175 cm (5'9")
|5th Weapon:|| |
Liberator/Pacific Blade (2:XL~3:XL)
|6th Weapon:|| |
|Moveset Type:|| |
|Playable Debut:||Samurai Warriors|
|Real name:|| |
|Japanese name:|| |
July 2, 1582
|Speculated to have been born in 1515 or 1526.|
Initially available (WO1)
Wuhang Mountains (WO2)
Honnōji - Redux (WO3)
|Personal Item:|| |
Poetry of Atago Hyakuin
175 cm (5'9")
Mentioned but none known
|Dominate Hand:|| |
Shooting matchlock rifles
Playing with his hair
|Favorite Food(s):|| |
Rice dumplings (chimaki),
flour dumplings (manju)
|Unfavored Food(s):|| |
Liquor (he can't hold it down),
|Favorite Flower:|| |
Japanese bellflower (キキョウ)
Mitsuhide Akechi is one of Nobunaga's trusted vassals who is best known for betraying his lord at Honnōji. His real personality and the reasons behind his betrayal are ambiguous and controversial. The truth is still being debated amongst historians to this day. His famous daughter is Gracia.
Role in GamesEdit
"Mitsuhide, you are clearly capable of more than you realize!"
- ~~Sima Yi; Warriors Orochi
Mitsuhide is a venerable general who desires to see a peaceful land. He is Ranmaru's mentor and a vassal of the Saitō family. Losing faith in their current master, both he and his pupil desire to join Nobunaga at Inabayama Castle. Proving their worth through combat, they join the Oda ranks and enter the front lines at Ise-Nagashima. Unprepared for the sheer brutality towards the Honganji Rioters, however, Mitsuhide is devastated by Nobunaga's strategies. Several years later, he betrays Nobunaga at Honnōji in the belief that his actions can rectify the sorrow his lord causes. Knowing that his pupil will stay true to Nobunaga, he tries to avoid fighting Ranmaru if necessary.
If Nobunaga escapes his grasp, Mitsuhide will need to retreat to rebuild his forces. Taking Azuchi Castle away by force, the castle's original master soon surrounds the castle grounds. Repelling their invasion, Mitsuhide deems himself to be the only one who can end Nobunaga and therefore pursues the retreating Oda forces at Yamazaki. If Ranmaru has survived their previous encounters, Mitsuhide has the option to convince the youth to believe in him. Otherwise, Mitsuhide strikes Nobunaga down yet spares him due to hearing his pupil's pleas to stop. Claiming Nobunaga's power as his own, he laments that he must do so for the lives lost in his campaign.
In the event that Mitsuhide kills Nobunaga at the temple, he swears to create a new land for the people. Ranmaru, spared by his mentor's mercy, angrily vows vengeance for Nobunaga's death. Shortly after, Hideyoshi and the other Oda remnants confronts him. To build the new world he wants, he regrettably slays even the peasants that rise in Nobunaga's name. Eradicating the main armies against him, Mitsuhide nearly becomes ruler of the land. At this moment, Ranmaru suddenly rises in Mino and steals Gifu Castle -the place that started it all- away from him. Wanting to explain himself to his pupil, Mitsuhide hurries inside the castle to try to reason with the youth. The young man can't forgive Mitsuhide's utter betrayal and commences a duel that ends his life. Although a sadden Mitsuhide prepares to join him, he realizes his act would cheat the lives he took. Dropping his sword, he realizes what it means to truly believe in others.
Samurai Warriors 2 has Mitsuhide as a rōnin looking to serve a worthy lord who will end the land's wars. After he witnesses Nobunaga's resounding victory at Okehazama, Mitsuhide joins his ranks as a loyal officer and helps the retreat at Kanegasaki. Even so, he often finds himself doubting his lord's methods and tries to vie for an alternative solution. He offers Nagamasa a chance to formerly plead for surrender at Odani Castle but Nagamasa instead commits suicide in front of his brother-in-law. After the battle of Saika village, Mitsuhide realizes that he participated in a massacre and finds himself questioning his desires.
Deciding that he would be the one to end the chaos, he leads a revolt at Honnōji and duels Nobunaga in the burning compound. However, he finds himself unable to deal the decisive blow and tearfully states that he still wishes to see the land Nobunaga would create. Seeing their guard down, Magoichi snipes Nobunaga and Mitsuhide is blamed for his lord's death. Bearing the burden of the false claim, he makes a stand at Yamazaki, defeats Hideyoshi's troops, and avenges his lord's death by killing Magoichi. After this battle, Mitsuhide becomes the shogun of Japan and the land is peaceful.
In his dream mode, he deals with the Anti-Mitsuhide coalition led by Ieyasu at Anegawa right after the Battle of Yamazaki. His forces include the Date troops, the remaining Uesugi troops, and the Sanada clan. Kotarō also ambushes Mitushide in his goal for chaos.
Like his previous story, Mitsuhide begins his career as a wandering rōnin in the third title. He finds himself within the Oda troops, building up in ranks to eventually become a trusted family vassal. Armed with his knowledge of rifles, he helps prepare the formations for Nagashino with the earnest desire to see Nobunaga's vision for the land. Upon learning this, his lord retorts that he isn't needed for such a goal as he merely wants to move the times with his military measures. Instead of assuring him, Nobunaga dares Mitsuhide to bet on whether the land will be peaceful under his control. Thinking that the land is in Nobunaga's palm after their victory, the eastern parts of the land submit and the Oda continue westward to suppress the Saika Renegades and the Mōri. Learning that the enemy is led under the supposedly dead Motonari, Mitsuhide calls upon the aid of his friend, Motochika, for naval support. Once Motochika sails in with his navy from Shikoku, the Oda army has the manpower they need to counter the Mōri fleet at Kizugawaguchi. As a portion of the Saika renegades flail for a surrender, Mitsuhide escorts them towards the Oda forces. Nobunaga notices them yet won't allow mercy. After Kazumasu carries out their swift execution, Mitsuhide is stunned by his master's relentless cruelty yet asserts his belief in Nobunaga.
Even so, his heart wavers after they suppress the Saika renegades and continue to fight the Mōri. His lord eventually begins plans to conquer Shikoku as if to taunt Mitsuhide's torn loyalties. Confessing his confusions to Motochika, his friend remarks that he should just do what he believes is just. Ultimately deciding to protect Motochika and the peaceful land he desires, he regretfully leads an army against Nobunaga at Honnōji. While distraught for causing Nobunaga's death, Motochika encourages him to take full responsibility as they face Hideyoshi's army at Yamazaki. Coordinating with his friend, they take out the enemy front line and utilize Motochika's navy to sneak to the front of Hideyoshi's main camp. While Motochika proceeds to deal with the northern Toyotomi troops, he is caught in a trap set by Kanbei. Although Mitsuhide rescues him and wins the battle, the wound Motochika suffers costs him his life.
Shocked by the loss, Mitushide renounces his name in grief and hides from the world in secrecy. His disappearance allows Hideyoshi to continue his conquest of the land before he departs from the world. Many years later, Ieyasu calls for his aid against the Western Army. While reminiscing about his past with his guest, Mitsuhide decides to stand once more in battle to repay the debt of the lives lost for the land of peace. Ieyasu accepts his pleas for forgiveness and Mitsuhide joins the Eastern Army at Sekigahara as a mysterious helper. Content to see the land united, Mitushide lays down his arms and stays with Ieyasu. Playing Motochika's shamisen, he wonders what his friend would say about him. Ieyasu complements his meager tune, stating that the instrument must be happy to be with him -an answer that Mitsuhide modestly accepts.
In Samurai Warriors Chronicles, Mitsuhide Akechi appears first at the Battle of Mt. Inaba Castle, defending the Saito clan from Nobunaga's invasion. Despite his, Hanbei, and the Protagonist, efforts, the Oda army destroys the Saito and absorbs them into his army. Once under Nobunaga's service, Mitsuhide helps destroy the Azai-Asakura alliance, repel the Takeda, and defeat the Ikko and Mori alliance. During this final mission, Mitsuhide barely conceals his doubts for the direction Nobunaga is taking, leading up to his betrayal at Honnoji.
