188 cm (6'2")
|Weapon(s):||Claymore and rondache|
|Playable Debut:||Samurai Warriors 3|
December 18, 1567
November 15, 1643
|Birth date is speculated to have occurred on a different day.|
Muneshige Tachibana is argued to either be the tenth or eleventh head of the Tachibana clan. He is Jōun Takahashi's eldest son who is adopted by Dōsetsu. Known for being multi-talented and skillful, he chose to side with the Toyotomi during the Sekigahara conflict. Edo period folklore praises him as a "man amongst men" who is Tadakatsu Honda's equivalent in the west; legends may call him "Valiant of Chinzei" (剛勇鎮西一). He is Ginchiyo's husband.
His Samurai Warriors counterpart attributes him to a fictional name for Shōun, "Wind God". During his playable debut in this franchise, he is not identified as Ginchiyo's husband but this changes in spin off titles. He is twenty-second place in Gamecity's Sengoku Musou 3: Empires character popularity poll. For the Samurai Warriors 4 poll, he placed twenty-fifth. This incarnation has a character image song titled Ichibousenri no Kaze.
Role in Games
After losing both of his fathers due to the Shimazu's attacks, Muneshige starts his story by resisting Yoshihiro in Kyushu with Ginchiyo. Knowing that Hideyoshi's army will reinforce them, the smaller Tachibana open paths for their arrival. He then defeats the other Shimazu brothers and Kotarō to defend the main camp from attacks. Muneshige had desired to avenge his father's death during the conflict, but he failed. With Kyushu in his hands, Hideyoshi orders his new western allies to help him conquer Odawara Castle. Putting duty before his personal feelings, Muneshige casts away his revenge for another time and works with Yoshihiro during the following conflicts.
With the land engulfed in war after Hideyoshi's death, Muneshige joins the Western army and sieges Ōtsu Castle. Winning the position and making amends with his comrade Yoshihiro, they move onto the next campaign against Ieyasu at Sekigahara. Encouraging Mitsunari to believe in others and see the end of the wars, Muneshige's efforts help the Western army claim victory. Ieyasu's weakened army relocate to Mikatagahara and the Western army marks the battleground as their last conflict. Upon Ieyasu's defeat, Muneshige returns to his homeland during the time of peace. Not soon afterwards, however, he decides to leave on a lone journey to explore the new land, entrusting Ginchiyo to protect the Tachibana in his absence.
His service to the Ōtomo clan is explored throughout Yoshihiro's story route in Sengoku Musou 3: Empires. He refuses to bury the late Dōsetsu on the battlefield out of principle, believing that the dead should not have to take up his clan's struggles. Despite his earnest wish to fight alongside Jōun at Iwaya Castle, his father convinces him to leave by reminding the former of his duties to the Tachibana. He and Ginchiyo later return to retrieve Jōun's body which had been properly cared for by the Shimazu. Both of them admit their grudging respect for Yoshihiro's deference and swear to avenge their losses on him in battle. However, the Ōtomo's decline convinces Muneshige to help his enemies defeat the much larger Toyotomi, reasoning that winning such a one-sided battle would bring them greater glory. Correctly deducing their opponent's intent to sway the other clans through sheer numbers, his high-risk plan to intercept their arrival to Kyūshū allows the Shimazu-Tachibana alliance to prevail.
Samurai Warriors 4 Muneshige has already been adopted into the Tachibana family. Answering their lord's obligations to support Kanesada Ichijō, Muneshige fights beside both his fathers at Shimantogawa and supports his biological father's strategies at Mimikawa and Iwaya Castle. Although he wishes to save his father in both battles, Muneshige solemnly obeys Jōun's orders to protect his own life for the Tachibana's future. During his defense of Tachibayama Castle, he tries to impede the Shimazu charge towards his father's castle in vain. Muneshige guides and assists the Toyotomi invasion which occurs after Jōun's death.
Since they are indebted to the Toyotomi for their help, the Tachibana decide to fight for their cause at Sekigahara. Ginchiyo fights at the main battle while Muneshige fights off-screen at Ōtsu Castle. His side of the conflict claims victory, but the fall of their main forces ushers his retreat back to Kyushu. While at Yanagawa's docks, he reunites with Yoshihiro. When the elder grants him the chance to avenge his father, Muneshige notices Toyohisa's absence and declines to kill someone who has suffered the same loss he has experienced. In exchange for his help, Muneshige requests for Yoshihiro to assist the Tachibana's resistance against Ieyasu's forces.
