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Yoto-mono or kumi-gashira (group captains) were the heads of shinobi groups that gathered information about the enemy's position prior to battles and night raids. They would be sent to an enemy's territory or camp to gather information or commit arson. Yoto agents would also pass information between ambushes and guards. Early in the evening they would be sent out to scout the area. These ninja were exempt from daytime duties, less important tasks, and were given land.

According to the Giyoshu military manual, after an ambush mission, especially at night, the enemy's shinobi would often follow the soldiers back.