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|First Appearance:||Samurai Warriors|
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October 16, 1535
May 15, 1585
Nagahide Niwa is a senior retainer for the Oda clan and one of Nobunaga's Four Guardian Kings and Five Great Generals. He is highly praised and sometimes called his lord's "number two" vassal, one of his nicknames in traditional folk music even indicates their close relationship with one another. Nobunaga was said to have praised him as his friend and brother.
His Nobunaga's Ambition counterpart is seventy-fourth place in Gamecity's character popularity ranking for 2015. The Nobunaga no Yabou 201X poll for 3-star officers puts him in eighth place while his 4-star portrait is ranked fifty-fifth place.
Role in GamesEdit
Nagahide is in several of Nobunaga's campaigns throughout the series, even questionable battles such as the faltering front at Tedorigawa, the massacre of the Saika Village, the defense of Azuchi Castle, and the gag beauty competition at Shizugatake. In Samurai Warriors 3, he even helps the defense at Yamazaki while Nobunaga faces Motonari.
In Kessen III, Nagahide is one of Nobunaga's earliest vassals. He is a worrywart and is overly cautious for Nobunaga's safety, leading his lord and Toshiie to eventually give him the nickname "Always Worrying Potato Samurai". He has a slight speech impediment as he stutters with most of his sentences. Nagahide is usually seen as a comedic partner to Toshiie in the beginning, but he eventually becomes one of his lord's closest vassals after Nobunaga separates his forces.
He doesn't lead many troops and starts with a higher proficiency for Mattocks. His equipment later in the game helps raise his level with the same troop type.
Mōri Motonari: Chikai no SanshiEdit
Stern and cautious, Nagahide acts as one of Nobunaga's retainers in Mouri Motonari: Chikai no Sanshi. He is seen expressing some concern for Nobunaga's plans, mainly worrying about the safety of the army with their operations. After Honnoji, Nagahide tries to save his lord's third son, Nobutaka Oda. Hoping to guard the young heir from Mitsuhide's pursuit, they are intercepted by Terumoto's arrival within the Kinai region. Although Nobutaka has a flood of continuous soldiers to aid them, Nagahide is the sole general who tries to protect the young Oda heir. He falls in battle, asking for Nobunaga's forgiveness with his dying breath.
- Kirk Thornton - Kessen III (English)
- Hiroshi Okamoto - Samurai Warriors 2 (Japanese)
- Masaya Takatsuka - Kessen III (Japanese)
- "Hrm, Nagahide! Why don't you go ahead and eat?"
- "Lord! One betrayal after another... The Imagawas are just across the border. Shouldn't we be doing something about it?"
- "It's better to know who our enemies are, and our friends for that matter. Don't worry, Potato Samurai!"
- ~~Nobunaga and Nagahide; Kessen III
Niwa Nagahide was someone with honest character and simple desires. He acted humane whenever possible and is believed to have helped Nobunaga with his political wit. In comparison to his other generals, he was actually rather plain since he didn't have any personal ambitions and didn't gain too many achievements from war. At the same time, these traits is what also has him romanticized as a reliable and likable person. In a popular folktale, Nobunaga offered to reward him, Araki Murashige, and Akechi Mitsuhide with a higher government rank and the surname Korezumi (惟住). While Murashige and Mitsuhide were said to have accepted them without question, Nagahide politely declined and replied, "I would rather keep the "Naga" that my lord has given me. To me, this is more than any other rank that I could ever hope for. I am fine being the Gorōza I have always been. If you feel the need to appoint me another rank, then I ask that you give it to another capable officer." In the story, Nobunaga was pleased with this response and it became a strong example to his other vassals.
He is also associated with an interesting episode recorded in the Nobunaga Kōki. In the record, he was presented the treasured sword, Kagekiyo Azamaru. He mysteriously suffered an eye illness during the time it was in his possession. Eventually, he ordered that it be offered to Atsuta Shrine as a present. When the sword was offered, Nagahide's eye ailment disappeared just as quickly as it came.
His wife was Jinkō-in, Oda Nobuhiro's daughter and Nobunaga's adopted daughter, and his concubine was Sugiwaka Mushin's daughter; her father was a general from Echizen Province. He had six sons and four daughters. His eldest son, Nagashige, became his successor.
