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- This article is about one of Nobunaga's younger biological brothers. For his son, see Nobukatsu Oda.
172 cm (5'8")
|Dominate Hand:|| |
|Favorite Food(s):|| |
|Unfavored Food(s):|| |
|Favorite Flower:|| |
Japanese bellflower (キキョウ)
|Live Action Actor(s):|
|First Appearance:||Geten no Hana|
|Real name:|| |
|Japanese name:|| |
November 2, 1557
|Birth year commonly cited to be 1534 or 1536.|
Nobuyuki Oda is one of the commonly known names for one of Nobunaga's younger biological brothers. He is best known for engaging in a brief civil conflict with his brother for Oda clan leadership.
Role in GamesEdit
Within this series, Nobuyuki tends to have average stats across the board and is commonly portrayed as an irredeemable and spineless traitor within historical events. Since the focus on the Oda civil war is abbreviated within these games, he tends to be killed moments after his introduction in events.
The earliest expansions of the online adaptation included Nobuyuki as a level 50 retainer for the Oda. A snappy and surly individual, he rarely expressed joy towards his visitors. Although his conversations suggest he is loyal to his brother, Nobuyuki has since been removed from the MMORPG.
Geten no HanaEdit
Geten no Hana establishes Nobuyuki as Nobunaga's only sibling with narrative significance. They would often play together during their childhood and ate dried persimmons together. When he wasn't being scared and crying in fright, Nobuyuki clung to their father's every word. Nobuhide soon became his idol. His father named him lordship of Suemori Castle during his early adulthood, a position and place he continues to treasure.
When their father became deathly ill, Nobuyuki stayed by his bedside and regularly brought him the flowers his father admired. The younger son stayed faithful to him, but Nobuhide would not cease complaining about Nobunaga's deplorable conduct. Although Nobuyuki yearned for his father's attention, he would not receive it. His world was shattered when Nobuhide perished on a stormy night. Nobuyuki felt another stake through his heart when Nobunaga was infamously disrespectful at their father's funeral service. The younger sibling tried to compose himself, but he was still distressed from his father's death to think straight. He cried endlessly for his father in private.
Nobunaga's rudeness divided the Oda vassals and the most discontent members colluded with Shibata to overthrow the young heir. They believed Nobuyuki would be a promising successor to their departed lordship and hounded the young noble to raise arms against Nobunaga. Morose by their insistence to kill his family, Nobuyuki refused their inquiries. His lone protest made him an outcast with the instigators who persisted to badger him at every opportunity. During one of his breaks, Nobuyuki visited his father's grave alone in tears. It was during this time that he spontaneously met Momoji. Although startled, Nobuyuki was too desolate to question the shinobi's sudden appearance before him; he decided to use the chance to vent everything which was bothering him.
Nobuyuki continued to refuse the conspirators upon his return. By now, the retainers began to view his empathy as a sign of cowardice. Shibata, the one most vocal in supporting Nobuyuki, had grown tired of his frailty and decided to defect to Nobunaga by first killing the younger brother on a windy evening. Nobuyuki was able to escape immediate death thanks to Momoji. Dumbfounded by the betrayal, Nobuyuki's mind broke when the shinobi explained the reasons to him. Nobuyuki quickly blamed his older brother for robbing him of his happiness and became obsessed with murdering him.
After Shibata's betrayal, Nobunaga began his conquests abroad. He gave Nobuyuki the job of officially visiting the conquered lords and lands, trusting his younger brother's diplomacy for addressing the people's complaints and concerns about their new leader. As he listened to each lord in private, Nobuyuki had two main objectives: to do his duty faithfully if needed and to judge which ones still resented Nobunaga. He gladly colluded with the unfaithful ones towards his cause, enticing them to join him once he has laid the foundations for their attack. With Momoji's assistance and reconnaissance, Nobuyuki has spent the last six years gathering a private army for Nobunaga's doom.
A month or so before the main story, Nobunaga arranged for a break from his conquests at Azuchi Castle and ordered a handful of trusted retainers to join him. On the pretext of spending time with his brother and the Oda retainers, Nobuyuki gladly moved his base of operations to his personal villa in the castle grounds. Using his personal connections, he then hired the shinobi, Rekka, who in turn recommended Hazuki. Although Hazuki had failed in his infiltration, Nobuyuki is confident he will find the opening he needs to strike his brother down.
Nobuyuki first becomes aware of Hotaru's presence from a jabbering Hideyoshi as the ladies man retells the rumors he heard regarding Mitsuhide's younger sister to him. Nobuyuki playfully decides to court their guest for her stay. He had hoped to introduce himself to her during the martial arts tournament his brother had dragged him to see, but he was dismayed to not see her in attendance. He gets his chance to speak to her when he spots the Akechi siblings loitering near the public notice about spies. Nobuyuki explains the post's meanings to her and the news about ninja lurking within castle grounds. Hotaru feigns surprise, but he assures her no harm will come to the princess as long as her brother is around. He extends an open invite for her to visit his manor.
He continues to act as a good-humored advocate for Nobunaga throughout the majority of the main story events, often being invited to join his brother's company with his retainers. The player is first entreated to his insidious motivations when Hotaru pursues and captures Rekka. Hotaru is surprised to see Mitsuhide associating with him after the controversial poetry reading and explains the assassination plot for the firefly viewing banquet to them. Nobuyuki impassively accepts Hotaru's true identity and is only interested in her job to take her brother's life. Regardless of whether she stays true to the plan or not, Nobuyuki will lose his temper when he learns Mitsuhide has tricked him. Hotaru intervenes when he attempts to strike the traitor in his anger.
Once his true nature is exposed, Nobuyuki is imprisoned in Azuchi's gaols. He remains there until Momoji frees him off-screen. After Nobunaga arrives at Honnōji, Nobuyuki gathers his legion of conspirators to march towards it, and his ninja set fire to the temple at nightfall. Nobuyuki's fate in the default storyline is reliant on the player's choices and the number of endings they have completed.
Subsequent playthroughs will include supplementary scenes with him and Momoji reacting to the main story events. Nobuyuki forgives Momoji's failure and entrusts Rekka with the task. Trusting Rekka's recommendation, he agrees to hire Shigure. He openly shares with them his hatred for Nobunaga and regularly thanks his ninja for their reports.
