Matsunaga Danjō Hisahide (松永 弾正 久秀 1508 – November 19, 1577) was a daimyō and head of the Yamato Matsunaga clan in Japan during the Sengoku period of the 16th century.

Matsunaga Hisahide
Daimyo of Yamato Province
In office
1559 – November 19, 1577
Succeeded byTsutsui Junkei
Personal details
DiedNovember 19, 1577
Shigisan Castle, Yamato Province
ChildrenMatsunaga Hisamichi
Matsunaga Nagatane
  • Unknown (father)
  • Unknown (mother)
RelativesMatsunaga Nagayori (brother)
Matsunaga Teitoku (grandson)
Matsunaga Sekigo (great grandson)
Military service
Allegiance Miyoshi clan
Oda clan
Unit Matsunaga clan
CommandsKyoto (Governor)
Yamato Province (Daimyo)
Battles/warsAssassination of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshiteru (1565)
Siege of Shigisan (1577)
A view over Tōdai-ji, Mountains of Wakakusa, Mikasa and Kasuga from Tamon Castle site
Before killing himself, Hisahide breaking the chagama which Oda Nobunaga wanted. Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Kōtarō Yoshida portraying Hisahide in the suicide scene from NHK's Taiga drama, Kirin ga Kuru

He has historical reputation as one of Japan's three ruthless figures (日本三大梟雄), a nickname which he shared with Ukita Naoie and Saitō Dōsan, due to their ambitious and treasonous personality, along with the habit to resort into underhanded tactics and assassinations to eliminate the oppositions.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]



He was a retainer of Miyoshi Nagayoshi from the 1540s. He directed the conquest of the province of Yamato in the 1560s and by 1564 had built a sufficient power base to be effectively independent. It is believed that he was conspiring against Nagayoshi during this period; from 1561 to 1563 three of Nagayoshi's brothers and his son, Yoshiaki, died. This left Miyoshi Yoshitsugu the adopted heir when Nagayoshi died in 1564, too young to rule. Three men shared his guardianship – Miyoshi Nagayuki, Miyoshi Masayasu, and Iwanari Tomomichi.[citation needed]

In 1565, He then invaded the shōgun Ashikaga Yoshiteru's palace, who then committed suicide.[8] Yoshiteru brother, Ashikaga Yoshiaki, fled and the shōgun was replaced by his young cousin, Yoshihide.[9]

In 1566, fighting started between Hisahide and Miyoshi. Initially, the forces of Hisahide were unsuccessful and his apparent destruction of the Buddhist Tōdai-ji in Nara was considered an act of infamy.

In 1568, Oda Nobunaga, with the figurehead Yoshiaki, attacked Hisahide. Nobunaga captured Kyoto in November and Hisahide was forced to submit.[8]

Yoshiaki was made shōgun, a post he held only until 1573 when he attempted to remove himself from Nobunaga's power. Hisahide kept control of the Yamato and served Nobunaga in his extended campaigns against the Miyoshi and others, for a while.

In 1573, Hisahide briefly allied with the Miyoshi clan, but when the hope for success was not achieved he returned to Nobunaga to fight the Miyoshi.

In 1577, Nobunaga besieged him at Shigisan Castle. Defeated but defiant Hisahide committed suicide. A noted tea master, he destroyed his tea bowl denying it to his enemies.[8]

He ordered his head destroyed to prevent it from becoming a trophy (in which his son, Matsunaga Kojiro grabbed Hisahide's head and jumped off the castle wall with his sword through his throat). His son, Hisamichi, also committed suicide in the siege.[citation needed]

Hisahide often appears as a shriveled and scheming old man.[10]



See People of the Sengoku period in popular culture.

