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Matsu

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Not to be confused with another Matsu.
Matsu
Matsu (NAS)
Character Information
Clan(s)/Alliance(s): Maeda
Weapon Type: Sword
Unit Type: Lady samurai
First Appearance: Samurai Warriors 2
Historical Information
Real name:
Hōshun-In
Japanese name:
芳春院
Born:
1547
Died:
1617
Buddhist name. Given name also spelled as "松".

Matsu (まつ) is Toshiie Maeda's wife. Known to be a compassionate and loving mother, she was also a fiercely determined woman who would openly share her opinions with her husband. It is often said that her actions saved her husband's career countless times.

Within the Nobunaga's Ambition series, she is called Matsu Maeda (前田まつ or 前田松, Maeda Matsu) to clarify her identity. She appears in Tenshouki, Sphere of Influence, and 100man-nin. The Nobunaga no Yabou 201X poll for 3-star officers puts her in second place.

Players can unlock Matsu in Kessen III by using the Enjoy Disc from the game's Treasure Box set.

Role in GamesEdit

The main Samurai Warriors series frequently mentions her in Nene and Toshiie's conversations. She is good friends with the former and a chiding if loving wife for the latter.

100man-nin no Sengoku Musou gives her an unique design and conversations with her husband. She is a hot-blooded woman who speaks with a harsh country dialect, whipping her husband into shape whenever he doubts himself.

Voice ActorsEdit

QuotesEdit

  • "Matsu! Today, I'm going to sit right next to you!"
"What's gotten into you!?"
"They say "kurisumasu" is a day that you spend with your loved ones. And I can't think of anyone more precious to me than you, Matsu!"
"W-what's that!? Saying something so gushy out of the blue..."
"Don't be so embarrassed about it, Matsu~!"
"W-Who said I was! ...So, today is "kurisumasu". What type of day is it?"
"... Actually, I don't really know either..."
"The hell does that mean!?"
"Well, don't sweat the details! Doesn't matter what the day is. It doesn't change that you're the only one I want to have by my side."
"...Darling..."
~~Toshiie and Matsu; 100man-nin no Sengoku Musou

Historical InformationEdit

Matsu has unknown origins and nothing in the Maeda family records can help clarify them. The popular interpretation listed at Hayashi-uji Nichikai Tsunenobu Ie identifies her as Shinohara Kazue's daughter who was one of Oda Nobuhide's lead bowmen. Her mother was said to have been the older sister of Maeda Toshiie's mother, meaning that she was born as Toshiie's cousin. Kazue died while Matsu was still a child which plummeted her family into poverty. Her mother was then married to Takahata Naokichi, a Maeda family retainer. The neutrality of Hayashi Tsunenobu's writings have been questioned due to his negative relations with the Oda clan. Kagahan Shiryō notes her father was an unnamed member of the Shinohara clan. She has also been argued to have been Shinohara Chikuami's daughter who may or may not have had family ties to the Maeda family.

Regardless of the scenario, Matsu was said to have been liked by Maeda Toshiharu, Toshiie's father, who chose to foster her after her mother's remarriage. In 1558, when she was twelve years old, she was married to a twenty-one year old Toshiie. Their love was said to have been genuine in spite of the era's social expectations for marriages. During their time together, she gave birth to nine daughters and two sons for him. She had her first child, Kōhime, when she was thirteen years old. She lived at Fuchu Castle in 1575 and later Nanao Castle in 1581.

For as long as she has been married to Toshiie, Matsu began her lifelong friendship with Nene and Naka, Hideyoshi's mother. The three women reportedly loved to chat about their husbands and frequently chat together daily. When Hideyoshi and Toshiie were still poor, they helped Naka with their family crops and shared the bounty together. When Matsu gave birth to her fourth daughter, Gōhime, she supposedly offered her daughter to her childless friends as comfort. Therefore, when Toshiie sided with Katsuie at Shizugatake and Matsu personally went to plead mercy for her husband, Hideyoshi was moved by her words to spare him. Her act is often romanticized as a sign of devotion to Toshiie, although historians argue that it was likely an independent act of self-preservation done within her realm of influence.

After Shizugatake, Toshiie was rewarded properties of his own and a new home, Kanazawa Castle. For the first time in his life, Toshiie held considerable wealth and sought to protect it. According to the dubiously accurate Kawasumi Taikōki, his greed took precedence and interrupted his daily routine. When Sassa Narimasa posed a threat at Suemori Castle in 1584, Toshiie hesitated to answer the call and risk his life in battle. Matsu famously sneered to him, "How about bringing your gold and silver along by poking through them with your spear?" At first, Toshiie was outraged by her sarcasm. As he stewed on it, he took her words as a challenge to prove himself to her and invigorated himself to take arms at Suemori Castle.

Another story about Matsu and Suemori Castle has a different take on her behavior. Before her husband and retainers left Kanazawa Castle for the siege, Matsu approached them in person and boldly announced, "If fortune fails you at Suemori Castle, do not intend on returning home alive. Everyone here, including myself, shall set this castle ablaze and bring our families here to perish." She personally tied her husband's helmet with her death poem and dressed the wives of the men for death as the army left for war. Whether it be an angry spat or a decisive pledge, Matsu's words were said to have led to the Maeda's high morale in battle.

Hideyoshi earned Toshiie's ire in 1595 regarding the inheritance for Tsuruchiyo, a son born from one of Nobunaga's daughters and the departed Gamō Ujisato. Hideyoshi was grooming the boy to become one of his possible successors and Toshiie disapproved it from many angles, refusing to go to his attendance at Osaka Castle in his three years of anger. When Matsu became aware of the situation, she appealed to Nene to listen to her husband's side. Nene passed the news to Hideyoshi who reflected and finally addressed the retainers' anger for leaving the Gamō clan without a successor.

During the Daigo Flower Viewing in 1598, Matsu was treated as a honored guest of the ceremony before 1,300 retainers and female attendants. She rode the sixth palanquin to the grand event. Lady Yodo and Lady Matsunomaru were ready to wage war over who should receive the cushion seat next to Nene, a honored seat next to Hideyoshi's first wife. Matsu calmly slid onto it and replied, "In order of whom is the oldest amongst us, I should be right here". Ordinarily she should have been seated within the guests section, but Matsu's sagacity silenced the ladies from bickering and the event proceeded without incident. When Toshiie passed away a year later, Matsu became a Buddhist nun and changed her name to Hōshun-In.

In 1600 she became a Tokugawa hostage to assuage Ieyasu's suspicions towards the Maeda clan. After living in Edo for fourteen years, she was free to leave while Toshiie's former concubine Chiyo took her place. She eventually died at Kanazawa Castle. Her namesake is used for the Maeda's ancestral temple.

GalleryEdit

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