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Kanbei Kuroda
Samurai Warriors 5 artwork
Character Information
Clan(s)/Alliance(s): Kuroda
Eastern Army
185 cm ( 6'1")
Weapon(s): Magic orb and demon's hand (SW3~4)
Gofu (5)
Silver White Helmet
Moveset Type:
Significant Battle(s):
Playable Debut: Samurai Warriors 3
Historical Information
Real name:
Kuroda Yoshitaka
Kuroda Josui
Kuroda Kanbē
Japanese name:
黒田 孝高
黒田 如水
黒田 官兵衛
December 22, 1546
April 19, 1604
Warriors Orochi Info
Dongkou (WO3)
Baidi Castle (WO4)
Character Type:
Technique (3~4)
Sacred Treasure:
Geten no Hana Info
December 22
176 cm (5'9")
Hideyoshi's strategist
Reading strategies, strategizing
Stops speaking during conversations to think
Favorite Flower:
Japanese bellflower (キキョウ)

Kanbei Kuroda (also romanized as Kanbē) is one of the romanticized names for Yoshitaka. He is a high-classed general from a rich family history and one of the prominent figures of his clan. He is known as Hideyoshi's trusted strategists who is famous for suffering a year of imprisonment when he failed peaceful mediations with Murashige Araki. Although he supposedly didn't have the ambition, the Three Unifiers feared Yoshitaka as the man who could easily take the land for his own. His eldest son and successor is Nagamasa.

Prior to his playable appearance in the Samurai Warriors series, he has been a generic NPC in the series since its starting entry. Kanbei is eighteenth place in Gamecity's Sengoku Musou 3: Empires character popularity poll. For the Samurai Warriors 4 poll, he placed twenty-fourth. The first character popularity poll for Sengoku Musou Shoot has him at ninth place.

This incarnation shares a character duet with Hanbei titled Kaze to Kumo no Okite and has a solo song called Isasakamo Yuruginaku.

Kanbei's Nobunaga's Ambition counterpart is eighth place in Gamecity's character popularity ranking for 2015. The Nobunaga no Yabou 201X poll for 4-star officers puts him in thirteenth place. He placed sixth in the Nobunaga no Yabou Taishi poll for most favorite father; fans voted him seventh for the best leader poll and seventh for best subordinate.

His Geten no Hana counterpart has an image song called Shijou no Hana.

Role in Games[]

Samurai Warriors[]

Kanbei is one of Hideyoshi's generals who follows him in many of his campaigns. In the first game, his appearances are sporadic for the Hashiba and Toyotomi armies, being noted by some characters to have a sinister presence if encountered. He appears with greater frequency in Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends being in Hideyoshi's story accompanying his lord to Honnoji and being the main strategist for the siege of Azuchi Castle as well.

In Samurai Warriors 2, Kanbei arrives with an engineer team during the western siege of Odawara Castle. If he is safely escorted to the makeshift castle in the middle of the map, the foundations for the castle can be built at a quicker rate. He will also serve in Hideyoshi's army during the conquest of Kyushu and, in Hanzō and Kotarō's story mode, he will defend Osaka Castle. The Xtreme Legends expansion has Kanbei serving the Oda and Toyotomi armies as reinforcements at Shikoku.

He starts as one of the two talented strategists at Nagashino in Samurai Warriors 3. He is responsible for ensuring the enemy's complete elimination while Hanbei blocks the Takeda's escape path. Both he and Hanbei use their talents once more when Motonari raises an uprising at Kizugawa. They win the conflict, but Hanbei tires from the effort and soon collapses. Kanbei visits his bedside and Hanbei assures that he will always be the "light" for his friend. Hanbei eventually dies but Kanbei acts unaffected by the loss, stating that an obstacle in the path for peace has just been eliminated.

Hideyoshi suppresses the Mōri family after the conflict, but Nobunaga is soon assassinated at Honnōji. At first, Hideyoshi denies his lord's death and doesn't seem intent to take action. However, Kanbei goads for Hideyoshi to take Nobunaga's ambition for himself as there are no other in the land who could stop him. Stating that the flames at Honnoji have merely opened the gates for Hideyoshi's ambitions, Kanbei's words convince Hideyoshi to march against Mitsuhide at Yamazaki. Though Hideyoshi achieves his dreams, he passes away due to illness and power shifts to Ieyasu's favor. Kanbei decides to serve Ieyasu for the land's peace and faces the Tachibana and Motochika at Ishigakibaru.

Suppressing the Western army at Ishigakibaru, Kanbei is unimpressed by the remaining Toyotomi officers and sees their survival as the last "flame of chaos" that needs to be extinguished. He therefore continues to serve under Ieyasu during the siege of Osaka Castle, facing Kiyomasa in battle and defeats him. After Ieyasu's victory, Kanbei inspects Kiyomasa's body, states that the Toyotomi are now finished, and walks away. Kiyomasa, who was playing dead when Kanbei had his attention to him, uses the last of his strength to strike down the strategist. Although he tries to make a snide remark about Kiyomasa's effort, Kanbei figures that he possibly stands as the greatest threat to peace and accepts his fate to die with the rest of the Toyotomis.

In Sengoku Musou 3: Empires, Kanbei is a minor antagonist during Yoshihiro and Motonari's scenarios; the former's story has him fail to persuade Jōun Takahashi into abandoning Kyūshū while the latter's tale allows the strategist see through the Mōri's plot to weaken the Amago by fueling Murashige Araki's rebellion. His role in helping bring the Toyotomi to power is further explored on Hideyoshi's story route. Cynical of his lord's wish to lessen casualties, he convinces Mitsunari to guard Hideyoshi during their trip to the Uesugi unarmed and advocates harsher measures towards the Hōjō-Date alliance. He also expresses a desire to leave his position and retire once the land has been unified.

Samurai Warriors 4 Kanbei begins serving the Kodera clan as a strategist. Bound by duty, he is among the many who opposes Nobunaga's march towards the capital. Kanbei leaves his post in an attempt to slay Hideyoshi but is foiled. He bluntly accepts Hideyoshi's offer to submit to the Oda as his strategist. The strategist is present during Hideyoshi's third visit to win Hanbei's loyalty. He convenes with Hanbei during the escape of Kanegasaki to discuss the value of their lord's safety, both eventually agreeing to protect Hideyoshi's vision for the era. Kanbei is present for similar reasons at Nagashino and Kii Province. He notices Hanbei's failing health after the latter conflict and stoically urges him to rest whenever possible.

