|Playable Debut:||Samurai Warriors 5|
April 25, 1581
|Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence list him birth year as 1527.|
Motonobu Okabe is an Imagawa retainer who remains loyal even after the death of his lord, Yoshimoto Imagawa, even going as far as to retrieve his body. Motonobu later joins the Takeda after the collapse of the Imagawa. He met his demise defending Takatenjin Castle from Tadakatsu Honda's siege.
Prior to his playable debut, Motonobu has been a generic NPC since Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends.
Role in games
He appears as a constant Imagawa general throughout the Samurai Warriors series, usually appearing at Okehazama and a few battles beyond. In Yoshimoto's story in Xtreme Legends, he joins his lord in besieging Ueda Castle personally attacking and infiltrating the castle grounds. In Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends, he defends Narumi Castle at Okehazama, Nobunaga tells Toshiie Maeda to make Motonobu pay for his cowardice. In Samurai Warriors 3, he erroneously lives to serve the Tokugawa frontlines in both the battle of Komaki-Nagakute and the first siege of Ueda Castle. In Samurai Warriors 4, he also appears to defend Ujizane Imagawa at the Suruga conflicts.
The playable Motonobu first appears in Samurai Warriors 5 as a loyal servant to Yoshimoto, where he and Sena escort Ieyasu Tokugawa, the new hostage and ally of the Imagawa. On their way, they are ambushed by Nobunaga Oda who promptly takes Ieyasu for himself. Nobunaga then assembles a coalition against them at Muraki fortress, but Yoshimoto's personal intervention gives the Imagawa forces the victory and causes Nobunaga's alliances to crumble. Motonobu blocks off Nobunaga's escape and is the last obstacle required to be defeated at Muraki.
Despite having the advantage, Nobunaga takes the Imagawa forces by surprise at Okehazama and Yoshimoto is killed. Motonobu would soon return back to Suruga. During his return, Shingen and Ieyasu attempt to take advantage of the weakened Ujizane, and the lone Motonobu would stand defiant against the invaders. He questions Sena's motives during the battle, but his loyalty and bravery earns him Shingen's respect, and he is quickly recruited into the Takeda ranks following Ujizane's death.
Now a member of the Takeda, Motonobu would serve Shingen at Mikatagahara and later Katsuyori at Nagashino, where he leads the vanguard unit battling Nobunaga and Ieyasu. Following the disastrous defeat, Motonobu is assigned to Takatenjin which is subsequently sieged by the Oda-Tokugawa army. Motonobu is portrayed as the last loyalist to the Imagawa and has personal importance for Ieyasu and Tadakatsu Honda to overcome their past. Understanding the logistical restrictions that prevent Katsuyori from sending aid, Motonobu sets the castle on fire in a desperate attempt to kill Nobunaga but is slain in the process. Motonobu's demise is a severe blow to Katsuyori's reputation as he made no attempt to rescue a longstanding retainer.
Motonobu is playable alongside Sena and Yoshimoto detailing their perspective of Okehazama and allowing them to overcome Nobunaga's ambush to occupy Owari.
Okabe Motoharu was born the second son of Okabe Chikatsuna. His clan had strong ties to Suruga and loyally served the Imagawa clan. When the battle over succession took place with the death of Imagawa Yoshimoto's brother, Imagawa Ujiteru, Okabe Motonobu supported Yoshimoto's claim to the head of the Imagawa. Yoshimoto rewarded Okabe by allowing him to use the Moto from his own name in Okebe Motoharu's name. Part of his role was maintaining order in Mikawa and Tōtōmi provinces. In the second battle of Azukizaka, Motoharu took the front lines and fought hard, helping the Imagawa seize victory. He was also given special notice for his efforts in the battle of Anshō Castle the following year in 1549. At some point during this time, Okabe Motonobu spent some time with the Takeda, developing a bond with Takeda Shingen, who also granted him a new name, but Motoharu took precedence since it came from his direct lord.
During the Okehazama campaign, Okabe Motonobu served as part of the vanguard in capturing Narumi Castle. Motonobu continued to hold the castle even after Imagawa Yoshimoto was slain, demanding the head of his former lord in exchange for surrendering the castle. Oda Nobunaga was moved by the man's loyalty and had Yoshimoto's head delivered in a coffin. During the trip back to Sunpu Castle, he attack the Kariya Castle and killed its master, Mizuno Nobuchika, and burned the castle. The Mizuno were a minor clan that often took the Oda side during the Imagawa-Oda conflicts so this attack helped the Imagawa save some face from the Okehazama disaster. Imagawa Ujizane admired and rewarded Motonobu for burning Kariya Castle.
Motonobu remained loyal to Ujizane even as the clan's strength waned. When the Takeda began their invasion of Suruga in 1568, Ujizane was forced to seek refuge under the Hōjō. Okabe Motonobu followed his lord in this defeat, but soon chose afterwards to serve the Takeda instead. By this point, Motonobu could only summon 10 samurai under his name, a far cry from what he had once commanded. Despite this weak standing, Shingen remembered their friendship and established him as head of the Okabe clan. When Shingen died, Takeda Katsuyori succeeded his father and promoted Okabe Motonobu to a more prominent position, even permitting Motonobu to return to his hometown.
In 1574, Okabe joined in the assault on the Tokugawa controlled Tōtōmi and Mikawa provinces. In particular, Motonobu helped capture Takatenjin Castle. While Katsuyori pushed further on, Motonobu defended Koyama Castle, another castle the Takeda captured from the Tokugawa. After the catastrophe at Nagashino, Okabe Motonobu was one of the few to hold out at this castle against the Tokugawa siege until Katsuyori could deploy reinforcements to relief the defenders. After this campaign, a standoff began between the Tokugawa and Takeda, with Motonobu serving on the frontline, continuing to rise in rank and power within the Takeda. Part of this rise involved inheriting part of the Tsuchiya territory, which included marrying his daughter to Tsuchiya Masatsune in 1577. Two years later, Motonobu was given control over and made castellan of Takatenjin Castle.
The appointment over Takatenjin did not last long, however, as by October of 1580, Tokugawa Ieyasu began building many small forts to surround Takatenjin. The Tokugawa warlord did this because he believed Okabe Motonobu would be too hard to root out of the castle. Realizing his supplies were limited, Motonobu requested reinforcements. Takeda Katsuyori rejected the request, however, as he was facing conflict on all sides from Hōjō Ujimasa and Oda Nobutada as well as the Tokugawa forces. By April 1581, the castle's supplies ran out and the soldiers were starving. Motonobu saw no escape and chose to hold a banquet with what remained as a final farewell. That very evening, Motonobu attacked the army of Ishikawa Yasumichi on April 25, after 10 p.m., as he deemed Yasumcihi's forces to be the weakest. Ōkubo Tadayo and Ōsuga Yasutaka intercepted his charge and Okabe Motonobu fell in the first clash in their battle, as he fought on the frontlines. After his death, it is said that Ieyasu was delighted to have defeated Motonobu and sent his head to Azuchi Castle, Motonobu was estimated to have been close to 70 at the time.