Located in westernmost Tokaido, Iga province is home to the Iga Sokoku Ikki, a group of minor clans - including the Hattori - and the founders of the Iga school of ninjutsu. Their formidable ninjutsu skills, combined with their intimate knowledge of the mountainous terrain, allowed the Iga families to maintain their independence for many years. They were almost destroyed when Oda Nobunaga invaded Iga in 1581, although many escaped and survived to serve Tokugawa Ieyasu when he rose to power.