When Nobunaga's power in the center is stabilized, Hideyoshi and his strategists are ordered to deal with the westward Mōri. Kanbei's tactics are bested by Takakage at Aka, raising his awareness to the youth. He cooperates with Hanbei a final time at Kōzuki Castle to answer their lord's benign if futile wish to protect the isolated Amago. After Kanbei watches over his friend's final moments, he resolves to finish what they had started and continues his duties at Bichu-Takamatsu Castle. Upon receiving the report of Nobunaga's death, he urges his lord to quickly abandon the western campaign and obliterate the competition for power. The strategist knows Takakage's deposition to confidently state that the Mōri will not pursue them. Kanbei continues his lone vigil at Yamazaki, Shizugatake, and Komaki-Nagakute.

The strategist reunites with Takakage at Shikoku and gains someone who is willing to fill in the gap left by Hanbei's death. Both intellectuals enjoy exchanging ideas with one another at Kyūshū and Odawara Castle. Kanbei feels he has fulfilled Hanbei's wish with Hideyoshi's unification and joins Takakage in retirement. He loses his second friend some years before the Sekigahara campaign. The rebels in Kyushu irritate Kanbei enough to break his retirement to subjugate them at Ishigakibaru. Once peace in the west is declared, Kanbei reflects on his friends' merriment a final time and is last seen cradling a flower which is supposedly growing out of season.

During Chronicles 3, he is given a what-if scenario, where he is sent to Honnōji as a forward unit, and he successfully reaches Nobunaga in time. Although he averts Nobunaga's death, Nobunaga and his forces opt to go into hiding, curious to see the world Hideyoshi intends to build. He is later mentioned to have been executed during the uproar over Hidetsugu Toyotomi's death.

If he is approached during this time, however, he will fake his death and go on a self-exile. When Nobunaga is convinced by Magoichi and Munenori to take charge and stop Hideyoshi, Kanbei arrives to support his lord once more. After both are captured, Nobunaga threatens to execute Kanbei together with Hideyoshi, only for the regent to immediately plead for his subordinate's life. Happy to see the old Hideyoshi return, both men are untied and are allowed to restart their governance.

The 4-II Wise Men Story reiterates his friendship with Hanbei and Takakage, each sharing strategies and friendly advice with him. Kanbei's plots are effective but considered callous and short-sighted, landing Hideyoshi into unnecessary and costly predicaments at Shikoku, Kyushu, and Odawara Castle. He deems himself inferior to his fellow intellectuals since he fails to predict the flaws in his plans until he is forced to face their consequences. Takakage's tutorship encourages Kanbei to become considerate and concede to merciful compromises. He mourns Takakage's death and his inability to prevent rising tensions for Sekigahara, lamenting that the last wise man of the era has been lost.

Warriors Orochi[]

In Warriors Orochi 2, Kanbei serves as Sima Yi's replacement officer when players assume the latter's role.

During the original timeline in Warriors Orochi 3, he worked together with Hanbei to defend Dongkou. Due to the confusion of forces that invaded the area, he died shortly after Hanbei left for Odawara Castle. A future Hanbei returns to save him from this fate. Joining the coalition of the future, Kanbei from then on follows Hanbei in his campaigns.

Kanbei also appears in the downloadable scenario "Phantoms of Nanzhong" where he takes the lead of the rescue of Guo Huai. He forms a temporarily alliance with the demon Dodomeki since he appears to be the only one who does not believe Kanbei, Guo Huai, Zhou Tai, and Kojirō to be phantoms.

In Warriors Orochi 4, Kanbei serves under Odin for most of the game. He is first encountered at Baidi Castle along with Seimei Abe and Jia Chong as the trio test the coalition's prowess. Thereafter, he is seen several times with Jia Chong acting as strategists for Odin's army. In reality, however, Kanbei and the other humans are only seeking to bide their time until a proper time to defect.

His opportunity arrives at the second battle at Baidi Castle, where he intentionally gives poor orders that result in the defeat of his allies. When he tries to play this trick on Kiyomori, however, the sorcerer sees past the deceit and attacks Hanbei, forcing the Coalition to rescue him. He then joins the coalition to which a grateful Hanbei replies that he knew Kanbei's plans all along.

Ultimate adds a new scenario depicting his short service to the demon army. As Seimei intends to defect in the upcoming battle at Guandu, Kanbei works with the Mystic and Zhong Hui in order to pass their information to him as well as to keep interloping members of the demon army from catching their plan. During the Coalition's attempt to retrieve Bident from the Underworld while Hades is absent, Kanbei is among the forces sent to aid Odin. Although he faces an illusion asking him what he would do if he was the root of the land's chaos, Kanbei simply replies that the only answer was to eliminate himself.


In Kessen, Kanbei is known under one of his other historical names, Josui. He is an ambitious and scheming war veteran who desires his own stake of power. In spite of his son's allegiance to Ieyasu, Josui acts as a sympathizer for the Toyotomi cause. After he tries to conquer Kyushu, he convinces Kiyomasa and several others to serve him. Should Mitsunari win at Sekigahara, Josui is an unpredictable ally of Ieyasu who could switch his loyalties at any time during the Battle of Fuji. Even if Mitsunari or Ieyasu win at Fuji, Josui does not appear again after the battle.

Josui will act as the leading commander for the Toyotomi forces if Mitsunari is defeated at Sekigahara and leads the Western troops to counter Ieyasu's march at Harima. His independent and capricious mindset, however, continues to make him a distrustful ally to the remaining Toyotomi forces. Despite his previous claim that he would have no mercy on the field, Josui will retreat his army if they clash with his son. In both scenarios, whether he is victorious or defeated, he dies due to illness or battle wounds. For the latter scenario in the Toyotomi side, he pleads Yukimura to take his place before he passes away.

A younger Kanbei returns in Kessen III. He voluntarily joins Hideyoshi when he separated from Nobunaga's army. When Murashige Araki betrays Nobunaga, Kanbei acts as a mediator to ask Murashige's reasons for his treachery. In Murashige's residence, he is quickly held hostage and discovers that his former ally was consorting with the shogunate from the start. After he is rescued, Kanbei returns to assist Hideyoshi.