During the "Shield of Azuchi" route, Nobuyuki mopes behind bars. Wallowing in his failure and the years spent on his scheming, he instead wonders what he should do for himself if he cannot kill his brother. His lost will discourages Momoji from freeing him.
Yumeakari continues from an alternative ending in which Nobuyuki and his rebels burned Honnōji to the ground. He was foiled by Hotaru's reconnaissance and was captured. Nobunaga promptly forgave his brother for the crime and permits Nobuyuki to wander as he pleases in Azuchi Castle. Nobuyuki has closed his heart from others since and has spent a month brooding solemnly within his private quarters. Guards and servants attend to his basic needs.
Nobunaga wishes to restore the spirits of the shaken castle residents by sending water lanterns adrift along the river near Azuchi. He gives Hotaru a mission to invite Nobuyuki to see it. Nobuyuki is so desolate that he doesn't answer her when she announces her presence to him. Worried for his health, she peeks into his room and is stunned to see his barren expression. When Hotaru does receive his attention, Nobuyuki ostracizes her since she is Nobunaga's kunoichi. He reacts to the friendly invite as though it were an official decree, stating that he has no grounds to disobey it. After he shuns her away, Hotaru reports his cold acceptance to her understanding master.
On the night the lanterns are lit, Hotaru has the option of worrying about Nobuyuki. Nobunaga notices her concern if it is selected and orders her to deliver a letter he had written for Nobuyuki. She finds him gazing at the lanterns from an open window of his room. The younger brother refuses to even touch the letter when she presents it so she reads it aloud for him. Nobunaga uses creative wordplay and the water lanterns to reiterate his forgiveness and family love for Nobuyuki, commenting that the younger brother would have a happier life if he could put Honnōji behind him. Nobuyuki understands the message but accuses his brother of a hidden agenda. He rants his anger and frustration towards Hotaru, who he believes is in cahoots with the scheme, and threatens her to never visit him again.
Hotaru will follow his wishes on the first playthrough, saddened that he refuses to see the truth or listen to reason. During the Yumeakari ending, he appears to be undergoing a change of heart as he gazes at the second water lantern gathering from his room.
During her first week at the castle, Hotaru wanders to the wilderness outside of it in her princess disguise. She happens to see Nobuyuki crying over a fallen spider lily. It's the first time she has seen a grown man cry, so she decides to comfort him. She chooses to ask about the flower he is holding to avoid offending him. After he explains its meanings and his departed father's attachment to it, Nobuyuki addresses her consideration for not directly asking the reasons behind his tears. Hotaru believes he was mourning for his father and, remembering her own childhood loneliness for her parents, complements that his tears were beautiful. She voices her belief to not be ashamed for grieving lost loved ones. Her answer surprises him, but he is moved by it. Nobuyuki jokes that he might become reliant on her sympathy for him before thanking her. He asks her to keep his tears a secret before excusing himself.
A couple days later, Hotaru decides to use her leisure to gather information in the castle grounds and transforms into a maid. Mitsuhide notices her and sees through her disguise, quietly explaining that no sane castle servant would be seen lallygagging in the castle alleyways by themselves. He instructs his kunoichi to be more cautious with her transformations in the future before resuming his duties. Before she can revert her disguise, an eavesdropping maid is jealous that Hotaru had attracted Mitsuhide's attention so easily and demands to know what trick she used to get close to him. She threatens to extort the information from her through force until Nobuyuki intervenes. He lies that Hotaru is one of the maids serving under him and that he had entrusted her to deliver a message for Mitsuhide. As the maid flees in humiliation, Nobuyuki apologizes to the disguised Hotaru and asks her to not hold any ill will towards the woman. He pardons himself, but not before vaguely trailing on who he deems is worthy of being hated.
Hotaru gets her chance to thank Nobuyuki a week later, fibbing that his act of heroism is popular gossip with the maids in the castle. He bashfully teases her interest in him before surmising that the incident is a sign of Mitsuhide's popularity and talents. Nobuyuki believes Hotaru can relate with the envy of the older sibling's success but is surprised by her bewildered response. To explain his thoughts for her, he compares Mitsuhide and his brother's charisma to the wind: their leadership and personality blows fiercely into their follower's hearts and ripples within them like a fond reverie. He feels someone as incompetent as him has no hopes of reaching the same peak. Hotaru accepts his metaphor but chastises him for degrading himself so easily, insisting that he has his own appeal. If he feels that distressed about it, she believes he should talk to his brother about it. Nobuyuki accepts her opinion with fair jest and a gentlemanly compliment that he prefers the Akechi sister's company over her brother.
A week later Hotaru overhears two guards chatting about the late Nobuhide within hallways of the main keep, speculating that he is the specter rumored to be haunting the castle due to a grudge from his past life. Nobunaga and Nobuyuki approach Hotaru; their presence scares away the guards. She mentions Nobuhide to the brothers, a name which instantly sours Nobunaga's mood. Nobuyuki explains to Hotaru that such rumors persists only because of his blatant disrespect at their father's funeral. The older brother retorts that his final parting with his father was fitting since Nobuhide chose to waste his last days with his mad obsession over the spider lily. He instructs Nobuyuki that they will not follow his footsteps before leaving.
Since they are alone, Hotaru wonders if the sullen Nobuyuki feels like crying again, insisting that is healthy to vent his tears rather than to force himself to ignore his pain. Nobuyuki respectfully states her opinion is only valid with women in their era. Men should follow Nobunaga's example; they are expected to focus on ruling through might and driving themselves towards unification. Now that Nobuhide is gone and Nobunaga has surpassed his memory, Nobuyuki states that his prime objective in life is to support his brother and to protect the Oda clan. He again thanks her for her concern, momentarily hinting that her heart is too beautiful for him as he excuses himself.
Nobunaga invites Hotaru to join him and his retainers for a spontaneous firefly gathering a few nights later. He makes his rousing speech about his dream, and his retainers agree to hold a firefly viewing banquet before his departure to the capital. A cold wind blows over them so they decide to return to the castle before the storm hits. Hotaru notices Nobuyuki distancing himself from the gathering and approaches him, wondering if he is thinking about Nobuhide again. She again offers for Nobuyuki to share his thoughts with his brother, but he comments that his brother is not always as kind as he seems. He uses the spider lily as a metaphor, asking her to consider how its beauty can represent two polar opposites. Nobunaga barks at his brother to stop wasting time and to head home before the storm hits.