Every outcome of the revolt leads to the Tachibana clan being dissolved and Kiyomasa paying them a formal visit as a Tokugawa envoy. Muneshige chooses to be a landless samurai with Ginchiyo over merging into another clan, hopeful in his clan's chance for a future revival. The couple wander together for many years before she dies off-screen. Ieyasu pardons the Tachibana and reestablishes their clan soon afterwards, leading to Muneshige's participation at Osaka Castle. He fights to honor Ginchiyo's memory and survives to see the new era of peace.
During Chronicles 3, he, Ginchiyo and Yoshihiro have a what-if scenario where the Shimazu opt to aid the Tachibina in defending Yanagawa Castle. Their defense allows them to defeat Kiyomasa and Kanbei. After this defeat, Ieyasu attempts to negotiate with Muneshige and Yoshihiro for a compromise in their surrender, but discreetly has his troops surround Ginchiyo at Tachibanayama.
Thanks to the timely arrival of Musashi, who defected from the Eastern army, and Toyohisa, who surprisingly managed to survive Sekigahara, Ieyasu's forces are successfully pushed back. After the battle, the Tachibana and the Shimazu swear to keep on fighting until they earn their place in the world.
He plays a small supporting role during the Sprit of Sanada, making his earliest appearance as late reinforcements for the Western Army at Sekigahara, and helping their withdrawal. After Mitsunari's death and the Tachibana falling under Ieyasu's control, Muneshige is sent to help siege Yukimura at the Sanada Ward during the winter siege of Ōsaka.
His forces, however, are deceived by the Sanada's fake messengers and cannot mobilize, leading to his defeat at Yukimura's hands. He later accompanies Hidetada's forces during the summer siege but is once again defeated by Yukimura.
When the serpent army invaded Kyushu in Warriors Orochi 3, Muneshige tried to defend the land with Ginchiyo. In the confusion of their retreat, Muneshige lost sight of her and hid his whereabouts. As Ginchiyo and company search for him at Mt. Xingshi, they fall into Da Ji's trap. Seeing her and her companions in danger, Muneshige reveals himself in order to rescue them. He admits he wanted to see more of the world in his lone travels, but he agrees to join the Coalition for Ginchiyo's sake.
In Ultimate, Muneshige accompanies Hideyoshi's search party at Shizugatake only to be confronted by an opposing army also led by the Coalition. After the misunderstanding is cleared, he joins Ginchiyo, Yoshihiro and the Wu army in escaping the mirror realm through Wujun.
In 4, Muneshige and Ginchiyo were robbed by Hisahide Matsunaga, who claimed the actual robbers were Guan Yinping's party at Luoyang. Once Hisahide is captured, it is Sun Wukong arrives and tries to attack them, but both armies unite and defeat him. After the battle, both Muneshige and Ginchiyo join the Coalition, promising to keep an eye on Hisahide.
Serving as Ginchiyo's platonic support rather than a love interest, Muneshige acts as her consultant in Pokémon Conquest's main story. She trusts his judgment unconditionally. He is concerned for her safety and wants her to be assertive of her feelings. He follows her departure from Violight Castle after their defeat.
Muneshige's episode is a mock battle between the subordinate generals throughout the land which takes place after the game's main story. The goal of the battle is to decide who is the strongest warrior/Pokémon serving under Ransei's Warlords. Since she is a Warlord, Ginchiyo is prohibited from assisting Muneshige in the competition. Therefore, she sternly orders him to claim victory for her clan and to never suffer the humiliation of defeat. Happy to represent her, Muneshige swears to live up to her expectations.
Muneshige appears as one of the generals who is convinced to join Josui in Kessen. Although his allegiance implies that he would betray Mitsunari at any given time, he will not give into Ieyasu's plea to defect. While playing as the West, he will protest and give the players a rough time. Depending on the player's actions, he will eventually join the East during the final stages of the game.