Toukiden Kiwami establishes Kanbei as Hanbei's backup. He promised his friend that he would expel the demons after Hanbei fell to the demon swarm. He too fell victim to the demons and was devoured by an Onogoro. The protagonist frees him so he promises to repay the debt with servitude. Kanbei looks forward to devising new strategies in his leisurely afterlife.

Touken Ranbu Warriors[]

In Touken Ranbu Warriors, Kanbei appears as Hideyoshi's main general who is in charge of the Hashiba Army's operations. After receiving help from the Oniniwa at Takamatsu Castle and Yamazaki, he slowly becomes more twisted by exposure to the Historical Retrograde army and gains red eyes, which is even noted by Hideyoshi himself at one point.

Nobunaga's Ambition[]

Nobunyaga no Yabou has Kanbei's kitty counterpart star in the cat war chronicle events, Chisou Bombay. Bombay begins his career as a fresh recruit who is driven to only faithfully serve his masters. He first serves his lord and later father-in-law, Kodaera Mashalmoto (Kodera Masamoto), and advises for Mashalmoto to give into Hideyoshi early within their wars with the Oda. When Mashalmoto later becomes mad and senile in his later years, Bombay feels he has lost his trump card for dealing with Nyaraki Murashige (Araki Murashige) and is imprisoned in Murashige's domain. He is eventually freed by Hideyoshi's troops a year later, glad to know his son is safe and sadden to learn of Hanbei's death. Inspired by his friend's will, Bombay resolves to fight for his own clan henceforth. His ambition drives him to lead a campaign to conquer Kyushu, which lasts until his final days. He peacefully passes away after entrusting his son with the clan's future.

Geten no Hana[]

Background Story[]

Geten no Hana Yumeakari Kanbei lived his childhood in a temple within Harima. To ease his boredom, he was given books and admired the ancient Chinese texts. He especially liked the strategies found within Bukei Shichishou and Sangokushi Engi, growing to admire Zhuge Kongming from the historical narrative. When his mother instructed him to someday become a reputable samurai, Kanbei took to his training at once with hopes of becoming a peerless strategist like his idol. He believed that tactics alone could solve any conflict and avoid bloodshed.

His optimistic ideal faded once he entered Lord Kodera's service and learned the realities of war firsthand. Though his illusions of heroism were tarnished, he decided to keep his profession to protect his loved ones. As he matured, his lord swore servitude to Nobunaga and Kanbei was transferred to Hideyoshi's squadron. During this time, Kanbei met and befriended Hanbei. Both strategists are considered geniuses of equal intelligence, yet Kanbei considers his plans to be supplementary to Hanbei's orchestrations.

About two years before the main narrative, Murashige Araki revolted against Nobunaga. Lord Kodera joined the conspirator. Hoping to negotiate for peace and spare Lord Kodera from punishment, Kanbei agreed to an invitation to meet with his former lord at Arioka Castle. He fell for the trap and was imprisoned within the castle's underground gaols. With no means of escape or entertainment, Kanbei comforted himself by gazing at a wisteria vine growing within his prison. He considered the flower his gentle beacon of hope in his loneliness. Whenever he felt himself giving into anger or grief, he closed his eyes and imagined the flower blooming.

Circumstances outside of the conflict prevented an immediate castle siege. A year later, the Hashiba army finally gained the foothold they needed to break through Arioka Castle's defenses. The prison was rocked by the castle siege, and a weakened Kanbei was trapped under rubble. Hanbei went alone to save him, using his ninja scroll to break through the cell. Bewildered by his friend's revelation of his true past, Kanbei felt indebted to Hanbei for saving him. They kept the nature of his escape a secret from Hideyoshi. Kanbei rested and returned to his post after a healthy recovery, receiving fame for his devotion to duty. He learned details about Hanbei thereafter.

Kanbei sensed his friend's displeasure with Nobunaga and worried about his friend's sanity. When Hanbei's illness became apparent, Kanbei recommended a doctor to him and often patronizes his friend to stop ignoring the medicine. He saw Hanbei become consumed by his ambition for Hideyoshi's future and, wishing to be faithful to his friend's trust, felt unable to voice his concerns to anyone else. Forlorn by his hesitation, Kanbei plays along with Hanbei's schemes to repay the time he saved his life. Kanbei hopes to someday formulate a plan to stop Hanbei before it is too late to save his friend.

During the events of the previous title, Hanbei and Kanbei's tactics were being used to subjugate the Chugoku region in Hideyoshi's absence. When their lord returned to command after his one month break, the Hashiba army caused the Mōri to agree to a peaceful surrender. With their objective in the west completed, the entire Hashiba army is ordered to return to Azuchi Castle for a one month reprieve. They are scheduled to subjugate the Chōsokabe clan in Shikoku after they have rested.

Story Events[]

The night before the Hashiba army enter Azuchi Castle Kanbei wanders the streets of the castle town and is accosted by local bandits. Hotaru, who happened to be on her night patrol, protects him using multiple transformations. Her last transformation as Kikyou catches his eye. During his stay at Azuchi Castle he learns about the "Shield of Azuchi" rumors from Hanbei. He immediately suspects Hotaru and Kikyou to be the rumored guardian yet lacks the evidence to support his idea with confidence.

For Kanbei, he fell in love with Hotaru at first sight on the same night she saved him. Curious by his intimacy and his hunch, he can't take his eyes off her when they happen to cross paths in Azuchi Castle. On the night of the lantern festival Kanbei takes advantage of the gap of security to enter the Akechi grounds. He visits her to spend time alone with her and verify his feelings for her. Once he's convinced, he voices his intimacy for her before excusing himself. Hotaru is baffled by his unexpected visit and love confession. His impulsive act causes her to shy away from him in the first playthrough.

Soon after their arrival, Hanbei orders Kanbei to survey their new surroundings in preparation for his strategies. Kanbei obliges and creates a map, noting landmarks and weaknesses to the castle's defenses. Whenever Hanbei seeks to share his plans, Kanbei goes to him; the two strategists often circle the castle grounds together to their share plans in private. At his friend's request, he poses as an Iga emissary during the third week of their stay. Dressed in his rain attire, Kanbei waits for Hotaru to capture Yamabuki in Azuchi's castle town. The moment she lets her guard down he threatens for her to undo her disguise so he can give her a letter forged by Hanbei. Hotaru attempts to reveal his identity by force yet she fails to disarm him when he defends himself.

