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William Adams
Character Information
Variable (Nioh)
Katana (Personal)
Variable (Battle)
Saoirse (Personal)
Voice Actor(s):
Ben Peel
Historical Information
Real name:
William Adams
Miura Anjin
Japanese name:
三浦 按針
September 24, 1564
May 16, 1620

William Adams (ウィリアム・アダムス) is an Irish born, English navigator who served under the Tokugawa regime after being shipwrecked in Japan. He helped propagate trading throughout the country and became one of the few known foreign samurai.

He appears as Anjin Miura in the later Nobunaga's Ambition titles, often as an unlockable officer with above average levels for tactics and gunnery.

Role in Games[]


William is the main protagonist of Nioh; growing up in a remote Irish village, he meets a guardian spirit called Saoirse who was born from human prayers. Saoirse saved him from death and now prevents him from dying and gifted him with the ability to see the normally invisible spirits. He was originally a pirate hired by Elizabeth I to find Amrita, powerful spiritual stones, to help fuel the war efforts to defeat Spain. William is held prisoner in the Tower of London. Escaping thanks to Saoirse, he confronts the alchemist Edward Kelley. Kelley captures Saoirse and flees to Japan, intending to gather the country's Amrita.

William pursues him and eventually lands in Japan. He encounters Hanzō, who explains the country's political situation and proposes an alliance - Hanzō will help William to track Kelley, if William will help with the fight against the Oni. William agrees and goes to Kyushu, where he saves Nagamasa from yokai. He is aided in this battle by Nekomata, a cat spirit. Soon, William's exploits are noticed by Ieyasu who then decides to meet the man.

Meanwhile, tensions between Ieyasu and Mitsunari continue to rise, leading to the battle at Sekigahara. During the battle, William confronts Yoshitsugu, Sakon, and Mitsunari himself, learning that Kelley seeks to resurrect Nobunaga. William pursues Kelley into the reconstructed Azuchi Castle, where he fights and defeats Yasuke.

When he reaches Kelley, Nobunaga has been brought back from the dead. After Nobunaga decides to spare William and die again, Kelley is incensed to use Saoirse's energy to summon Yamata no Orochi. William slays it and kills Kelley. Before his death, the alchemist reveals that he was working for John Dee, the Queen's adviser. William travels back to the England and confronts the man. After defeating him, William receives a vision of Hanzō dying at Ōsaka Castle and decides to come back to Japan, and manage to save him in time.

After learning that a Spanish woman named Maria had been manipulating entire events using Amrita stones, such as using Masamune Date and enacting the Battle of Osaka, William and his allies begin to hunt and arrest her. He is later aided by one of Toyotomi’s warrior Yukimura Sanada, whom William fought before learning Maria’s manipulation and had Sasuke Sarutobi as a body double to aid William. After he and Yukimura stops an out of control Lady Yodo, who was transformed into a Kyūbi by Maria, William was told by Yukimura, so the latter can die peacefully with Lady Yodo under the burning castle. Knowing that Maria still on the loose, William tells Hanzō that their mission to arrest her is still not over.

Continue to a near end chapters of Nioh 2, William and Saiorse helps the player protagonist nicknamed Hide from Otakemaru’s possession, splitting the ghostly demon apart from the half-yokai protagonist. As Maria lures Otakemaru to possess what appears to be Hideyoshi Toyotomi’s corpse, Hide let himself/herself being possessed by the evil ghost demon once more to destroy it from inside, at the same time Hideyoshi fully revived as his purified-self and recovers Hide, but prefers to return to the afterlife, while William manages to arrest Maria in time. By the end of the story, it reveals that William is married to Okatsu and gives birth to English-Japanese son, who now inherits his mother’s guardian spirit.

Warriors All-Stars[]

Depending on who you start with, William will either be available from the start or you'll have to recruit through a Hero Battle later on. If you select him as your starting character, his first introduction level is with him wondering where he was and talks about how he was on his way to Japan. While stranded in a mysterious world, he finds Ryu Hayabusa and Ayane battling hoards of monsters and decides to aid them when the three of them meet the Human Hunter, Millennia. Together, the three of them defeat her and she runs off. Eventually, the trio find their way to the Sancuary where they meet up with Shiki and Sayo where he explains the situation and asks for their help. All three begrudgingly decide to aid the would-be King in order to be sent home.

If you choose anyone other than William, whomever's faction you are a part of's leader will say about how they have been working with another Hero lately to find out more about the world and found that he was under attack by monsters and your rival forces. At first, William had no intention of siding any of the forces, instead opting to let others do the work for him, but after meeting with him and helping him out his battle, he decides it's time to get to work and help whomever the leader is bring an end to the fighting.

