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|First Appearance:||Samurai Warriors|
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April 12, 1537
July 24, 1619
|Some sources claim he was born in 1538.|
Role in GamesEdit
Naoshige has been a generic officer in the Samurai Warriors series since the first game. He was omitted in the second installment only to be brought back in Samurai Warriors 2: Empires. The fourth title has him face off the combined forces of Muneshige Tachibana and Yoshihiro Shimazu at Yanagawa after the pair's retreat from Sekigahara. Invading his main camp is essential in order to win the battle.
In Nobunaga's Ambition, Naoshige is one of the most formidable officers players can make use of due to his excellent stats.
- "Damn you Shimazu... revel in your victory while you can! I will get the Ōtomo and the powerful Hideyoshi to take action and destroy you, and take back our territory!"
As the son of Nabeshima Kiyosada, Naoshige served directly under Ryūzōji Takanobu. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Saga Castle by routing the Ōtomo forces, which consisted of 60,000 soldiers, with a night raid party comprised of only 5,000 men. This earned him a place in Takanobu's inner circle. On February 1575, he personally laid siege on Suko Castle and forced its owner Hirai Tsuneharu to commit seppuku. At the time, he had already married his second wife Hikotsuru.
Although Naoshige was present in the conflict at Okitanawate, even he could not prevent his lord's defeat and subsequent passing. He was made daimyo of Hizen after Ryūzōji Masaie, who he had considered an inadequate heir, died in 1607. The remnants of the Ryūzōji, however, did not take this well and showed their displeasure by disturbing the peace. To pacify them, Naoshige built a temple called Tenyū-ji to honor the clan.
His formidable reputation made Toyotomi Hideyoshi eager enough to deploy him with 12,000 troops to the Korean peninsula. There, he befriended Katō Kiyomasa and upon his return back home, became better acquainted with Tokugawa Ieyasu. He also brought back Korean potters whose wares had intrigued him.
Because his friendship with Ieyasu was crucial to his clan's survival, he advised his son Katsushige to fight against the Western army at Sekigahara. Because of their decision to side with the Tokugawa, their properties were left untouched and the Nabeshima received further acclaim following Naoshige's death. His thoughts and opinions were recorded by Yamamoto Tsunetomo who compiled them in a collective text known as the Hagakure Kikigaki.
When Naoshige seized control over Hizen, it gave rise to rumors suggesting he had subdued the Ryūzōji through unscrupulous means. One story that originated from the rumors was the Nabeshima Bakeneko Disturbance, a tale commonly heard in Saga Province. According to the story, Naoshige oversaw the slaughter of the remaining Ryūzōji clan members in a bid to gain power. But when the family's pet cat Tama had been killed as well, it came back as a vengeful spirit seeking revenge. It supposedly cursed Naoshige to die an agonizing death by planting a painful tumor on his ear.