Throughout the majority of the story routes, Kanbei can no longer stomach the plots and is aware of Hideyoshi's suspicions of the animal attacks. Kanbei privately reveals Hanbei's past and the truth behind recent events to their lord. The duo plan to reveal Hanbei's hand during the martial arts tournament. Hideyoshi asks Nobunaga to make one of his prized horses, Kurogane, the prize to the victor. Hideyoshi and Kanbei seek to participate in the tournament together to avoid drawing Hanbei's suspicions. The Hashiba lord would purposely lose against the strategist to position himself near Nobunaga. Once Hanbei manipulates Kurogane to attack, Hideyoshi plans to use himself as a shield to protect the Oda lord. They predict that Hanbei will use his ninja scroll to stop the attack. Their predictions were right but marred by Kurogane's unexpected berserk state; the horse would not respond to Hanbei's spell and nearly trampled Nobunaga and Hideyoshi. Matters become complicated when Hotaru throws the kunai to stop the horse and Kanbei's map and a false letter is used to draw suspicions on Iga.

In the wake of their failure, Kanbei privately implores Hanbei to cease further transgressions. His friend won't tolerate obstructions and decides that Kanbei has become a liability. Most story paths have Hanbei trap Kanbei within a temple to silence him. The building was made to trap spies and can only be opened from the outside. He remains imprisoned there while Hanbei commences his attack on Azuchi's main keep.

During the default route, his fate is left unexplained. Most endings have him saved once a captured Hanbei tells the Oda of his location. When the Hashiba trio are brought before Nobunaga, Kanbei seeks to atone beside his friend and asks to receive punishment. Ignoring their treachery, Nobunaga decrees for the Hashiba army to resume their duties and subjugate Shikoku. Kanbei leaves Azuchi Castle soon after with Hideyoshi or stays behind to nurse Hanbei back to health.

The Yumeakari ending has Hotaru lure Kanbei to the castle training grounds the night after she receives the forged Iga letter. She challenges him in her kunoichi form and beats him in a match. Their fight confirms his identity to her, and Kanbei agrees to be brought in for questioning. Before he goes, Hotaru grants his request to speak with Hideyoshi in the Hashiba manor. They overhear Hanbei confessing his guilt and surrender to Hideyoshi which is enough for Kanbei. Nobunaga gives the same decree as the character routes but allows the Hashiba army to stay for a second water lantern viewing before they depart. Kanbei stays beside Hanbei during the festivities.

Personal Route[]

Following Mitsuhide's orders, Hotaru keeps her kunoichi identity a secret and socializes with Kanbei under her Kikyou disguise. She fails to learn much about him during her early attempts aside from rumors from the castle folk about his intelligence and past at Arioka Castle. Her inexperience with love intimidates her from socializing with Kanbei and she struggles to find an answer to his feelings.

The day after his confession she overhears the maids' gossip in Akechi manor. One of them was placed into the same situation as Hotaru and doesn't know how to respond to someone she doesn't know. The other maidens encourage looking into the matter with earnest, an opinion that echoes Hanbei's encouragement for her to act for his friend. Unable to think straight in her confusion, she wanders outside the manor's gates to clear her head. A surprised Kanbei greets her outside the gates. He presents her with a modest flower to apologize for upsetting her with his previous visit, becoming pleased when Hotaru assures him that she is not angry. Kanbei leaves her with an open invite to visit him at the Hashiba manor any time she wants.

While still frightened by her uncertainty and too disoriented to focus on her current mission, Hotaru acts upon the request the next day. She turns into a bird and oversees his conversation with Sakichi. Hotaru gains the courage to see Kanbei in person after seeing the strategist gently praise the young boy's enthusiasm for strategy. As Kikyou, she is permitted to visit him in his room and is at a loss for words before his silent composure. She mimics Sakichi's question about the arm pouch he is wearing and requests to read the documents he has within it. He entertains her request. While she reads, she is disturbed by his written observations of Azuchi Castle and his note about the "Shield of Azuchi". Her contemplations are interrupted when Kanbei suddenly kisses her hair and retrieves a leaf stuck within it. Filled with embarrassment, Hotaru excuses herself for the day.

Kanbei reflects on her reaction and believes he has wronged her again. He sends a wisteria decorated comb to the Akechi manor as another apology. Hotaru wishes to thank him after receiving it. Sakichi greets her at the Hashiba gates and shows off the wisteria decorated arm pouch Kanbei had made for him. She learns from the page of the flower's significance to Kanbei. When she visits him in person and confirms the story, the kunoichi appreciates his care for her and promises to treasure his gift. She starts to view him in a positive light. With her mind at ease, she regains her focus and retrieves Nobunaga's hawk.

Hanbei's unintentional interruption during one of their chats causes her to remember the strategists' tense bickering over his medicine earlier that week. She worries that they might be fighting. Kanbei won't elaborate, causing Hotaru to worry more about his friend. About two days later, she sees the strategists leaving Azuchi Castle together and follows them in her princess disguise. Hanbei senses her presence so she hides within the rundown temple nearby. The building is the same one that Kanbei is imprisoned within during the default route, locking her within once the door closes. After Kanbei inspects the vicinity, he and Hanbei leave the premise. Hotaru tries for hours to escape by herself, convinced that she might have to resort to using her kunai to tunnel a way out.

By nightfall, Kanbei leaves Hanbei and acts on his suspicions to return to the temple. He yells for Hotaru to answer him, deducing that she followed out of concern for Hanbei. Hotaru meant to conceal her identity but is moved by the desperation in his voice to answer him. Once she does, he tells her to move away from the door and breaks it down. He insists on carrying her to the Akechi manor on his back. Hotaru learns from his shaking hands and the regretful tone of his voice that he was frightened for her safety. She wonders if he had the same fears when he was imprisoned, although Kanbei denies it. He states he is worried for his friend before hushing himself.

