177 cm (5'10")
|5th Weapon:|| |
Heaven's Bliss/Golden Zephyr (2:XL~3:XL)
|Moveset Type:|| |
|First appearance:||Samurai Warriors 2|
|Real name:|| |
|Japanese name:|| |
November 6, 1600
|Personal Item:|| |
The Three Teacups
Mitsunari Ishida is best known in history for leading the Western Army at Sekigahara. He won Hideyoshi's favor as an excellent financial manager and master of the tea ceremony. Due to his general lack of experience on the battlefield, his leadership of the Western Army displeased several veteran warriors in the Toyotomi army. Although various historical accounts deem him to be a villain, historians are recently reexamining his deeds and some believe he should be depicted in a better light.
Fans voted him as the most popular Samurai Warriors character in Gamecity's Sengoku Musou 3: Empires, Musou Orochi 2: Special, and Musou Orochi 2 Ultimate's character popularity polls. In Koei-Tecmo's Facebook Sengoku Musou Chronicle 2nd poll, he was voted second place. According to the Sengoku Musou Seiyuu Ougi 2012 Aki questionnaire, he ranked second for the character fans would want as a lover and third for fans' ideal co-op partner for playing Samurai Warriors.
Mitsunari's Samurai Warriors counterpart has three trios shared with Yukimura and Kanetsugu titled Aogite Ten ni Hajizu, Appare! and Kusamakura no Yume. He has a duet with Kiyomasa titled Michi, Wakatsutomo. He has two solo songs for himself titled Sagiri no Kanata and Mono Mousu.
In Saihai no Yukue, his height is 173 cm (5'8") and he is 23 years old. His hobby is practicing his ability to create bad puns and he doesn't like persimmons.
Role in GamesEdit
- "You can't judge a book by its cover, can you?"
- ―Cao Cao; Warriors Orochi.
Mitsunari is one of Hideyoshi's chief advisors who excelled at securing supply lines. His tasks allowed his lord to assemble armies quickly and thus earned him a close spot near Hideyoshi. As he assists the siege at Yamazaki, he is acquainted with Sakon. While Oichi stages an uprising against their lord, Mitsunari is forced to prove himself to the distrustful and bitter Kiyomasa and Masanori during Shizugatake. As he fights, Kanetsugu arrives on the field to judge which side has more virtue. If Mitsunari convinces Toshiie to stand down, the Uesugi general will be impressed by Mitsunari's character and later convinces his masters to join sides with Hideyoshi. If he meets Oichi, he states that he could have served Nagamasa if her husband were still alive. To honor his wishes, she gives him permission to inherit her late husband's lands after her death. Soon after, Nobunaga's son, Nobukatsu, declares himself rightful heir and joins forces with Ieyasu to fight Mitsunari's master at Komaki-Nagakute. As the siege commences, Mitsunari learns of his lord's desire for a land of happiness and meets Ieyasu for the first time.
With Ieyasu subdued, Hideyoshi proceeds onwards towards Odawara Castle. Mitsunari formerly introduces himself to Kanetsugu and Yukimura, the trio announcing their friendship to unite for a common goal. Hideyoshi eventually dies after the land's unification and Ieyasu gathers troops to make his claim as ruler. Desperate to keep the Toyotomi family on their pedestal, Mitsunari works with Kanetsugu to attack Ieyasu from both sides. After defeating the Eastern army at Kusegawa, he directs the Western army to surround and overwhelm Ieyasu at Sekigahara. Learning that numbers don't always grant unity or understanding, Mitsunari rallies the army with an inspirational speech regarding friendship and trust after their victory.
His dream mode continues from his story mode as Mitsunari joins forces with Yukimura and Kanetsugu to lead the final charge against Ieyasu at Edo Castle. Additionally, the officers who are prone to defecting in Sekigahara finally turn against him in this battle.