Guruguru Dungeon Nobunyaga has Muneshige star in the Tachibanya event. As the new lord of the Tachibanya, Muneshige initially believes his wife is being too hard on him. He realizes he lacks conviction when Dōsetsu challenges him to speak on their family doctrine and responsibilities. Muneshige swears to guard the Tachibanya and Ōtomo from danger in Dōsetsu's absence.
Taking Dōsetsu's advice to heart, Muneshige sets aside his sentimentality to focus on saving Shōun, their last line of defense against the Siamazu invasion. He immediately readies troops to reinforce Shōun but arrives too late. His fortitude breaks when he is unable to hear his father's thoughts, but it is restored when the protagonist resets time to tell them to him. Convinced to remain strong against tragedy, Muneshige proudly swears to protect the clan with his wife.
Muneshige is a genius and brilliant warrior of his time who always wants to act like a cool hero. Eager to hop into action, he is simultaneously plagued with various doubts about the era, such as his clan's decline and the loss of lives. He doesn't believe in the concept of an "honorable death" in war and strives to live. Believing that people have the power to govern their own fate, Muneshige desires to act without bending to the era's whims and be as free as the wind. As a man who lives up to his reputation, he impresses many warriors and has a small rivalry for the title of the land's greatest with Tadakatsu. His noble traits and good looks also make him popular with the ladies, particularly maidens like Kai and Kunoichi.
His sometimes reticent personality clashes with Ginchiyo's headstrong and prideful warrior's spirit. He genuinely understands her stand-offish nature and accepts her natural traits. If she experiences trouble, Muneshige will forsake his own safety to rescue her. He befriends Xiaoqiao and Sun Shangxiang in his Warriors Orochi appearance.
For his Samurai Warriors appearance, he is symbolized by the characters "swiftness" (疾) and "wind" (風) as well as swirls and sparkles of purple light.
Muneshige's Normal, Power, and Speed weapons take their namesake from one of Muneshige's personal swords, Nagamitsu. It was forged in the Kamakura Period by Mitsutada's son and is currently a blade without a hilt. According to legend, Shigetane -Muneshige's biological father- gave it to Muneshige when he decided to agree to make him Dōsetsu's adopted child. Before his son left his home, Shigetane presented the blade to him. He warned Muneshige, "Should you ever unintentionally think of me as your parent, glance at this blade and accept Dōsetsu as your father." Another variation of the legend stated that Shigetane gave it to his son to kill a possible villainous Dōsetsu. He warned his son to observe Dōsetsu for a time and decide whether he is truly friend or foe.
His weapons all have a powerful wind theme to them, all of which describe various types of spiraling winds that can break apart or ruin the earth. His third weapon in Chronicles 3 evokes the image of a soaring swan and utilizes both of his personal characters to form the word "hayate". The deity mentioned in his Unique weapon is Shinatsuhiko, a wind god. His secondary Unique weapon is named after Fuujin.
- Peter Doyle - Samurai Warriors 3 (English-uncredited)
- John Murphy - Kessen (English)
- Hiroki Tōchi - Samurai Warriors series, Warriors Orochi 3 (Japanese)
- Ryōtarō Okiayu - Kessen (Japanese)
- Eiji Hanawa - Nioh
Live Action Performer
- Atsushi Aoki - Sengoku Bushou Matsuri
- See also: Muneshige Tachibana/Quotes
- "Leave this place. This is our land!"
- "Fear not, my dear; I am on my way!"
- "I would be proud to die for the Tachibana."
- "Use your head. Death is no prize. Stay alive."
- ~~Ginchiyo and Muneshige, Samurai Warriors 3
- "At last, I meet the greatest warrior of the East."
- "And I the West. Let us see who is the greatest in all the land."
- ~~Muneshige and Tadakatsu, Samurai Warriors 3
- "Hey, how can I become popular like you? Come on, help a brother out and say something! Anything!"
- "First off, get rid of the hairdo and stop saying 'super'. And drop the names 'Fukushima' and 'Masanori'. How's that for an answer?"
- "So everything about me is no good!?"
- "(laughs) Just kidding."
- ~~Masanori and Muneshige; Sengoku Musou 3: Empires
- "We need to stall the Shimazu's march now. Reinforcements cannot assist us in time. I will remain here."
- "I as well. Something doesn't feel right."
- "No, you shall not. The Tachibana owe no debt to the Takahashi. There is no reason for you to stay."
