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Motonari Mōri

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Motonari Mōri
Character Information
Clan(s)/Alliance(s): Mōri
178 cm (5'10")
Weapon(s): Yatekko (Bow attached to a gauntlet)
4th Weapon:
5th Weapon:
Hyakuman Isshin Slab
Moveset Type:
Significant Battle(s):
Playable Debut: Samurai Warriors 3
Historical Information
Real name:
Mōri Motonari
Japanese name:
毛利 元就
April 16, 1497
July 6, 1571
Warriors Orochi Info
Mystic Weapon:
Mystic Talons
Character Type:

Motonari Mōri is the 52nd clan head of the Mōri family. He is Takakage Kobayakawa's biological father, and Hiroie Kikkawa, and Terumoto Mōri's grandfather. Known as a studious and wise ruler, he is best known for defending his clan from destruction and emerging as a powerful lord within western Japan. After his death, folklore famously ties Motonari to a legendary tale regarding his sons and three arrows, saying that three together are much harder to break than one alone.

His Samurai Warriors counterpart reached seventh place in Gamecity's Sengoku Musou 3: Empires character popularity poll. According to the Sengoku Musou Seiyuu Ougi 2012 Aki questionnaire, he placed seventh for the character fans would want as a lover. For the Samurai Warriors 4 poll, he placed eleventh. In the first character popularity poll for Sengoku Musou Shoot, he was voted to twelfth place with players. This personage has a character song titled Taiga Toutou.

His Nobunaga's Ambition counterpart is fourteenth place in Gamecity's character popularity ranking for 2015.

Role in GamesEdit

Samurai WarriorsEdit

In Samurai Warriors 3, Motonari is a respected daimyo who was content to retire and disappear from the world. However, Nobunaga soon gained control of Kyoto, and the shogun's retreat made the Mōri vulnerable to attack. His family is threatened by the Tachibana on the west, the Saika Renegades in the south, and by the Oda army led by Hideyoshi in the east. To prevent his land's invasion and at his family's insistence, Motonari joins the war front once more. Since he predicts that the Saika Renegades will be their likely ally against Nobunaga, he decides to confront the Tachibana family first and earn their trust in Chūgoku. After he defeats Ginchiyo, Motonari talks to them personally and uses his three arrows analogy to gain their assistance, saying that hundreds joining as one are stronger than alone. While he tries to keep his "revival" as a momentary effort, Motonari agrees to continue leadership due to Terumoto's insistence.

As he predicted, Magoichi defies Nobunaga and aids the Mōri's cause. Faced with the unexpected resistance, Hideyoshi's army retreats and the Oda army confronts Motonari at Kizugawaguchi. Muneshige's troops interrupt Mitsuhide's army and Motonari is asked to deal with Kanbei, who is considered to be the biggest threat on the field. Once they are dealt with, Motonari uses his navy to rush for Nobunaga's ship. Driving back Nobunaga's main army, Hideyoshi resumes his attacks in Chūgoku and Motonari confronts them at Kōzuki Castle. After dealing with Hideyoshi, the Tachibana are under attack from Yoshihiro in Kyūshū so Motonari departs to rescue them.

Meanwhile, Nobunaga's conquests resume and he suppresses an enormous amount of land in the east. While Motonari knows that it is possible to take the land from Nobunaga by defeating the daimyo, he also realizes that it could also trigger a negative reaction and throw it into further chaos. Although he ponders the conundrum, he confronts Nobunaga in their final conflict at Yamazaki and slays his adversary. Knowing that Nobunaga's retainers will no doubt try to avenge their lord, Motonari momentarily has doubts that his dream of unity will succeed. Nobunaga's spirit taunts him to become a tyrant to put an end to his enemies, but his Tachibana friends press for their trust in Motonari's vision. Thanking them for their support, Motonari regains the confidence he needs to continue forward.

The expansion of the third title has him play a major part in Okuni's story as he accompanies her beyond the events of Kizugawaguchi due to her timely assistance and knowledge of history.

