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Akechi Mitsuhide (March 10, 1528 – July 2, 1582), initially known as Jubei within his clan and later as Koreto Hyuga no Kami by title, was a notable Japanese samurai general during the Sengoku period. He is most famously remembered as the assassin of Oda Nobunaga. Mitsuhide first served as a bodyguard to Ashikaga Yoshiaki and later became a distinguished general under the daimyo Nobunaga during his campaign for political unification in Japan.

Mitsuhide's rebellion against Nobunaga in the Honno-ji Incident of 1582, for reasons unknown, led to Nobunaga's tragic seppuku in Kyoto, as he was left unprotected. Mitsuhide then sought to establish himself as shogun, but was pursued by Nobunaga's successor, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and was ultimately defeated in the Battle of Yamazaki.

Mitsuhide was believed to be born on March 10, 1528, at Tara Castle in Mino Province, which corresponds to modern-day Kani, Gifu Prefecture. He hailed from the Toki-Akechi family, a branch of the shugo Toki clan, and was rumored to be a childhood friend or cousin of Nohime. Raised to be a general under the governance of Saito Dosan and the Toki clan in Mino Province, Mitsuhide sided with Dosan when his son, Saito Yoshitatsu, rebelled in 1556.

Mitsuhide's service extended to being one of the guardians of the "wandering shogun" Ashikaga Yoshiaki under Hosokawa Fujitaka. At one point, he suggested Oda Nobunaga as the official protector for Yoshiaki, who had initially sought Asakura Yoshikage for the role.

By 1567, after Nobunaga's conquest of Mino Province and the subsequent passage through Omi Province to Kyoto, Nobunaga, Yoshiaki, and Mitsuhide arrived in the capital, where Nobunaga facilitated Yoshiaki's ascension as the next shogun. Mitsuhide played a crucial role in the defense of Yoshiaki during the "Honkokuji Incident" in 1569, ultimately solidifying his loyalty to Nobunaga.

Mitsuhide continued to distinguish himself in various campaigns under Nobunaga's banner, including the Siege of Kanegasaki in Echizen Province and the Siege of Shigisan against Matsunaga Hisahide. He also played a key role in the Siege of Ishiyama Hongan-ji against Ikko-ikki rebellion in 1576.

However, tensions between Mitsuhide and Nobunaga escalated over time, exacerbated by public insults directed at Mitsuhide. The breaking point came with the Siege of Shigisan, which is often linked to the Honnoji Incident.

The Honnoji Incident in 1582 marked a pivotal moment in Mitsuhide's history. Ignoring Nobunaga's orders to march west, Mitsuhide led an army against Nobunaga's position at Honno-ji. The temple was surrounded and set ablaze, leading to Nobunaga's demise. Mitsuhide claimed responsibility for the act, shocking the capital.

In a bid to secure his position, Mitsuhide looted Azuchi Castle to reward his men. However, his attempts at garnering support from the Imperial Court and other clans were in vain. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, alerted to Nobunaga's assassination, swiftly marshaled his forces and confronted Mitsuhide at the Battle of Yamazaki on July 2, 1582. Outnumbered and unprepared, Mitsuhide was defeated in the ensuing battle.


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