Hotaru doesn't understand his perspective and follows him when he wanders to Lake Biwa by himself the next night. He falls asleep standing up and mutters for help in his dreams. Compelled to rouse him, she chooses to wake him while disguised as a maid. Kanbei apologizes to the stranger when he awakens and stops her by voicing his suspicions for her. It is socially peculiar for a maid to be wandering in the twilight hours by herself, and the "Shield of Azuchi" is said to unidentifiable. He pleas for her to clarify if she is the rumored guardian to him since the person could solve his problems. Hotaru nearly does due to the anguish in his voice until she remembers Mitsuhide's order to keep her identity a secret from the Hashiba strategists. She lies that she is merely passing through and regrets seeing his crestfallen reaction.

Hideyoshi notices his strategist's unrest and offers to help. Kanbei stews on the offer and wanders aimlessly in the castle town two days later. Hotaru is concerned with Kanbei's inner dilemma and greets him in her princess disguise during a midday stroll. She gives the excuse that she seeks to thank him for his earlier rescue, unintentionally souring the strategist's mood. He apologizes and offers to walk with her. Stopping at a quiet spot by Lake Biwa, he asks for her to explain her purpose at Azuchi Castle. Hotaru answers with her honest desire to watch over her brother and Nobunaga's dreams. She half-lies that she wants to do her best as a princess to support them. Her words comfort and motivate Kanbei to believe in his resolve to save Hanbei. The strategist thanks her and escorts her back to the castle. Afterwards, he returns to the Hashiba manor and spills the truth about Hanbei to Hideyoshi.

Events proceed in the same manner of the default route except Hotaru feels guilty for suspecting Kanbei of treason. She reluctantly pays him a visit before the martial arts tournament to mentally prepare herself. She sullenly inquires about his reasons for becoming a strategist. Hotaru freezes when upon hearing his story and realizes that she may have misjudged him. She hopes he has a good reason for posing as the man in the bamboo hat and regrets not talking to him about his character sooner. She pales as she commends him and excuses herself, trying to distance herself from him.

After Kurogane is stopped and Kanbei learns of Hanbei's trump card, Kanbei attempts to reconvene with Hideyoshi. He stops when he realizes Hanbei may be onto them. To prevent his intentions from being completely discovered, Kanbei decides to rely on the "Shield of Azuchi". On the night after the tournament, Kanbei visits the Akechi manor and walks into Hotaru's room wearing his rain attire. He demands they step into the garden and draws his blade on her. Feeling that she may be in danger, she dispels her disguise and defends herself as a kunoichi. Their brief spar convinces both adults of each other's identities.

Kanbei is pleased to know that she is truly the one he has been looking for and walks her to Lake Biwa. He explains everything he kept hidden from her and requests for her aid as the "Shield of Azuchi". She wants to give Kanbei courage to act and agrees. Embracing her in gratitude, Hotaru's heart skips a beat when Kanbei reiterates his love for her. He believes Hanbei will act the next day and instructs her to do two tasks for him: do not try to rescue him at any time and protect Hanbei. He promises to take care of everything else. Hotaru swears to believe in him and returns to Azuchi Castle alone.

Going to work at once, Kanbei goes to the entrance of the killer dogs' cave at Mount Azuchi and spreads a thick mist of pepper powder to irritate their eyes and noses. When Hideyoshi searches for an absent Kanbei, Hanbei concludes his friend has betrayed him when he checks the cave later that night. Accepting the challenge of wits, Hanbei visits Nobunaga afterwards and accuses Kanbei of betrayal due to him regularly sneaking past the night patrol. He intends to use the confusion to clear the mist and find another opportunity to attack. When the guards come for him at the Hashiba manor, Kanbei tells Hideyoshi to believe in him and permit his exit.

At the public hearing the next day, Kanbei immediately confesses to being guilty for the recent animal attacks. Nobunaga grants him the honor of committing suicide for his crime. Hanbei inwardly panics when no one tries to defend his friend, forgetting about his plans in his confusion. Azuchi Castle spends a day preparing for Kanbei's end, and he is given the ritual dagger to stab himself before the Oda warriors. After the strategist recites his death poem and exposes his belly, Hanbei breaks from the pressure. He uses his ninja scroll to manipulate a flock of crows to interrupt his suicide, revealing himself to be the true culprit before Nobunaga and company. Realizing that he fell for Kanbei's strategy, Hanbei despairs the blow he caused to Hideyoshi's reputation and attempts to kill himself. Hotaru, who had been discretely watching these events, drops her disguise and stops him in her kunoichi form. She weakens and apprehends him before those present. Hideyoshi and Kanbei reason with the captured Hanbei to abandon his ambition and believe in life again; Hanbei agrees since he has been defeated from every possible angle.

Amused by the turn of events, Nobunaga revokes the order for Kanbei's suicide and forgives the Hashiba lord and strategists. Several days later, Kanbei is busy preparing for the Hashiba army's departure for Shikoku. Hotaru tries to visit him while he is preoccupied and is shooed away. Sakichi informs Kanbei of her visit when he is free and he finds her at Lake Biwa. While he thanks her for everything she has done for him, he reminds Hotaru of their first meeting that she had forgotten. He warmly says his infatuation for her and wonders if his feelings burden her. Still unsure of how to answer him, Hotaru agrees to at least see him once he returns from the Shikoku campaign. Kanbei assures her that his feelings for her will never change and hopes she will find an answer in the time they spend apart.

Three days later, the Hashiba army depart from Azuchi Castle. Hotaru sees Kanbei off so he gives her a letter box as a present. He promises to write to her as frequently as he can; Hotaru cheerfully claims it as they leave. One year passes. Hotaru has read dozens of letters and keeps them in the letter box. When she reads his words of devotion, Hotaru yearns to see him again but feels insecure expressing herself. She cuts one of her readings short by going on her night patrol. It starts to rain so she ducks under the town rooftops for cover. Kanbei surprises her with a greeting, explaining that he finished his duties early to see her. Hotaru is bashful before his excitement reuniting with her and stumbles with her long-awaited answer to him. She apologizes for her ineptitude. In response, the strategist asks if he can hold her. Pausing in her thoughts, the kunoichi is beside herself with joy and accepts. They embrace while Kanbei repeats his fondest endearment for her.