Having slain Nobunaga at the temple, Mitsuhide works to solidify his power, but a swiftly approaching Hideyoshi challenges him just three days after the assassination. In this battle, the Battle of Yamazaki, Akechi is slain, ending his move to continue Nobunaga's ambition in less then one week. In the gaiden stage, Gracia's Strange Journey, Mitsuhide appears as the main antagonist, attempting to reign his daughter so she will submit to her arranged marriage. Although he is defeated by his daughter, who has the help of Magoichi and the Protagonist, Gracia submits to her father's will, and is saved by her husband from the purge issued onto the rest of the Akechi family.
During Orochi's scenario, he accompanies his lord's march against Orochi at Mikatagahara. Evading capture, he stays by Nobunaga's side in Warriors Orochi. He participates in two Gaiden stages to save Ma Chao and the common folk at Kawanakajima as well as Lu Xun at Xia Pi. Mitsuhide is also one of the generals who participates in the siege of Guan Du as he leads the western battalion south. In one of the Wu Gaidens, he and his fellow Oda colleagues, Huang Zhong and Xiaoqiao attempt to steal Orochi supplies at Changshan.
In the second installment, Mitsuhide and his daughter are captured by Sun Wukong to be taken to Kiyomori. Xing Cai and Ina notice his banners (which are pointed out by a Samurai Warriors character during the intermission) as they pass by and decide to help him out. After they break him out, he says he knows nothing of Kiyomori but suspects Sun Wukong does and tries to interrogate him. Following this, he and his daughter agree to help Shu. He assists in the siege on Koshi Castle as one of the strategists and captures a garrison in the south to enable an entrance point for reinforcements. He also notions to capture the cannon fortress in the south to fire at Sun Wukong's base.
He shares his dream stage with Yue Ying and Ling Tong as they work together to protect Ieyasu from Masamune's overwhelming army. He has no particular tasks to perform in the battle, but he does inform Ieyasu when to strike against their adversary.
Mitsuhide resumes his loyalties to the Oda in Warriors Orochi 3 and patrols the dimensional realm to subjugate the serpent army. He fights against the coalition from the future within Da Ji's past and reports their activities to Nobunaga. As he aids the Oda's defenses at Honnōji, Mitsuhide is trapped within the fire that engulfs the temple. While he hurries to attend to his lord's safety, he inevitably loses his life to the blaze.
Sun Jian is aware that the deadly fire started when someone lit the temple's gunpowder supply, something which perks Nō's interest at the coalition's main camp. She remembers that the gunpowder was supposed to fuel a cannon in a previous battle at Jieting. Encouraging the coalition to push the cannon to its limits in the past, the gunpowder supply then ceases to exist in an altered future. When Sun Ce and company defeat him in a fair duel at the temple, they retell their story to him and convince Mitsuhide to join them. He later helps Deng Ai prevent Zhong Hui's allegiance to the serpent forces by invading Luoyang.
In Ultimate, Mitsuhide sets out to clear Nobunaga's name when the latter is rumored to have been working with Da Ji. They eventually find her at Nanjun where she had been using an impostor of their lord to fool the Wei army. Unfortunately, Mitsuhide becomes one of Tamamo's first victims when he is transported inside her enchanted mirror.
Mitsuhide serves Nobunaga as one of his top three generals in Pokémon Conquest. He appears to unflinchingly believe in his lord's vision and insists for Oichi to conform to his opinion. Mitsuhide personally visits the protagonist after he/she conquers the majority of Ransei and bluntly discourages the youth from opposing Nobunaga. He is not surprised when the protagonist challenges him personally at Nixtorm Castle. When Oichi explains that she sincerely doubts her brother's ambitions for peace, Mitsuhide hesitates to argue against her. He confesses he doesn't know his lord's every thoughts and chooses to ponder his loyalties to Nobunaga after his defeat. Mitsuhide later supports Nobunaga's final battle in the main story mode.
His personal episode has Mitsuhide realize that he doesn't agree with Nobunaga's methods since he feels it forcefully divides the hearts of the people and Pokémon living within Ransei. Believing he should save the land for peace, he rebels against Nobunaga. His former master is intrigued by his boldness and answers with a challenge: if Mitsuhide can conquer Ransei and defeat him within three years time, he will consent defeat. Mitsuhide begins his conquest in the northern region of Ransei at Nixtorm Castle and has to earn his right to reach Nobunaga's dwellings in the south.
Mitsuhide appears as an allied unit and later becomes the main antagonist (along with Yoshiaki Ashikaga) in Kessen III. He is very skilled with a musket, which easily impresses Nobunaga. Like Samurai Warriors, he is symbolized in some way by a white hawk. He was formerly Kicho's bodyguard until he protested her marriage to Nobunaga. Due to his "insolence" on the manner, he was banished from Mino and left to drift across the land. He joins Nobunaga with plans to crush him from the inside and secretly works with the shogunate to destroy his rival. He frequently requests for Kicho to join him and become his lover, especially when he volunteers to keep an eye on the Tamba Province before Nagashino.
During his attack on Honnoji, he personally faces Nobunaga in the burning temple and shoots him with his rifle. He is heartbroken by Kicho's unshaken loyalty to her husband and suffers a stab wound that refuses to heal. Scenes regarding Mitsuhide's viewpoint prior to Honnoji can be seen during the game's second playthrough.
Though his assault at Honnoji failed, he gains support from Nobunaga's enemies and the fallen Ashikaga shogun, even though the Miyoshi Trio congratulates him for "killing" Nobunaga. He also gets a formidable foreign ally named Petro, a former acquaintance of Amalia. With his political influence, he declares Nobunaga an enemy of the state and aims to take his life. During the ending, a dying Mitsuhide reveals that he wanted to uphold a promise he made to a young Kicho: he would someday make a land where she wouldn't need to fight. He hears Kicho's voice saying that she understands his intentions and dies with a smile on his face. After his death, Nobunaga entreats a soaring white hawk to fly higher and free in the sky. His gravestone is visited by Yoshino years later.
Mitsuhide first appears serving the Saito clan. In 1571, he is serving the Oda army. In 1582, he kills Nobunaga and has his own clan. If Mitsuhide isn't killed by another clan, he will die of old age. In Nobunaga's Ambition: Iron Triangle his death comes at the age of 66 or 67.
Geten no HanaEdit
Geten no Hana avoids mentioning Mitsuhide's family history in detail –he briefly mentions to have left them and hardly anyone at Azuchi Castle knows them– to focus on his early career. Mitsuhide is a gifted and cultured strategist, politician, and warrior who completes even the most difficult tasks with effortless punctuality. Even so, his skills weren't enough to land him a solid position. The retainers of his previous lords loathed and distrusted him, which led to a sordid history of death threats and early dismissals. For reasons even he cannot remember, Mitsuhide kept wandering to find a worthy lord.
He was serving as an officer under his fourth lord when he first met Nobunaga. Mitsuhide's master was one of Nobunaga's adversaries, and he sent Mitsuhide to act as his messenger. The nameless lord was already displeased with Mitsuhide and ordered the menial task to further reduce Mitsuhide's prestige in his clan. During their talks, Nobunaga recognized the officer's talents and quickly offered him a place in his ranks. Frustrated at the thought of falling for another empty promise of trust, Mitsuhide mentioned his previous work history to Nobunaga as a means of formal refusal. He was amazed when Nobunaga flat-out slandered the preconception of his past playing a part in his judgment and reaffirmed his belief in Mitsuhide's capabilities in the present. Moved by the young lord's charisma, Mitsuhide felt he finally found the one lord he wished to serve. He promptly swore his loyalties to Nobunaga and helped him defeat his former master.
Mitsuhide gladly works to the bone for Nobunaga and is frequently sought to oversee the lord's political decisions. In due time, Mitsuhide rose to be Nobunaga's right-hand man in command. Yet history seemed to repeat itself when Nobumori Sakuma, a long time retainer of the Oda, and his son were suddenly kicked out. Nobumori was lazy, gainless, and arrogant in his status as a veteran, and Mitsuhide voiced his concerns to Nobunaga about him. Although Nobunaga himself agreed with the decision, several Oda retainers viewed it as an unwarranted and brutal attack on traditional loyalty. Unhappy rumors began to spread about Mitsuhide's own faithfulness to their lord and his reputation continues to suffer.