As the couple walk back at Nobunaga's command, the wind blows harder against them. Nobuyuki doesn't want Hotaru's hair and clothing to be tangled by it so he offers to be her shield through it. She thanks him and takes him on the offer to walk behind him. He humors her with a humble comment of his affection for her before stressing that he does it because Nobunaga must favor her. He cryptically wonders how his brother would feel seeing him embrace her. Hotaru doesn't understand his sudden change in character, yet she feels Nobuyuki is again forcing himself. She gently pushes against his back as a gesture to support him, explaining that she felt his grasp on reality was slipping. Nobuyuki notes that his tears must have left a mistaken impression on her about his character. He grimly remarks that he will remember their chat in the future.
When Hotaru receives her final mission (same as the default route) and learns the true master commanding the enemy ninja, she is restless. She can't believe the kind man she has known in the last three weeks would want to kill Nobunaga. Hoping to learn his motivations, she tails Mitsuhide one night to Nobuyuki's villa. Mitsuhide had noticed her but doesn't draw attention to her until he talks with Nobuyuki. He explains to his conspirator that she is the kunoichi he had hired and explains that Kikyou is a lie, ordering Hotaru to transform before Nobuyuki as a sign of good faith in their pact. Nobuyuki is surprised and demands for her true name. She gives it with a request to learn his reasons for the assassination. Nobuyuki explodes in front of her, belittling her stupidity and yelling for her to leave them.
Hotaru recovers from the shock two days later, once again hoping to talk with Nobuyuki to at least calm her nerves for the mission. She walks into the main keep and tells Ranmaru that she wishes to speak with him. The Oda brothers permit her entry as Nobuyuki serves his brother tea. Nobunaga is pleased to see his brother interested in a mate and enjoys his drink. Nobuyuki asks him if he feels hardship working for his dream, mirroring Hotaru's earlier sentiments for the siblings to show their weaknesses to one another. The older brother explains he has nothing to doubt nor fear for his dream and is disappointed that his own brother can't understand him. Nobuyuki's lack of faith in him sours his spirits so he and Ranmaru depart.
Once he knows they're alone, Nobuyuki scowls that his brother's heart is too proud for him to ever hope to overcome. He demands to know if Hotaru is there on orders from Mitsuhide, flying into a blind rage when he learns she isn't. He rants that she must have lost her nerve to kill Nobunaga and has been drawn into his charisma like everyone else. Hotaru stutters that she is only concerned for him and his suffering. Before he can continue to revile her, Momoji drops in and asks his master to pardon his pupil. He explains that Hotaru is being truthful; Nobuyuki snubs her sympathy for him and wonders if she can carry out the assassination. Momoji attests to her kunai throwing abilities so Nobuyuki allows her. He orders Momoji to keep an eye on Hotaru. If she can't do the job, Momoji should do it.
The next day Hotaru visits Nobuyuki's manor with the hopes of again talking to him. A maid notices her and informs her that her lordship had went into town earlier. Hotaru decides to follow him by transforming into a bird, watching him approach a crying orphan. The girl wishes to bury Koume, a recently departed dog and her last family member, but she received no sympathy from the townsfolk until Nobuyuki overhears her. He helps her bury the dog underneath a tree and shares her loneliness at being an orphan. Momoji finds Hotaru and instructs her to meet her in the forest outside Azuchi. The ninja meet and converse in private. She wants to know the reasons for Nobuyuki's resentment for his brother. Momoji responds that Nobuyuki is too pure and weak to live in the era, a remark which earns Hotaru's defense for him. Upon seeing her sympathy for him, Momoji explains Katsuie's betrayal to her and Nobuyuki's reaction to it. He requests for her to reach out to Nobuyuki since she may get through to him, leaving the matter up to her judgment.
She wants to talk to him before the firefly banquet but can't find a means of earning his company. Nobunaga happens to spot her in the main keep and gives her dried persimmon. Hotaru remembers that Nobuyuki had given her one before during their outing and explained its meanings to her. The older brother is pleased by her knowledge and gives her a message for Nobuyuki: eat something sweet and let bygones be bygones. He may have been upset by Nobuyuki, but he still wants to look out for his brother. He believes Nobuyuki would be happier seeing Hotaru give him the gift than him.
Walking into his quarters with the gift and message, Nobuyuki accuses her of trickery and doesn't believe that it came from Nobunaga. He becomes irritated by the wind blowing outside, ranting that the same type of wind was blowing during the two worst nights of his life. In his delirium, he claims the same wind has been torturing him the last six years and laments that only Nobunaga's death can free him from it. Hotaru pleads for him to stop and lightly touches his heart. She implores him to share his true pain and sorrow he has festered within it with someone, insisting that it's still not too late for him to change his mind. Nobuyuki is stunned into silence, but he quietly recovers with an order to end her brother's life. He warns her to not be influenced by him and to stay away from him.
The night before the banquet Hotaru can't sleep so she decides to train. Once she arrives to her usual training grounds, her mind keeps flashing back to Nobuyuki's tears and she can't bring herself to throw a single kunai. She decides to once again drop into Nobuyuki's quarters, overhearing him having a nightmare due to the fierce wind. She gently rouses him for a conversation, one which he doesn't feel like having. When she accurately deduces he was dreaming about Nobunaga, she again implores him to reconsider his thoughts to killing his brother. Nobuyuki draws his sword and threatens to cut her down for speaking against him. Hotaru remains silently defiant against his threat, well aware that his heart isn't in his words. Nobuyuki then insists she isn't worthy of killing before exiting the room.