During the game, he has a quest with Lu Bu where a village requests aid to defeat some demons that have been plaguing their home for a while. Not wanting to do all the work himself, he gets an idea to use Lu Bu's immense strength and desire to duel him to get him to help by tricking him into helping the villagers indirectly. At the end of the quest, William says that because of the battle he is too worn out to fight, but wants Lu Bu to join him for drinks, saying that it'll be a duel he won't lose.

Depending on the routes and battles fought, William can eventually help the heroes slay or seal Yomi away and eventually return to his own world.

Character Information[]


William was decided to enter Warriors All-Stars early within the selection process, but Nioh's harrowing development had worried both teams. One of the directors of Nioh even joked, "Warriors All-Stars might come out before us at this rate." If Nioh hadn't been finalized first, then William would have been DLC for Warriors All-Stars. The Warriors All-Stars team wanted to make a fundoshi model for William's bathing, which was followed by the Nioh team shooting back, "Give that model to us." Furusawa commented that the Warriors All-Stars one was made first and that there are only slight differences between it and the one that appears in Nioh. William's animations in Warriors All-Stars are the same as his original data with some tweaks done during development.

When Furusawa was asked if William would always speak English in Warriors All-Stars, he replied that William can understand and speak some Japanese. He adds that it's all right in the end because, "there appears to be no language barrier amongst heroes."


William is a stalwart warrior who rarely shows fear. He faces any adversity with unflinching tenacity. When not in battle, he is observant, thoughtful and soft-spoken in his foreign surroundings. Though William starts his quest in Japan fighting for his survival, his ensuing adventures fosters an unwavering heart of righteousness. He hopes to save victims within the human and spiritual realm.


See also: William Adams/Quotes



Players can equip William with various weapons to defeat enemies. His proficiency with each type of weapon increases through repeated use and stat growth. He also has the ability to summon guardian spirits for aid.

Warriors All-Stars[]

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

Warriors All-Stars - William Highlight

Promotional gameplay trailer

If the player presses Triangle immediately when William's sword sparkles after an attack, William will receive a temporary attack speed boost indicated with a glowing aura.

Triangle: A quick double-criss-cross upward two-handed slash combo into a downward reap a bit to the left, finishing with a left-legged kick forward.
Square, Triangle: William charges forward for a grab. If it connects, he vault-jumps off of an enemy and slashes the ground upon landing for a launch.
Square, Square, Triangle: Performs a quick double-criss-cross slash downward to the left then right, then from his left he flicks his sword upward via a recoil motion to release a shockwave-styled sonic boom that stuns on grounded hit or knocks back on airborne hit.
Square, Square, Square, Triangle: Readies himself for a double two-handed thrust forward, finishing with a one-handed Gatotsu (Fang Thrust)-styled stab. Each stab will shoot out a horizontal wind tunnel blast.
Square, Square, Square, Square, Triangle: William does a forward sideways flip and then slam-smashes the ground with his sword.
Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Triangle: William readies his blade, and then two-handed-reaps downwards and then to the right one-handed. Each slash releases a large sword beam forwards.
Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square: A swing to the right one-handed, upward-left two-handed strike, down right one-handed cutdown, one-handed mid-low forward-thrust, one-handed upward-right wave, then finishes with a final two-handed reap forward.
Dashing + Square and Triangle: A two-handed downward reap a bit to his left.
Jump + Square: A downward wide sword-swing to the right outward.
Jump + Triangle: William stabs his sword into the ground forcefully for a quake.
Circle: William powers his sword up with Saoirse and enters an enhanced, time-limited mode. While in this mode, any slashing attacks will shoot out sword beams, and any thrusting attacks will shoot out energy beams. Press Circle again or wait until time runs out for William to perform a powerful slash attack that has Saoirse fly out of the sword and fly through enemies.
Hero Skill
Shiryu's Thunder: attack that lowers defense and removes enemy buffs.
Awakened Skill

Fighting Style[]

William is only equipped with his katana in his Warriors All-Stars appearance. He is a very straightforward swordfighter, and attacks with powerful slashes and thrusts. His straightforward sword moveset makes him very friendly for beginners to pick up. Whenever William's sword flashes in Warriors All-Stars, the player can press Triangle to activate "Zanshin"; if their timing is successful, William's attack speed will be boosted for a short period of time.

Historical Information[]

Early Life[]

Born in the town of Gillingham at Kent, England, Adams lost his father at the age of 12 and made ends meet by apprenticing under the shipyard owner Nicholas Diggins in Limehouse. There, he spent the next 12 years mastering shipbuilding, astronomy, and navigation. He put those skills to use by joining the Royal Navy and becoming a pilot for one of Sir Francis Drake's supply ships.