About a month before the start of the main story, Nobunaga and a handful of his trusted retainers returned to Azuchi Castle to rest from their conquests abroad. A week after their arrival, the patrol began to report suspicious activity within the castle grounds. Mitsuhide was given the responsibility of dealing with possible intruders, and he responded with a strategic repositioning of the night patrol. His intuition rewarded him when a shinobi named Hazuki was captured. During Mitsuhide's interrogation of the young man, the shinobi made a careless slip hinting his master's identity and confirmed the general's suspicions that it is an inside job.
Hazuki killed himself before Mitsuhide could question him further, yet the general already speculated that Nobuyuki is the guilty party. Though he tried to intensify his efforts to obtain valid proof, the ninja within the castle are too slippery for him to gauge alone. Wanting to deal with the threat against Nobunaga's life without delay, Mitsuhide chooses to fight fire with fire by discreetly sending a job inquiry to a ninja village in Iga.
Hotaru is the one who answers the call, and he catches her sneaking within Azuchi Castle's main keep. After they validate their ties to one another, he drills her to follow his every command and to report her reconnaissance to him. He has two main objectives for her: to find and defeat the ninja spies within the castle and to always protect Nobunaga. To allow her easy access to the castle grounds during the day, Mitsuhide fabricates an alias for her as his younger sister, Kikyou, who came from Sakamoto Castle to visit him for the month. Before the eyes of other people, he pretends to be her protective older brother. He is the only general who can see past her ninja transformations throughout the story.
His first order for his kunoichi is to prove her mettle in a martial arts tournament held between the Oda vassals. Mitsuhide commands her to transform herself into a man and participate under the name Shichisuke as a simple means of tracking her. Though she loses to Ranmaru in the final match, Mitsuhide feels she is a capable enough fighter to keep around. When Hotaru reports rumors of a fast running man, Mitsuhide gives her the mission to track him down and meet him under her princess disguise. Though it sounds trivial to her, the general insists she will be unfit to serve him if she fails to utilize her intelligence to catch the man in question. Her information gathering successfully leads to her introduction to Ieyasu.
Five days after Mitsuhide gave her his order, Ieyasu holds a tea ceremony for the Akechi siblings and Nobunaga which ends at nightfall. Mitsuhide forgets his folding fan at Ieyasu's residence and commands his kunoichi to fetch it for him as he heads back to his manor. While doing so, Hotaru saves Nobunaga from one of the enemy spies. After he updates the guards with the information she gives him, Mitsuhide orders her to look for gaps in the night patrol. Using reports from both Hotaru and the guards, the general identifies a small window of opportunity to strike when the guards switch between shifts. Mitsuhide instructs her to keep watch over a pivotal gate leading to the castle's main keep. Approximately four days later, Hotaru intercepts Shigure and defeats him. As she ties him up for the guards, Rekka momentarily reveals himself out of concern for his comrade but evades capture.
Shigure is thrown into the gaols and interrogations are getting nowhere. With no other leads, Mitsuhide gives her another mission to investigate the rumor of a spirit haunting the main keep. Both of them find the idea implausible, but it still unnerves the castle residents and servants. He believes that it is worth looking into to grant some respite from the stress caused by the spies. In the meantime, Mitsuhide is given the task of planning a spontaneous firefly banquet to celebrate Nobunaga's recognition in the capital and schedules a poetry party with the Oda retainers for the following week. The seemingly groundless rumor leads to Hotaru capturing Rekka and revealing the shinobi's ties to Nobuyuki.
Once she reports back, Mitsuhide congratulates her and excuses her from his quarters. He then privately visits Nobunaga to reveal Nobuyuki's treachery, explaining that the kunoichi he had employed is responsible for capturing the enemy spies. Nobunaga is unwilling to accept that his younger brother would be guilty of the crime, so Mitsuhide formulates a plan to reveal Nobuyuki's true character before his lord. The general explains to Nobunaga that Mitsuhide must first feign loyalty to Nobuyuki. Upon gaining the younger brother's trust, he would then collude with him in a fake assassination plot using his kunoichi. Mitsuhide would secretly relay every detail of the plot to Nobunaga and have him wear armor strong enough to deflect his kunoichi's weaponry underneath his clothing. The failure of the assassination would then cause Nobuyuki to break face in public. Mitsuhide swears on his life that he will expose Nobuyuki; an amused Nobunaga confidently believes in him and plays along.
For the sake of having the assassination appear genuine, Mitsuhide doesn't explain any of his dealings with Nobunaga to Hotaru. When the poetry party takes place the following morning, the general reads a poem which hints at his plans for mutiny. Its meanings isn't lost on Nobuyuki, who falls for the bait and convenes with Mitsuhide in private. After Mitsuhide reveals Hotaru's true identity to Nobuyuki, he explains the assassination will take place during the firefly banquet. Hotaru must first find an opening in the Oda patrol and wait for dusk when the torches are extinguished. Once the first fireflies emerge to light the scenery, she is to throw a kunai at Nobunaga's back, aiming straight for his heart.
Whether Hotaru goes through with the assassination or not is up for the player to decide. Regardless of their choice, Mitsuhide's predictions come true when an impatient Nobuyuki breaks down in front of Nobunaga. As the younger brother is apprehended, Mitsuhide reveals his ploy to Nobuyuki and Hotaru. Nobunaga leaves for the capital the next day as planned; Mitsuhide is given charge of Azuchi Castle and watches over it in his absence. He congratulates Hotaru for her service and frees her from her contract to him. Mitsuhide's fate in the default storyline beyond this point is reliant on the player's choices and the number of endings they have completed.
Yumeakari has Mitsuhide survive the original game and continuing serving Nobunaga.
Mitsuhide actively devotes time together with Hotaru in her princess disguise in order to convince the residents that she is his sister. He walks with her around the castle grounds, gives her gifts, and reaches out to her within the Akechi manor. Oito and the other servants at the Akechi manor think they are very close siblings. While he willingly indulges his thoughts to her when she is Kikyou, the facade melts away when they are alone. The general instantly establishes her servitude to him and closes his heart to her. He often demands renewed reports from the kunoichi and shuns anything which doesn't pertain to her mission.
During one of their confidential chats, Mitsuhide attempts to intimidate her to work hard for him by smearing the lipstick of her princess disguise. A sheltered Hotaru panics and blurts a cautionary adage told to her during her childhood. She believes she will fall in love with any man who touches her lips and becomes defensive. Although Hotaru doesn't catch onto the true meanings of the tale, Mitsuhide is too entertained by her puerile reaction to chastise her. Henceforth, the general half-threatens, half-teases to touch her lips whenever he believes Hotaru is overstepping her boundaries.
Hotaru soon catches onto the negative rumors about Mitsuhide, especially when Nobumori's son, Nobuhide, returns to the Oda after suffering exile. Through her personal observations and lamentable commentary from loyal Akechi servants, Hotaru learns that Mitsuhide is exerting himself constantly for Nobunaga but hardly receives any compensation for his efforts. She worries about his relations with his cohorts and his constitution, eventually being ordered by a curious Mitsuhide to voice her opinions to him. Once he learns her thoughts, he immediately questions her reasons behind her apprehensions. When Hotaru hesitates to reply, he insists that she means nothing to him to act as a deterrent to being close to him. Although she frets over his cold replies, Oito and company remark that Hotaru must be dear to him since they have never seen Mitsuhide look so happy before in their years of service to him. Their unknowing reassurance boosts Hotaru's confidence to support him.
By the third week of her stay, Hotaru becomes a victim of the bad rumors and gossip as well. Two disgruntled retainers who serve Nobuhide, Hisano and Yamaguchi, proclaim her as a false princess as a means of bad mouthing Mitsuhide's honesty. They jabber about their presumed and faultfinding image of her and Mitsuhide to Hideyoshi. Hotaru overhears them and accepts whatever rumors directed towards her to stand in Mitsuhide's defense. The two loafers are afraid that she'll tattle their words to the general and pull her towards them. The trio bump into Hideyoshi and tip the water container he is carrying. Mitsuhide shields Hotaru from the water directed towards her and is drenched in her stead. He enforces his authority over the two guards to return to their patrol, neither supporting nor defending himself from their negative opinions about him. After Mitsuhide escorts Hotaru back to his manor, he specifically instructs her to stay within her room for the rest of the day.