After Hotaru excuses herself from the banquet, Nobunaga notices his brother's visage is pale and surprises Nobuyuki with his concern for him. Hotaru can't bring herself to throw the deadly kunai, but Momoji can and does it for her. Nobuyuki surprises everyone when he shoves Nobunaga out of harm's way. Nobunaga suffers a minor graze on his shoulder yet the retainers applaud the younger brother's act of heroism. Nobuyuki lies he isn't feeling well and excuses himself from the banquet. The ninja flee to escape capture. When Hotaru returns to her room in the Akechi manor, Mitsuhide reports the matter and the truth of the assassination to Hotaru. Although the plot to reveal Nobuyuki's true nature to Nobunaga had failed, the Oda lord still forgives Hotaru. Mitsuhide appreciates his kunoichi's concern for Nobunaga's safety and instructs her to remain alert. Momoji had tailed Hotaru and reports to Nobuyuki about the ruse. Nobuyuki had tried to pretend that his double-guessing didn't matter, until he learns Mitsuhide never believed in him and his brother was in on the conspiracy.
Mitsuhide brings Hotaru with him the next morning to have an audience with Nobunaga. Even though he played along with Mitsuhide's ruse and is aware that his brother is acting strangely, Nobunaga refuses to be convinced of Nobuyuki's treachery until he hears it directly from his brother's mouth. He had planned to end their contract after the assassination, but Mitsuhide is not as forgiving as Nobunaga. The general asks his kunoichi to stay a little longer at Azuchi Castle to keep an eye on Nobuyuki while he continues his false allegiance to him. Hotaru agrees since she is worried for the younger brother, visiting his manor after Nobunaga departs for the capital.
She is surprised when she is allowed free entry and again implores Nobuyuki to open his heart to his brother. Nobuyuki appears hesitant to condemn her and is startled when she doesn't flee from his sudden embrace. Rekka and Shigure, having escaped from the gaols, barge into his personal quarters and immobilize Hotaru. Nobuyuki comes clean about his knowledge about her and Mitsuhide's ruse, although Hotaru uses her last moments of breath to state her own honest ignorance about the fake assassination. Before she loses consciousness, she overhears Nobuyuki telling his ninja to spare her. He claims to have made an exchange with Momoji to keep her alive if the shinobi successfully freed the other ninja. Momoji, in the meantime, infiltrates Mitsuhide's quarters and disables the general with a gas bomb and potent sleeping potion.
Hotaru awakens later that day in the castle sewage. She transforms into a frog to escape and hurries into Akechi manor to inform Mitsuhide. Thanks to Oito, she learns Mitsuhide had hastily left the castle moments before. She excuses herself to her room and transforms into a bird to catch up with Nobuyuki's army. He had his ninja send letters to whoever was willing and amassed an army of at least 2,000 men. They ride under the Akechi banner and have Mitsuhide as a captive in their ranks. Nobuyuki's followers believe this is done to cast false blame on the general, but he sternly corrects them. Bringing Mitsuhide to the temple under the Akechi banner is merely his means of exacting revenge on him; it serves no purpose to them in the long run since the real Akechi army at Azuchi Castle can still prove their lord's innocence. Knowing that his fate is short-lived, he instructs his conspirators to take their payment and flee once the attack at Honnoji has ended. If they are quick enough, those surviving can live to serve the Oda again.
Remaining within her avian form, Hotaru scours the army to look for Mitsuhide. She is relieved to find him unconscious atop a horse. Rekka and Shigure spot the bird flying overhead. To kill his boredom, Rekka shoots a fire spell towards her. Hotaru is unable to dodge in time, yet everyone is surprised when Nobuyuki shields the bird and patronizes Rekka. His ninja inquire for his injuries and confirm if their contracts end once they set fire to the temple. Nobuyuki insists on killing his brother by himself. As their lord resumes preparations for the march, the ninja retort he is throwing his life away.
The kunoichi flies away to avoid being burned again and is spotted by Momoji. He tells her to return to her true form out of sight. Momoji feels she had tried hard, but it is too late for her to try to change Nobuyuki. Hotaru remembers his earlier merciful acts and insists there is still hope left for him. Seeing her conviction and care for Nobuyuki, he decides to let her go unharmed. Before she leaves, she thanks Momoji for the earlier trade for her survival. He states he did no such thing; Nobuyuki merely lied to let her live. He is content to watch her fly away and hopes the two youths can reconcile.
Try as she might, Hotaru arrives too late to prevent the attack. The temple is surrounded and in flames by the time she arrives. As she transforms back into her true form, Rekka and Shigure stand in her path. Since their contract ended, they trust her to save the young lord and leave, allowing her to fight her way into the temple without their impediment. She finds Mitsuhide is trapped inside and barely holding his own against Nobuyuki's soldiers next to Ranmaru; although weakened, he urges her to hurry towards the location of the Oda siblings within the flames.
Hotaru rushes towards them to stop their duel. Her interruption causes Nobuyuki to remember her repeated requests for him to share his feelings with his brother. Since he believes it is their last encounter, he finally decides to humor her. As he spits out his vexed feelings for Nobunaga, Hotaru is moved to tears and cries for his sake. After hearing his brother's rant, Nobunaga claims he can't condone a woman weeping or forgive his brother for raising an army against him. He draws his sword and stops his swing midway; he declares the gesture has killed the "Oda" in Nobuyuki. When the younger brother feels he has nothing else to live for, Nobunaga praises what Nobuyuki has accomplished without his knowledge and scoffs that he should broaden his horizons in his new life. He urges his brother to flee with Hotaru, shouting that his brother should ride his weaknesses to a new age. After Hotaru and Nobuyuki flee from the scene unnoticed, Nobunaga returns to Ranmaru and Mitsuhide. He reports he has killed the enemy commander and orders his page to help him drag his second-in-command to safety.
Meanwhile, a stray arrow at the other side of the temple grounds threatens to wound Hotaru. Nobuyuki shields her from the blow and confesses his puzzling endearment for her. Although the cutaway suggests he dies from the wound, his ending scene shows he now lives in quiet hermitage. Hotaru had transformed into a samurai during the carnage and nursed him back to health. She continues to visit him even after he heals, so he decides to pawn writing materials and dyed clothes to repay her for the trouble. He tells her Rekka and Shigure had also came and purchased from him. Neither one of them has seen Momoji after Honnoji, but they trust that he is doing well. He remarks he can understand his brother better now that they are apart from one another, appreciating the past they had shared. Nobuyuki offers to share a walk with her, voicing his affections and gratitude for her as they enjoy a gentle breeze together.