- "In other words, Father, you know you won't return alive."
- "Yes. I am grateful for my life thus far. Therefore, I shall use all of it to stop the demon. Dōsetsu is strict, but he will be a fine mentor. Our lord will be in good hands with the two of you beside him."
- "Understood. Yet listen well, Father: I may be a Tachibana, but I will always be your son. I mean to protect my country as the Wind God, and no Lightning God can change that."
- ~~Jōun Takahashi and Muneshige; 100man-nin no Sengoku Musou
- "Ginchiyo talks on and on about being a Tachibana. Why be so obsessed with one's family name?"
- "Not everyone can trust in their own actions. She draws belief from being a Tachibana."
- "Her name gives her support? Is that the same as us fighting for the Sun family?"
- ~~Sun Shangxiang and Muneshige; Warriors Orochi 3
- "Hey, Muneshige, I hear you're a handy archer. Is that right?"
- "And you're the finest archer in all the Three Kingdoms."
- "Hehehe. Exactly! Who's been spreading such nice and accurate rumors like that about me?"
- "I just assumed."
- "Oh. So you're just guessing. That's not quite as satisfying."
- "I could tell from one look at your hands that you know how to use a bow. I also got a hint from your musculature and how you carry yourself."
- "Then why not say that from the start?! Anyway, this master archer wishes to test just how good you are with a bow. So if you're up for it, how 'bout a contest? See which of us is the best? Come on."
- "You certainly think you've got this contest won. Fine, I'll give you what you want."
- "Oh... Now you're the one acting superior! Hehe, I like fellas like you. This could be really fun!"
- ~~Xiahou Yuan and Muneshige; Warriors Orochi 4
Samurai Warriors 3
|Keys:||Normal Attack •||Charge Attack •||Musou •||Jump/Mount|
- : Smashes enemies with his shield.
- , : Launches the enemy skyward.
- , , : Leaps forward, smashing the opponents on the head with his shield.
- , , , : Swings his sword left sending an energy wave to attack enemies.
- , , , , : Tosses his shield up, smashes the ground in front with his sword, then catches the shield as it falls.
- , , , , , : Dashes forward while stunning enemies with his shield.
- , , , , , , : Chops downwards, then slashes across, sending a cross-shaped projectile ahead.
- , , , , , , , : Points his sword skywards, unleashing a field of energy around himself.
- , , , , , , , , : Multiple quick stabs with his sword, followed by a final thrust.
- , , , , , , , , , , , : Steps forwards, alternately swinging his sword left and right with each step.
- : Charges forward with his shield, then slashes with his sword.
- (Ultimate/Kaiden): Jumps into the air, making a cross-shaped slash with his sword, which he then fires towards the ground, inflicting a lot of damage to the enemies caught in it.
- Dashing : Charges forwards shield-first.
- , : A quick mid-air slash
- , : Diving stab to the ground with his sword.
- Spirit Cancel: Shield ram forward.
- Special Skill: Strengthens his guard. Will auto-guard the first unblocked hit he receives.
- Warriors Orochi 3
- R1: Throws shield like a boomerang while swinging sword at an overhead angle.
- , R1 (Ultimate only): Quickly dashes towards the ground and unleashes a powerful wave of energy forward.
Samurai Warriors 4
Mighty strike is the same as Deadlock Attack. Keeps relatively the same moveset with the following changes.
- : Finisher changes to him conjuring four whirlwinds.
- Rage Attack/Musou Gokui effect:
- Awakened Skill effect (4-II only):
- , : Muneshige thrusts his shield and raises his sword making a tornado around him.
- , , : Muneshige thrusts his sword sending a gust of wind forward.
- , , , :
- , , , , :
- , , , , , : Muneshige uses his sword to send a wave of energy outward, then throws his shield out in a triangle before it returns to him.
- , , , , , :
Muneshige is a quick attacker with an equal balance between offense and defense.