The kunoichi blames herself for causing him unnecessary trouble and seeks to redeem herself for the fault. Wanting to sneak out during the night to at least watch the patrol, she transforms into Shichisuke. She quickly notices a band of would-be assassins heading into Mitsuhide's room and hurries to provide assistance. Mitsuhide can expertly defend himself without killing his opponents, but Hotaru notices that his movements are odd and forced. She rescues him from a swordsman who tries to take advantage of his momentary weakness. With his attackers subdued, Mitsuhide correctly deduces that Hisano and Yamaguchi are among the masked interlopers and belittles the predictability of Nobuhide's plot. The two men declare that they came of their own accord and accuse Mitsuhide of further villainy. He calmly proceeds to knock them out, orders Hotaru to call for the real guards, and stays awake to clean up the mess. Hotaru notices that Mitsuhide's desk is a mess of paperwork, realizes that he was creating strategies while waiting for the attackers, and offers to help him clean when she returns. Mitsuhide patronizes her for going against his earlier order to stay in her room and chases her out.
Oito visits Hotaru the next day, asking if the princess had seen Mitsuhide. Distressed to hear that she hadn't, the maid reveals that her lord hasn't sent a command for the servants the entire morning and hasn't been seen by anyone in the manor. She and the other servants wonder if something is amiss, but Mitsuhide doesn't permit anyone to loiter around his room without permission. Hotaru decides to enter his quarters to relieve the maid's stress, even with Mitsuhide's repeated protests and orders for her to leave him. She is surprised to see him bedridden with a cold and immediately tries to call for a doctor. Mitsuhide doesn't trust doctors or medicine, insisting that he will be better if he sleeps it off. It's the first time in his life that he has suffered a cold, and Hotaru quickly realizes that it was because he was drenched the day before.
Feeling responsible, she offers to nurse him back to health. She tells Oito the situation and asks her to fetch a meal and a new pail of water for him. Until she arrives, Hotaru gives him a bed bath to relieve his fever, innocuously unaware that the kind gesture is embarrassing and somewhat arousing for Mitsuhide. He once again asks her reasons for her concern; this time, Hotaru promptly answers that she is genuinely worried for him and voices her profound belief in him. Mitsuhide pulls her close to him to return the feelings in kind, but Oito enters before anything can happen. The flustered maid timidly apologizes, and Hotaru lies that she merely lowering the weakened Mitsuhide into bed. Oito takes the claim at face value before excusing herself. A tired Mitsuhide acquiesces and falls asleep holding Hotaru's hand. He wakes up midway into the night, writes a letter asking her to forget what she saw, and carries Hotaru back to her room. He leaves a painted scroll at her side; Hotaru playfully wonders if it is a gift of thanks or a means for sealing her silence.
When Mitsuhide appears to have proclaimed mutiny, Hotaru is stricken with grief and confusion as the rumors about Mitsuhide worsens. She cannot feign a calm composure, and it affects her performance as a princess. Mitsuhide explains that she is suffering from fatigue as a cover story, but he eventually is perplexed by her dismal spirits. He has her accompany him to his private garden one night to hear her opinion. Hotaru states her faith in him and his loyalties to Nobunaga, imploring him to explain himself to her. Although he had planned to tell her after the mission, Mitsuhide caves into her pleas and tells her the truth behind the assassination. The general understands from Hotaru's shaken demeanor that even a fake murder is enough to unnerve her. He therefore amends the plan the night before the firefly banquet.
Instead of throwing a kunai at Nobunaga, Mitsuhide instructs her to target Nobuyuki. Mitsuhide had previously told Nobuyuki to strike at Nobunaga by feeding him the belief that Akechi troops would be there to support him. The general is therefore assigning Hotaru the task of playing hero and stopping him. The attack would expose Nobuyuki in the open and save Hotaru the trauma of taking another person's life. Since it is a last minute change for her sake, Hotaru promises to fulfill it and requests for Mitsuhide to believe in her. Their conversation is overheard by Momoji who covertly tells Nobuyuki to do nothing. When the promised time for the attack takes place, Momoji intercepts Hotaru and throws one of his shuriken towards Nobunaga. Mitsuhide barely shields his lord in time and suffers a deep injury on his unprotected back.
Hotaru fights her mentor to prevent him from further damage until they are spotted by the Oda guards. The ninja flee from the vicinity, yet Hotaru feels guilty of betraying Mitsuhide's trust. To help Mitsuhide in the only way she can, Hotaru willingly accepts capture and lies that her master is Nobuyuki to the guards. Ranmaru notifies his findings to Nobunaga and company, stating specifically that the spy is employed by Nobuyuki. The accused one deduces that Hotaru is the one caught and vehemently asserts that he doesn't know her. Mitsuhide uses his words against him, since Ranmaru didn't specify the spy's gender in his report. Nobuyuki's knowledge is enough for Nobunaga to cast doubt on him so he is imprisoned. Mitsuhide orders the guards to remove the scrolls in Hotaru's possession to prevent her escape from the gaols. He wants to visit Hotaru the same night, but Nobunaga orders him to rest until his wound stops bleeding.
A cautious Mitsuhide visits Hotaru the following morning, hoping to hear her side of the story. Hotaru hesitates to tell him the truth since she fears Momoji's safety if she were to reveal his presence in the castle. He takes her silence as accepting her guilt, lamenting the broken trust between them before turning to leave. Hoping to dispel his misunderstanding, Hotaru stops him by grabbing his sleeve and professing her sincere belief in Nobunaga's dream. Surprised, Mitsuhide halts himself to carefully deduce her actions. It is only after he warmly promises to not harm the person she is protecting that Hotaru finally confesses about her side of the story. His trust in her restored, he sets her free from the prison and welcomes her back in his arms.
Before he can indulge her, an Akechi vassal relays Nobuyuki's sudden disappearance. Mitsuhide concludes that he is aiming towards Honnōji and writes a letter to implore Nobunaga to relocate immediately. He orders Hotaru to reach the temple first through her transformations and deliver his message to their lord. Meanwhile, he and the Akechi army march immediately to replace Nobunaga's place in the temple as a means of deceiving Nobuyuki. This time, his plan goes without a hitch and Mitsuhide duels an infuriated Nobuyuki within the temple's flames. The couple protect one another against Nobuyuki's troops and successfully subdues the usurper. Mitsuhide is exhausted by his injury and feels he faces certain doom when the fire around them intensifies; he therefore orders Hotaru to save herself. Nobunaga and the Akechi vassals come to their aid before either of them lose their lives, once again incarcerating Nobuyuki.
Though her contract is annulled, Hotaru decides to stay another month at Azuchi Castle to ensure that no rebels remain. With Momoji gone and Nobuyuki subdued, she has no official reason for staying by Mitsuhide's side and seeks to return home. She laments not being able to be a person who Mitsuhide can trust during their goodbyes, and they are both uncomfortable seeing one another leave. Mitsuhide's commands her to depart, but Hotaru decides to be true to her inner wishes to stay. She bashfully asks if she can keep serving as his kunoichi. Pleased by her request, he allows it. After he shares a couple kisses with her, Mitsuhide coyly orders her to think of loving him rather than be tied to him under obligation. While Hotaru continues to serve as his kunoichi, their relationship is much more affectionate than it was previously.
Mōri Motonari: Chikai no SanyaEdit
A loyal and dutiful retainer to the Ashikaga shogun, Mitsuhide is introduced in this game when Nobunaga makes plans to head to Kyoto. He thinks for the common people and performs virtuous actions to save them grief. Since he first met Nobunaga, Mitsuhide has argued against all of the daimyo's forceful and bloodthirsty methods. Therefore, when Nobunaga wants him as his vassal, Mitsuhide is initially shocked by the request. Although he tries to implore his lord to reconsider, Yoshiaki allows the transfer and Mitsuhide reluctantly serves the Oda. He is appalled by the seemingly blind loyalty demonstrated by Nobunaga's retainers and frequently tries to suggest peaceful methods. His listener doesn't care for compromise and often yells scathing retorts at him.