In Samurai Warriors 3, Mitsunari shares a fraternal friendship with Kiyomasa and Masanori as they ride against Katsuie's army at Shizugatake. Swearing to protect Hideyoshi's dream against any who defy it, he helps win the battle and joins his friends at Komaki-Nagakute. As they prepare for their decisive confrontation against Ieyasu, the young trio meet Sakon and the ronin takes a shine to them. After Hideyoshi has the majority of the land serving him, only the Hōjō remain. While the main force attacks Odawara Castle, Mitsunari is ordered to take the nearby Oshi Castle for his master. Sakon, who chose to follow him, remarks that Mitsunari is fighting a losing battle. Although the younger man is aware of his possible defeat, he is determined to only achieve victory for the sake of protecting his home and "family" with the Toyotomi. In the midst of battle, Mitsunari forms a bond of trust with the ronin and hires Sakon to serve him.
Hideyoshi eventually dies of natural causes and Ieyasu becomes the greatest man of the land. Thinking that Mitsunari lacks the strength to protect their home and believing that their path is the only way to do so, Kiyomasa and Masanori desert him to join Ieyasu. Devastated by the loss of his friends but determined to stay true to his beliefs, a sadden Mitsunari raises his arms at Kusegawa. Their victory invigorates his drive to march against his friends and Ieyasu at Sekigahara. The spirited Kiyomasa greatly raises the morale of the Eastern army and Sakon and Ginchiyo agree that he must be defeated for victory. Reluctantly, Mitsunari faces and defeats him in combat. Though they slay Ieyasu and achieve their goal for a land of peace under the Toyotomi family, Mitsunari wonders if he made the right choices for his dream. During the quiet morning afterwards, he sees a vision of Kiyomasa's spirit riding towards the horizon. Satisfied, Mitsunari states that he will always stay true to honor his friend.
In Warriors Orochi, he is ordered by Da Ji to keep an eye on Cao Pi. He seems to be following her orders until he lies for the prince regarding Sun Ce's escape, saying that an impostor sent by Zhou Yu likely let the Wu forces go. From then on, he is a comrade in arms for Cao Pi and follows him when he defects. At the end of Wei's story, he is one of the many warriors who joins Cao Pi's personal army.
Mitsunari joins Wei forces in Tong Gate alongside Nobunaga and Katsuie in Warriors Orochi 2. He sees through Kiyomori's trickery and orders Katsuie to kill the sorcerers. In Dream Mode, he helps Sima Yi and Masamune defend Xia Pi Castle to protect Da Ji, using their sharp minds against the Toyotomi forces and Zhuge Liang.
During the original timeline in Warriors Orochi 3, Mitsunari reunited with Cao Pi. Together with his comrade he raised an army to hunt down Da Ji. When Sima Zhao and company return to the past to set up Hydra's downfall, Mitsunari opposes them at Tong Gate. After the battle ends in their victory, Mitsunari joins his former adversaries as a signal of Cao Pi's changed impressions of the coalition. He later joins Cao Pi in his effort to reinforce Lu Xun against Susano'o's army at Hefei.
Though he retains his Warriors personality, Mitsunari is depicted as a child in Pokémon Conquest. He is friends with Kiyomasa and Masanori who are residents of the protagonist's homeland, Aurora. Throughout the game's main story, they offer secondary advice to the player and inform them of Nobunaga's progress. He has a habit of refusing to praise the protagonist for his/her efforts and patronizes him/her to try harder. Although Mitsunari dispassionately congratulates him/her in the main story's ending, he hides his face in embarrassment when Masanori points out that he is crying tears of joy.
Mitsunari's episode has him stationed as the Warlord of Ignis. He and his friends frequently fight with one another, but this time it separates them from one another. To prove himself superior to them, Mitsunari decides to conquer the southern castles in Ransei with Ignis as his starting base. Upon his victory, his friends accept their defeat and admit that they actually missed Mitsunari. Mitsunari fiercely denies feeling the same for them, although they easily see past his lie and encourage him to be more honest with his feelings. As the friends reconcile, they enjoy a beautiful sunset together at the beach. The ending narrative warns that their fights will still continue.
