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Mitsuhide Akechi (10 March 1528 – 2 July 1582) was the daimyo of the Akechi clan and a vassal of the Oda. Initially a vassal of the Saito, he joined forces with Nobunaga Oda in 1569 after the Battle of Mt. Inaba Castle, but he was alienated by his lord's cruel actions and the slaughter of innocents at the Second Battle of Kizugawa in 1579. When his lord prepared to invade the lands of his ally, Motochika Chosokabe in 1582, Mitsuhide rebelled and killed Nobunaga, but he was killed by Hideyoshi Toyotomi's army at the Battle of Yamazaki.


Mitsuhide Akechi

A painting of Mitsuhide.

Mitsuhide Akechi was the lord of the Akechi clan of Kano, and in 1545 he entered into an alliance with the Oda clan of nearby Owari Province. Mitsuhide initially served Yoshiaki Ashikaga as one of his guardians, but he later joined Yoshiaki Saito's forces, and in 1569 he joined Nobunaga Oda's army when Nobunaga defeated the Saito at the Battle of Mt. Inaba Castle.

Mitsuhide was a strong general of the Oda, and he also became an ally of the Chosokabe daimyo Motochika Chosokabe, fighting alongside him in the 1579 Second Battle of Kizugawa and defeating the Mori. Mitsuhide also fought the Hatano and Isshiki in Tango Province.

In 1579, his mother was killed by Hideharu Hatano's men after Nobunaga tricked Hideharu into surrendering peacefully after an offer of peace before executing him anyway. This act of revenge by the Hatano struck Mitsuhide's heart, and Nobunaga was alleged to have insulted his mother. Mitsuhide's 13,000-strong army marched east in 1582 instead of fighting the Mori, and they surrounded Nobunaga at Honnoji. There, they set fire to the castle and killed Nobunaga.

Nobunaga Mitsuhide duel

Mitsuhide deal with Nobunaga.

Mitsuhide now had to oppose the forces of Nobunaga's vassals, Ieyasu Tokugawa and Hideyoshi Toyotomi, and in July 1582 the Toyotomi army of Hideyoshi meet him at the Battle of Yamazaki. At Yamazaki, Mitsuhide's army (supported by the Chosokabe clan) held strategic positions, but Hideyoshi sent his trusted strategist, Kanbei Kuroda to seize Mt. Tenno, using it to throw rocks down onto the Akechi forces. The forces of Mitsuhide crumbled as the Toyotomi army attacked him, and his army was destroyed in battle. Mitsuhide tried to flee from the battle, but he was beheaded by bandits at the age of 54.