After failing to convince his lord to abandon his fight with the Mōri, Mitsuhide voices his outright frustration and misgivings with the situation. Ieyasu, who seems sympathetic to his plight, suggests his round-about support for dispatching Nobunaga. Surprised to hear someone who agrees with him, Mitsuhide later acts on his own violations by killing his lord at Honnōji. He is in the midst of pursuing Nagahide Niwa and Nobutaka Oda when Terumoto's army arrives to intercept. Losing ground at Kyoto, Mitsuhide's army retreats to Azuchi Castle in an attempt to regroup with better defenses. Though the position did offer protection, Mitsuhide dies in battle against the Mōri.
While preparing to march against Terumoto, Mitsuhide remarks about the strange nature of Ieyasu's sudden flight to Mikawa. Pondering about the recent turn of events, he forms a theory of Ieyasu wishing for him to kill Nobunaga and act as the sacrificial lamb to power. His nearby retainer, Toshimitsu Saitō, states his lord is over thinking everything and asks him to concentrate on the battle before them.
Oda Nobunaga DenEdit
Oda Nobunaga Den keeps his Mōri Motonari: Chikai no Sanya personality and origins intact but emphasizes his righteous traits. He also has no lingering loyalties to Yoshiaki and dutifully accepts his servitude into the Oda without regrets or protest. Mitsuhide initially has high opinions of Nobunaga's capabilities, but they begin to waver when his lord's decisions trail into controversy such as the dismissal of Nobumori Sakuma, a veteran who has been with Nobunaga since his beginning years, and the Takeda massacre.
Nobunaga is infuriated with Mitsuhide's peaceful alternatives as they seem spineless and counterproductive to his conquests. The player is given the choice of either beating Mitsuhide as punishment or reprimanding him whenever he protests during war councils. The first option follows the historical route with Mitsuhide raising troops to end his lord's life at Honnōji. He can no longer stomach serving under a man he deems a tyrant. The second option leads to Nobunaga's survival. This scenario drops the character arc for Mitsuhide's remonstrations as he continues to loyally serve the Oda.
Designers for the game made him the "lone wolf" samurai to fit the nature of his unexpected betrayal. His western stylized armor in the first game was to help imply his ties with Nobunaga. They strove to make him appear as a "manly yet sad" character. His unique sword-wielding fighting style was made to be one of his defining traits. His weapon was made to contrast Nobunaga's Western one. These ideas carried into his redesign, but they also wanted to add a touch of inexperience to his character through his new story scenario.
For the third title, Mitsuhide was altered to reflect the Akechi colors. They wanted to make his shoulder armor pronounced by adding his code of arms. He was conceptualized to be the "Japanese hero emerging from the darkness". These same ideas were kept for his fourth appearance except the Akechi print is altered slightly and Nobunaga's violet is added back into his outfit.
Normally collected and witty, Mitsuhide is a modest gentlemen who genuinely cares for the common man. He speaks in a polite manner and tries to practice humility when facing conflicting interests. Hoping to see the end of the wars and cruelty, he desires to someday see his dream become a reality. Striving to protect chivalry at all times, however, he has a nearly black-and-white perception of the world; he is quick to judge others based on their capabilities, actions, and status. If a person acts with what is commonly perceived as lowly or underhanded, he often cuts them down without question. He experiences early doubts and uncertainties for his judgment as the series progresses. Though Mitsuhide eventually becomes self-righteous for his actions, his unpredictable betrayal has him labeled as a traitorous villain by Hideyoshi and others not within his inner circle of allies.
Recognizing Nobunaga's might over other leaders in the land, Mitsuhide starts as a sound and devoted vassal to his lord. He genuinely believes in his lord's abilities and vision, thinking that his lord is the true savior of the land. While the depth of his denial is explored in various titles, the final blow to his loyalty usually stems from the heartless slaughtering Nobunaga commences during his campaigns. When Mitsuhide rises against his master, he believes he is saving the people with his actions. His feelings for killing Nobunaga vary with each title, but his newest incarnation is deeply remorseful for causing his master's death.
During the first title, he is Ranmaru's mentor and laments facing the youth in battle. He seeks to have his pupil join him, believing that they share similar views of morality and honor. He is also Nō's childhood friend, her connections allowing both he and his pupil to enter the Oda clan. The sequel abandons these ties, but Mitsuhide does respectfully address Nō as "Princess" (姫君, Hime-gimi) again in the newest title.
His third incarnation introduces Motochika as his friend, who is described as an irreplaceable supporter in his life. Mitsuhide thinks highly of the shamisen player and is happy with his company, especially when Mitsuhide questions his actions at Honnoji. Though their relationship is vaguely hinted during her debut and in the Warriors Orochi series, he is shown to be a worrying father for Gracia in her newest story. Mitsuhide wants her to wait at their home for him and is surprised by her appearance to the battlefront. He swears to protect her from danger whenever possible and frets if Gracia struggles. If he thinks they are facing a dire situation, he will ask her to forget about him and run to safety.
Geten no Hana Mitsuhide may appear to be a soft-spoken gentleman, yet he wears many hats. Before the townsfolk and his family retainers, he is a polite and cordial lord who speaks to them as though they are equals. He dully orders them whenever the situation calls for it, never known by them to commit an error. The ladies fawn over his quiet elegance, admiring the surreal charm and gentleness he showers them. With his comrades, he is a suave observer with an endless repertoire of well-meaning yet sarcastic comebacks. His foes fear his cold cruelty and peerless intellect, his taunting smirk aggravating his unscrupulous haters and ill-wishers. Merciless to anyone who may endanger his lord's success, he spares no one from suffering punishment. Since he shamelessly swaps between his multiple façades when the situation calls for it, many people find it difficult to fully understand Mitsuhide. Most often don't deem him trustworthy enough to try.
Accustomed and bored by the grave misunderstanding, Mitsuhide decided long ago that the most prudent action for him was to not fully trust other people. He would trust a person with professional modesty and courtesy, but he would otherwise not be interested in building fellowships. Anyone who dared to become nearer to him would be subject to his own suspicions of betrayal or mistrust, since previous experiences have taught him to not welcome others into his heart so carelessly. His simple feelings of loyalty towards Nobunaga is a miraculous discovery in his eyes. Even Mitsuhide is astonished to have been swayed so quickly into the Oda service. Thankful to at last find a lord worthy of his trust, he enjoys his lord's company and earnestly attends to his every task with untold devotion. After befriending Nobunaga, Mitsuhide makes a conscious effort to at least make acquaintances at his lord's behest. He believes that it is just another part of his duties, yet Mitsuhide is unaware of the genuine loyalty he has won with a handful of supporters.
He callously treats Hotaru as another tool for him in his plans when they first meet. Although he placed her under the same lens of skepticism and impassive professionalism as he had other people, his impressions immediately change once he becomes aware of her true naivety and kindness. Mitsuhide is inwardly baffled that she would want to be by his side with unadulterated humanity, something which he hasn't experienced personally until meeting her. His infatuation for her is sealed the moment she proclaims her shared belief in Nobunaga's dream. Since Hotaru is slower on the uptake to the deeper meaning of her affections, Mitsuhide can't help himself in teasing her. At times, he may playfully threaten to silence her by touching her lips. Other times he feigns coldness towards her to "punish her". Yet, when he realizes that these ploys fail to take effect to the unassuming kunoichi, Mitsuhide won't hesitate to shower her with his honest feelings in private. He shows her the childish and forward need he has for her company, which may embarrass both of them.
He's symbolized by the kanji for "flash" (閃), the kanji for "punish" (誅), and white feathers in the Samurai Warriors series. In Kessen III, Mitsuhide has the fictional nickname "White Hawk of the Oda". The reference to the bird is either tied to the story of Mitsuhide's alleged rifle expertise or an account of his origins. According to the Minokunio Nikki, Mitsuhide was born at Akechi Castle in modern day Kani, Gifu. After a dispute for the family successor for the castle, Mitsuhide is said to have fled from the area. However, people also argue that he was born and raised at another caste of the same name in modern day Akechi, Gifu. The alternate name to this Akechi Castle is Shirotaka Castle (translated as "white hawk"). Whether he was actually at either castle is still not known, but Mitsuhide being symbolized as a white hawk is a trait found in various fictional mediums.