Motonari's story in Sengoku Musou 3: Empires focuses on his unification of Chūgoku. Due to his clan's subservience to the Ōuchi, they are targeted by the Amago who seek to capture Yoshida-Kōriyama Castle. Although his vassals doubt that reinforcements from the Ōuchi would come to their aid, Motonari correctly predicts Harukata Sue's arrival extricating them from danger. He is impressed by the younger general's passion, but feels that his recklessness may endanger those around him. The Mōri leader's sentiments ring true when an indignant Harukata retaliates against the Ōuchi's perceived wrongs by instigating the Taineiji Incident to forcefully control them. Unwilling to overlook his dangerous behavior, he decides to stop him by absorbing the other clans through underhanded methods. Harukata's army succumbs to the Mōri's tactics, though the death of Takakane Hironaka saddens Motonari greatly.

With the Ōuchi clan gone, the Mōri are free to resume hostilities with the Amago. Motonari's plan to incite rebellion within the enemy ranks while cutting off their supply lines allows him to deal a devastating blow to the Amago army at Gassan-Toda Castle. This, in turn, forces the vengeful Shikanosuke Yamanaka to call upon the Oda for assistance. Unfortunately for them, their movements are hindered by the Mōri's dealings with Naoie Ukita, Murashige Araki, and eventually the Saika mercenaries. After taking Shikanosuke as their captive, Motonari is condemned by the former for his manipulations, though the warlord responds that taking what he considers to be the better option is just as important for the sake of the people. He is later reminded of his situation under the Ōuchi when Murashige desperately asks for reinforcements against Nobunaga. Aware of the risks involved in aiding his former trump card, he manages to prevent Murashige's defeat while intercepting Hideyoshi's assault on Tottori Castle. Although his sons owe their victory to the three arrows analogy, they are surprised when Motonari breaks them to prove that they need more arrows for the fruition of their common goal. Thus, he decides to retire and keep himself occupied by writing historical books.

In Motochika's story route, Motonari is attacked by the Chōsokabe forces who believe he is hiding information on Mitsuhide's whereabouts. Once the misunderstanding has been cleared up, he later advises them to leave the land when the target of their search is falsely accused of treachery by an unknown mastermind.

Samurai Warriors 4 includes Motonari's climatic battle for Aki Province into its main narrative. Harukata Sue, an Ouchi retainer who overthrows his master and Motonari's prominent rival, Yoshitaka Ouchi, starts as his greatest threat to security. With the help of his third son's tactics, Motonari confronts Harukata's massive navy at Itsukushima. Harukata's strategist, Takakane Hirokane, was Motonari's old friend. Aware that his friend would be able to read through his strategy, the Mōri lord had hoped Hirokane would abandon his post. He laments when his friend is among the fallen as it is a sign that they were unable to truly understand one another. Takakage's comment regarding Hirokane's actions lifts his spirits.

Soon after their victory, Motonari defeats his other rivals to emerge as the conqueror of the west. He tries to assist his western allies at Saika Territory but fails. On Hideyoshi's orders for the Oda expansion, Hanbei and Kanbei soon threaten the Mōri from Himeji Castle. Motonari confers with Takakage to resist them at Aka. The father suggests attacking Kanbei's smaller front and disarming the trap placed along the castle's southern entrance, willing to sacrifice the common folk in the way. Takakage's counter argument to his plan impresses him so he decides to let the Mōri follow his son's strategy instead. Hideyoshi's forces try to press the advance again by siding with the stranded Amago remnants at Kōzuki Castle. Wishing to avoid a full frontal Oda assault from east, Motonari uses a tactic to start a rebellion at Miki Castle to attack Hideyoshi's rear. He correctly predicts that Nobunaga would order Hideyoshi's retreat from Kōzuki Castle and plans for measures for taking down the Amago defenders as quickly as possible. Although Hideyoshi and company go against his initial predictions, the Mōri claim Kōzuki Castle.

Hideyoshi responds by quelling the rebellion at Miki Castle and using it as his headquarters for his siege against Bichu-Takamatsu Castle. Motonari and his son reinforce the castle lord, Munehiro Shimizu, to confront Hideyoshi's assault. After they successfully defend their immediate ally, he later seeks to protect his other western alliances by opposing the Shimazu at Okitanawate and Motochika at Iyo. Motonari formally retires by the time Hideyoshi seeks to invade Shikoku. He spends his days buried in books, content to observe the land's events from afar. Motonari gladly entrusts Takakage to act as the Mōri's representative and wishes him well.

