Araki Murashige

Araki-Murashige

Araki Murashige (荒木 村重, 1535-June 20, 1586) was an obligatory of Oda Nobunaga and a daimyō (feudal lord) of Itami Castle of the late Sengoku period of sixteenth-century Japan, in what is now Itami, Hyōgo Prefecture.

He commanded part of Nobunaga's forces during the siege of Ishiyama Hongan-ji but was accused in 1578 by Akechi Mitsuhide of sympathy with the Mōri clan, one of Nobunaga's enemies.

He withdrew to Itami and resisted the siege of the castle for a year before it fell in 1579. Araki escaped and lived the rest of his life in obscurity.

There is a semi-legendary story about Araki's creative use of a tessen, or iron fan, to save his own life. After being accused of treason by Akechi Mitsuhide, Araki is called before his lord, Oda Nobunaga.

As usual, he bows on the threshold before entering the hall. But he guesses Nobunaga's plan to slam the fusuma (sliding doors) on him and break his neck. Araki places his fan in the groove of the doors, which prevents them from closing. Nobunaga's plan is revealed and Araki's life is spared.

His son, raised under his mother's name, is the artist Iwasa Matabei.