Mitsunari acts as the first leader for the Western Army in the first Kessen. As far as unit fortification and troops goes, Mitsunari is the Toyotomi commander who best mirrors Ieyasu's abilities on the field. Loyally serving Lady Yodo and believing that "right is on his side", he thinks his followers respects his wish to defend the Toyotomi family. His right-hand man at all times is Sakon, who he converses with frequently within the war camp. Though it is a somewhat rare meeting, Mitsunari is also good friends with Lord Sugi and welcomes the latter with open arms.
Depending if the player wants to have him survive Sekigahara, Mitsunari's role in the game may be short. In the event he loses the campaign, Mitsunari flees with Sakon and Shimazu to rendezvous with the dormant Choso. He tries to spur the survivors to flee through the fields of Minakuchi. Even if the player survives the pursuit with all units intact, Mitsunari, Sakon, and Otani will be declared dead henceforth.
Should Mitsunari achieve victory, Ieyasu retreats from Sekigahara and reunites with his son Hidetada at Ueda. To aid their pursuit, the Western commander calls upon the aid of Masa Sanada and his son to trap the Tokugawa troops in a pincer. Though he fails to capture Ieyasu, Mitsunari's influence with the court grows significantly to become Chief Advisor to the Court. When Ieyasu rebuilds his forces for another push at Fuji, Mitsunari has to deal with him and the precarious Josui Kuroda riding along his flank. If he claims victory, Mitsunari pursues the decimated Tokugawa forces further east at Hakone and will eventually confront Ieyasu's all or nothing stand at Edo. Winning Edo secures lasting peace under the Toyotomi family thanks to Mitsunari's leadership.
However, if the player loses either Fuji or Edo, Mitsunari suffers a mortal wound on the field and passes his legacy onto Yukimura. The battle history for either instances will then conclude in an imaginary second confrontation at Sekigahara.
Geten no HanaEdit
Geten no Hana presents Mitsunari as Hideyoshi's young page using his childhood name, Sakichi Ishida. He appears as a side character only during his master's personal story route. Serious and forthright, he echoes Ranmaru's concerns regarding Hideyoshi's derelict decorum and is prone to lecturing him. Sakichi never questions his loyalties for Hideyoshi and proudly completes his daily chores with stern punctuality. Once he becomes aware of Hideyoshi's close relation with Hotaru, Sakichi acts as a minor liaison between them. He explains his lord's affections to Hotaru and scolds Hideyoshi to respect her.
Saihai no YukueEdit
In Saihai no Yukue, Mitsunari is the main protagonist. He is a hot-blooded and charming leader who is openly empathetic to his soldiers' plight. A true sophisticate at heart, Mitsunari wanders the battlefield as an encyclopedia of artistic and "useless" knowledge. He tends to vocalize his thoughts on painfully obvious objects in his surroundings, such as grass growing in a meadow or a tree growing in a forest. Both Sakon and Tamaki are sometimes exasperated by their lord, hurling various sarcastic remarks at Mitsunari's earnest amazement for these inconsequential observations. Sakon affectionately calls him, "Idiot", as a result for his lord's sometimes naive acts aren't befitting for his stature. Since he isn't physically fit, Mitsunari is usually the only one who is winded from his army's hikes through the field and often requests breaks. Despite his flaws, Mitsunari has a sharp insight and earnestly desires to win conflicts with minimal bloodshed. His strong sense of justice in the face of utter disaster is one of his best traits as a leader.
Promising to defend the Toyotomi family to a dying Hideyoshi, Mitsunari stays true to his friend's wishes after the Taiko passes away. In spite of his inexperience in battle, he acts upon Lady Yodo's wish to become the main commander. Ordering his troops while staying within the main camp, Mitsunari has to convince his reluctant allies to fight and not quit the field. He is greatly aided by a mystical ability called "Heaven's Eye", granting him the ability to read people's thoughts or foresee the precise flow of the battle within an instant.