His downloadable scenario takes place on a night after these events. Hotaru has answered his feelings with confidence and spends a day chatting with him in his room. She notices the evening sky and tries to excuse herself to avoid worrying the maids in the Akechi manor. Kanbei hushes himself, unwilling to see her go. Hotaru understands and burns incense for him. She fidgets as she says she will burn the same fragrance in her room in the Akechi manor as way of keeping their thoughts united. Kanbei chides it won't help since a room filled of her scent would only rob him of sleep. The couple marvel at their mutual intimacy, each consumed in their thoughts for the other as of late. Kanbei gently ushers for her departure with less reluctance. He might be tempted to sneak into the Akechi manor for her again.

Saihai no Yukue[]

Kanbei makes an unnamed cameo appearance in Saihai no Yukue. He is seen when Mitsunari briefly glimpses into Kuroda's heart during battle. Kuroda's father is skeptical of the Toyotomi's future without Hideyoshi. He prioritizes the Kuroda clan's safety over their loyalty, advising his son to cut off ties to them when the opportunity presents itself. His words continue to motivate and inspire his son at Sekigahara.

Mōri Motonari: Chikai no Sanshi[]

An Oda vassal who is ordered to assist Hideyoshi in the west, Kanbei is described as a brilliant strategist in Mouri Motonari: Chikai no Sanshi. While Hideyoshi is quite feared by the Mōri for his wit, Kanbei is also accepted as a sly one as well. He is first seen during Terumoto's march at Kōzuki Castle. The Mōri army arrive to a staged pincer between the Amago remnants and Hideyoshi's army. Hideyoshi is aware of the strength of the Mōri's forces and hesitates to dedicate his resources on dealing with them. To solve his commander's problem, Kanbei suggests abusing Shikanosuke's zeal to lower the Mōri's numbers. In the meantime, they should wait and casually send a few cavalrymen to take the fall. If the Mōri threaten their position, they should then retreat. That way, their pretense for fleeing the field is set. They stayed true to the Oda promise of providing support and have kept their army relatively safe. As Kanbei predicted, the Mōri attack them and they leave.

Kanbei later accompanies Hideyoshi in their siege of Takamatsu Castle. He tries to assist Hideyoshi's following escape but is defeated in battle.

Oda Nobunaga Den[]

Oda Nobunaga Den reprises his role from Mōri Motonari: Chikai no Sanshi as Hideyoshi's strategist. He plays second fiddle to Hanbei until Kōzuki Castle. He offers that the Hashiba army retreat only once their army is undermanned, regretfully leaving their Amago allies behind to the Mōri troops.

Character Information[]

Kanbei's artwork in Samurai Warriors 4.


Kanbei is a level headed man who personifies the words "cold and calculating". He acts as though he feels nothing for human sympathy and ethics, believing that absolute power is the one truth in the world. While his blunt and unconventional honesty may not make him popular among other Toyotomi officers like Kiyomasa and Mitsunari, Kanbei's keen intellect and tactics are what earns him bitter-sweet respect with others. Showing no mercy to his foes and believing that every instance is predestined, Kanbei ultimately wants to achieve a true land of peace regardless of the risks (even if it means that his own fate is to go downhill as well). He talks with an archaic nobleman's dialect and addresses his opponents by recognizing their rank as an officer (卿, kei).

The closest Kanbei has to a friend is his fellow strategiest, Hanbei. He trusts Hanbei's abilities to support him and speaks fondly of the fellow strategist's memory. While he doesn't mind Hanbei's company, Kanbei gets grumpy when the youth tries to make him bond with others.

However, there are times mainly in the fourth installment that shows a soft-side, as others such as Takakge and Musashi point out his supposed "kindness"; a fact that Kanbei is often quick to deny. Much of this is often put to the test when he alone is left with upholding the future as his fellow strategists pass away. He has special conversations with Guo Huai and Jia Xu in his Warriors Orochi appearance. In the fourth installment, he shares an affinity with Jia Chong with the two seeing each other as reflections of one another. He is also impressed by Yu Jin's strict adherence to military law.

Geten no Hana Kanbei is a composed and quiet youth. People are often caught off guard by his impassive voice and intimidating gaze. His moments of poignant silence and his tall stature scares many away from him. The strategist walks with a straight gait befitting a warrior and appears aloof to his surroundings. His dual swordsmanship is a sight to behold, many in frightful awe of its prowess. Even the members of the Hashiba army are nervous approaching him and are afraid he might lash out at them. His imprisonment at Arioka Castle is common knowledge for the Oda and many presume his exclusiveness hasn't faded away from the experience.

Yet Kanbei has grown past the incident and is a truly considerate youth. He carefully arranges his words to be concise as possible; his eyes catch onto minute details; his actions are never wasted. Whenever a problem occurs, he acts upon the most efficient solution available to him. He acknowledges the best in others and is rarely known to belittle someone on a subjective bias. He appreciates good will and shares it with those he feels is willing to be with him. He treasures his fellow man and even feels remorseful conjuring strategies which will hurt his foes. He is a man of his word who never wishes to abandon a friend. A man of humble tastes and modesty, Kanbei's kindness is hard to spot to an untrained eye. His flaws lies in his tendency to over think his postulations and his failure to emote. He won't act or validate his statements until he feels he is fully convinced of them. Kanbei rarely explains the context of his thoughts to others so he causes many misunderstandings with his brief utterances or seemingly sudden movements. Hideyoshi, Hanbei, and Sakichi are perceptive enough to befriend and understand him.

When Kanbei falls in love with Hotaru, he is taken aback by the sensation he has never felt it before. For once in his life, he wanted someone to embrace as his own lover. Like all matters new to him, Kanbei tries to study his feelings for her like an experiment. Once he verifies his own intimacy, Kanbei states them as plainly as he can to her without inhibition. The strategist asks permission to be with her and frets over whether his feelings trouble her, understanding and accepting that they may not ever be returned. Even when he is suspicious of her true identity, he tries to look out for her. Kanbei is unaware that Hotaru initially fears him whenever he approaches her since she held the common opinion about him. His intrusion into her quarters also worsened her dwindling impressions of him. Though her thoughts for him did not start well, Hotaru learns to trust his genuine unselfishness the more she interacts with him. Likewise, Kanbei gradually admires her strength, benevolence, and integrity as he interacts more with her. His direct honesty and affections for her may surprise her, but Hotaru bashfully accepts them as time passes.