- See also: Muneshige Tachibana/Weapons
Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada
|Base Attack: 267||Wind: 86||Fire: 78|
|Earth: 74||Attack Up: 86||Attack Range: 77|
|Fury: 88||Insight: 85||Verity: 87|
|Base Attack: 274||Earth: 89||Lightning: 81|
|Attack Up: 89||Attack Speed: 82||Courage: 87|
|Underdog: 78||Clarity: 88||Momentum: 80|
Rare Weapon Acquisition
- Stage: Battle of Nagashino - Battle of Shitaragahara
Tachibana Muneshige was known as a true gentlemen who was always modest about his accomplishments. He always encouraged his men to protect the weak and never take from the poor. Though kind and gentle, he doubled as a fierce man of war who could persevere through any hardship in battle. He strangely had no particularly brutal war strategies and won his men's loyalty with genuine benevolence. Out of all the times he charged into battle, there are no records of him shouting the words "To the death!" or "Charge!" to his army or to his foes. A few tales say that this was because he deeply valued his adopted father's army and did not want to see any of them lose their lives. His charismatic personality and undying endurance earned Hideyoshi and Ieyasu's praise. He was said to have been Kyushu's "Honda Tadakatsu".
He was skilled in academics and was also a master swordsman. He was trained by Marume Nagayoshi, the inventor of the Taisha-ryu, and practiced in earnest to eventually create his self-taught techniques. These techniques were later adapted by Tempu Nakamura. He also excelled in traditional archery, singing, renga, the Japanese tea ceremony, kōdō, kemari and kyōgen. He had three wives. It is generally accepted that he had no children but his younger brother, Naotsugu (Munemasa), had enough children to continue the Tachibana clan.
Muneshige was born as the eldest biological son of Takahashi Shigetane, an Ōtomo retainer who named his son, Munetora. When he was eight years old, he attended a freak show. A dispute happened between the performers and a man was killed during the act. While the crowd panicked and scurried for the exits, Munetora showed no signs of fear. As he was dragged away from the site, he taunted the audience for leaving the show early and hurried back to the scene.
His interesting behavior attracted Tachibana Dōsetsu's attention and, in 1581, Dōsetsu strongly adhered to adopt him. Shigetane strongly refused the adoption, even when Dōsetsu begged him constantly. He wanted Munetora to marry his daughter, Ginchiyo, and become his heir. With time, Shigetane's insistence weakened and Dosetsu had his request granted. Munetora's name was changed to Tachibana Muneshige.
In July or November the same year, Muneshige attended his first battle with his adopted father. The Ōtomo were pursing the Akizuki family at the Battle of Honami. Muneshige rode on horseback and shot the left arm of the Akizuki's valiant retainer, Horie Bizen. Horie ripped the arrow from his arm and charged at Muneshige with a long sword for the kill. He was unexpectedly overpowered when he wrestled with Muneshige and was distracted long enough to be killed by Hagio Daigaku. In 1584, he joined his father and adopted father in the campaign to recapture Chikugo Province. After he went to the battle front with Dosetsu, he was entrusted to guard the Tachibana Mountain Castle. When Akizuki Tanezane's 8,000 man army closed in, Muneshige defeated him with a night raid and fire attack. Either after his first battle or his victory against Tanezane, he was enumerated during the army's victory banquet. Muneshige was pleased to have fought beside his biological father and mistakenly addressed Shigetane as "Father". Shigetane responded by berating and publicly disowning him, declaring that Muneshige was and always has been a Tachibana. Some speculate that this was because Muneshige was actually born a Tachibana, but this idea is debated and unsupported by most historians.
Dōsetsu had planned to marry Muneshige to Ginchiyo immediately but his passing caused a disturbance in the affair. For reasons not entirely known, it supposedly took Muneshige much longer than usual to be considered the clan's proper successor. There is a popular theory that Ginchiyo refused to accept him as even being related to her and barred him from seeing her. Though they were married, they were said to have lived in separate castles -or provinces- to avoid seeing one another. Rumors say that Muneshige divorced her soon after and tried in vain to obtain a second wife, but there are no historical records that suggests this occurred.