His Yumeakari route continues from his main story events with Hotaru continuing to worry about Nobuyuki. Since he won't permit her entry to his room, she decides to use flowers as a way of opening his heart towards others. She anonymously entrusts his maids or house servants to leave a Japanese bellflower in his room six days straight. Nobuyuki is pleasantly excited by the pleasant gifts and wonders who is concerned about him. He tries asking the house servants yet their daily tasks drives them away from him. On the last day, he decides to investigate the manor's garden to search for the flower. While he is out, he spots Hotaru dropping another bellflower and his deposition sours. He gives her permission to visit him so he can privately insult and accuse her of hatching another dirty scheme with his brother.
After Hotaru captures Akatsuki, she is still worried about Nobuyuki and wanders towards her napping mentor. Momoji notices her crestfallen composure and explains Nobuyuki's trauma from six years prior. He believes Nobuyuki won't forgive himself as easily as Nobunaga and Hotaru wish due to his insecurities. She continues to fret about his former master in spite of his warnings, so Momoji instructs her to transform into a bird and come with him to Nobuyuki's quarters. Nobuyuki warmly greets his former comrade when he enters, although he loses his merriness when Hotaru drops her disguise. The ninja reveal her true ties to Momoji and her identity to the surprised Nobuyuki. She grabs his hand and pleads for him to realize that he isn't alone. Nobuyuki is dumbfounded for a few moments before admonishing her with his self-loathing, insisting that everyone only cares for him due to his brother's reputation. Hotaru slaps his cheek to bring him out of his hysterics and repeats her wish for him to start treasuring himself. Momoji cautions his pupil to remember her position and calm down. The shinobi apologizes for her rudeness after she leaves and asserts that her words are genuine. Nobuyuki is left startled by her reaction.
Hotaru spends the night agonizing over her rash impulsiveness. She transforms into a bird the next day with the hope of apologizing to Nobuyuki in person. Nobuyuki opens his door for a midday stroll moments before she comes leading to him colliding into Hotaru. Reverting her disguise at once, Hotaru frets over his scraped nose and her prior rudeness towards him. Her stream of constant apologies amuses Nobuyuki who brushes her aside with a smile. He teases her about his cheek before retorting that he understands her feelings for him. Having lost all reason to accuse her, he sarcastically gives her permission to visit him whenever she wants. As she talks about herself and her ninja capabilities, Nobuyuki admires her and admits his honest envy for her ability to transform into anything. Momoji occasionally visits his former master to check on him and report about his former coworkers.
Five days later, Hotaru happens to be greeted by Nobunaga at the main keep. As his brother, he asks Hotaru to keep looking after Nobuyuki and to take him outside the castle walls. Hotaru passes on the news and a flabbergasted Nobuyuki eventually accepts. While they sneak away from the castle patrol, they enjoy a walk by the river used for the lantern festival. Hotaru at first tries to liven the occasion by splashing the river's waters towards him. Nobuyuki calms her by taking her hand and faintly teasing her to act like a princess. Their location reminds Nobuyuki of his brother's letter, admitting to Hotaru that he hesitates to forgive Nobunaga. Rather than blame his brother of hypocrisy, Nobuyuki's true fear is instinctively reverting to his old habits by digging up past regrets if he sees his brother. She encourages him to take his time sorting out his feelings.
Nobuyuki apologizes for taking too much of her time yet Hotaru appreciates the change of pace. She opens up about her doubts for keeping a secret from Mitsuhide, an act which surprises him. He is still technically an imprisoned rebel and he could use the knowledge against her somehow. Hotaru warmly insists that she trusts him after the time they have spent together. He scoffs at her carefree assessment of him before placing faith in her decision. Nobuyuki may not be aware of the details, but he concludes she is probably doing it to protect someone.
All eyes blame Iga after the martial arts tournament. At a loss to what to do, a brooding Hotaru wanders and inexplicably visits Nobuyuki. He isn't daft to her concern and she decides to be completely truthful to him, explaining to him her missions and duties in the last three weeks. Nobuyuki wishes to help her and Momoji to protect Iga, assuring her that he will call Shigure and Rekka if he must.
Their conversation is interrupted by Mitsuhide shoving his way into the room. He brings dire news that Nobunaga is grievously ill and there is no means of saving him. Shocked, Nobuyuki forgoes social restrictions to run to Nobunaga's personal bedside. Nobuyuki fears it could be the same disease which took their father and is pained to see Nobunaga bedridden. Denial gives way to anger and anger gives way to grief. Nobuyuki weeps uncontrollably over his brother's body, demanding for Nobunaga to live and realize the dream he promised him. When he is finished, Nobunaga coolly rises and gladly accepts his brother's thoughts. Hotaru and Nobuyuki are surprised by the deception, but Nobunaga insists he only did it so Nobuyuki could finally talk to him. He wasn't expecting his brother's tirade and appreciates the sudden honesty. He invites Nobuyuki to visit him again the next day before the younger brother leaves in embarrassment. Mitsuhide follows him out.
Nobunaga reassures Hotaru that he is in good health before he takes her aside to the public garden. Aware of her anxieties regarding Iga, he tells her to relax. He heard the good news of Nobuyuki's lighter temperament from his brother's maids and wishes to repay her efforts. Nobunaga is prepared to relive her of him, but Hotaru injects that she wishes to be by his side. Her master teases her of her love for his brother which causes her to flare up in embarrassment. He is happy to entrust his brother to her. Around this time, Nobuyuki happens to see them chatting yet is too faraway to hear them. Their merriment and her reasons for staying at Azuchi Castle convinces him that she must prioritize Nobunaga's dream above all else.
His route at this point shares the same events as Mitsuhide's route. Hotaru suspects another public hearing regarding Iga and insists on coming with Mitsuhide. She is permitted to do so if she stays put as a frog within Mitsuhide's robes. Nobunaga has been reported mortally ill with no hopes of recovery. The retainers are summoned to put the matter of Iga aside to decide who shall be their next leader.
The split between the two scenarios begins with Nobuyuki entering the room. As the only blood relative of the Oda family, he should have the automatic authority to be his brother's successor. Due to his past revolt, the retainers are aware that Nobuyuki has connections to ninja and accuse him of possibly being the true ringleader again. The conversation strays into choosing a possible general to substitute, the most influential being Mitsuhide or Hideyoshi. Mitsuhide curtly rejects the possibility so Hideyoshi appears favorable.
