Yoshimitsu (吉光) is the name given to the wielder of the Yoshimitsu sword and leader of the Manji Clan.
Each Yoshimitsu has the same personality, fighting style, weaponry, and voice. They also all have a similar appearance. This is so that to outsiders of the Manji Clan, it appears as though there is only one immortal Yoshimitsu.
Oda Nobunaga, the daimyo of Owari, sought the power of the Manji clan and invited its chief to Azuichi castle. Due to his advanced age, the clan's chief sent the strongest warrior, Yoshimitsu, of the clan on his behalf. As expected, Nobunaga requested the allegiance of the Manji clan, but the Manji clan preferred to remain hidden. After a few days' stay at the castle, the fighter politely denied Nobunaga's request and returned to his village.
Upon his return, Yoshimitsu found his beloved village in ruins. Nobunaga had prepared an army in anticipation of the clan's refusal to serve him. Yoshimitsu attempted a battle against Nobunaga, but he was no match for the army or Nobunaga and lost his arm, which he replaced with a wooden prosthetic. Yoshimitsu set out across the sea in search of the "Ultimate Weapon", Soul Edge, so that he could take his revenge against Lord Nobunaga.
But during his journey, he came across many horrible scenes left behind by the Azure Knight, Nightmare. In his meditation, he concluded that if he were to give in to his hatred, he would be no better than either Oda Nobunaga or Nightmare. But even with that realization in his mind, he continued to pursue the Soul Edge nevertheless. When Yoshimitsu finally reached Ostrheinsburg Castle, it was devoid of any signs of life.
Upon leaving the castle, he sensed that the evil energy there had somehow transferred a similar energy into his katana. So he left on a journey to rid his blade of the corrupted energy. Unfortunately, he became careless one day and passed out, worn from trying to quell the corruption; during his sleep, the katana had been stolen by a thief--Voldo, who had mistaken it for Soul Edge.
Yoshimitsu did not want the evil energy to fall into the wrong hands, so he set out to retrieve it. He infiltrated the legendary Money Pit of "the Merchant of Death", Vercci, and, completely by chance, found his katana alongside a fragment of Soul Edge, both emanating similar evil energies. Yoshimitsu decided that if there was another object in the world with the same evil as his katana, which he had now named "Yoshimitsu", it mustn't be allowed to exist. And so he embarked on yet another journey, set on destroying the cursed Soul Edge.
Yoshimitsu eventually discovered that the fragments were spread around the earth, and that he alone could never destroy them all while also helping those in need. So he returned to Japan and recruited ruffians from around the land, soon forming a band of chivalrous thieves, known as the Manjitou. Thanks to his skill and ability, Yoshimitsu soon became head of the clan.
One day, Yoshimitsu devised a plan for a grand robbery: the entire group would infiltrate a wealthy usurer's mansion during the annual festival and take everything he owned, which included a fragment of Soul Edge. Unfortunately, the plan failed and a vanguard force was wiped out in front of the treasure room. The remaining clan members eventually freed their captured comrades, but they gave a strange report to Yoshimitsu: the fragment of Soul Edge in the mansion's treasure room was gone, which was puzzling, considering that the vanguard force that Yoshimitsu sent supposedly never made it inside. Also, the body of the leader of the vanguard force had never been found.
Some members of the clan thought that betrayal was the only explanation, but Yoshimitsu wouldn't believe that. The man, his second-in-command, was good on both his combat skill and humanity and he had great expectations of him. Also, the wounds on his men were not dealt with a normal blade. He spoke to his men and instructed them to find the fragment, stating that they would also find the man. He would accompany them in the hunt in order to find the truth.
After a long journey, he found the man who told them that Tira, a servant of Soul Edge, had ambushed them and taken the fragment of Soul Edge.
Yoshimitsu managed to save the life of his officer, but then saw Tira with a flock of black ravens and wondered where she would be heading.
While taking care of the wounded officer, Yoshimitsu called the rest of the clan, telling them that they would attack Ostrheinsburg, destroy the evil, and go for Soul Edge. The Manjitou's greatest scheme was about to happen.
One year before the events of Soulcalibur V, Yoshimitsu heard rumors about Cervantes being back from the dead and traveled West to confront him, but he was getting old and was mortally wounded. In order to prevent his possessed blade from spiraling out of control, Yoshimitsu was forced to pass on his name to a successor. The person chosen was a young Manji ninjutsu user, who had grown up in the Fûma village. This young man became the new Yoshimitsu by slaying the original Yoshimitsu and claiming the sword as it's new wielder, though he lost his right arm in the process.
Planted firmly in the earth before the warrior stood a katana; purple flames rippled and danced about it.
The sword had a name: Yoshimitsu. It was a demonic blade, steeped in the evil of Soul Edge and ever thirsty for blood.
The sword's last owner, too, had been called Yoshimitsu—by bestowing his own name upon the blade, he had sealed its evil power. But he had been cut down just moments earlier by his dearest disciple, a young warrior well-versed in the arts of Manji Ninjitsu. The disciple made a vow: He would see through the mission Yoshimitsu had begun.