In 1586, Shimazu Tadatane and Ijuin Tadamune invaded Chikuzen Province with an army of 20,000, intiating the Siege of Iwaya Castle. Muneshige, who was stationed within Tachibana Mountain Castle and knew that Shigetane was at Iwaya Castle, wanted to send reinforcements to his father but was stopped by Yoshida Sakyo, who honorably faced death in Muneshige's stead. Sakyo died with the 763 retainers (sometimes debated as 600) at Iwaya Castle and Muneshige paid his deepest respects to the twenty families who lost their loved ones. Before long, Shimazu Yoshihisa ordered his men to take Tachibana Mountain Castle. Muneshige defended his position bravely and heavily relied on guerrilla warfare to drive the Shimazu back. At one point, Muneshige led a surprise attack on the Shimazu main camp and decapitated several (hundreds according to some stories) Shimazu soldiers. The Shimazu army suffered from fatigue and withdrew. Muneshige pursued them, captured Takatorii Castle and retook Iwaya Castle and Hōmanzan Castle. Ōtomo Sōrin praised him as a peerless warrior to Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
After the Shimazu army fled, the Toyotomi army of 20,000 appeared in Kyushu. Muneshige took an active role in the following campaign to suppress Kyushu. He, Kuroda Yoshitaka and others asked several times for the tired Shimazu army's surrender but were denied each time since the Shimazu vassals did not want to betray their clan's customs. When they did surrender in 1587, Muneshige was rewarded with Yanagawa Castle in Chugoku Province. The amount of koku varies in different accounts, but most tend to agree that he received at least 132,200 koku. Esteemed as a powerful clan, the Tachibana soon declared independence from their masters, the Ōtomo clan. Around this time, Hideyoshi said, "That bravery and military skill is truly among the greatest in Kyushu."
Later, when Sassa Narimasa experienced riots in Kyushu, Muneshige volunteered to stop the insurrections and slayed several violent rioters. When he worked to suppress the riots in Higo Province, he met Kobayakawa Takakage and his adopted son, Kobayakawa Motofusa (Mori Hidekane). Both men served with great renown and took a liking to one another when they shared similar accomplishments. Motofusa and Muneshige became sworn brothers and they were both promoted a year later. After serving in the siege of Odawara Castle in 1590, Hideyoshi praised him further and he earned the admiration of several daimyo present. The Taikō declared, "Just as how the east has Honda Tadakatsu as the greatest warrior of the land, the west surely has Muneshige for the same right."
During Hideyoshi's First Korean Campaign in 1592, Muneshige became a captain to one of the six 2,500 squadrons with Kobayakawa Takakage. They initially planned to capture Jeolla and sail south from Chungcheong, but they were fiercely pushed back and defeated several times near Geumsan by the righteous armies led by Jo Heon and Yeong Gyu. Since neither army could gain a stronger foothold over the other, both sides were forced into a nerve-racking deadlock. In July, the Ming army marched from Liaodong and led an offensive from Pyongyang. Since Takakage had just transferred his troops to Hanseong, Muneshige tried to barricade the roads in Muju County in an effort to protect his troops. However, since soldiers were still in the midst of being transported, his plan failed and he could not maintain his position in Korea.
In 1593, Li Rusong was temporarily driven back by Konishi Yukinaga and Pyongyang was captured. The daimyo decided to take an advantage of this momentum and Muneshige led a vanguard unit at the Battle of Byeokje Gwan. With 3,000 men, he and his younger brother led a surprise attack with their army's rifles and repulsed Sadae Su's army of the same number. Takakage was able to assist and they were able to defeat a portion of the Ming army. Muneshige and Takakage also acted as the fifth battalion during the second Siege of Jinju, but neither played a major part in the battle and were ordered to act as standby reinforcements.
In 1597, Muneshige continued to act as a defensive unit. Without merging with the invading army, he was sent to protect Angol-po during the Siege of Ulsan Castle. However, since he was concerned for his Mōri allies, his original plan to head to Busan was changed to guard Goseong Castle. He presumably participated in the defense of Waeseong or Goseong. When the Ming and Joseon armies organized a three-way attack from Ulsan, Sacheon and Suncheon-si, Muneshige was ready to defend his position. However, he received a letter from Shimazu Tadatsune regarding an attack from the east and, to aid his ally's position and resources, he did not participate in battle.
After Hideyoshi passed away, the Japanese fleet ordered a full-scale retreat. Before they could withdraw, the fleet needed to rescue Konishi, who was stranded at Suncheon Japanese Castle and had his escape route blocked by Chen Lin's naval brigade and the great Yi Sun-sin. Muneshige assisted Shimazu Yoshihiro's fleet and they were able to rescue Konishi.
