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明智 光秀
あけち みつひで
Akechi Mitsuhide
1519 - 1560

Appearances: Sengoku Musou (1,2), Sengoku BASARA (1,2)

Akechi Mitsuhide was the general who was responsible for the death of the first unifier, Oda Nobunaga (織田 信長). He first served the Saitou (斉藤) and then the Asakura (朝倉) before in 1566 he began working as the messenger for the Shogun of that time, Ashikaga Yoshiaki (足利義昭). Eventually however, Akechi Mitsuhide ended up becoming an Oda retainer. Mitsuhide would be extremely trusted by Nobunaga after he proved himself as a worthy general in multiple battles. For his service to the Oda, Mitsuhide was rewarded Sakamoto Castle.

During Oda's campaign against Chugoku region, Mitsuhide was ordered to subjugate the Tamba and Tango provinces, where he clashed with the Hatano (波多野) and the Isshiki (一色) clans. It is said that when Tamba was taken, Mitsuhide convinced the Hatano daimyo, Hatano Hideharu (波多野晴通), to submit so that his life could be spared. Unfortunately, Nobunaga had Hideharu executed instead. The Hatano then accused Mitsuhide of treachery for the 'deceit,' and murdered Mitsuhide's mother. Because of this, some sources say that this resulted in Mitsuhide's hatred for his overlord Nobunaga this might have possibly been the trigger for why Mitsuhide decided to betray his master.

After the successful conquests of Tamba and Tango, Mitsuhide was ordered to aid Hideyoshi, who was fighting the Mouri at Takamatsu. However, Mitsuhide instead marched against Nobunaga, who was currently resting at Honnou-ji (Honnou Temple). Nobunaga was finally killed in this surprising event and Mitsuhide declared himself as Shogun. His reign only for a very short time however. Although he received a favorable reception from the Imperial Court, Mitsuhide failed to gain support from nearby clans, including the Hosokawa (細川), despite the fact that Hosokawa Tadaoki (忠興) was married to Mitsuhide's daughter, Tamako (玉子, also known as Garasha/Gracia or ガラシャ). Mitsuhide could not even persuade the Tsutsui (筒井) clan to join him, despite the fact that the Tsutsui did not have a good relation with the Oda clan.

Mitsuhide sent a messenger to the Mouri to inform about Nobunaga's death but troops under Hideyoshi intercepted the messenger, thus learning of the incident earlier. Hideyoshi then made a peace treaty with the Mouri soon after and marched against the Akechi army. Thirteen days after Mitsuhide's assault on Honnou-ji, the forces of Hideyoshi and Mitsuhide met and fought at Yamazaki, where Hideyoshi would be victorious. It is said that during the retreat, Mitsuhide encountered a village where he would be stabbed to death by a simple peasant's bamboo spear.