Although one of Nagahide's legal aliases is Gorōzaemon-no-jō (五郎左衛門尉), he has two nicknames with a shortened version of it, Gorōza (五郎左). One nickname is Kome Gorōza (米五郎左), which has ties to a small jangle regarding four of Nobunaga's generals. The entire tune is roughly translated as "The cotton Tokichi, the rice Gorōza, the suspended Shibata, and the retreating Sakuma". In Nagahide's case, the "rice" is a reference to the Japanese people and their strong preference for rice, and how it was (and still is for some traditional parts of the islands) deemed inseparable from their lifestyle. The rice analogy is used for Nagahide's relationship with the Oda family, although it is believed to have been a figure of speech at best.
Nagahide's other nickname is Oni Gorōza (鬼五郎左), or "Devil Gorōza". Although he rarely displayed any traits to fit the fierce image, there are several argued reasons as to why he gained it. One bizarre reason is that he apparently had a tumor within his belly. To appease Hideyoshi, Nagahide cut his own belly and took it out. The other reason was that it due to Nagahide's bravery and strong composure whilst in battle. He was said to have been called this name by fellow generals on the battlefront. Another reason was that he apparently impressed Katsuie with his personality and was respectfully given the "devil" moniker.
His other legal alias was Hashiba Echizen no Kami (羽柴越前守).
Life and DeathEdit
Nagahide was the second son of Niwa Nagamasa and was born in the Kasugai Domain, Owari. His mother, as well as his family's genealogy and history before his birth, are not clear. He was supposedly going to serve the Shiba clan, but, for reasons not entirely known, he was ordered to serve under Nobunaga when he was fifteen. He fought his first battle when he was 19 in the Bashinomote Conflict, although not much is written on the details of the encounter.
He stayed by Nobunaga's side when his brother defied him during the Battle of Inō. Nagahide also had military service during the Battle of Okehazama, but he wasn't a part of the main strike force. During the Battle of Kannonji Castle, he contributed in the conquest of Ōmi Province and was a part of Nobunaga's personal formation. His participation made him favored by his master. According to the Nobunaga Kōki, he also served in the Mino campaign against Saitō Tatsuoki, the Ikko-ikki, Nobunaga's Kyushu campaign, and the Battle of Nagashino. When he wasn't in battle, he was aiding Nobunaga's conquests by taking care of political affairs and was the building magistrate for Azuchi Castle. One of the characters of his family name was said to have been granted for the Hashiba name for Hideyoshi.
When Nobunaga split his forces, Nagahide took part in the first Shikoku campaign with Miyoshi Yasunaga, Oda Nobutaka (Nobunaga's third son), and others. They withdrew when news of Nobunaga's death reached their troops.
Following Nobutaka, he assisted Hideyoshi at the Battle of Yamazaki and was said to be the only one in favor of Hideyoshi's rise to power. He neither hated or liked Hideyoshi, but he was rational enough to know that his comrade had more power than him in both numbers and property. It's also rumored that he wanted to prevent the takeover of the Oda family. His thoughts were presumably shared by Ikeda Tsuneoki, as both men chose to be beside Hideyoshi when the Oda family separated in revolt. He tried to negotiate peace with Katsuie and Hideyoshi, but neither party could agree on the other's terms.
The Taikōki claims that Nagahide had planned to secretly behead Hideyoshi at the Battle of Shizugatake, feigning ill health and resting at Sakamoto Castle. He was supposedly going to be given a signal of some sort from Katsuie before his attack. In reality, Nagahide was in no ill health and held no plans of the sort, bravely serving in Hideyoshi's army. Even so, the rumor that he was displeased in some way is still popular. Nagahide was said to have been only thinking of his family's future and regretted fighting Katsuie. The Kawasumi Taikōki writes that as soon as peace was declared, he secluded himself away from the public eye. For his services, Hideyoshi rewarded him with Echizen Province and Kaga Province. He became a daimyo that ruled over 1,230,000 koku.
Nagahide died two years later due to stomach cancer. He was 51 at the time of his death. Since he was still a strong supporter of the Oda family, there is also a fanciful legend that is an alternate reason for his "devil" nickname. Once he learned he was deathly ill and the decline of the Oda family, he was said to have been sorely regretful of the turn of events. Wanting to follow and apologize to his lord in the afterlife, he cut open his own belly in the ocean. It is morbidly said that his entrails were sent to Hideyoshi, causing the latter to mourn Nagahide's passing. A few tales state that Hideyoshi did the opposite and was overjoyed with the death of one of his possible rivals.