| Spoiler Alert: This page contains minor spoilers from the events of the games. |
Don't worry too much about them but take it into account.
|“||My wife... She was called Kichou. She was much healthier than me and she was a great woman. She would run around, and she would smell like the sun when I embraced her. But... She protected me from an enemy who tried to assassinate me, and............... Oh, if you think about it, I guess you could say that I killed her.||”|
—Oda Nobunaga, reminiscing about his lost love.
|Romanization||Oda ki chō|
|Affiliation|| Oda House, JAPAN|
|Mentioned in||Sengoku Rance|
Oda Kichou was the late wife of Oda Nobunaga. While she is only mentioned a few times throughout Sengoku Rance, her background and relationship with her husband were greatly expanded on in a short companion novel simply entitled Kichou that was released some time after it.
Kichou was born at an unknown point during the Great Youkai War to a peasant family. At a very young age, both of her parents were killed amidst the brutal fighting, leaving her as a war orphan. At some point after that, she, along with another orphan named Edge, was found by 3G, the chief retainer of Oda House, and taken under his care. Kichou became employed as a maid for the Oda family, cooking and cleaning for them in order to earn her keep.
While working as a maid, Kichou met the young Oda Nobunaga, then known as Kazusanosuke, the second son of the Oda family. As the young Kazusanosuke was quite shy around people due to his sheltered upbringing, he was frequently bullied by the more outgoing and independent Kichou, to the point of once getting two of his ribs fractured by her repeatedly beating his chest. Despite this, the two developed a very deep friendship with each other over time, and often played together under a large cherry blossom tree just outside of Oda castle, with Kichou later teaching Kazusanosuke how to cook dango and Kazusanosuke teaching Kichou how to use a sword. As the two grew older, both grew significantly as people due to the others influence, with Kazusanosuke becoming more relaxed and confident around other people and Kichou becoming more polite and caring.
After both Kazusanosuke's father and brother were killed at the end of the Great Youkai War, he was appointed the head of the Oda family, inheriting the name Nobunaga in the process. As part of his inauguration as head of the family, Nobunaga was required to pick a wife to rule alongside him, causing him to choose Kichou. While a maid of common birth becoming head of the family was met with a large amount of outrage by the nobility of Oda, they were forced to accept it due to the lord of the household having the final say in the decision, allowing the childhood friends to be married under the same cherry blossom tree they had played under as children.
As the matriarch of the Oda family, Kichou proved to be an excellent ruler, with her humble upbringing allowing her to have a strong understanding of the struggles of the common people, causing her to enact several laws to improve the living conditions of the poor within Oda territory, making her beloved her subjects. Besides this, she was also known for her skill as both a diplomat and a military commander, resulting in her often leading Oda's forces during campaigns into enemy nations when her husband was too sick to do so himself. Her time as Nobunaga's wife was cut short, however, when an assassin infiltrated Oda castle during a period where Nobunaga had fallen particularly ill in an attempt to take his life. Unarmed and unable to fight back, Kichou sacrificed her own life shielding her husband from his attacker. After her death, Kichou was buried under the same cherry blossom tree that she and Nobunaga were married under.
Kichou's death impacted the already sickly Nobunaga greatly, causing him to fall into a state of depression that prevented him from leading Oda House, resulting in it losing the majority of its territory and national power. As Kichou was killed before she could have a child, the Oda family was left without an heir, causing many to declare it to have been all but destroyed, leading to the majority of its most influential figures abandoning it to join other, more powerful households. Nobunaga and his younger sister Kouhime would regularly visit Kichou's grave to pay their respects to her. After Nobunaga's own death, a lock of his hair, the sole remainder of his body, was buried alongside his wife.
Personality and Appearance Edit
While Kichou herself never made a physical appearance within the series, she was described as having been nearly identical to Rance's female form after using the Sex Change Temple, meaning she was a slim young woman with short brown hair and a curvaceous body. She was noted to have been stunningly beautiful by all who knew her, with many claiming her to be JAPAN's most beautiful woman while she was alive. Her clothing was said to consist of a green kimono with pink cherry blossoms printed across it.
Kichou was noted to have been a tomboy who lacked any remotely ladylike qualities when she was younger, often selfishly bossing others around and not showing even a hint of humility towards her lord despite being in service to him. As she became older, Kichou became substantially less rude and much more kind and pleasant around others, though she was still said to have been very fiery and aggressive. When reminiscing about her in her youth, Nobunaga noted that she shared many qualities in common with Rance.
Kichou became childhood friends with Oda Nobunaga while she was working as a maid in his family's castle. While Kichou was annoyed at having to serve Nobunaga and would frequently bully him in retaliation, Nobunaga found Kichou very interesting due to her being the only person within the castle who treated him like a person rather than like a master, causing him to actively seek her out despite her poor treatment of him. Over time, the two developed a strong friendship which resulted in Kichou becoming more pleasant to others and Nobunaga becoming more confident in himself. Romance later blossomed between the two, which eventually led to marriage. Nobunaga admitted that, even while they were married, Kichou was the much more proactive one in the relationship, claiming that she was the only reason he was able to accomplish anything as a leader. Kichou's love for her husband surpassed her own will to live, causing her to sacrifice herself in order to protect him. Nobunaga was left distraught by her death, and fell into a deep depression which caused him to lose all ambition, leading to Oda losing most of its territory. Even after mostly recovering from his depression, Nobunaga still deeply mourned Kichou, to the point of refusing to accept another wife and admitting that he felt he was responsible for killing her. Kichou's death is what caused Nobunaga to understand that it is important to cherish those you love while they are still around, words of wisdom that he would eventually pass on to his friend Rance.
Besides her relationship with Nobunaga, Kichou was said to have been close with her sister in law Kouhime. As Kou was still very young when her parents were killed, Kichou served as a surrogate mother to her while she was growing up. Like Nobunaga, Kou continues to mourn Kichou's death, and regularly pays her respects to both her and her brother at their graves.
Kichou was noted to have been an amazingly talented leader who was both capable as a politician and as a warrior. She was trained in swordsmanship by her husband, himself a very talented swordsman, while they were younger, allowing her to develop a great amount of proficiency with the weapon. Nobunaga noted that she was very energetic and almost seemed to have boundless amounts of stamina, allowing her to continue fighting long after even the strongest warriors had grown tired. Kichou was also said to have been a skillful diplomat who was able to firmly stand her ground during negotiations with rival territories, allowing Oda to maintain a relative amount of peace despite its great power while she was still alive.
Beyond her abilities as a leader, Kichou was also very domestically skilled, which allowed her to accomplish her work with excellent results while she served as a maid to the Oda family. In particular, her cooking was said to have been phenomenal, with Nobunaga's own skill at cooking being the result of her teaching. Nobunaga stated that he cooked dango, the first thing Kichou ever taught him to cook when they were children, whenever he wished to remember his wife. Kou's current goal is to learn to cook dango as well as both Nobunaga and Kichou in order to maintain their legacy as best as she can.
- She is based off of Nōhime, the wife of the historical Oda Nobunaga. Kichou was the birth name of Nōhime before it was changed after marrying Nobunaga. Like Kichou, Nōhime was said to have been astoundingly beautiful as well as wildly intelligent, and was rumored to have been a skilled martial artist and swordswoman. Her initially antagonistic attitude towards Nobunaga may also be a reference to the common belief that Nōhime became Nobunaga's wife with the intention of eventually assassinating him, but was never able to do it.