After he loses his friends, Yoshitsugu and Sakon, the battle goes badly for him. His forces are scattered and the enemy approach his main camp. Before he can do anything, both he and Tamaki are knocked out by a mysterious kunoichi and carried to safety. Even with the main camp down, Mitsunari won't give up the fight and returns to the battlefield. Banding together with Yoshihiro, Mōri, and Ekei, he charges Ieyasu's main camp. After a fierce struggle, the Eastern Army is defeated. Thanks to the memories and thoughts from people in both armies, he forgives Ieyasu and spares his enemy's life.
Once he learns Lady Yodo's scheme, Mitsunari visits her in person, tells her to stop dwelling in the past, and orders her to live for the future. He leaves Osaka Castle and wanders the land with his own code of justice. According to the official databook, he does so to avoid any future conflicts and allows Ieyasu to rule the land.
Mōri Motonari: Chikai no SanyaEdit
Described as an Oda retainer who is well liked by Hideyoshi, Mitsunari makes a minor appearance in this game. He is the general protecting Himeji Castle for Hideyoshi's arrival. Mitsunari tries to defend his commander with a bow and arrow but falls in battle. Like Masanori and Kiyomasa, he states their "father" (親父殿, Oyaji-dono) has been robbed of his glory when he is defeated.
To contrast the stout and patient Ieyasu, designers strove to create a "young and hopeful" image of Mitsunari. The back of his design was decorated to make him look like a top class general. In an interview with Game Watch, the director and producer explain that he was made to be the wise leader for the west with an emphasis on intelligence as his greatest asset. His character persona and weapon were inspired by Sima Yi and Zhuge Liang's Dynasty Warriors appearance. Originally, like Sima Yi, Mitsunari was also going to have a maniacal laugh for his gimmick against Ieyasu but this idea was respectfully discarded. Since there are no records of feathered fans in Japan during the game's setting, Mitsunari's weapon was changed to the more likely folding fan.
For his Kessen appearance, they jokingly state that he is "Mobile Suit Mitsunari." The sun adornment on his helmet was made to contrast with Sakon's crescent helm as well as Ieyasu's helmet.
He is an intimidating and sarcastic man who seemingly spares no one from his blunt honesty. He usually represses his emotions but he eventually develops an unexpectedly passionate belief in justice and hope. Impassive towards people who don't interest him, those who patronize him call him the "Fox of Mt. Sawa", a defamatory title at best. Since he sticks closer to politics than warfare, many generals are surprised to witness his combat skills. He reserves his kindness for his closest friends and his lord, Hideyoshi. In spite of his demeanor and his occasional episodes of panic, he is fiercely loyal to the Toyotomi family and scorns Ieyasu's attempts to stop him.
In his debut, his closest friends were Yukimura and Kanetsugu. He met them late in Hideyoshi's life, but he comes to share his friends' ideals closely during the Sekigahara campaigns. While he usually acts embarrassed by their declarations for honor and justice, Mitsunari cares for their safety. He is also good friends with Sakon Shima. Samurai Warriors 3 depicts his closest friends as Kiyomasa and Masanori due to their close ties to Hideyoshi. While he shares Kiyomasa's temperament amongst the three, Sakon isn't afraid to call Mitsunari the second dumbest of the trio. Believing in their lord's vision, they swear a fraternal bond and consider Osaka Castle and the Toyotomi family as their home. Mitsunari tries to make Kiyomasa understand him when they separate but fails to properly express himself.
In Warriors Orochi, his personality shares parallels with Cao Pi's and Da Ji remarks that they are a "match made in heaven". Aside from Cao Pi, he is respectful towards Lu Xun, Xu Huang, and Cao Ren for their devotion and talents. He comments that Zhao Yun reminds him of "someone" and he arrogantly belittles Taigong Wang.
