The Hattori Hanzo Letterbox Series  LbNA # 12317 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateNov 21 2004
LocationEast Hartford, CT
Planted ByWild Rover    
Found By hurricane Katryna
Last Found Oct 23 2010
Hike Distance?

Hockanum River Linear Park – Martin Park Trail
3 Boxes -- Easy

**Box #3 went missing 4/15/05; re-planted in a different spot with new stamp on 05/10/05.**

***Box #3 again went missing Winter 2005-2006 and was replanted thereafter.***

***As of 02/02/2008 two of the threeboxes were confirmed ACTIVE*** The clues below are updated. There is no ink (please bring red and gold)and no logbook, but two stamps were fine. Thanks. --WILD ROVER

The "KILL BILL" movies (Volume I & Volume II) are writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s fourth and fifth films respectively (beware of violence and gore). The two films are at once two halves of a story, yet both totally different from the other. Volume I draws primarily on Japanese martial arts movies, as well as blaxploitation films of the 1970's (which has become Tarantino’s trademark). Volume II draws mainly on Spaghetti Westerns (i.e. Sergio Leone), as well as Chinese martial art films. But one theme that runs central through both films is the use of samurai swords -- Hattori Hanzo samurai swords, to be exact. Tarantino is heavily influenced by the code of honor in samurai films, and his use of the samurai sword in these movies is very significant.

Tarantino cast Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba as legendary sword craftsman Hattori Hanzo (The Man From Okinawa). Tarantino described Sonny Chiba as “the greatest actor ever to work in martial arts films.” Sonny Chiba is one of Japan’s best known and most successful stars of film and television, starring in more than 125 films and numerous dramatic series during his 40 year career, and winning several Japanese acting awards. The casting of Sonny Chiba as Hattori Hanzo is an homage to this legendary Japanese action star. The Hattori Hanzo Letterbox (Box #1) stamp consists of the Japanese characters for “Hattori Hanzo.”

The heroine in “Kill Bill Volume I” (“the Bride”) had been left for dead by Bill, and swears revenge. She visits master craftsman and blacksmith Hattori Hanzo in Okinawa seeking a sword from the master for use on her mission, knowing Hattori Hanzo to produce the best samurai swords in the world. [“Why do you need Japanese steel? / I have vermin to kill. / You must have big rats if you need Hattori Hanzo’s steel. / Huge.”]. Hanzo has been out of commission for 28 years, pledging to never again create a weapon of death. But when the Bride explains her mission he agrees because Bill had once been a student of Hattori Hanzo and disgraced the master, making Bill his sworn enemy. The Bride is indoctrinated by Hattori Hanzo in the true ways of the samurai while he takes a month to create the Bride’s sword of Hattori Hanzo steel. He recites and she repeats the secret code of the Yagu Ninja, which shows that although the bride seeks revenge she is still bound by a specific code of honor.

“I’m done doing what I swore an oath to God 28 years ago to never to do again. I've created ‘something that kills people.’ And in that purpose I was a success. I’ve done this because philosophically I’m sympathetic to your aim. I can tell you with no ego, this is my finest sword. If on your journey, you shall encounter God, God shall be cut.”

The Bride’s Sword Letterbox (Box #2) stamp consists of the Foo Lion that is stamped into the steel of the Bride’s Hattori Hanzo sword.

Bill is played by cult movie star David Carradine, best known for the 1970's series Kung Fu. Bill is heard but not seen in Volume I, but is central to Volume II. He disgraced former teacher and master Hattori Hanzo, and thus became his mortal enemy. Bill is the leader of a group of world-traveling assassins, The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, all trained in martial arts and the use of weapons, including the samurai sword. The Bride’s quest for revenge leads her to cross paths with each of the other Deadly Vipers on route to the finale, which is of course her clash with Bill. One battle involves a sword fight between the Bride (Black Mamba, played by Uma Thurman) and Elle Driver (California Mountain Snake, played by Daryl Hannah), wherein Elle uses a Hattori Hanzo sword given to another Viper, Bud (Sidewinder, played by Michael Madsen), by Bill who is his brother. When the Bride has her final showdown with Bill he of course uses his own Hattori Hanzo samurai sword. The Bill’s Sword Letterbox (Box #3) stamp consists of the demonic face carved into the bamboo sheath of Bill’s Hattori Hanzo samurai sword. Good luck, and thanks for looking!!!


From 84W take Exit 58; at end of exit take a right onto Roberts Street; at the light take a left onto Hillside Street; (pass the site for the Huskyville Letterbox on your right); take a left on Burnside Avenue; at the end of the Short Reach (s-curve) take a left into Martin Park (the historic Hugenot House is on the lawn) and go to the far back end of the park, staying to the right at all intersections, until you find the large sign signifying the trail head of the Martin Park Trail (near a large, rust-colored foot-bridge). There is no parking lot nearby, so park on the roadside.

From 84E take Exit 58 and take a left onto Roberts Street, then follow the directions listed above.


The letterbox for BILL'S SWORD is missing (Box #1). I will re-carve it and re-plant it as soon as possible, but unless and until it is posted as active it will not be in place. The short walk for the other two stamps, however, is well worth the visit, in my humble opinion.

Cross over this very interesting rust-colored foot-bridge that spans the Hockanum River. At the end of the bridge stand on the concrete step and look straight ahead to a large three-sister tree. The trail bends to the left, but you need to walk straight ahead to this three-sister, which was the previous hiding spot to the BILL'S SWORD letterbox, which has gone missing. I did not want to tempt fate, so..... with the three sister on your right shoulder look to your 10:00 (about 30 degrees for those with a compass) to a large tree with some vines growing up it. From this view you cannot see the pooh house hollow about six feet off the ground on the other side of the tree. It is in this hollow that the HATTORI HANZO letterbox can be found (Box #2). There is no ink (please use red if you have it) and no logbook, Hopefully the peanutbutter jar and plethora of Glad bags will weather the elements.

Go back across the bridge and at the opposite side (where you started) stop on the concrete step at the end of the bridge. Again look to your 10:00 (this time about 200 degrees with a compass) to a large tree with many broken limbs. When you get to this tree, if it is on your right then on your left is the corner of an old chain-link fence. Inside the fence is the foundation of what I am told was a historic house that was moved to a different location. The fence serves no purpose now, except as a waypoint for this letterbox. standing at the corner of the fence, go straight (not left) along the fence in a southerly direction (not easterly) to a fallen dead tree at the base of a two-sister tree. In the base of this fallen tree you will find the Bride’s Sword Letterbox (Box #3). Don't be alarmed, as the letterbox is in an ammo box, but should be dry as a bone and safe from critters. There is no ink (please use gold if you have it, or orange/yellow if you don't) and no log book.

Thanks for looking!!! --WILD ROVER


Thanks are also again extended to my sister MayEve, for helping me to plant this letterbox, and to RTRW for giving me the inspiration to complete this series in time for the Hartford County Gathering !!! I hope you find it, like it and enjoy it! ---WR