Mitsuhide's titles in Samurai Warriors 2 are "Mino Nobleman", "Man of Culture", "Man of Honor", "Warrior Sage", "Lord of Virtue", "Bringer of Peace", and "Three-Day Ruler" (in the Xtreme Legends expansion).
His second weapon -third weapon in the first title and Normal type in the third- is named after a sword said to have been favored by Mitsuhide, Bizen Osafune Chikakage. The blade has an incomplete signature and an unknown history. Stories claim that it was forged by Chikakage, either a disciple or son of the legendary swordsmith, Nagamitsu. It was passed onto one of Mitsuhide's loyal retainers and eventually granted to Mitsuhide when he went to the Shiga District or Shinai. The general's descendants claim to continue passing it down in each generation. Others claim he received the blade as a present from Nobunaga once he became "Akechi Hyuga-no-kami". He did so that his retainer could be figuratively second to him in rank through the swords they wielded. It supposedly was crafted with gold, but it currently doesn't have it. Chikakage's existence, however, isn't thoroughly recorded to properly verify him so it's questionable if the sword was actually forged with the Bizen Osafune techniques or given to Mitsuhide. His Power and Speed types of the blade are named after yin-yang respectively.
Mitsuhide's third weapon -fourth in the first title- is named after Jyuzumaru, one of the five highly regarded swords of Japan. Most people claim that it was forged by Tsunetsugu Ōe during the Heian Period. According to legend, Emperor Go-Toba ordered him to create it. Later, the famous monk, Nichiren, decided to go on a pilgrimage through Minobusan. Fearing for the monk's safety along the mountain road, his followers asked permission to give the sword to Nichiren so he could defend himself. He wouldn't draw the blade, but he did wrap prayer beads (jyuzu) around the hilt and took it with him. Its whereabouts thereafter were unknown for ages although Honkouji claims to keep it. As a side note, Nichiren Buddhism has a long history of being taught and practiced at Honnōji.
His fourth weapon -fifth in the first title and Unique in the third- is named after a sword used by Takemikazuchi, a deity in Japanese mythology born from the blood that flew from Kagutsuchi's decapitated head. The sword had the power to purge the poisonous energies plaguing Emperor Jimmu's army and led to a turnaround victory. The sword was said to have been named Futsu-no-mitama. Emperor Jimmu was said to have continued to use it for his establishment of Yamato-no-kuni and drove out the gods who stood against him. Mitsuhide's fifth weapon comes from an alternate legend for Futsu-no-mitama, in which it was a spiritual blade originally named Kunimukeshi-no-Tsurugi and then embodied by the spirit of a deity named Futsushimita-no-Ōkami.
His sixth weapon is named "Rasetsu Blade Golden Wolf". Rasetsu is the Japanese name for Rakshasa, a dharmapala found in Buddhism. Like many other Buddhism interpretations in Japan, their portrayal of the entity mimics the teachings from China. Known as one of the twelve heavenly guardians, Rasetsu is commonly portrayed as a muscled, fierce looking man clad in armor. Riding atop a mighty lion with a sword in one hand, he guards the southwestern section of the heavens. He ministers over the powers of destruction and extinction. Although often known to be male, female versions are known to exist.
- Michael Gough - Samurai Warriors (English-uncredited)
- Kevin Symons - Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends (English-uncredited)
- Leroy Simon Bean - Samurai Warriors 2 (English)
- Vic Mignogna - Samurai Warriors 3 (English-uncredited)
- Darrel Guilbeau - Warriors Orochi series (English-uncredited)
- Cam Clarke - Kessen III (English-uncredited)
- Hikaru Midorikawa - Samurai Warriors and Warriors Orochi series, Kessen III, CR Sengoku no Arashi ~Nobunaga no Shou~ (Japanese)
- Masaki Aizawa - Game Nihonshi Kakumeiji ~Oda Nobunaga~
- Kenji Nojima - Geten no Hana
- Hiroshi Okamoto - Sengoku Pachislot Nobunaga no Yabou ~Tenka Sousei~
- En ~Buka Moyuru~
- Gyoukou no Hikari
- Himitsu no Kuchibiru
- Hikari Sasu Mirai he - Geten no Hana
- Guren no Yami
Live Action PerformerEdit
- AKIRA - Sengoku Bushou Matsuri
- Takuma Sueno - as Akechi Misuhuide in Butai Nobunyaga no Yabou (Nyan)
- See also: Mitsuhide Akechi/Quotes
- "The enemy is at Honnoji!"
- "Heart's Cry and I shall surpass Deep Impact!"
- "Whenever I look to the moon, I remember the wife I left behind. To assist me in my time of need... She sold the very hair off her beautiful head."
- "I, too, owe my wife a great debt, for helping me impress our lord. With the money given to her by her father, she purchased me a magnificent horse."
- "For both of us, then... Our wives have made us who we are."
- ~~Mitsuhide and Kazutoyo Yamauchi; Samurai Warriors 2 Empires
- "I hopelessly cannot handle any sort of liquor. Banquets frequently trouble me..."
- "Allow me, Toshihisa, to sit beside you. Actually, my older brother, Yoshihisa, is weak to spirits as well. Whenever his vassals offered a toast, I would be the one who would drink his cup for him. If you are truly that squeamish, I will gladly do the same for you."
- "...I already feel drunk just by having this conversation."
- ~~Mitsuhide and Toshihisa Shimazu; Sengoku Musou 3: Empires
- "Preparations for my brother's reinforcements are complete. We can move the troops at any time."
- "I see... It must have been a long trip for you, Lord Chikayasu. You have my thanks."
- "None needed. It's my duty to maintain my brother's relations with other people. He is a talented warrior, but his public speaking skills are... lacking."
- "Indeed. I think I can relate with your sentiments."
- "Oh, do you now? Does Lord Mitsuhide know my brother well?"
- "Yes, he is a dear friend to me. I seek to understand him whenever I can."
- "(Hmph, what nonsense. As if your measly friendship could ever compare to the bond I share with my older brother...)"
- "Lord Chikayasu, is there something you wish to add?"
- "No thank you. I'll be taking my leave."
- ~~Chikayasu Kōsōkabe and Mitsuhide; 100man-nin no Sengoku Musou
- "This blade will measure your caliber."
- "Will it now? And what will measure yours?"
- ~~Mitsuhide and Zhang He; Warriors Orochi
- "I'll tell you what... I'll let you go, in exchange for your daughter."
- "If you lay so much as a finger on her, I will make your life not worth living!"
- ~~Dong Zhuo and Mitsuhide; Warriors Orochi 2
- "Master Zhong Hui, I went too far when I said we were ambitious. Rather, I think we both have a strong, hidden hope. Our desire to try and keep it hidden, maybe that's what drew us together."
- "You would call ambition, hope... that's one way of putting it. One I quite like, Mitsuhide."
- ~~Mitsuhide Akechi and Zhong Hui; Warriors Orochi 3
- "A woman's charms are like this flower, bound to wither away and die. And yet, how sweet the smell. If only I could believe that this moment was true..."
- ~~Mitsuhide's thoughts regarding Kicho; Kessen III
- "—As I was saying, I think we should be prepared just in case."
- "We should consider the possibility of someone using the waterways to infiltrate the premise."
- "Do you think it would be wise to cover the wells and other exits?"
- "... Master Mitsuhide, I apologize in advance for what I am going to say. You haven't been listening to a single word I've said, have you?"
- "Wha...!? I'm asking for your advice for a plan to protect Lord Nobunaga! And you ignore me. Sir, just what are think-"
- "Let's see... I would say I'm thinking of what can be done for our lord rather than listening to your prattle. Besides, do you really think I never considered anything you just told me? Well, good day to you."
- "That man! Why does he say that to me!?"
- ~~Ranmaru and Mitsuhide; Geten no Hana
- "When she's disguising herself as Kikkyou, she becomes more like you by the day."