Warriors OrochiEdit

Motonari allies himself with Da Ji in Warriors Orochi 3 since he senses that she is the key to protecting the dimensional world's stability. When the coalition rescues her from Nezha at Sekigahara, Motonari lends his assistance to find a way to defeat Hydra. Later he and Jia Xu team up to subdue Dong Zhuo and Yuan Shao at Jiange. The strategists combine their wits to weaken the serpent army's forces with various ruses, eventually convincing Yuan Shao to join the coalition. Motonari also helps Xiaoqiao in saving her family at Changban.

In the downloadable scenario, "The Art of War", Motonari and Sima Zhao are taught by Zuo Ci the reasons why people fight in war. In "The Rescue of Da Ji", he leads a team in rescuing Da Ji from the Mystic Army at Koshi Castle.

In Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, Motonari is given a new scenario detailing his and Achilles's efforts under Da Ji's service.

Pokémon ConquestEdit

Motonari serves as the Warlord of Greenleaf in Pokémon Conquest. He had long wished to retire, but his vassals insisted that he remain at his post. Therefore, when the protagonist confronts him at his castle, Motonari calmly accepts the following battle as a friendly exercise. He instructs the protagonist how to win in his castle's battlefield and is pleased to be relieved of his duties after his loss. Motonari wishes him/her the best in his/her campaigns before he disappears from the game's main story.

His special episode takes place after the ending of the story. With peace finally reigning over the region and his castle returned to him, he decides to gather 100 Pokémon in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a Pokémon researcher.

Nobunaga's AmbitionEdit

Within the series, Motonari is considered one of the top ranked daimyo. His stats for war aren't particularly impressive, at best above average in the sixties or seventies. At the same time, Motonari has a high marks for leadership and politics. Intelligence is his best and unique trait. He tops the Three Unifiers and other daimyo renowned for their wits during the time. With enough patience, he may be a consummate bureaucrat and capable leader. If needed for war, he has master proficiency with bow troops.

Tendou presents him as one of the stars for the original scenario, Setouchi no Hasha, which takes place in the year 1550. Before starting his conquests, Motonari gathers his three sons together to remind them to always work together. With his sons, the Mōri move out. He witnesses his son's maturity during their gradual conquests throughout the area. He praises Takamoto for caring for the common people, Takakage's renovations for the castle, and Motoharu's concern for the 10,000 people being hidden in the mountains. After considering the qualities of his offspring, Motonari shows his appreciation for the maturity demonstrated by their actions by personally telling the trio. He is content to leave the future of the land in hands of the stable trinity formed by his sons, expressing his firm confidence in them to Hiroie.

Guruguru Dungeon Nobunyaga has Motonyari appear near the end of the Mōri Three Arrows event. He readies his sons for Itsukushima, reminding them of the three arrows oath they took. His faith in his sons restores their broken ties.

Mōri Motonari: Chikai no SanshiEdit

Motonari is a virtuous man who faithfully serves under his older brother, Okimoto, and his nephew, Kōmatsumaru, in Mouri Motonari: Chikai no Sanshi. He was raised mainly by his foster mother, Sugi no Kata, who continues to guide Motonari into adulthood. The wife he marries in his adulthood is Okata (called Myōhime before their marriage), the daughter of Kunitsune Kikkawa. Although he married her to keep political ties with the Kikkawa family, he genuinely loves her character and beauty. They have four children in the game: Takamoto (Shō no Tarō), Kikuhime (who later became the wife to his family retainer, Shishido Takaie), Motoharu (Shō no Jirō), and Takakage (Tokujumaru). Okata apologizes for not giving birth to all boys, but Motonari considers any new child a treasure and loves them all. Motonari likes to mingle with the townsfolk of his territories and volunteers to drive out any troublemakers. Considered a kind ruler and well liked by his followers, he stays faithful to his wife in spite of the flood of anonymous women who send him love letters.

