14 (TV series), 16 (Gaiden), 17
(Kikoutei and Message)
167 cm/5'5" (TV series),
175 cm/5'9" (Message)
58 kg/128 lbs (TV series),
61 kg/134 lbs (Message)
June 9 1973
Bonsai, Playing the Shakuhachi,
Repairing Swords, Racing
Talking to Girls
The "pretty boy" of the group, Sage was a very sickly
child and, supposedly unbeknown to him, his parents dressed him
as a girl for a while with the thought that girls live longer lives.
This (and the teasing by his two sisters) could account for his
shyness with girls. He had a strict upbringing at the insistence
of his grandfather and learned kendo as was befitting of his family's
Sage's family, Date, is descended from Date Masamune. He is a famous general
who built a castle in Sendai, the prefectural capital of Miyagi. He only had
one eye and was often called the 'One-Eyed Dragon.' Rowen asks Sage about that
in the second TV episode. Sage may live on the outskirts of Sendai, in the family
dojo, which he will one day inherit. He is known as the 'young master.' Sage
was quite rebellious when he was younger. It wasn't that he didn't like kendo,
he didn't like all the etiquette. To teach him restraint, his grandfather made
him study bonzai and the bamboo flute in order to teach Sage how to calm himself.
For generations, the Date family has passed down the story of an armor, actually
Sage received his armor after he demonstrated that he understood the concepts
of 'REI', or courtesy. In the summer of his second year of junior high, Sage
was challenged at his dojo by another famous kendo practitioner, Kazamatsuri
Shingo. Sage had won that year's spring kendo tournament for Northeast Japan
but Shingo hadn't attended. He wanted to try now. Sage's grandfather forced
him into the fight. During the fight, when Shingo was losing, he threw something
into Sage's eye. However, only Sage's left eye was affected, his right covered
by his hair. Angrily, he knocked off Shingo's face protector and knocked him
No one else noticed what Shingo did. Sage's grandfather, furious, sent Sage
down to the basement for punishment. It wasn't till later when Shingo woke up
did everyone learn the truth. By drawing shame to himself, Sage 'saved' Shingo
because if Shingo's deception had become known he would have been forever banned
from Kendo. While in the basement, Sage found Halo.
Sage is very proper, and speaks a very formal version of Japanese. He hates
lies and evil. Though often in control and calm, Sage can be driven into a nearly
It caused quite an uproar among Ronin fans when Sage drove Mia's car when he
was only 14. The legal driving age in Japan is 18. He also won a race car race
when he was sixteen.
During Sage's rebellious childhood, he once took the family's sacred sword and
played with it in the courtyard. While playing, he broke one of his grandfather's
bonzais. His grandfather never noticed because a tulip was placed there but
Sage dreaded the punishment that would come if his grandfather ever found out.
In elementary school, Sage's friends usually cried whenever they saw both of
his eyes, saying it looked scary. Sage's eyesight is very sharp and the paleness
of his eyes makes them look hard. Yayoi suggested Sage cover one of his eyes
so his friends wouldn't be scared.
Sage was vice-president of the Kendo club at his junior high in seventh grade
and the president in eighth grade.
Because of the battle with Talpa which occurred in the spring of 1988, Sage
did not attend the kendo tournament. Shingo won the championship that year and
later wrote a letter to Sage, hoping that they'll meet at next year's tournament.
It was in this letter that Rowen and Kento got the idea to cut Sage's hair.
Shingo had written that Sage didn't look bad with both eyes, why didn't he cut
his hair? Rowen and Sai chased Sage with scissors. They didn't read the postcript
where Shingo speculated that maybe Sage's victory was due partly to how intimidating
Sage looks with both eyes showing.
*Father: Also a practitioner of kendo but is part of the police force. He married
into the Date family.
* Mother: Second only to Sage's grandfather in the dojo.
* Grandfather: Unusually strict, the walking precepts of the Date house. A very
hearty old man, he is largely responsible for Sage's upbringing. He was educated
as a Bushi (warrior) of the Eido period and taught Sage to be the same.
* Yayoi: Sage's older sister by five years. During the TV series she was a medical
school student. She uses formal language like Sage, and is said to be a talented
kendo practitioner as well. Yayoi has and does teases Sage so much, that it
makes it very hard for him to talk with girls.
* Satsuki: Sage's younger sister by two years. She speaks normally, unlike her
older siblings, and doesn't seem to have much interest in kendo. She calls Sage
"ni-chan", kind of like "bro" for an English equivalent.