Nobuyuki is dejected at being passed over so he commands for their deaths. Momoji, Rekka, and Shigure appear and attack the Oda retainers. Hanbei urges for Hideyoshi to flee, drawing Nobuyuki's attention towards them. He orders Momoji and Rekka to slay his rival at once. In his desperation to defend Hideyoshi, Hanbei uses his trump card to summon a flock of crows into the room. Revealed as the true culprit before everyone present, Mitsuhide quaintly explains the ruse of succession to them. His words prove true when a healthy Nobunaga walks into the room to confront Hanbei. Mitsuhide later fills Hotaru on the details she missed in private. Although Hotaru feels inept with her inability to do anything, he retorts that her ties with Nobuyuki served him well. He allows her to go see him to clear her conscious over the matter.
When she does, Nobuyuki confesses that Mitsuhide gave him the plan after he stomped away from Nobunaga's room two days prior. Despite his seething resentments for Mitsuhide's underhandedness, Nobuyuki accepted to play his part because he wanted to protect Hotaru himself. Shigure and Momoji drop in and add that they were ordered to only act and never attempt to kill anyone who stood against him. Rekka enters to report about Kanbei's whereabouts and imprisonment in Azuchi's gaols. Nobuyuki surmises that his brother will likely forgive the strategists and thanks the ninja for fulfilling his request. Momoji thanks Nobuyuki again for his kindness and Rekka and Shigure part with their former master on good terms, leaving Nobuyuki and Hotaru alone.
Hotaru states her gratitude only to be returned with the same sentiments. Her faith in him restored a part of himself that gave him the courage to act. He informs her that he will be leaving Azuchi Castle to live in a manor set aside for him in Owari. His brother permitted him his new residence as thanks for taking part in the plot. Nobuyuki formally says his goodbyes to her so she can focus on being his brother's shinobi. Remembering the joys she felt beside him, Hotaru bashfully asks him to extend his permission to keep visiting him. Nobuyuki is taken aback by her honest wish to be with him and gently embraces her. He tenderly rambles that he misunderstood her again before confessing his love for her.
The next day Nobunaga and Nobuyuki play a game of Igo together, using the game as a way to judge the personalities of everyone at Azuchi Castle. Nobunaga appreciates his brother's newfound courage before he beats him. Though he loses, Nobunaga adds that his brother has changed because of the endless possibilities he has before him. Nobuyuki takes the complement and says goodbye. One year passes. Nobuyuki is enjoying a walk in the countryside when Hotaru transforms to greet him. She asks if he is willing to visit Azuchi Castle someday yet he declines; his misguided hatred for Nobunaga has only weakened and he feels he couldn't trust himself to let go of it yet. He wishes to search for his own purpose in life before he has the confidence to return. Hotaru insists she will visit him whenever she can, worrying about him traveling to unknown lands by himself. Although he teases her of being too tense about his safety, Nobuyuki affectionately repeats his gratefulness and endearment for her. He hopes that she will wait for him to mature into a confident man who can be beside her.
His downloadable scenario takes place a year after Honnoji. Hotaru pays Nobuyuki a nightly visit at his manor in Owari and apologizes for failing to bring a flower for him. Nobuyuki is fine with having her company yet Hotaru feels guilty and presents incense for him. She warns that it is a known kuonichi tool for seducing men. Nobuyuki asks if she uses it often and is relieved to hear she hasn't touched it before. He convinces her to burn it to pass the evening hours. When she does, Nobuyuki appears to be enchanted by her and closes the distance between them. As she frets about what to do, Nobuyuki laughs and stops pretending. He clarifies that his love for her is true and thanks her again for reaching out to him.
Oda Nobunaga DenEdit
Oda Nobunaga Den introduces Nobuyuki during the opening act sitting next to his mother, Dota Gozen. Characters frequently admire the younger brother's by-the-book mannerisms and compare him to Nobunaga. He assists his brother once to help topple rebellious forces in Gifu.
Following Nobuhide's funeral, Katsuie and other Oda retainers ignore their late lord's wishes by sweet talking Nobuyuki to revolt. He buys into their lofty opinions of him, and his pride is inflated. No longer a mild-mannered gentleman, he and his conspirators take advantage of Dōsan's demise to raise an army against his brother. Nobunaga isn't blind to their schemes and, after he recovers from losing his father-in-law, proceeds to crush his opponents at Inou. While Nobuyuki lives to lick his wounds, a disillusioned Katsuie privately defects to Nobunaga. The player is then given the option to either assassinate or spare Nobuyuki.
The former option has Nobunaga order Katsuie to give his brother a message: he is deathly ill and his brother should visit him at Suemori Castle. Nobuyuki is skeptical, but Katsuie goads him into believing it. He takes his mother with him as a precautionary human shield to deter Nobunaga from laying a hand on him. When they are guided to the villa, Nobuyuki enters alone and is killed off screen by one of Yoshinari's shinobi.
In the latter option Nobunaga chooses to ignore Nobuyuki and instead focus on pacifying his older brother, Nobuhiro. As Nobunaga's troops march towards Nobuhiro's army in Mino, Nobuyuki and his cavalry arrive from the east to threaten Nobunaga's headquarters. The player is forced to defeat both rebellious brothers simultaneously. If Nobunaga rests in a square next to Nobuyuki, the siblings will have a chance to share their respective scorn for one turn. Otherwise, Nobuyuki merely curses his ill luck as he perishes in battle.
Duality is a prominent trait with Nobuyuki. Many people do not suspect this side of him as they are too familiar with his welcoming and cordial public image. He stands for the weak and happily explains anything which may confuse his audience with a smiling visage. Nobuyuki's instances of humility and light-hearted jest are appreciated as a warm contrast to his brother's blunt honesty and sarcasm, many believing him to be a plain, simple-minded if dignified gentleman of the Oda family. The younger brother is often viewed as a supportive and dutiful sibling who believes in his brother's conquests. While his efforts and humble elegance are appreciated by his brother and his closest retainers, Nobuyuki has dwarfish popularity with the other residents and is often ignored.