His historical slogan (or the one Kanetsugu introduces to him in the game) is "Dai Ichi, Dai Man, Dai Kaichi" (大一大万大吉), which is also written on the back of his coat. It is an abbreviation of the phrase, "One for all and all for one and Heaven bless the land."
He's symbolized by the words "sharp" (鋭) and "scheme" (策) and white sparkles of light in the Samurai Warriors series.
Mitsunari's titles in Samurai Warriors 2 are "The Precocious", "Loyal Retainer", "Talented Leader", "Disciple of Right", "Divine Minister", "Secret Schemer", and "Monkey's Heir" (in the Xtreme Legends expansion).
His first fan has his signature on it while the second fan has the Ishida family's code of arms adorning it. Mitsunari's historical motto decorates the third fan and his variable weapons in the third title. His Power and Speed versions of the same fan are named with the words elegance and longevity respectively.
The original name of his fourth and Unique weapons takes their namesakes from Shinatsuhiko, a god in Japanese mythology. According to the Furukoto Fumi, he is Izanami and Izanagi's child born from darkness. The Yamato Bumi instead states he was born when Izanagi blew away the morning mist and named Shinatobe-no-Mikoto. In both accounts, he is a wind god. He governs the air inhaled by all life, seeing that people breathe in "good air". He was worshiped since he brought good weather for rice crops. If angered, he was feared as a demon-like entity who trashed the lands with destructive typhoons. Several shrines were made to him in order to appease him. According to claims from the Furukotofumo-no-Tsutae, Shinatsuhiko was actually a pair of twins -female and male- whom governed the positive and negative aspects of the winds together.
His fifth weapon is named another way of describing kagura, a dancing ritual said to appease the gods and spirits. Mitsunari's weapon, shinyu, implies he is performing dancing and singing entertainment for the heavenly entities with his actions. As a side note, it shares a naming motif parallel to Cao Pi's weapons.
Mitsunari's personal item in Warriors Orochi is related to an anecdote of his first meeting with Hideyoshi. After being made the lord of Nagahama, he decided one day to practice falconry -sometimes said as hunting- in his territory. On the way back, his throat was parched so he stopped at a temple to ask for tea. A page of the temple obliged and brought in a large tea bowl filled with plenty of cold tea. Hideyoshi drank all of it and asked for another. The page returned with a second, smaller tea cup that with slightly warmer tea. Again, Hideyoshi polished it off and demanded for a refill. This time the page returned with piping hot, freshly brewed tea within the smallest of tea cups. The page considered his guest's throat and therefore served cold tea to quench Hideyoshi's thirst. With a gradually hydrated throat, Hideyoshi could then fully savor the qualities of a hot cup of tea. It means to wisely pay attention to the condition of one's surroundings and judge accordingly. Enjoying the page's timed courtesy, Hideyoshi decided to enlist him into his service. The page later became established as Mitsunari. A conversation dedicated to the anecdote appears between them in Samurai Warriors 2: Empires, although Samurai Warriors Hideyoshi apparently didn't understand the sincerity of Mitsunari's actions.
- Pierre Chaves - Samurai Warriors 2 (English)
- Chuck Haliday - Samurai Warriors 2: Empires + Xtreme Legends (English)
- Ezra Weisz - Warriors Orochi (English-uncredited)
- Wally Wingert - Samurai Warriors 3, Warriors Orochi 2 (English-uncredited)
- Michael Dobson - Kessen (English)
- Eiji Takemoto - Samurai Warriors and Warriors Orochi series, Dynasty Warriors VS (Japanese)
- Katsuji Mori - Kessen (Japanese)
- Umeka Shōji - Geten no Hana
Live Action PerformerEdit
- See also: Mitsunari Ishida/Quotes
- "All is guided by honor."
- "All that, and I didn't even mess up my hair."
- "I hate having to do what I've already done... It's so inefficient."
