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Yoshitaka Kuki

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Yoshitaka Kuki
Kuki Yoshitaka NA(IT)
Character Information
Clan(s)/Alliance(s): Kuki
Oda
Toyotomi
Western Army
Unit Type:
Significant Battle(s):
First Appearance: Samurai Warriors
Historical Information
Real name:
Kuki Yoshitaka
Japanese name:
九鬼嘉隆
Born:
1542
Died:
November 17, 1600

Yoshitaka Kuki is a highly esteemed Oda commander who is best known for his naval expertise. Famous for his exploits at Kizugawa, he later joined Hideyoshi and sided with the Western Army.

Role in GamesEdit

Samurai WarriorsEdit

In the first game, Yoshitaka's main appearance is at Ise-Nagashima where he commands the cannon unit at the southeast bay. His protection/elimination affects ally morale. Yoshitaka's unit will stop firing after Hideyoshi's attempted fire attack; he will advance with the other Oda troops if it succeeds. He also appears as an enemy during Goemon's execution.

Subsequent titles have him stationed at Kizugawguchi or assisting the Oda's later campaigns, especially any stage which hints for a navy. In Samurai Warriors 4, he fights at Ishigakibaru during the Sekigahara campaign.

Nobunaga's AmbitionEdit

His kitty counterpart is one of the stars in the Nobunyaga no Yabou scenario Cats on Waves. Kuki Oshicat is a tough-skinned pirate who begins his exploits defending his Shima turf from neighboring conquerors and pirates. He has no experience as a leader yet he aspires to someday lead his own navy. His ferocity and cunning alone overpower Tachibanya Munetada (Tachibana Munetada), his rival in his early expansion. Their aggressions end once he is married to Munetada's younger sister, Hōrin-nyan (Hōrin-in). Oshicat plots to pick off his rival, Muragamii Takeyoshi (Muragami Takeyoshi), but suffers a hard betrayal at Ise Bay from allies disgruntled by his recklessness, his brother's death, and his rudeness towards his target.

Reluctantly leaving behind his wife and home, Oshicat swims across Kiso River by himself to escape and collapses in exhaustion. The bandit Hachisuko Koroku discovers and feeds him. The duo break bread with an odd kinship. Oshicat plans to return home posthaste until the elder convinces him to go on a journey to gain the life experience for leadership. Once he regains his health, the pirate heads for the capital for leads which could enrich his knowledge. He assumes the pseudonym Arinyami Karinosuke (Arinami Karinosuke) to infiltrate Nyasa Yamatonosuke's (Nasa Yamatonosuke) navy, studying and comparing their sailing techniques.

One day during their westward journey, Yamanyaka Shikanosuke implores Nyasa to aid the failing Amago. Nyasa is hesitant to answer the call to arms because he is weary of the Muragamii navy. Despite the veteran's warnings, Oshicat wishes to see Muragamii in action and joins Shikanosuke's cause. Although he has no interest in the Amago clan, he is quickly dubbed one of the Amago Ten Braves by a zealous Shikanosuke. Shikanosuke fights by land, and the Nyasa navy attack by sea. The boastful Oshicat cannot prevail against even the youngest Muragamii captains and recruits. His naval loss paves a path straight towards the Amago headquarters, triggering the Amago lord's surrender to Mōri Motonyari. While the Amago general swears on his life to restore the Amago, Oshicat has already vanished south. He heard that Nojima is the Muragamii's headquarters and is compelled to learn their secrets.

Oshicat's trick does not work a second time and he is apprehended. Takeyoshi commands for his real name and is surprised to hear that the Kuki survived. Amused by his potential and reminded of his younger self, the pirate king of Setouchi releases Oshicat on the condition that they face one another again in ten years' time. Oshicat boasts he will be undefeated when next they meet. A year has passed since he last saw Koroku so Oshicat returns to Mino for a visit. His friend invites him to serve Hideyoshi. When he tries to skedaddle, he accidentally bumps into Oda Nobunyaga who challenges him to prove himself. The young Oda lord inspires Oshicat to serve him. Henceforth, his activities for the rest of the scenario roughly mirror history.

During his promised duel with Takeyoshi at Kizugawaguchi, the elder's health gives out during their long battle at sea. Oshicat tastes defeat again, yet losing the chance for a rematch is what truly embitters him. He salutes his dying rival as the age's last pirate king.

