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|First Appearance:||Samurai Warriors 2: Empires|
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March 31, 1536
June 17, 1565
Yoshiteru Ashikaga is the thirteenth shogun of the Muromachi Bakufu, otherwise known as the Ashikaga shogunate. Forcefully manipulated by the Miyoshi, his efforts to regain control ended in tragedy. He is also the older brother of Yoshiaki Ashikaga.
He placed thirty-eighth in the Nobunaga no Yabou Taishi poll for most favorite father.
Role in GamesEdit
In the Samurai Warriors series, Yoshiteru initially appeared in the first Empires game as a generic officer. Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends has him become a samurai bodyguard to replace the now-playable Kojirō Sasaki. In Samurai Warriors 4-II, his last stand is depicted during Hisahide's prologue; while slaying his assassins single-handedly, he dies from a bomb thrown by the villainous schemer.
Yoshifuji was the eldest son of Ashikaga Yoshiharu, the twelfth shogun, and Keiju-In, the daughter of Konoe Hisamichi. At the age of 11, he was made a puppet ruler after his father lost a political battle against Hosokawa Harumoto. The child's investiture ceremony was held at Sakamoto, Ōmi Province due to the Ashikaga clan's exile from Kyoto.
Although Yoshiharu attempted to reconcile with the Hosokawa for his family's sake, Miyoshi Nagayoshi's machinations ensured that his efforts would not succeed. At some point, Yoshifuji changed his name to Yoshiteru and seemingly formed a truce with Nagayoshi to return back home.
But by the next year, he and Harumoto conspired to overthrow Nagayoshi with the aid of Rokkaku Yoshikata. Their revolt went well at first, but it eventually led to Yoshiteru's expulsion from the capital once more, forcing him to accede to Nagayoshi's demands for total submission.
Despite being surrounded by sycophants who saw him as a tool, the shogun managed to consolidate some of his authority by cleverly bartering his name to usher peace between the different daimyo of the time. He was also a skilled swordsman, earning the moniker of "Sword Shogun" (剣豪将軍); this led others to favorably compare him with the Ashikaga shogunate's founder Takauji. While it was common knowledge that Yoshiteru honed his swordsmanship with regular practice, some believe he had been taught by the famous Tsukahara Bokuden.
When Nagayoshi died of illness in 1564, Yoshiteru found himself in a power struggle versus Matsunaga Hisahide and the Miyoshi Trio who sought to make Ashikaga Yoshihide their own figurehead. He is eventually besieged at Nijō Castle the next year, with sources claiming he either killed himself or fought to the death. His death poem reads, "The May rain falls. Is it my tears or the mist that surrounds me? Nightingale, carry my name up above the clouds!" His successor Yoshihide died months after acquiring an infectious disease, leaving Yoshiaki as the last heir of the Ashikaga.