Character Symbolism[]

For his Samurai Warriors counterpart, he is symbolized by the characters "conspire" (謀) and "surpress" (絶) and dark blue swirls.

All of his weapons in Samurai Warriors 3 are assigned a color. Jade peaks act for his Normal types, scarlet soil appears in his Power types, and the blue sky forms his Speed types. His third weapon in Chronicles 3 breaks that trend by referencing the underworld.

His Unique weapon is named after Michishiki-no-Ōkami who is known as the deity who blocks the entrance of Yomi-no-kuni. As Izanagi escaped from his wife, Izanami, she cursed that she would kill one thousand people in anger. Izanagi replied he would give birth to 1,500 people in return. With these oaths spoken, Michishiki-no-Ōkami magically sealed the entrance shut. It's also said Michishiki-no-Ōkami was the one who shielded Izanagi from the terrors he found around Yomi-no-kuni's exit, which designates him as a god of earthly protection. Based on his name "Ōkami", which literally translates as "giant god", he is a large boulder that reaches an unfathomable height and girth. Kanbei's weapon adds an image of a wailing ogre beside Michishiki-no-Ōkami, possibly meaning that the evil locked within is trying to seep past the large boulder.

His secondary unique weapon is named after Yomi-no-kuni, or the yellow springs to borrow from Chinese mythology, which is summarized as a place of death. In the Izumo-no-kuni Futoki, Yomi-no-ana is a place where shallowly buried human remains were abandoned in a cave without a proper burial. Its etymology according to the annotated notes for the Yamato Bumi is "pure darkness of the inner mind". It's located "underneath the world" and is famed as the eternal dwellings of Izanami. Though famed as a version of Hell, other texts argue its purpose is not just for eternal suffering for the afterlife. Fables claim it as a place to accept death, in which the departed souls can accept the decay of their bodily vessel by celebrating with their dead loved ones.

The colors mentioned in his weapons' names are often used to represent the Five Elements. However, Kanbei's weapons lack the "white" or "light" needed for the metal within the element pentagon. This is likely a pun from his family name, the "Kuro" (黒) literally translating to "black" in English. In regards to the elements, lacking the metal means to abolish clarity and assertiveness, creating a sense of unbalanced anarchy with those in the chain. Another interpretation of removing the metal in the chain means becoming immune to sorrow or grief. It could also be a minor reference to Kanbei being without his wife, Kushihashiteru (櫛橋光), whose name ends with the character for "light".

Geten no Hana Kanbei's gift for the protagonist on White Day is a winter daphne flower. In Japan, its petals ripen with a pinkish shade during March so it's often associated with the coming of spring. Its fragrance is said to resemble agarwood for incense and even looks similar to it from a distance. Within the flower language, it can mean a variety of meanings depending on the manner it is presented. Since Kanbei places the flower within a bamboo carved vase, it can represent the sender's "eternal" or "undying" intimacy.

Voice Actors[]

Live Action Performers[]


See also: Kanbei Kuroda/Quotes
  • "To throw away your life for someone who is already dead... I have never heard of such foolishness."
  • "Your very existence is a crime. You may make amends by giving up your life."
  • "That very spirit has stolen more innocent lives than you are aware. So take pride in your spirit if you must, but know that you are as guilty as any of us."
  • "I commend you for your struggling, but TM Opera O's strength is irrefutable."
  • "What's wrong, Kanbei? Stop staring at me and eat. It may not be quite like your mother's cooking, but it's good."
"I lost my mother when I was young. I have no memory of her cooking."
"I know. I heard that you cried your eyes out. Ever since you became my strategist, you have been like a son to Nene and me. I know everything about you. You may seem cold, but you have a good heart."
"No tears are left for me. People change."
"People may get craftier, but their essential nature doesn't change. You've just forgotten how to smile. I'll help you remember how someday. If my dear Kanbei doesn't smile, I'll make him smile."
~~Hideyoshi and Kanbei; Samurai Warriors Chronicles
  • "Hey guys, listen! I just thought of something. Why don't the three of us make a name for ourselves? We can be the Three True Arrows! Or something like that."
"While it pains me to copy the unity shared between my sons, I see nothing wrong with assembling ourselves as powerful arrows. What are your thoughts, Lord Kanbei?"
"One arrow is weak with illness. One arrow has already perished. One arrow doesn't want to do anything. It's critically flawed."
"That's so mean, Kanbei! I can forgive the bit about the first two arrows, but that last one was uncalled for!"
~~Hanbei, Motonari, and Kanbei; Sengoku Musou 3: Empires
  • "What business does a ghost like yourself have here?"
"Oh, nothing much. The sweet screams of agony echoing in the battlefield beckoned me here. I wanted to see these deluded warriors tear themselves apart in this land of eternal chaos."
"Only someone as sick as you would be a spectator to that."
"Ah, your words are like music to my ears. You certainly are the same as me."
"Don't lump me together with you. I desire to extinguish the flames of war for lasting peace."
"If you insist. Let us ponder this together in this ecstasy we call war."
~~Kanbei and Hisahide Matsunaga; 100man-nin no Sengoku Musou
  • "If there is more war, that does not displease me. Martial ability only exists for such times of strife."
"That is a telling remark. Indeed, we are among many enemies here."
"With few friends and many foes, I feel at ease. Though I could do without being herded together here in the camp."
~~Kanbei and Xu Huang; Warriors Orochi 3
  • "It's you... What do you want?"
"Speaking to you like this, I really feel like I'm looking in a mirror."
"A mirror... You see only one man, while I see the peace of an entire land. I wonder which of us is the reflection and which is real."
"I see. A reflection may seem similar to the real thing, but with left and right switched, it is the exact opposite. Hehe... Come, laugh with me."
"I am sorry, but I cannot."
"We are each other's reflections, yes? Then if one of us laughs, the other must laugh as well."
"I suppose so. I will see if I can do as you say."
"Hehe... You respond seriously to even my most foolish suggestion. An interesting man indeed."
~~Kanbei and Jia Chong; Warriors Orochi 4
  • "Well now, Lord Mitsunari. After I help you destroy Tokugawa, I was wondering if you would present me with a suitably just reward. Kyushu, say, six provinces for me and two for Lord Kiyomasa here. What do you think?"
"We have gathered here to see justice prevail. We do not ask for rewards. Besides, that decision would fall to our Lord Toyotomi's discretion. When this is finished, you can make your request!"
"Hahahaha, still the same man, Mitsunari. We'll take our leave of you now. Good day, my lord!"
~~Bargaining with Mitsunari; Kessen
  • "We're friends, aren't we? I will explain things to Lord Nobunaga. Now put down your spears."
~~Bargaining with Murashige; Kessen III
  • "Could it be that you don't want me to leave yet?"
"...! Forgive me. I didn't intend to pressure you, but that is my wish."
"(Oh, I was right.) I understand. Perhaps I shall stay for another half hour then."
"You have my thanks."
"(Great, he's happy. So am I. I'm starting to feel like I'm understanding him now. But...) Master Kanbei, since we have the time, could I ask you something that has been bothering me?"
"What is it?"
"Why did you act the way you did on the night of the lantern festival?"
"That's because..."
"(Er, he's turned his face away. Was I not supposed to ask that? But, it's important for me to know if I want to learn his feelings.)"
"I have already told you. It's because I'm in love with you, Princess. The rest of it was unreasonable. I had other techniques planned to clarify my feelings but..."
"M-Master Kanbei!? Wait-Wait a second. What are these "other techniques" you speak of!?"
"To say them aloud..."
"... Yes?"
"... (Huh? That's it? I don't get anything at all.)"
~~Hotaru and Kanbei; Geten no Hana Yumeakari