Yet the public remains ignorant of Nobuyuki's seething jealousy for his elder sibling; nearly half of his dialogue has a double entendre for his loathsome opinion for his brother. Nobuyuki feels he can't hope to compare to his brother's fearsome charisma or brilliance and tends to blame Nobunaga as the catalyst of his suffering throughout his life; the younger brother identifies his suffering as a tormenting "wind" which has haunted him since their father's death. He insists to his conspirators that he can only find rest from his torment by bathing in Nobunaga's blood, the expected action for a rebel of their age. In reality, Nobuyuki has been broken long ago by the traditions of the era. As a man of his stature, he is expected to kill his emotions for his family and duty or else be called weak by their followers; Nobuyuki is far too compassionate for his fellow man to ever devote himself to that expectation. Secretly fearing to confront his weaknesses and believing he has no other future for himself, the younger brother would rather choose the easy way out by lashing out in violence and anger. He is unaware or refuses to acknowledge that the true source of his torment stems from his inward refusal to truly hate his brother.
Betrayal, in Nobuyuki's eyes, automatically means that the other party has been swayed by Nobunaga's magnetism. Everyone who he had trusted, be it their father or Shibata, left him in favor for his older brother. He hasn't opened himself to the words of his cohorts since then, too distrustful and too paranoid of being hurt again. Nobuyuki feels he can only trust the words of ninja. He knows they are tools obligated by duty to tell the truth and wouldn't dare risk their lives for a white lie. Before his ninja and conspirators, he acts as the cold rebel who claims to be merciful only when he deems it a necessity. He openly shows his vulnerability and uncertainty towards Momoji, his longest known acquaintance, yet Nobuyuki's deliberate attempts to act as his stern employer distances himself from accepting the shinobi as an equal.
At first, Nobuyuki is interested in Hotaru as Mitsuhide's younger sister. He expects to find sympathy from her regarding sibling jealousy since her brother is a prodigy like Nobunaga. While he is surprised to not be answered with the same sentiments, Hotaru's charm and fairness is a refreshing change of pace for him. Her kindness and genuine interest in him leads to his quick infatuation in the princess. Once he learns her true identity, Nobuyuki feels deceived again and loathes himself for falling for the ruse. He reviles Hotaru's presence and tries to objectify her for her mission. Hotaru knows Nobuyuki's honest kindness well enough to not give in to his outward detachment, hoping to instill him with the confidence to believe in his real thoughts. Although it is a trying process for both of them, Hotaru's perseverance to open his heart and accept his faults wins. Nobuyuki feels grateful to her with his renewed trust, openly expressing himself to her without resorting to imposed images for himself. He enjoys sarcastically teasing her with a cold shoulder before expressing his straightforward affections for her.
The symbolic item for both Oda siblings is the spider lily. The red blossoms, Nobunaga's item, tend to be the most iconic for death, misfortune, and calamity. The petals are said to resemble the color of blood, and its toxicity has been feared for generations as a deterrent from being close to it. Its common name in contemporary times higanbishi is often spelled with the characters needed for the Japanese equivalent for the River Styx.
Nobuyuki is associated with the white spider lilies. Ancient Japanese texts view these versions of the blossoms favorably as a divine blossom in Buddhism, thus leading it to be known as a celestial flower (天上の花, tenjou no hana) –although the same right has been argued for another bulb flower. A single line in the Manyoushuu has been argued to identify it as a "pure flower of clarity". Within the context of the poem it is used, the flower is a metaphor for a man's unadulterated love for his wife unknown to bystanders.
The spider lily's argued association with these sources has led to its meaning "to only have eyes for you" in the flower language.
- "Anyway, I am still responsible for protecting my family's future. I must support my brother and assist him in any way I can."
- "Brother, there is nothing beyond your grasp now, am I right? You can collect anything you may desire, ravishing yourself with all the tea instruments you could ever want."
- ""The time is now. The fifth month when the rain falls." Like my brother said, it's a fascinating little gem. But, I think your brother should be more selective with who he reads it to in the future."
- "Our older brothers move like the wind. They're the breeze that flows into people's hearts. Like a gentle current which resonates and ripples inside them, people are drawn by them to commit acts which they once considered impossible."
- "Poor thing. You're just like me. I have no family."
- "Any fool can see that I hate my brother! Understand!?"
- "What's going on!? Why isn't anything happening? This isn't what we promised!"
- "... Why did you come to see me? Have you lost your nerve!? You're scared to kill my brother, is that it!! You're just like the rest of them, attracted to him and throwing yourself to his feet for his dream of conquest. Everyone's the same! Like Father and Shibata... In the end, it's always Brother, Brother, Brother!"
- "Why...? Why won't the wind stop!"
- "I've spent these last six years planning for this. Without this revolt, without this duel, I have no reason to keep living. I am nothing!"
- "You're an extravagant guy, Nobuyuki. So you're saying the power which called forth this rebellion is "nothing"?"
- "You were the one who was always better at gathering people to you through cunning and compassion. Stop looking at me. Broaden your horizons, and infinite possibilities await you."
- "... You would try to recognize me, even now. As long as we are brothers, I could never look away from you. I could never hope to cut down your greatness, your personality with my power or my potential!"
- ~~Nobuyuki and Nobunaga; Geten no Hana
- "...Are you gazing at the sky and the black kites above?"
- "Yes. It's a habit that started during my incarceration. How would it be like to fly so high..."
- "Lord Nobuyuki, you need only say the word and I shall grant it."
- "What's this, Momoji? Has your pupil's "concern" afflicted you as well?"
- "That was not how I meant to sound."
- "I guess I'm surrounded by officious ninja. But I don't need anything now. I've tried to think of something, but —as sad as it sounds to admit it— whenever I think ahead, I lose focus and become muddled."
- "Is that so. Perhaps it would be wise not to rush. Should we let time decide our next move?"
- "... Perhaps we should."
- ~~Momoji and Nobuyuki; Geten no Hana Yumeakari
Oda Nobuyuki was Nobuhide's third son. His mother was Dota-gozen (Hōshun-in or Kōrin-in as a nun), Nobuhide's second wife and the biological mother to many of Nobuhide's children –including Nobunaga and most likely Oichi no Kata. He was wed to Magistrate Kasuga's daughter and Governor of Bizen Wada's daughter. Nobuyuki fathered three sons and one daughter.