- "... I would presume as much. We do live under the same roof, and she spends her daytime hours in the manor. It was a matter of time before the Akechi ways rubbed off on her. And now she resembles a samurai princess. Is there a problem?"
- "A huge one. She's supposed to be eccentric. You keep her locked up, and nothing fun would happen. We should say she's my younger sister who's visiting me because of Honnouji. Then she can act as the Demon King's sister and really cut loose."
- "I thank you for your interest in my sister. But your flight of fancy has its limits. The people within my manor have become accustomed to her. Besides, that's my little bird you're talking about."
- "Even though she's my shinobi?"
- "(chuckles) I am well aware of that. Have no fear. The Akechi siblings shall always serve you, Milord."
- "(laughs) So you're determined to keep her trapped in your hovel? Don't you think your cage is too extravagant for a bird?"
- ~~Nobunaga and Mitsuhide; Geten no Hana Yumeakari
- See also: Mitsuhide Akechi/Movesets
|Keys:||Normal Attack •||Charge Attack •||Musou •||Jump/Mount|
Samurai Warriors 4Edit
Mighty strike is the same as Deadlock Attack. Moveset type is altered to Hyper type. Retains some of his old attacks but they are all altered.
- Dashing :
- , :
- , :
- Rage Attack/Musou Gokui effect: Activates Ultimate/Kaidan Musou if is used. Performs ending pose for previous if the effect ends without activating Ultimate/Kaidan Musou.
Like Yukimura, Mitsuhide is well-round character with good attack power but a bit lack of attack range, some of his charge attack is wide range, making him good against crowd control, for general killing, recommended C6 for defense break and C8 for provide deadly attack but hard to use.
But because of lack of range, player should need range power to fill his weakness.
- See also: Mitsuhide Akechi/Weapons
Samurai Warriors 4Edit
|Moon Slasher (備前近景)|
|Gilded Talon (霊剣布都御魂)|
Rare Weapon AcquisitionEdit
- Stage: Incident at Honnōji
A man of mystery to this day, Akechi Mitsuhide is a hard man to completely profile. He was said to have been trusted and praised by Nobunaga. Various historical sources suggest that they believed in one another and got along well. Maeda Toshiie, Hashiba Hideyoshi, Sakuma Nobumori and Niwa Nagahide also admired his integrity. Since he governed his provinces fairly, he was said to have been loved by the people for his kindness. A few historical sources state that he was also a noble man of compassion who treated his vassals and countrymen dearly. During one of the many encounters with the Ikko-iki, he held a respectful funeral at Saikyo-ji for the eighteen men he lost. Even after he performed his famous assassination at Honnoji, his men were still genuinely loyal to him and did not betray him in any way. They decided to face death bravely even with their inferior numbers at Yamazaki. When Mitsuhide tried to escape, a few sources record that at least 200 men volunteered to guard him and risked their lives for their lord's safety.
The other image of Mitsuhide that is popular in fiction has him as a bitter scoundrel who planned to obtain power. This particular shade of his personality is a probable twist on the generous rewards he received after the Incident of Honnoji. Additionally, he was accused by Nobunaga's other loyal retainers as a heartless betrayer. At one point in his life, he was said to have offered his services to the Mōri clan. Mōri Motonari refused him and supposedly sent him away fearfully with monetary rewards. Motonari said, "Indeed, he is overflowing with bravery and has an intelligent wit. But his countenance is like a sleeping wolf, expressionless and hiding its bones until he decides to act. His quiet state of mind is rather unbecoming." Luís Fróis described him in his notes as "a man who favored deception; favored cruel capital punishment; possesses high endurance; expert at strategy, tactics, and complicated formations; a fierce warrior in battle." Modern historians are currently questioning the neutrality of Fróis' writings since he was an honored friend of Mitsuhide's lord. It is not known when exactly he wrote these notes as it could have been after Nobunaga's death. Nevertheless, these particular descriptions are usually used as a basis for the "villainous" Mitsuhide seen in movies and novels.
Mitsuhide was a man of culture who pursued various arts and hobbies. He loved attending to civil affairs and tried as much as possible to honor the departed. He was an avid practitioner of Waka poetry and the Japanese tea ceremony. According to the Akechi Gunki (edited biography from the Edo period), he was also apparently skilled with the matchlock gun. A story states that he only used one bullet to perfectly hit a flying bird from about 45.5 meters away. His skill with the gun is what made daimyo notice him. His other names include Jubei (十兵衛) and Koretafuhyuga no Kami (惟任日向守). Nobunaga was said to have gave him the self-explanatory nickname, Bald Head (キンカ頭, Kinka Atama). He had two wives, one possible concubine, presumably five sons and six known daughters. One of his debatable living descendants is a vocalist.
Details regarding early points of Mitsuhide's life remain relatively unclear. According to the Akechi Gunki, he was a descendant of the Seiwa Genji and was Akechi Mitsutsuna's son, who was a vassal of Saitō Dōsan. Ryōtarō Shiba's novel, Kunitori Monogatari, states that his childhood name was Momomaru (桃丸) but there are no known historical sources that actually record it. It's believed he originated from Gifu province yet there are three different sectors that are generally named. He either originated from Akechi Castle in Kani, Miyama in Yamagata, or the Akechi Castle in Akechi city. Mitsuhide was said to have been childhood friends or cousins with Nōhime but this story's legitimacy is highly debated.
In spite of the unknown areas of his youth, it's commonly believed that he belonged to the governor of Mino Province, the Toki clan, and served Saitō Dōsan. When Saitō Yoshitatsu fought with his father in 1556, Mitsuhide allied with Dōsan. However, Yoshitatsu attacked Akechi castle and scattered Mitsuhide's family. Since his mother fled to depend on the Wakasa-Takeda clan, Mitsuhide served another clan. These candidates range from the Asakura clan, Ashikaga Yoshiteru (or at least a man with the Akechi name and originated from Mino did), the Imagawa clan or the Mōri clan. The Nobunaga Gōki wrote that he could have fabricated his origins and presented himself favorably to the court instead.
After Ashikaga Yoshiaki fled from Takeda Yoshizumi to the Asakura clan in Echizen Province, Mitsuhide met with the fleeing shogun sometime in 1568. Since Asakura Yoshikage's mother was from the Wakasa-Takeda clan and Mitsuhide's mother attended to Takeda Yoshizumi's younger sisters, Yoshiaki ordered for Yoshikage to be his official protector. Yoshikage would not agree to rescue the shogun so Yoshiaki appealed to Mitsuhide directly. In order to return to the capital, Mitsuhide negotiated with Yoshiaki and agreed to guide him to another possible candidate, Oda Nobunaga.
After they arrived in Nobunaga's care, Mitsuhide switched his allegiances to the Oda clan. He either was convinced by Yoshiaki to do so or left on his own accord. He was apparently one of the generals who guarded Nobunaga's disastrous escape from Kanegasaki. In 1571, Mitsuhide was believed to have participated in Nobunaga's campaign to burn Mount Hiei. To prepare for the event, Mitsuhide previously talked to the kokujin, Wada Hidejun, and formerly addressed that the man was convinced to join Nobunaga's army. Wada gave Mitsuhide ammunition, troop supplies, and exchanged hostages at Ogoto Castle. This route helped the Oda army's march towards Enryaku-ji. Since he was somewhat farther away than other generals, it is speculated that he did not participate in the actual massacre at the temple. However, he did partake in a secondary follow up conflict, the Miyake-Kanemori battle, in which he defeated Kanamori Nagachika's troops with Oda cavalry and burned down a Buddhist temple in Ōmi Province. For his services, he was one of the five generals who earned immense praise and was rewarded the Shiga District (which was approximately worth 50,000 koku). Promoted to being a higher ranked lord, he designed and built Sakamoto Castle.
He was given a government post in Hyūga Province during 1575. At his new post, he defended Kuroi Castle from the invading Akai clan. During the first battle, Nobunaga's main unit was fighting with other rebels so Mitsuhide was given no reinforcements against Akai Naomasa's army from Tamba Province and suffered defeat. Nobunaga was impressed by Naomasa's valor but worried that the cunning general would pose a threat in the future. His plans for the Akai were put on hold due to Matsunaga Hisahide's betrayal. With Hosokawa Fujitaka and Tsutsui Junkei, Mitsuhide was scheduled to take part in the Siege of Shigisan in 1577. They were able to march ahead of the Oda main army by passing through Hōryū-ji. Settling in a mountain castle, the main army used it as one of their bases for the siege.
