Akechi Mitsuhide was a general during the warring states period in Japan, known as the Sengoku period. He worked under the daimyo Oda Nobunaga, and later rebelled against him in 1582.
Mitsuhide was born in 1528 and was given the birth name of Jubei, later changing it. He was born in Tara castle, as a descendant of the Toki Akechi family which was part of the Shugo Toki clan. He started his samurai career as a servant to Yoshiaki Ashikaga, who was known as the wandering shogun.
After the Miyoshi clan and Saito Tatsuoki attacked and defeated the daimyo of Mino province, they attacked Yoshiaki Ashikaga, and Mitsuhide defended his shogun successfully.
He was then asked by Oda Nobunaga to join his troops, and took up the duty, while still retaining his allegiance to his Shogun.
In 1571 Mitsuhide organized an attack on Enryakuji Temple and was given the village Sakamoto as a reward. He was also the first of Nobunaga’s subordinates to receive a castle, known as Kamiyama castle.
Akechi Mitsuhide Letters to His Wife
Akechi Mitsuhide was an important historical figure in the time of the Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The letters to his wife are one of the few remaining letters from Japanese warriors. These letters are in general very formal in tone, but interestingly Akechi’s letters to his wife were quite casual. This is because he viewed his wife as someone who was not only a family member but also a friend and confidant.
The samurai’s Letters to His Wife tells us about Akechi Mitsuhide’s personality, character, motivations, and what he thought about family relationships.
Wives’ Perspectives on Samurai
Some women were samurai wives and concubines. They were not the only ones who found themselves married to a samurai, but they were the only group who had a special status in Japanese society.
In Japan, wives of samurai were called “kamurai’s wife” or “a woman of a man in service”. The word “kamurai” is an old word for “warrior”. The term “a woman of a man in service” meant that the women themselves did not do any kind of work outside their homes, but they could own property and manage finances. In other words, this phrase meant that these women had the same rights as their husbands.
Akechi Mitsuhide Accomplishments and Legacy
Akechi Mitsuhide was one of Japan’s most famous samurai warriors. He was also well-known for his involvement in the war at Honnoji Temple, which led to his death.
His father served as a court official and his mother came from a samurai family. When he was eight years old, Akechi Mitsuhide joined his father’s side and made swords at the temple for priests. The temple had many skilled blacksmiths who taught him how to make swords and how to polish them with ashes when they were done.
This is a six-part series on Samurai historical details from the final
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