When both Okimoto and Kōmatsumaru die of illness, Motonari becomes the reluctant family successor. Following Kōmatsumaru's death, he stabilizes his position by subduing the revolt led by his younger half-brother, Motosuna Aiō. Though neither sibling shares bad ties with the other, Motosuna is driven to fight by his mother and other scheming Mōri vassals. Motonari may choose to either kill Motosuna or plead for his escape. Regardless of his choice, Motosuna dies soon after and Motonari leads the clan. To stabilize the Mōri borders, Motonari works together with the Kikkawa family against his mighty Amago and Ouchi neighbors. For the majority of his early career, he defends his home against their invasions. As a part of a neutrality pact between them, he sends his eldest son as a hostage for the Ouchi family. By the time Takamoto returns to his family, Motonari joins in obligation to the Kikkawa family for a joint attack on the Amago. The planning for the attack is poor and it fails, forcing Motonari to make a narrow escape to safety.

Upon his return, Motonari learns his mother had passed away due to illness. Her last letter to her son, "Hyakuman Ishin", leaves a lasting impression on him. He translates the four character compound's meaning as, "When the rural domains and people join their hearts as one, anything is possible." Shortly after, his beloved wife also passes away and Motonari mourns for them. Asked by the Kikkawa family to lend a son to their separate branch, the Kobayakawa family, Motonari agrees. He decides to also send his second son to the Kikkawa family and gives them both their names for adulthood. Before his sons depart to their new families, he brings his three sons to a secluded location and performs the three arrow analogy before them. With each arrow signifying his sons, Motonari passes on his wish for the three of them to always look out for one another.

Eventually, Motonari builds his country's power enough to completely suppress the Ouchi family. When the Ouchi family ask the Ōtomo family for aid, Motonari defeats them with his navy fleet and drives them off the western coast. Takamoto offers to look after the area for his father, letting an elderly Motonari have his last bout of glory against the Amago. During the time it took for Motonari to conquer Izumo, however, Takamoto is poisoned by agents of the Amago and dies. Taking advantage of the weak spot in the west, Sōrin Ōtomo and Dōsetsu Tachibana invade the shores. Motonari subdues their forces before they reach his home country and the families agree to a peace treaty. Once again driving his attention back to the Amago, Motonari prevails and Chūgoku is pacified under the Mōri name. Collapsing due to illness, a dying Motonari entrusts his family legacy to his fifteen year old grandson, Terumoto. He repeats the theme of the three arrow pledge to his immediate family before he passes away peacefully in bed.

Character InformationEdit


Motonari's artwork in Samurai Warriors 3.


Usually a calm and an intelligent person, Motonari has the unique ability to drastically change himself once he steps on the battlefield. He turns into an indomitable commander and excels at leading his troops. His relaxed and gentle countenance doesn't change, even when he is facing people who he dislikes. An old-fashioned and educated man, he hopes that his efforts -or his death- can earn him a notable footprint in history.

Motonari respects his Tachibana friends and treats them as though they are family. Humble and friendly to the maidens in the battlefield, he addresses Ginchiyo and other women with adoring nicknames. In his Warriors Orochi appearance, he shares an affinity with Da Ji and Jia Xu.

Character SymbolismEdit

He is symbolized by the characters "harmony" (和) and "perceive" (識) for his Samurai Warriors counterpart.

Motonari's weapons all have a bird motif, but they can also be interpreted to have double meanings. His Normal weapons are named after the leg of a skylark and a black kite's leg is for the Power types. Both birds are used for the spelling of two castles Motonari conquered, Hibari and Tobigasu Castles respectively. The castles' names can be literally translated as "skylark" or "nest of black kites". A kingfisher's leg forms the namesake of his Speed weapons, but it can also be the same spelling used for "jade". Within China, the stone is an ingredient used to create a legendary potion of immortality. His Unique weapon is named after Yatagarasu, known also as the sun bird.

Kinshi, a legendary bird mentioned in Yamato Bumi, acts as one of the namesakes for Motonari's secondary rare weapon. Kinshi is a golden black kite seen beside Wakamikenu. When Wakamikenu faced Nagasunehiko's armies in combat, he would stand whilst holding his bow upright. Kinshi would then perch atop of Wakamikenu's bow before emitting a brilliant golden light towards his enemies. With Nagasunehiko's forces blinded, Wakamikenu then led his troops to victory. Due to the bird's powers, Kinshi has been argued to either be Yatagarasu under another name or the same breed as it. The secondary namesake is a tengu, known as supernatural bird-like beings or gods in Japan but are known as canine-like creatures for their Chinese origins.