Although content with his current position, the Dutch trade's successful ventures made a lasting impression on Adams. He and his brother Thomas later became navigators for the Barbary Company's merchants who sought to find new trade routes to the Far East. The journey was allegedly a two-year expedition to the Arctic in hopes of finding a northeast shortcut along the coast of Siberia, though this has been contested by several historians.

Adams, tasked with leading a fleet to Asia, departed Rotterdam in June 1598. The fleet consisted of his flagship, "De Hoop" (Hope), and four more vessels manned by Dutch sailors: "De Liefde" (Love), "Het Geloof" (Faith), "De Trouw" (Loyalty), and "Blijde Boodschop" (Gospel). The ships were supposed to reach West Africa for silver and pass through the Magellan Strait, but complications and other unfortunate events caused some of them to scatter.

Even after Adams had switched ships to De Liefde, the long journey was putting a heavy strain on his crewmen. Some died from illness while others, including Thomas, were killed fighting hostile natives. Threatened by the presence of the Spaniards, the remaining ships fled to the Pacific and managed to reach Japan. Only De Liefde made it there intact.

Life in Japan[]

Artist's depiction of Adams meeting Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1707.

On April 19, 1600, the sickly crew of the De Liefde, which had less then 20 of the original 110 men, were shipwrecked at the coast of Bungo, Japan. Mistaken for pirates by Portuguese missionaries, Adams and his men were taken prisoner to Ōsaka Castle under Tokugawa Ieyasu's orders. The bronze cannons their ship carried were also confiscated and used in the Battle of Sekigahara.

During their first three meetings, the Shogun was impressed by Adams's knowledge on naval engineering enough to treat the surviving crew as guests rather than prisoners. The Jesuits were envious of their good fortunate and tried to convert the sailors as Catholics or deport them clandestinely; these efforts failed and helped lead to their expulsion 1614. Adams eventually replaced João Rodrigues as the Shogun's official interpreter after learning the Japanese language.

When Adams was commissioned by Ieyasu to build a Western-style ship on Izu Peninsula, he was reluctant to do so due to his lack of experience as a carpenter. Fortunately, the construction was a success and the vessel, weighing 80 tons, was used for surveying the coastline. A second ship, being 40 tons heavier, was later built and lent to shipwrecked sailors from Spain. For their efforts, the crewmen were given numerous privileges including the right to engage in foreign trade. A majority of them left Japan, though only Adams was forced to stay behind. In 1608, he proved instrumental in establishing relations with New Spain after contacting Rodrigo de Vivero y Velasco, the interim governor of the Philippines.

Adams wanted to reunite with his wife Mary and their two daughters, but Ieyasu, who immensely valued the navigator's counsel in trade and diplomacy, forbade him from leaving. To coax him into staying, the Shogun gave Adams a large residence at Tokyo and two precious swords that effectively elevated him to the status of samurai. Now called "Miura Anjin", he was granted a fief at Hemi with a generous stipend of 250 koku, as well as the right to marry Oyuki (お雪), a daughter of the samurai Magome Kageyu. Because Oyuki was not of noble standing, some historians believe that Miura married her out of love. The couple was blessed with two children: a son named Joseph and a daughter called Susanna. Even though Miura now had a new family to take care of, he continued to support his previous wife via monetary support sent overseas. He also had a concubine who bore him an unnamed child.

Later Years[]

While Miura deeply appreciated Japan and its inhabitants, he was eager to travel once more and saw trading as a means to fulfill this desire. It also inspired him to bring his native and adoptive homes together as potential allies. The English samurai went on to help John Saris install a trading post for the British East India Company. However, there were some complications that made the operation difficult. For one, Miura's advice in setting up the factory near their target market was ignored by Saris who wanted to spy on the commercial activities of the Dutch. Also, Saris was put off by the navigator's praise of Japan's customs, further straining their ties. Fortunately for Miura, his attitude was well-received by Richard Cocks who became one of his closest friends.

Miura also participated in the Red Seal Asian trade which saw him take trips throughout Okinawa, Thailand, and Indochina. These expeditions were possible thanks to the Shogun's influence. But when Hidetada succeeded his father Ieyasu, trading declined to the point where only the Dutch were allowed to trade with Japan. Eventually, Miura retired from his post and died at Hirado. He was buried right next to a memorial dedicated to Francis Xavier. His possessions and titles were inherited by Joseph who followed in his father's footsteps until foreign trading was banned in 1635.


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