Although he disliked Ishida Mitsunari, Muneshige loyally served the Western army. Before the battle, Tokugawa Ieyasu pleaded with him to join his army by offering promises of a ludicrous amount of awards. Muneshige is famous for outright rejecting the proposal and stayed loyal to the departed Hideyoshi. He gave his men the choice to depart for whichever side and only a single house elder, Komono Masatoki, left to join the Eastern army. To this end, he swore to them that they would fight for unconditional victory and marched his armies into Ise Province.
He joined his sworn father and brother, Tsukushi Hirokado, Sō Yoshitoshi and Tsuetsugu Motoyasu to take Ōtsu Castle with a 15,000 man army. On October 13, 1600, he fought with Kyōgoku Takatsugu. His army used a tactic from Dosetsu's book and mainly used rifle troops. The particular manner in which he stationed them allowed the gunners to theoretically reload three times faster than normal. Muneshige was unable to fight at Sekigahara due to the siege and, when news of Ieyasu's victory reached their ears, the Western army abandoned Ōtsu Castle. After his troops withdrew, he wanted to defend Ōsaka Castle. Mōri Terumoto advised him to drop the idea due to Ieyasu's inevitable invasion and suggested a hasty retreat back to Yanagawa. Muneshige agreed but he unexpectedly met one of the men responsible for Shigetane's death, Shimazu Yoshihiro, at the docks. Yoshihiro, battered and with troops worse for wear, confronted Muneshige and offered his head by saying, "This is the only chance you'll get to avenge your real father." Contrary to the general's expectations, Muneshige replied, "Slaughtering a defeated army is not an honor for any samurai", and worked together with Yoshihiro to escape safely back to their respective homes. As thanks, a small Shimazu vanguard escorted Muneshige back to Yanagawa.
It wasn't long until his home was attacked by Katō Kiyomasa, Nabeshima Naoshige and Kuroda Josui. Bravely leading an army of 32,000 against 40,000, Muneshige split his army into two factions and gave each of his officers at least 3,000 to fight with. Despite earning a few bouts of early success, supplies depleted quickly and casualties became high. Muneshige, though also wounded during the conflict, was able to spring a final surprise attack to save his men. By the end of the struggle, he lost at least five generals and several of his clansmen. A soldier had to support him to his horse when he retreated to Yanagawa Castle. Though greatly fatigued, he was still prepared to resist his home's invaders. Naoshige first led an offensive strike, but eventually Kiyomasa and Josui decided to use the powers of persuasion to calm Muneshige. Giving into reason, he formally surrendered.
As a side note, Yoshihiro had returned to his home and, as a sign of gratitude, he sent troops to reinforce Yanagawa. Sadly, by the time they arrived, the Tachibana were already on their third day of surrender.
After the Battle of Sekigahara, Muneshige was labeled a political criminal to the country and was stripped of his lands. As a rōnin, Kiyomasa and Maeda Toshinaga regretted to see his talents go to waste and offered him service. He refused all offers but Kiyomasa continued to fight for Muneshige's recognition to Ieyasu. Ieyasu also thought it was a waste as he knew Muneshige's capabilities in battle, but he was weary of the wanderer's loyalty to the Toyotomi. Even so, in 1603, the shogunate gave Muneshige 5,000 koku and allowed him to become a daimyo once more. By 1610, he received 35,000 koku and was formerly introduced to Ieyasu.
Though it was hard to convince him to join the front, Ieyasu ordered Muneshige to assist the Siege of Osaka. He served under Tokugawa Hidetada's troops and clashed with Mōri Katsunaga. He was awarded his old territory, Chikugo-Yanagawa, and 109,200 koku by the shogunate in 1620. With this he was able to reestablish himself as a feudal lord. Ordered by Hidetada to look after Iemitsu, Muneshige and several other feudal lords were charged with educating the youth. Since Muneshige immersed himself in the arts and culture in Edo, he hardly had time to return to his original home. He was able to establish a go-between and worked with the local lords to maintain peace in his absence.
He showed his bravery and battle prowess a final time during the Shimabara Rebellion in 1637. After his service, he passed on clan leadership and properties to his adopted son, Tadashige. He passed away in his local residence in Edo during 1643. He was 76 years old at the time of his death and became heralded as a man who braved many changes in his life.
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