His weapon types being named after three birds' legs is an allusion to Yatagarasu's distinguishing figure. Additionally, the three arrows constantly present for his weapons is a likely reference to the legendary oath of fealty he is said to have performed with his three eldest sons (Takamoto, Motoharu, and Takakage). It's possible the three legs of his weapons may equate to his sons and that Yatagarasu, the source of these three legs, is Motonari.

Voice ActorsEdit

  • Matthew Quinn Forbes - Samurai Warriors 3 (English-uncredited)
  • Shinichi Yamada - Samurai Warriors 2: Empires (Japanese)
  • Hideo Ishikawa - Samurai Warriors 3~4, Warriors Orochi 3 (Japanese)
  • Hideyuki Tanaka - Mōri Motonari: Chikai no Sanshi
  • Keiichiro Yamamoto - Sengoku Pachislot Nobunaga no Yabou ~Tenka Sousei~


See also: Motonari Mōri/Quotes
  • "Listen well, my sons. One arrow may break, but three have many hundred times the strength. Together, there is nothing you cannot accomplish."
  • "You know, I really wanted to be a historian."
  • "If I cannot have peace in death, then I shall have to resurrect myself."
  • "Just one look at those ships tells me that Lord Nobunaga is no ordinary man. How fascinating it would be to write a biography of his life."
  • "My word, the enemy certainly has no shortage of personnel."
  • "The problem with fancy new boats, is that they're useless with great big holes in them."
  • "I wish I could know how the historians of the future will judge my actions here today."
  • "Ah... Yes, I am pleased. I need to somehow properly thank everyone who chose to favor someone like me, in a way that doesn't sound like a joke... Huh, I'm out of time?"
  • "I had no idea my father's great nemesis was so vacuous."
  • "You are a good son, so unlike your father."
"Please, be careful what you say. Reputations are easily made and lost. Who knows, history may record me as a cold-hearted, ruthless and brilliant tactician."
"I wouldn't worry about that. Historians tend to prefer the facts too much."
~~Ginchiyo and Motonari; Samurai Warriors 3
  • "Oh, Motonari. I'm glad I could be on the same side as my comrade."
"Indeed, this history isn't too bad either. The cherry blossoms of yesterday without my friend beside me are different than the cherry blossoms of today."
"(chuckles) Ah, you're starting your nonsensical history rants again. Well, no matter. I hope our time together lasts for a long time, my friend. Let us work together to see the future of a hundred hearts united be realized."
~~Takakane Hironaka and Motonari; Sengoku Musou 3: Empires
  • "It's odd, but I don't feel like you're a stranger."
"That is odd. I feel the same way."
"Hahaha! Perhaps that's because we both have our stomachs wrapped?"
~~Jia Xu and Motonari; Warriors Orochi 3


Keys: Square Normal Attack • Tri Charge AttackCircle MusouX Jump/Mount

Samurai Warriors 3Edit

Ground MovesetEdit

Tri, (Tri): Stabs with gauntlet. If he connects, he then fires an arrow.
Square, Tri, (Tri): High roundhouse kick. If he connects, he fires three arrows upwards. Takes a step forward to hurl three more at his airborne opponent.
Square, Square, Tri, (Tri): Hops and fires three arrows downwards. Motonari fires three arrows when he lands and shoots another set to end the sequence. The last charge causes him to slide back a few paces.
Square, Square, Square, Tri, (Tri): Fires two repetitions of five arrows towards his front. Stands upright and shoots his gauntlet upwards, unleashing a rain of arrows around him.
Square, Square, Square, Square, Tri: Dashes forward. Rapidly fires a series of arrows to his front as he runs.
Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square: Three diagonal swings from gauntlet. Fires three arrows each swing. Angles wrist upright to fire sets arrows to his right and left. Repeats aforementioned sequence once more before he swings his weapon arm overhead, firing arrows in a 180 degree spray. Aims to his front and fires another set of arrows. Needs a few moments to recover from sequence.
Circle: Rapid barrage of arrows in whatever direction he is facing. Stationary.
Circle (Ultimate/Kaiden): Poses before a rain of arrows punctures foes in front of him.
Weapon Deadlock: The same as the first charge attack, but fires three arrows instead of one.
Dashing Square: Turning backhand slash.
X, Square: Fires three arrows downward.
X, Tri: Plummets to smash gauntlet into the ground.
Spirit Cancel: Charges forward whilst gauntlet is in a guarding position.
Special Skill 1: Momentarily gains the power to fire more arrows during his attacks. Adds an elemental property to arrows based on his currently equipped weapon. The second form of this skill automatically imbues his attacks with the demon element instead. Duration of effect increases based on the number of button taps used to initiate it.
Special Skill 2: Shoots special arrows that travel at three directions. The type of arrows being shot depend on the number of button taps used. Tapping once will cause red arrows to fire, lowering the attack power of any foe hit by them. Tapping twice will send out green arrows that reduce the target's overall defense.