"Nobuyuki" is the name listed within the scroll containing the Oda's genealogy. However, the name is not mentioned within any documents he had written during his lifetime. He preferred to sign his letters with "Nobukatsu" (信勝), "Tatsunari" (達成) and/or "Nobunari" (信成). It is currently unknown which name could have been his "real" given name, although Nobuyuki and Nobukatsu are commonly associated with him.
Historians debate the neutrality of his own letters, as these names could have been codenames for his uprising. Nobukatsu uses the same "katsu" (勝) as "Katsuie" (勝家), and it can be read in this instance as "This Nobu shall win"; "Soon to be next-in-line" can be interpreted for both "Tatsunari" and "Nobunari". From a different cultural perspective, referring to someone or oneself under their true given name was also uncommon and –like Chinese courtesy names– very rude in medieval Japan. Even those close to him would have more likely called him by title or a political nickname, in this case "Judicial Inspector" (弾正忠, Danjo-no-Chu) or "Governor Musashi" (武蔵守, Musashi-no-kami). Given that it was a social practice that continued for centuries, it would be unfair to completely discredit the Nobuyuki name on these letters alone.
Regardless of his name in adulthood, he was known as Kanjurō (勘十郎 or 勘重郎) during his childhood. Any other details during his early youth and even his birth year remains unknown as little was historically recorded for it. Nobuyuki is not particularly mentioned in surviving texts until Nobuhide's memorial service. While Nobunaga made a scene with his crude decorum and rudely hurled the ceremonial ashes, Nobuyuki was described as "dignified and proper". He was calm, obedient and diligent, a fine match for the era's traditional customs. Nobuyuki was named the castle lord of Suemori Castle two years later as a part of his father's inheritance. Alternatively, it is said that Nobuyuki was given right to govern the castle during Nobuhide's lifetime.
His uncle, Nobutsugu, and his younger brother, Hidetaka, perished to their own retainers in June 1555. Nobuyuki reportedly adored Hidetaka. When he heard the news of his brother's death, Nobuyuki broke down. Enraged, he chillingly ordered for the area around Moriyama Castle (the area of the insurrection) to be burned to the ground and sent Katsuie and Tsuzuki Kurando to surround the castle. Conversely, Nobunaga was impassive and said, "Hidetaka is at fault as well for running down a single defenseless horseman". These particular incidents have led to many medians describing Nobuyuki to be the complete opposite of his older brother in thinking and personality, but there isn't enough evidence to suggest that this was entirely true every time. Their actions did create a greater divide between the Oda vassals for who they thought was the worthy heir. Nobuyuki was either feared for his brashness or applauded for his devotion to avenge his family.
By at least 1555, Nobuyuki was parading himself in private circles as the next in line for Oda leadership. He was known as Danjo-no-Chu –or called himself as such as a show of arrogance– and stood in defiance to his brother's authority. It is unknown what exactly occurred during the four year gap after their father's death, yet Nobuyuki wanted to emphasize his superiority over his brother. The likely scenario was that Nobuyuki was convinced by the Oda veterans whom doubted Nobunaga's integrity to rebel. They and Dota-gozen had voiced their complaints to Nobuhide to make Nobuyuki his rightful successor, but he perished before he could give them his final word on the matter.
1556 became a tremulous year for the Oda clan. Yamaguchi Noritsugu's defection to the Imagawa left them vulnerable in the east, Dōsan's death obliterated their alliance and defenses in Mino, and Saitō Yoshitatsu colluded with the governors of Owari to ride against the Oda. With the future of their clan seemingly crumbling under Nobunaga's rule, the conspirators thought to act and began preparations for their revolt. Nobuyuki gathered troops without delay. They colluded with Oda Nobuyasu, one of the governors of Owari, and sought to raid the Oda storehouses. In August the same year, Nobunaga was made aware of Nobuyuki's plot due to a visit from Sakuma Morishige –one of the conspirators who gave up the plot and decided to serve Nobunaga– and personally rode with an army to subjugate them at Inou. Nobuyuki's forces were 1,700 while Nobunaga's forces were 1,000. Nobuyuki did not partake in the battle personally, but Katsuie and Hayashi Hidesada led battalions under his name. Despite having more numbers, the younger brother suffered defeat and holed himself within Suemori Castle. Nobunaga besieged the castle until his mother begged him to pull back and spare the instigators.
Nobuyuki was pardoned, but he plotted to rebel again with Nobuyasu. Nobuyuki's plan was revealed to his lover, Kurando, who then thought to secretly entice Katsuie to join them again in revolt. Katsuie was fed up with Nobuyuki and Kurando's bigotry and regretfully swore loyalty to Nobunaga, revealing the conspirators' dealings as he offered his services in private. According to the Nobunaga Kouki, Nobunaga responded by feigning illness and sending an inquiry for Nobuyuki's visit at Kiyosu Castle. The younger brother hesitated until Katsuie said to him, "With Lord Nobunaga sending his dying message to his family and with Nobutomo out of the picture, the Oda clan is all but yours." When Nobuyuki fell for the ruse on November 2, 1557, he was killed by Kawajiri Hidetaka and two other cohorts inside Kiyosu Castle.
Edo period folklore commonly states that Nobunaga killed his brother himself rather than Kawajiri, but there has been some doubt over the manner of Nobuyuki's death. If Nobunaga wanted to end his brother for his treachery, then it would be odd for all three of his sons to survive their father's demise unscathed. Opponents argue that ordering his brother to commit suicide would have been the most feasible end for Nobuyuki rather than resorting to deception. Then again, stories mention Dota-gozen again pleading mercy for Nobuyuki's sons so they could continue living in the Oda's service.
|Geten no Hana • Yumeakari|
|Geten no Hana|
|Hotaru • Nobunaga Oda • Mitsuhide Akechi • Hideyoshi Hashiba • Ieyasu Tokugawa • Ranmaru Mori • Naomitsu Momoji • Nobuyuki Oda|
|Geten no Hana Yumeakari|
|Kanbei Kuroda • Hanbei Takenaka|