Samurai Warriors 3[]

Keys: Square Normal Attack • Triangle Charge Attack Circle Musou X Jump/Mount

Ground Moveset[]

Triangle, (Triangle): His orb(s) will gather around him, then the orb(s) will fly upward, turning into the demon fist as they smack everything below them. This attack may guard-break.
Square, Triangle, (Triangle): The orb(s) will turn into the demon fist(s), smacking the enemy high into the air. Then the orb(s) will follow the enemy and send him/her flying.
Square, Square, Triangle, (Triangle): The orb(s) will gather in front of Kanbei, turn into the demon fist(s) and smack down everything in front of him. Then the orb(s) will fly in a vertical circle-motion forward, damaging enemies further away. This attack may make enemies dizzy.
Square, Square, Square, Triangle, (Triangle): The orb(s) will fly around Kanbei in a circle-motion, then change direction and fly around him again.
Square, Square, Square, Square, Triangle: The orb(s) will fly in front of Kanbei, juggling the enemies around for quite a bit.
Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square:
Circle: If Kanbei has only one orb, he will get a second one. If he has more than one orb, their timer will be reset. The orbs will then fly around him very fast, damaging everything around him. He will move slowly forward while using this attack.
Circle (Ultimate/Kaiden): If Kanbei has two or less orbs, he will get three orbs. If he has more than two orbs, their timer will be reset. The orbs will fly around him even faster, then fly high up and in front of Kanbei, transforming into a gigantic demonic fist, smashing everything below.
Dashing Square: Forward attack.
X, Square: Jumping attack with his orb
X, Triangle: Jumps and transforms his orbs into a giant hand which slams the ground.
Spirit Cancel: Charges forwards with his orb-hand outstretched, knocking opponent back with the energy orb(s).
Special Skill 1: Summons one extra orb up to a maximum of four total, each orb increases his attack and range. Tapping the attack button while summoning will produce one orb for each tap. The orbs last for 15 seconds.
Special Skill 2: Kanbei will create a forcefield that drains musou from enemies within it.

Mounted Attacks[]

Square, Triangle: Brings his orb(s) down, then up, launching enemies.
Square, Square, Triangle: Brings his orb(s) down hard, may daze enemies.
Square, Square, Square, Triangle: Sends his orb(s) spinning around him, knocking enemies away.
Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square: Slams his orb(s) down around him repeatedly, finishing with a flourish that sends his orb(s) further out, and scatters enemies.
Warriors Orochi 3
R1: Similar to Kanbei's first special skill from Samurai Warriors 3 but automatically summons four orbs for additional coverage instead.
X, R1 (Ultimate only): Slowly descends on the ground while causing all available orbs to spin around Kanbei. Upon landing, each orb fires a dark ball of energy upward.

Samurai Warriors 4[]

Mighty strike is the same as Deadlock Attack. Retains the same moveset with the following alterations.

Square, Square, Square, Square, Triangle, (Triangle):
Circle: Finisher changes to him summoning a giant demon fist to punch the ground.
Circle (Ultimate/Kaidan):
Rage Attack/Musou Gokui effect:
Awakened Skill effect (4-II only):

Hyper Moveset[]

Triangle, Square:
Triangle, Triangle, Square:
Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Square:
Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Square:
Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Square:
Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle:

Fighting Style[]

Kanbei is good even if he uses only two orbs, his attacks are already sufficient in strength and range. It is recommended to take advantage of his first skill and constantly refresh its duration. A good way to keep all four orbs is to use the mightiest then fastest form of the skill to reset the timer after some attacks. If he uses all four orbs, he is practically invincible, especially with both versions of his Musou. While his chains are generally better suited towards crowd clearing, rather than one-on-one combat, his C3 is an excellent way to fight single opponents as it can knock them back.


See also: Kanbei Kuroda/Weapons

Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada[]

Default Weapon - Kanbei Kuroda (SW4).png Base Attack: 13~33
Rare Weapon - Kanbei Kuroda (SW4).png Base Attack: 252 Ice: 84 Earth: 80
Attack Up: 82 Attack Speed: 81 Indirect Attack: 3
Underdog: 86 Insight: 82 Clarity: 85
Demon Barricade
DLC Weapon - Kanbei Kuroda (SW4).png Base Attack: 259 Lightning: 87 Wind: 83
Attack Up: 85 Attack Range: 84 Indirect Attack: 89
Fury: 90 Verity: 88 Momentum: 84

Rare Weapon Acquisition[]

  • Stage: Siege of Ueda - Shikoku Campaign

Historical Information[]



  • In the Sengoku Angelique skit performed at Neoromance Starlight ♥ Christmas 2010, Ryotaro Tsuchiura from the Kin'iro no Corda series stood in as the Kanbei for the cast. His name was "Kuroda Ryotaro Kanbei".

External Links[]

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