Mounted AttacksEdit

Square, Tri: Quick slashes to his right.
Square, Square, Tri: Overhead chop with short range.
Square, Square, Square, Tri: Swings gauntlet once and fires. Backhands and fires another set of arrows.
Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square: Seven swings from his gauntlet. Fires an arrow downward to end the chain.
Warriors Orochi 3
R1: Imbues arrows with the slay or bolt attribute.
X, R1 (Ultimate only): Shoots several arrows upward before they multiply and rain down on the enemy.

Samurai Warriors 4Edit

『戦国無双4』 毛利元就00:30

『戦国無双4』 毛利元就

Mighty strike is the same as Deadlock Attack. Retains the same moveset with the following changes.

Square, Square, Square, Square, Tri, (Tri):
Circle: Finisher changes to him firing explosive arrows at his foes.
Circle (Ultimate/Kaidan):
Rage Attack/Musou Gokui effect:
Awakened Skill effect (4-II only):

Hyper MovesetEdit

Tri, Square:
Tri, Tri, Square:
Tri, Tri, Tri, Square:
Tri, Tri, Tri, Tri, Square:
Tri, Tri, Tri, Tri, Tri, Square:
Tri, Tri, Tri, Tri, Tri, Tri:

Fighting StyleEdit

Samurai WarriorsEdit

Motonari suffers from relatively low attack and health stats. His above-average agility and defense can help him persevere in crowds, but players shouldn't try to rely on these attributes alone or they may find themselves struggling. Many of his normal attacks have a shallow range than most characters, and his attacks move in an odd pace around the battlefield. All of his charges require time to recover from and leave him wide open for a counterattack if they are used carelessly. The limited zone of his attacks may make him an open target on harder difficulties.

The key to using Motonari effectively lies in the arrows in which he fires. Should every arrow hit a single foe, the number of hits and afflicted damage increases dramatically. When they hit multiple targets, he can easily create large combos at a quick rate. Players who wish to use him may want to learn the exact distance of his strikes as soon as possible. Though learning the positions of his swings and shots are tricky, it helps the player defend Motonari's health. If his attacks are used with caution, the fired arrows can simultaneously stun incoming foot soldiers and hurt the targets in front of him.

Use his C3, C5, and Spirit Attack accordingly to avoid becoming surrounded on all sides and to gain more ground for Motonari. His Special Skills can help with general crowd clearing, but he is truly at his best dueling generals.

Warriors OrochiEdit


See also: Motonari Mōri/Weapons

Samurai Warriors 4-IIEdit

Default Weapon - Motonari Mori (SW4) Base Attack: 35
Rare Weapon - Motonari Mori (SW4) Base Attack: 93 Gale: 86 Frost: 80
Health: 85 Attack: 84 Musou+: 80
Spirit+: 71 Hit Range: 73 Indirect: 88
DLC Weapon - Motonari Mori (SW4) Base Attack: 93 Tremor: 61 Shock: 59
Health: 63 Agility: 57 Musou+: 67
Spirit+: 62 Hit Speed: 58 Indirect: 66
DLC Weapon - Motonari Mori (SW4) Base Attack: 93 Gale: 99 Blaze: 90
Health: 80 Attack: 88 Spirit+: 86
Hit Range: 83 Hit Speed: 81 Indirect: 97

Rare Weapon AcquisitionEdit

  • Stage: True Incident at Honnōji

Historical InformationEdit



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