- "We defeated Ieyasu in his numbers, in his faith and in his strength. Majority's rule is over. Rule by force is over."
- "If what I said created nothing but enemies for me, I thought I was content. But... I was not aware that so many had supported me. I will still proceed my own way. I will say whatever I want, and I will choose whatever path I think is right. So... Come with me, you imbeciles whom I should love."
- "You need to learn to respect those around you. Surrounding yourself with enemies will win you nothing good in the end."
- "Oh, and you're just overflowing with goodwill and friendship, are you? Is that why you should talk?"
- ~~Ginchiyo and Mitsunari; Samurai Warriors 2: Empires
- "Mitsunari, would you play kemari with me? Would you? Won't you? Mitsunari... Ow! Mitsunari... Why aren't you answering -Ack!- and just attacking me?"
- "... Because you're my enemy, and this is a battlefield."
- ~~Yoshimoto and Mitsunari; Sengoku Musou 3: Empires
- "My master should correct his conduct. Someday it may drive people away."
- "You've got to be joking. I dread the thought of trying to comprehend idiots."
- "He who looks down on others is the one who is despised."
- "But, I can't hate a master who is honest. I swear to never desert you. Until my body withers to nothingness, I will gladly serve you."
- "... You idiot. Live. We can make our will a reality together."
- ~~Yoshitsugu Ōtani and Mitsunari; Hyakuman-nin no Sengoku Musou
- "It's over."
- "Not just yet. My quest is incomplete... I must realize my dream."
- "Your dream, I've always meant to ask you... Could you realize that dream alone? You're going to... need everyone's help."
- ~~Mitsunari and Cao Pi; Warriors Orochi
- "Why don't you go and join your ancestors? You are just embarrassing them down here."
- "Silence! You disagreeable worm."
- ~~Mitsunari and Kiyomori; Warriors Orochi 2
- "Both my liege and I hope you that we can always be good friends."
- "You, maybe, but I don't know about Cao Pi. If that's truly what he thinks, then he should say so himself."
- "Haha, it's so funny to see you projecting. You really are endlessly entertaining."
- ~~Zhenji and Mitsunari; Warriors Orochi 3
- "Fuji... Minamoto and Taira fought here."
- "Sakon... the Taira were destroyed for they did not have right on their side. A just cause cannot fail to triumph. It is the same for Ieyasu. He rebelled against the will of the Taiko, scheming to take the land for his own. We will triumph! Right is on our side. To arms!"
- ~~Sakon and Mitsunari before charging Ieyasu's forces; Kessen
- "How? How can this be happening?! I clearly foresaw how you would meet your end! I have used my power many times and never have I seen the future change. How can this be?!"
- "What you saw was my weakness. Those who are weak need to change to defeat the strong. Ieyasu, it is because you are strong that I changed and realized this... So, the future can change as well! I'll see that it can now!"
- ~~Ieyasu and Mitsunari; Saihai no Yukue
|Keys||Normal Attack •||Charge Attack •||Musou •||Jump/Mount|
Samurai Warriors 2Edit
- , (): Shoots out a little smoke cloud that staggers. A laser is then fired from it if is tapped again.
- , , (): Launches his foe upwards, hops up, and spins his fan in a punching manner to slam them down.
- , , , (): A downward swing then opens fan creating an explosion in front of Mitsunari; dizzies enemies in range.
- , , , , (): Has his fan orbit him a few times.
- , , , , : (Xtreme Legends only) Lunges forward with a spinning fan attack and also sets three bombs.
- , , , , , , , : Does three swipes and follows with several spinning attacks.
- , : Throws his fan downward.
- , : Causes a small quake by slamming down his fan from a drop.
- : while standing still, he throws his fan in a designated direction. In his True Musou version, he'll finish the attack with a quick C4. In his level 3 version, several mines will explode around him.
- R1 + : Mitsunari opens his fan and sets a mine on the ground.
- R1 + : Opening his fan, he explodes any mines set on the field.