He reached out and gripped the sword. The flames licked at his hand, but his voice did not waver as he called out:
"I am Yoshimitsu the Second! Calm thyself!"
The flames subsided; the sword had accepted him as the new Yoshimitsu.
Only one man was allowed to carry that name; the title was earned by slaying its previous holder. And so it was that a new warrior, overcoming sorrow and doubt, would continue the fight against evil.
Yoshimitsu, leader of the chivalrous Manji Clan, savior of the weak, enemy of the strong—it was a name that brought hope to people.
- Yoshimitsu & Fu-Ma Blade
- Manji Sword
- Soul Edge (Complete) Yoshimitsu
- Soul Calibur (Katana and Sashimono)
- Shepherd's Crook
- The Ancient (Yoshimitsu)
- The Master (Yoshimitsu)
- Phantom Machete
- Wooden Swords
- Soulcalibur II
- Soulcalibur III
- Soulcalibur IV
- Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny
- Soulcalibur: Unbreakable Soul
- Soulcalibur V
- Soulcalibur VI
Appearances in other Media
Yoshimitsu originated from the Tekken series of fighting games, depicting his modern incarnation, and thus appears in these games from that series.
- Tekken 2
- Tekken 3
- Tekken Tag Tournament
- Tekken 4
- Tekken 5
- Tekken 6
- Tekken Tag Tournament 2
- Tekken 7
- Yoshimitsu is the third character in the Soul series to be succeeded by a separate, identical character, in Soulcalibur V. Astaroth being the first.
- The original Yoshimitsu possessed a clockwork-style prosthetic right arm crafted from wood and animated through unknown means, presumably by magic. This was done to facilitate the fact the character was largely repurposed from his Tekken descendent, who was able to perform inhuman katana attacks by use of a cybernetic prosthetic arm. It is never explained how or why the past Yoshimitsu had a prosthetic arm, if he had lost it or willingly replaced it to bolster his fighting ability.
- His modern day successor also uses a cybernetic prosthetic arm of similar build to the original Yoshimitsu. but unlike his ancient predecessor, who used a prosthetic made from Manji sciences after being forced into hiding by the Oda clan[source?], the modern Yoshimitsu lost his arm in a mission gone wrong and had it replaced by a kind scientist.
- Yoshmitsu's Destined Battle in Soulcalibur is Nightmare, his Destined Battle in Soulcalibur II is Voldo, and his Destined Battle in Soulcalibur III is Tira. On the fourth stage of Soulcalibur IV's Arcade Mode, he will always fight Tira.
- The Sashimono that Yoshimitsu wears on his back was worn by real samurai to represent their clan.
- In Yoshimitsu's Story Mode in Soulcalibur IV, he is accompanied by Ukon throughout all five stages.
- Both Yoshimitsus', Tekken and Soul series, backstories seem to revolve around the death of clanmates at the hands of a single person. They also appear with prosthetic arms that they can use to their advantage.
- The Tekken series' Yoshimitsu has been seen to wield a second sword in Tekken 6 named "Fumaken" (Japanese for "Demon Sealing Blade") for the purposes of countering the cursed properties of his primary sword (Named like its owner, Yoshimitsu) so he wouldn't go insane. The second Yoshimitsu's other katana may be a reference to this as it is called "Fu-Ma Blade", which is more or less the same as "Fumaken" albeit partially translated and possibly written to reference the Fu-Ma Clan which do not exist in the Tekken series as well as not driving the owner insane.
- Yoshimitsu is often thought to be a samurai, however he is not; he is a ninja. This misconception mostly derives from the way he dresses and his weapon of choice, the Katana —a weapon that is more common among samurai, plus the fact that he wears a traditional samurai's sashimono. Yoshimitsu, alongside Taki and Natsu, are the only ninjas in the series. Yoshimitsu is also the only male ninja so far.
- The Manji Clan's Ninjutsu specialized in the use of a katana so that they could disguise themselves as Samurai, and use Samurai weaponry, hence the samurai like attire worn by every iteration of Yoshimitsu.
- Yoshimitsu is nicknamed "The First Mechanized Ninja," although he is referred to as such, it has never been stated that he is a robot. The nickname is probably referring to his right arm, which is mechanical. However, his alternate costume from Soulcalibur shows that his elbows joints are wooden and he has a hole in his neck. This can also be seen in the Soulcalibur IV's Character Creation, where the player can see that his face, legs, and left arm are all wooden too, even though the player cannot remove all clothing. Then again, in Soulcalibur III, his alternate costume depicts Yoshimitsu with a human left hand instead of a wooden left hand and his bare feet can be seen, which are also human flesh instead of wood.
- Yoshimitsu's name roughly translates into "Light of Good Fortune".
- Yoshimitsu is the only character to have a weapon that shares the same name as him.
- Yoshimitsu is the only character with multiple versions of his Critical Finish (approx. 7).
