsu Arms, he calls the symbol "Godsend" again.

The Kanji dictionary defines yo as "bestow; participate in; give; award; impart; provide; cause; gift; godsend" and sai as "genius; years old" leading to a broader definition of the symbol under Ando's explaination, possibly as "bestowing talent/genius" or "providing/imparting ability".

The Serpent and the Crane

While sketching the symbol in the sand, Guillame tells his son the story of the serpent and the crane. The serpent was a creature of ambition, tired of crawling on its belly and eating grubs and mice. One day, he spotted the crane. The crane was carefree and stupid, but could fly. The sun shown on her always; she slept in the clouds and drank from the rainbows. The serpent found the crane at her watering hole, swallowed her whole, and was able to fly using her wings. The serpent flew around the sun and to the moon; he ate the clouds and played in the rain. However, Guillame notes, "What good is it to fly, if you have nowhere to go?" He says that the serpent lost touch with the ground. Guillame then scratches through his sketch.

Hiro and Takezo Kensei

Hiro montage

Takezo Kensei: actor David Anders

David Anders is best-known for his role as Julian Sark, the deliciously devious bad guy on ALIAS. Learn more about Anders as Sark.

Get to know David Anders

David Anders (born David Anders Holt on March 11, 1981) is an American television and stage actor. He is best known for his role as Julian Sark on the Alias television series.

David was born in Grants Pass, Oregon, to parents Dr. Tony and Jeri Holt. He has two brothers, Jason and Arik, and a sister, Maili. The youngest of four children (one biological brother, an adopted brother, and an adopted sister), he was an energetic youth active in many sports, including basketball and tennis.

Anders started acting in local theatre productions like Jesus Christ Superstar and My Fair Lady. After moving to Los Angeles, he soon landed the role of spy Julian Sark on the television series Alias (2001-2006). He recently made his New York stage debut playing the lead role in the 2005 Fringe Festival production of the original musical, "Beautiful."

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Share your thoughts and theories here...

What do you think about the character Takezo Kensei?

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    • profile image

      MusicalKay28 7 years ago

      I was a little disappointed that he was a bad guy, but it was well played! I am glad that the true Kensei was Hiro!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      Well I think this isn`t about being "bad", he have been a man without no purpose and no aim, till Hiro came making Adam the happiest man in the world and giving him the greatest of his disappointment (those one he wanted to protect most were treacherous gift of fate).

    • geeky247 profile image

      Heather Weaver 10 years ago from Colorado

      Yes, I was a bit disappointed that Adam-Kensei turned out to be a bad guy. However, I think the "real" Kensei of legend is Hiro-Kensei. I hope so! :-)

    • fefe42 profile image

      fefe42 10 years ago

      Too bad Takezo Kensei is evil. He is an interesting character though.