  • Matsunaga Danjō Hisahide is featured as a character in Sengoku Basara 2: Heroes, in which he is depicted as a man of treachery who enjoys any course of action that would subsequently present to him a greater sum of pleasure. He takes a primary role in Katakura Kojūrō's story, and by the end of such a scenario, he sets aflame his initial base with explosives as a showing of defeat. Hisahide was announced as one of 14 characters to be made playable in the upcoming expansion to Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes.
  • Hisahide Matsunaga appears as a character in the Samurai Warriors series. Prior to becoming playable in Samurai Warriors 4, Matsunaga appeared as a "fire ninja" bodyguard character in Samurai Warriors 2 and later reappeared in Samurai Warriors 3 as a generic non-playable character. Following his aforementioned playable debut, Matsunaga also appeared as a playable character in Warriors Orochi 4.
  • in Sengoku Basara, he also appears during the challenge, involving his mercenaries to destroy two gates. If the player repulsed all attempts, he appears. If failed, he was shown waving his sword as it explodes. He excels in sword fights, mixing it with his fascination with explosives and fire-based techniques.
  • In The Ambition of Oda Nobuna, Matsunaga Hisahide is played by a girl who is also known as the Venomous Scorpion. She is a co-conspirator of the Miyoshi Three who removed the Ashikaga Shogunate from power but later betrays them and is eventually forced out of Kyoto by Oda. She is the Daimyo of the Yamato Province and a notorious turncoat, frequently allying herself with one group, betraying them, manipulating them, and rejoining them at her convenience. Matsunaga Hisahide is voiced by Masumi Asano in Japanese and by Shelley Calene-Black in English.
  • In the 2014 anime Nobunaga Concerto, and its 2015 film adaptation, Matsunaga Hisahide is depicted as a Yakuza member before being transported to the past, Hisahide relishes the chaos of the Sengoku period, believing it to be a battle where only the strongest win. Meeting Nobunaga after his rejection of the Shogun's letter to attack the Oda, Hisahide offers his loose loyalty to Nobunaga until the time he can rebel. In the anime, he is voiced by Takaya Kuroda and played by Arata Furuta in the film adaption.
  • In the 2014 Taiga drama, Gunshi Kanbei, Matsunaga Danjō Hisahide is played by actor Mickey Curtis.
  • In the 2020 anime television series Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga, voiced by Ryūsei Nakao. Reincarnated as a chihuahua in modern-day Japan.
  • In the 2020 Taiga drama, Kirin ga Kuru, Matsunaga Hisahide is played by actor Kōtarō Yoshida. This Taiga's narrative was that Hisahide left his alliance with Nobunaga after Tsutsui Junkei, his rival, was chosen as the protector of the Yamata Province. Nobunaga's son, Oda Nobutada, with Akechi Mitsuhide, would defeat Hisahide at the Siege of Shigisan. If Hisahide had surrendered, Nobunaga would have given him a small fiefdom.[12]
  • In Nioh, Matsunaga Hisahide makes an appearance in the game and is shown as a spirit residing in an ethereal teapot and referring to himself as "Danjo".
  • In Nioh 2, Matsunaga Hisahide appears in the main storyline and within the game's events, he dies and serves the same purpose as the game before it.[13]


  1. ^ 荒木祐臣 (1976). 備前藩宇喜多小早川池田史談 (in Japanese). 日本文教出版. pp. 8, 25. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  2. ^ 打開天窗說亮話: 吳錦發論政治 (in Japanese). 前衛出版社. 1991. p. 145. ISBN 9579512418. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  3. ^ 市川俊介 (2010). 岡山戦国物語 (in Japanese). 吉備人出版. p. 13. ISBN 978-4860692643. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  4. ^ 大西泰正 (2010). 豊臣期の宇喜多氏と宇喜多秀家 (in Japanese). 岩田書院. p. 2. ISBN 9784872946123. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  5. ^ Yasutsune Owada (小和田泰経) (2016). ビジュアルワイド 図解 日本の城・城合戦 (in Japanese). 西東社. p. 143. ISBN 978-4791681099. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  6. ^ 佐藤和夫 (1986). 戦国武将の家訓 (in Japanese). 新人物往来社. p. 69. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  7. ^ Tadayuki Amano (天野忠幸) (2014). Miyoshi Nagayoshi (in Japanese). ミネルヴァ書房. p. 157. ISBN 978-4-623-07072-5.
  8. ^ a b c Turnbull, Stephen (2000). The Samurai Sourcebook. London: Cassell & Co. pp. 58, 228. ISBN 1854095234.
  9. ^ Butler, Lee (2020-03-23). Emperor and Aristocracy in Japan, 1467–1680: Resilience and Renewal. Brill. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-68417-366-2.
  10. ^ "The Villainous Matsunaga Hisahide | YABAI – the Modern, Vibrant Face of Japan". 30 August 2018.
  11. ^ Romano, Sal (6 April 2021). "Samurai Warriors 5 adds Takakage Kobayakawa, Hisahide Matsunaga, Kagetora Nagao, Shingen Takeda, and Motonari Mori". Gematsu. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Episode 40: Matsunaga Hisahide's Hiragumo". Kirin ga Kuru. 10 January 2021. NHK.
  13. ^ "Matsunaga Hishaide – Nioh 2".