Hard master was the Arashikage's head ever since Jinx a.k.a. Kin having memories. Despite his hardened nature and position, he was a loving father who put his daughter's safety as important to the clan itself, and placed Kin under constant protections against the ninja clan's enemies.
One day, Kin decided to go out on her own with her cousin, Tomisaburo, only to be attacked by several assassins. While Storm Shadow holded off some of the assailants, it was a young beggar who prevent the tragedy from happening. Thankful for the unnamed man's action, Hard master decided to take him under Arashikage's wings as his apprentice and named him "Snake Eyes".
As Hard master trains his own nephew and his apprentice personally, the younger trios will develop a sibing-like relationships. With time passed, Snake Eyes begun to show impressive growth in both morals and skills that even Hard master was being influenced. However, Tomisaburo eventally become obsessed with his supposed right to become the next head of Arashikage and alias himself "Storm Shadow". This resulted in an event of Tomisaburo claiming the forbidden Blade of Arashikage, in spite of Storm Shadow's guilty, Snake eyes tooks the blame upon himself and would have been severely punished if Kin hadn't do the same. The shocking fact of his daughter disgraced his clan made Hard master to consider about the feudalistic path of the ninja clan.
After a long term struggle as the leader of the Arashikage clan of assassins and a father, Hard Master eventually concluded that they were on the wrong path. A new leader wise enough to find a new path and a man trustworthy enough to take care of Kin will become his successors after his inevitable demise, and Hard master finds both within Snake eyes. The master and apprentice confide to each others in an usual tea night. With acknowledgement to each others, Hard master named Snake eyes the Head of the Arashikage, also, the duty to protect Kin.
Meanwhile, a young Storm Shadow, bitter over how Hard Master had favored Snake Eyes, attempted to poison his rival. Unbeknownst to him, the cups were later switched, and Hard Master swallowed the poison. When Snake Eyes tried to save him by cutting a hole in throat to allow him to breathe, Storm Shadow came into the room and mistakenly concluded that Snake Eyes had murdered their master.