In 1578, when Araki Murashige rebelled, Mitsuhide was one of the three generals sent to investigate Arioka Castle. He was supposedly chosen due to ties of kinship, as one of his daughters was married to Murashige's son, Muratsugu. His messenger was willingly accepted and Muratsugu agreed to send his mother as a peaceful hostage to Azuchi Castle. Apparently, she was sent to wait for a time at Ibaraki Castle, but the Dateiriki-Sakyo no Sukenyūdō Ryūsaki records that the real reason for the hostage transfer was to force the woman to commit seppuku. Regardless of the circumstances and the possible defiance displayed by Muratsugu's mother, Mitsuhide's daughter was returned to him. He was one of the generals who participated in the November battle at Ibaraki Castle but he suffered defeat from the Araki army.
After Matsunaga and Araki's respective downfalls, Mitsuhide and Fujitaka were ordered to retake Kuroi Castle in 1579. Amassing an army of 10,000 with four other reinforcements, they succeeded and fortified their position once more in Tamba Province. He was rewarded with territory that gave him a total of 340,000 koku and restored Fukuchiyama Castle, Kameyama Castle and Shūzan Castle. With easy access to Tōkaidō and San'indō, Mitsuhide was granted an important position in the central part of the main island.
Incident at HonnōjiEdit
Mitsuhide was ordered to entertain Tokugawa Ieyasu at Azuchi Castle on April 8 and 10 in 1582. Ieyasu was being rewarded for his part to subjugate the Takeda clan. On June 6, however, Hideyoshi requested reinforcements to help subjugate the Mōri clan so Mitsuhide was pardoned from his duties to prepare for battle. He retired to Sakamoto Castle and properly equipped his men at Kameyama Castle on June 17. Two or three days later, he wrote his infamous renga poem entailing his ambitions at the shrine, Atago-goken Hakuin, in honor of the Sangoku-shingō and shugendō faith. It was literally written as "The time is now. The fifth month when the rain falls." Another interpretation of the same poem is "Toki shall now rule the realm under the sky."
On June 19, Nobunaga inspected the reinforcements for Hideyoshi's troops and retired back to Kyoto at Honnō-ji. The same day, his eldest son, Nobutada, settled at Myokaku-ji. While Nobunaga spent the following day conducting a tea ceremony, Mitsuhide had gathered an army of approximately 13,000 people to join his cause and marched from Kameyama Castle during sunset. Before the dawn of June 21, Mitsuhide was said to have yelled, "The enemy is at Honnō-ji!" (敵は本能寺にあり！) According to historical researcher, Atsushi Kawai, it is very likely that Mitsuhide did not actually say these words. The quote originated from the Akechi Gunki, a collection of stories littered with fictional fallacies and written by an unreliable author during the Edo period. Kawai believes the quote was created after the fact to romanticize the event.
Mitsuhide's army surrounded Nobunaga's position by sunrise and they eventually set the shrine on flames. Nobunaga's body was not found, but Mitsuhide immediately turned his attention to Nobutada. Slaying one of Nobutada's guards, Murai Sadakatsu, he chased Nobunaga's son to Nijō Castle. One of Mitsuhide's generals, Ise Sadaoki, won great fame for causing Nobutada's downfall.
Reasons for BetrayalEdit
No one knows exactly why Mitsuhide went against his lord, but here is a short list of the many argued theories for the coup d'état.
- Ambition - Mitsuhide wanted the land for himself and did not want to be under anyone's authority. A variation adds that he was too impatient to wait for a promotion and killed Nobunaga to get ahead.
- Held a grudge - here are some of the popular clauses for this one.
- When Ieyasu complained about the food he was served during his stay at Azuchi Castle, Nobunaga ruthlessly threw Mitsuhide's priceless dinnerware into the garden pond.
- During the battle at Yagami Castle in 1575, Mitsuhide let his mother die for Nobunaga's cause.
- When the Oda first won victory during the subjugation of the Takeda, Mitsuhide praised his colleagues at a banquet. Nobunaga considered his comment superficial and kicked him.
- In the Kawasumi Taikōki, Kobayakawa Takakage supposedly said that Mitsuhide did not easily forgive people and was the type to hold grudges.
- Nobunaga asked him - trusting Mitsuhide to cut him down if he got too ruthless, this legend states that Mitsuhide was only fulfilling an oath he previously made with his lord.
- Shikoku relations - during the 1581~1582 campaign to subjugate Shikoku, Chōsokabe Motochika allegedly befriended Mitsuhide's vassal, Saitō Toshimitsu. The trio planned to work together to reclaim the Shikoku territory with Mitsuhide asked to kill Motochika's antagonist from afar, Nobunaga.
- Tricked by Hosokawa Fujitaka - Fujitaka was said to have promised to aid Mitsuhide but was really reporting the betrayer's plot to Hideyoshi (although they arrived too late to save Nobunaga as they planned).
- For the Jesuits - advocated by historian, Tachibana Kyoko. She reasons that it was a scheme to allow the Jesuits to gain independence as Nobunaga reportedly used them as puppet leaders for his own "demonic" influence. In her theory, their final goal was to ask aid from the Ming Dynasty and create their own military power.
- Out of jealousy - Mitsuhide was in love with Nobunaga but was hurt when his lord paid more attention to Ieyasu than him. He was heartbroken to have had his advances rejected and lashed out in anger.
Other theories state that he was either asked or influenced by Mōri Terumoto, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Ashikaga Yoshiaki, Nōhime, the Shimazu clan or Emperor Ōgimachi.
Battle of YamazakiEdit
With Kyoto suppressed and some of the castles surrounding the region under his command, Mitsuhide sent an open plea for other feudal lords to join him. However, he failed to gain more supporters and was confronted by Hideyoshi's larger army by June 29. Mitsuhide strategically relocated to Yamazaki in an effort to better his chances for defense. Two days later, both armies prepared for a large siege and fought on July 2. The Akechi troops used excellent arquebus tactics to drive their foes back, but the situation looked grim when the siege lengthened and their numbers waned.
Seeing the battle turn against them, Mitsuhide ordered a retreat for Shōryūji Castle. He broke through enemy lines and a handful of his soldiers were able to escape. While en route to Sakamoto Castle, he barely managed to fight off headhunters from Kyoto. Exhausted, he was said to have committed suicide by his own blade soon after. Another story states that he hid from his pursuers but was found by the farmer samurai headhunter, Nakamura Chōbei, who stabbed him to death with a bamboo spear. His body was said to have been found when it was grossly decayed by the intense summer heat. Hideyoshi's vassal, Mizō Shigemoto, reported that there was no head and that a bamboo spear was plunged into the corpse's neck. His head was said to have been seen rotting in three separate locations but each place reported that it was heavily disfigured.
Since the recovered corpse was hard to properly identify, there has been some speculation that Mitsuhide actually survived Yamazaki. The most popular legend is that Mitsuhide assumed identity of the priest advisor with mysterious origins, Tenkai. There are many interesting conjectures that suggest that this may be true (such as Tenkai claiming that he felt attached to the Akechi name and both men being the supposed basis for Kagome Kagome) but, so far, this theory presents too many radical contradictions to be accepted as fact and is only true in fiction.
- In the Sengoku Jidai themed comic, Sengoku Angelique, Rosalia de Catargena acts as the Mitsuhide of the cast. Her full name is "Akechi Rosalia Mitsuhide".
- Osamu Mieda, the director of Sengoku Musou Chronicle 2nd, cosplayed as the Samurai Warriors Mitsuhide in the limited seating Sengoku Musou Chronicle 2nd Experience Conference. He later confessed during the Spot Pass messages for the game that Mitsuhide is his favorite character in the series.
- During FujiTV's Super News segment regarding recent historical findings, footage of Samurai Warriors 4's Honnōji was played during Kawai's commentary about the cry.
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