Taiko RisshidenEdit

The Taiko Risshiden series portrays him with the strong pirate image that is prevalent with him in fiction. He is often a rugged man of high standards who takes pride in his navy, often referred to as "Boss" (親分, oyabun) by his pirate subordinates. Kuki is one of the default protagonists available for the fifth title, starring in the pirate route.

Mouri Motonari: Chikai no SanshiEdit

This game portrays him as a formidable pirate who fights Terumoto's army at Kizugawaguchi. As the oppressor of the battle, he is a braggart who relishes the slaughter of the weaker Honganji Rioters. He is overly confident of his navy's strengths and underestimates the inexperienced Mōri lord. Yoshitaka bites his tongue when reports his miserable defeat to the Mōri army. He swears to avenge his defeat yet never gets the chance within the narrative.

Oda Nobunaga DenEdit

Oda Nobunaga Den Yoshitaka starts as a calm swordsman who first appears during the Ise subjugations, which occurs soon after Nobunaga has arrived in the capital. Hideyoshi introduces him to Nobunaga as a leader of the Kuki Renegades, a group of skilled navy men, and sings about his skill in battle. Yoshitaka requests to be admitted into the Oda service after his previous master, Tomonori Kitabadake, turned his back on the Kuki navy. Nobunaga agrees on the condition that he explain the Kitabadake situation to him. With his part of the bargain fulfilled, Yoshitaka serves the Oda henceforth.

Historical InformationEdit

Kukiyoshitaka-painting

Portrait housed within Jōanji in Toba, Mie.

Kuki Yoshitaka was Kuki Sadataka's son who was born at Sadataka Castle. Following in his father’s footsteps, Yoshitaka became a capable seafaring warrior. He served under the Kitabatake clan until Oda Nobunaga's invasion of Ise in 1569, when he submitted to Nobunaga to avoid conflict. Yoshitaka's naval skills proved useful to Nobunaga, who ordered him to be the naval commander in the First Battle of Kizugawaguchi, where Yoshitaka himself supplied ten ships. Despite his naval and combat experience, Yoshitaka was defeated by the Mōri naval commander Murakami Takayoshi. Yoshitaka's naval rout coincided with Oda’s loss in the siege.

In response to the recent defeat, Nobunaga tasked Yoshitaka to build a more powerful navy. To achieve this end, Yoshitaka oversaw the construction of six large iron armored ships capable of absorbing cannon shot and arrow fire without sustaining serious damage, these massive ships served as the basis for Nobunaga's complete victory at the Second Battle of Kizugawaguchi just two years later in 1578. He received an increase of 7,000 koku to his stipend, which he used to fund the construction of his own castle at Toba.

After Honnōji, Yoshitaka sided with Hashiba Hideyoshi as a naval officer. He was appointed protector of the Kunmano Sea, the Kii riverways, and Ise port. He served in several of Hideyoshi's major campaigns, including Komaki-Nagakute, where he helped Takigawa Kazumasu capture Kanie Castle from Oda Nobuo. Yoshitaka also co-led the Hashiba fleet during the invasion of Kyushu with Konishi Yukinaga, Wakizaka Yasuharu, and Yoshiaki Kato. His next service took place two years later at 1590 against Odawara Castle, where he blockaded the Sagami Coast to help cut off the Hōjō.

Yoshitaka joined Hideyoshi's forces for the invasion of Korea in 1592, personally commanding the Nipponmaru, the Toyotomi flagship. This enormous vessel was described as being three stories tall with triple layered brocade curtains for arrow protection. At its peak, a mountain shrine was built to Ise's deity. Adding to it's defense, large stores of replacement wood was kept at the ready to ensure any holes blown into the ship by cannon fire could be repaired and all parts set ablaze could be hewn off and cast into the sea to keep the fire from spreading. Although possessing such a magnificent ship and a colossal navy, Yoshitaka was beaten by the Korean naval commander Yi Sun-shin. General Yi paradoxically used the same strategy Yoshitaka had against the Mōri at Kizugawaguchi by using armored ships and cannon fire to devastate Yoshitaka’s navy in 1592.

Yoshitaka continued to rise in rank and status, being promoted governor of Osumi around this time. He held this office until 1600. His interests diverged from his son, Moritaka, who joined Ieyasu's faction. When the Western army lost the decisive battle at Sekigahara, Moritaka immediately sought and secured pardon for his father. Yoshitaka was unaware of his son's efforts and committed suicide before a messenger could reach him with the news of his pardon.

GalleryEdit

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