- Yoshimitsu speaks a rough version of Archaic English, even going so far as to affect an upper class English accent, with humorous results. Even though the time period suggests that everyone was supposed to speak Early Modern English, Yoshimitsu is the only one to speak this type of English. If the default language is set to Japanese, Yoshimitsu speaks a traditional type of Japanese and in Soulcalibur I through III, he speaks with the mannerisms of a dramatic Japanese kabuki actor.
- While Yoshimitsu from the Soul series has a sashimono on his back, Yoshimitsu from the Tekken series does not appear with such an item although can be customized to have one in Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Also, while Yoshimitsu from the Soul series is right-handed, Yoshimitsu from the Tekken series is left-handed.
- Yoshimitsu is the only character as a CPU in Story Mode to use its alternate costume to fight. In Soulcalibur IV, sometimes, his alternate costume will be fought before his standard.
- Yoshimitsu's face can never be seen. In Soulcalibur IV, the mask was replaced by a plain wooden block standing in for Yoshimitsu's face. Also, when customizing an outfit for him in Character Creation mode in Soulcalibur V his undressed model has him covered in bandages (which cannot be removed) from head to toe, except for the mechanical arm. This also goes with Tekken's Yoshimitsu whose face is also not known and is never seen but uses a helmet visor.
- Yoshimitsu was the first character to have a "taunt" which he could do in Soulcalibur II. By Soulcalibur III, everyone could taunt.
- Yoshimitsu is one of the three characters to have been voiced by Nobuyuki Hiyama, who is well known as the voice of Link (Legend of Zelda). The others are Nightmare and Siegfried.
- Starting with Soul Calibur II, one of Yoshimitsu's attacks, Iron Fist Possession, causes him to use various techniques from the Tekken series, including Heihachi Mishima's Shadow Step, Lei Wulong's Drunken Walk, King's Deadly Tomahawk, Kunimitsu's Heavenly Divide, among others.
- In Soulcalibur V, when Yoshimitsu is wearing no equipment at all, he resembles a mummy, except his right arm and right pectoral is exposed, showing both parts are mechanical. Also, there are some Japanese katakana on some parts of the wrappings, and it is blacked where the eyes are.
- The two Yoshimitsus from Soulcalibur are ancestors of Tekken's Yoshimitsu.
- Despite Yoshimitsu's odd appearances, he is a human. The only non-human thing about him is his right hand, which is a mechanical wooden arm. His 2P costume in the original Soulcalibur was meant to be a joke, but was taken too seriously. His 2P costume in Soul Calibur III reveals his bare feet and his left hand is exposed which is a human hand.
- Interestingly, the mask Yoshimitsu wears in Soul Calibur is the same exact mask that the later Yoshimitsu wears in Tekken 1. Except in Soul Calibur, the eyes are just full dark brown eyes with no pupils or whites. Yoshimitsu also wears this same exact mask in Soul Calibur II on his P2 costume.
- Yoshimitsu's P1 costumes in every single game he's in are exactly what samurai wore in battle, except with a few unique modifications.
- Yoshimitsu is one of Namco's most iconic characters. His unique look and fighting style make him a favorite among many fans.
- A lot of Yoshimitsu's moves are borrowed from Mitsurugi. Mitsurugi also borrows some of Yoshimitsu's moves as well. Such as Yoshimitsu's Sudare Wheel, which was a move he had in Soul Calibur 1 and 2. Mitsurugi later has this move in Soul Calibur III onwards. On that same note, Yoshimitsu and Mitsurugi also share the same weapon demonstration.
- When winning a fight Yoshimitsu recites: Namu, Namu, Namu (南無、南無、南無), being Namu a Japanese Buddhist voice of devotion originated from the Sanskrit word Namas (नमस्), meaning "bow", "obeisance" or "adoration". It also appears in the nembutsu (南無阿弥陀仏 Namu Amida Bustu "Hail the Amitabha Buddha"). Another Buddhist recitation by Yoshimitsu when winning a fight is shiki soku ze kū (色即是空) which means "form is emptiness". Although, his Shiki Soku Zeku chant is only recited halfway and is always unfinished. The correct chant goes "Shiki Soku Zeku Kusoku Zeshiki."
- In Soul Calibur IV, Yoshimitsu also uses his wakizashi in certain attacks and even has a few new stances and moves. For unknown reasons, many of these new moves did not return for Soul Calibur V. His descendant still possesses a wakizashi, but it is a different color and is never used, except for Critical Edge and Flea Walking.
- The Tekken incarnation of Yoshimitsu in Street Fighter X Tekken has an alternative costume which is stated to be the First Yoshimitsu, appearing as either a ghost or illusion from his katana.
- The Tekken incarnation of Yoshimitsu in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 can be customized to look like Yoshimitsu from Soulcalibur, except the black katana cannot be recolored, & the Hannya mask item cannot be worn on Yoshimitsu, but only on Kunimitsu.
- Based on a concept art of a samurai-like warrior with skull face, some fans believe Yoshimitsu was initially planned to be in Soul Edge but later was dropped.
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