- Personal Skill : (Recoil) Counter indirect attacks when guarding.
- , : Mitsunari opens his fan and slashes forward, launching any enemies in range.
- , , : Opens his fan to drop an bomb to his right; dizzies enemies.
- , , , : Throws his fan to rotate once around his horse.
- , , , , , , , : Mitsunari does a quick succession of swings with his closed fan to his right side. On the final blow, he opens his fan and, while still holding it, spins it.
- Warriors Orochi
Same attacks excluding his C5 and Level 3 Musou. He gains a few new abilities:
- , : An air dash that makes him temporarily invincible. Mitsunari spins in the air, keeping his arms defensively in front of him.
- R1: Using a bit of Musou, Mitsunari will utter, "You scum!", and signal for a support volley. A string of arrows will hit his nearby enemies for about 10 seconds.
- Direction + R1: Using a bit of Musou, Mitsunari will open his fan and hurl five cutting waves forward. This attack was tweaked in the sequel to make it less overpowering.
- Warriors Orochi 2
- Triple Attack 1: Performs a quick slash that sends out a wide stream of wind traveling at mid-range.
- Triple Attack 2: Drops a bomb that quickly detonates on the floor.
- Triple Attack 3: Plants a small bomb that immediately releases green gas.
Samurai Warriors 3Edit
- (Ultimate/Kaiden): Mitsunari throws 4 bombs on all sides of him several meters away. Each one creates a large explosion, covering all sides of Mitsunari.
- Spirit Cancel:
- Warriors Orochi 3
- R1: Knocks the enemy into the air and blows them away.
- , R1 (Ultimate only): Conjures two whirlwinds on the ground and tosses fan counterclockwise.
- See also: Mitsunari Ishida/Weapons
Warriors Orochi 3Edit
Big Star WeaponsEdit
Mitsunari uses the following big star weapons in the game.
- Golden Zephyr
- Peacock Tail
Musou Orochi 2 UltimateEdit
Acquiring Mystic WeaponEdit
Ishida Mitsunari was born in the modern day Shiga Prefecture under the childhood name, Sakichi (佐吉). His father was Ishida Masatsugu, who was a painter and patron of the arts. Their clan were descendants of the Fujiwara family, an ancient aristocratic family that once controlled the land's political party. Unlike their ancestors, the Ishida never possessed mass wealth or power and were regarded as people of poor status. Mitsunari himself is generally regarded as a man of intrigue with rough manners. Though he had many friends, he was on bad terms with some daimyo who were known as good warriors.
His famed historical horse plume helmet was designed to terrorize his foes. With the hairs wildly spread like a yakusha and with tall golden horns shaped like an oni, it was made with an image that could "divide the heavens".
In 1574, Mitsunari served as Hashiba Hideyoshi's young page. How exactly they met remains heavily disputed. Most sources state that Hideyoshi spotted Mitsunari's talents for the tea ceremony and added him into his inner circle on the spot. A legend writes that Hideyoshi met his father whilst he was a monk and was asked to care for Mitsunari. Yet another adds that they met after the Azai's downfall. Other theories suggests that he actually became a page in 1577 and was scheming to use Hideyoshi to gain more power for his family. In either case, Mitsunari became inseparable from Hideyoshi and assisted him during battles in the Chūgoku region by overseeing Tottori Castle and Takamatsu Castle.
Once Hideyoshi became ruler of the land, Mitsunari rose in ranks to become his aid. In 1585, he was appointed as inspector general Jibu-shō and was allowed to demonstrate his administrative abilities. He became one of the five commissioners (bugyo) in Hideyoshi's inner circle. When Shima Sakon approached Hideyoshi in 1586, the daimyo offered Sakon loyalty to Mitsunari. Thanks to Mitsunari's administrative command, Hideyoshi's troops had enough supplies to last through the Kyushu and Shikoku invasions. He was once given command in battle at Odawara Castle but fell victim to a water attack. This is Mitsunari's first instance of his reported incompetence in battle.
When the Christian ban took place in 1596, Hideyoshi ordered a manhunt for Christian practitioners and ordered many executions for those captured. Mitsunari defied his lord by decreasing the amount of people captured in his region. When Hideyoshi learned of this, he was angered but was calmed by Mitsunari, who wasn't punished for his actions. Many reports believe that this is due to their friendship. However, others suggests that this is another instance of Mitsunari scheming to rise higher in ranks.
At one point in the Korean campaign, Mitsunari served under Ukita Hideie and earned no particular achievements. A day after the Taiko passed away, Mitsunari ordered an assassination attempt on Tokugawa Ieyasu, one of the five regents (tairo) who was entrusted to care for the young Toyotomi Hideyori. Several accounts believe he ordered the deed due to jealousy; the five commissioners' influence in affairs were being fizzled out by the five regents. Regardless of the attempt to take his life, Ieyasu was determined to marry one of his offspring into the Toyotomi family, which defied the limit set in Hideyoshi's will. Since neither one of them wanted to prolong their differences, an oath between the two men was made and they continued to follow the late Taiko's wishes.
After Maeda Toshiie dies, Kuroda Nagamasa, Kato Kiyomasa and others tried to attack Mitsunari in 1599. He fled to Ieyasu's residence at Fushimi Castle before returning to his residence. As a reaction to this, Ieyasu relocated to Osaka Castle later in the same year. Although Mitsunari approved the move, the attrition between him and his antagonizers were beginning to take their toll.
Battle at SekigaharaEdit
In 1600, Mitsunari apparently signed a secret agreement with Uesugi Kagekatsu to end Ieyasu. While the Uesugi gathered troops in Aizu, Mitsunari would raise his own army to surround Ieyasu's flank. Some of Mitsunari's generals for the battle include Sakon, his friend Otani Yoshitsugu and others. He was able to gain followers largely thanks to the wealthy Mori Terumoto. Otani advised Mitsunari to let Terumoto lead the battle and he agreed. He assigned Ukita Hideie as the second-in-command. However, Mitsunari was still named commander and his orders overrided those with more political influence than him. This power friction ultimately lead many officers in the Western Army to doubt Mitsunari's capabilities with some regarding him as a commoner butting into military affairs.
On the night of November 5, 1600 (considered to be October 20, 1600 with the modern calender), the Western Army met at Ogaki Castle and began marching for Sekigahara around seven o' clock. They took their stations in heavy rainfall and waited for Ieyasu's men to arrive. The battle took place the following day after the heavy fog over the field lifted. Only mere miles apart from one another, the armies clashed. Mitsunari watched from the sidelines with 6,000 men at his command though several Tokugawa generals tried to break through his front line. His plan to surround Ieyasu from all sides was thwarted by Kobayakawa Hideaki and other commanders betrayal, and the refusal of various commanders including Kikkawa Hiroie and Mori Hidemoto to move from their positions. In the end, the Western Army was routed and he fled from battle.
The following day, Mitsunari was captured at Mount Ibuki -presumably by local villagers- and brought to Kyoto. Although he was suffering from dehydration, he didn't believe that he would be killed and refused his last meal. He was executed shortly after. Recent research paints a different scenario of Mitsunari's end, in which he was held captive under Tokugawa Taka for a month until his execution. He was one of the last Western generals to be beheaded and died at age 41. Another theory suggests that he replaced his appearance with an impostor and committed suicide sometime after the battle. Shortly after Sekigahara, his family home was burned and his demoralized father and brother committed suicide. His children were banished to the Tokaido region and the whereabouts of his wife remain unknown. One of his daughters, Tatsuhime, was said to be adopted by Nene.
Today, Mitsunari is regarded as a curious figure in history. Many historians are fascinated about his true motives and they still argue over his intentions to this day. His grave is located near his execution site. Several memorials and his artifacts can be found at the Sekigahara museum.
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