Demon King Nobunaga
Um, does anyone know the term 'sarcasm'? I was just joking about that dairokuten-maō thing!

"Worship me. Die for your crime of defying the House of One Hundred Demons, and repent in the afterlife. There are none before me, and will be none after me. I am the Demon King of the Sixth Heaven, Oda Nobunaga!" [Dramatic Cape Flourish]
Nobunaga, Sengoku Basara anime, "Episode 1"

According to the Jesuit Father Luís Fróis, Oda Nobunaga called himself "Demon King of the Sixth Heaven" (dairokuten-maō), a title properly belonging to Māra, the Buddhist counterpart of Satan (though portrayed in mythology as a Noble Demon). While Nobunaga was most likely being sarcastic, and in any case he's not the only daimyō of the Sengoku Jidai whose ruthlessness has inspired a Historical Villain Upgrade, many popular depictions of Nobunaga literally demonize him, or at least give him supernatural powers.

The biggest inspiration of this usually comes from one of Nobunaga's biggest Shoot the Dog (or most commonly believed as a kick) moment: The burning of Mt. Hiei, taking out the Buddhist Warrior Monks of Ikko-Ikki and leaving none alive, including women and children. Whoever has the higher moral ground was unclear at that point (whether Nobunaga was just being callous, or the monks themselves were really disruptive and just adding on chaos in Japan that needs to be quelled no matter what, even if they use religion as a way to excuse their behavior), but considering Buddhism eventually recovers and once again becomes one of the major religions in Japan, Nobunaga's actions towards those Buddhists were not going to win him some fans from the future Buddhist storytellers, so they tend to use his previous sarcasm and make it a literal statement.

A subtrope of Historical Villain Upgrade. Compare We Didn't Start the Führer and Dracula (as Vlad Tepes).


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     Anime and Manga  

  • In Black Lion, Nobunaga is actually possessed by alien invaders who equip his armies with high-tech armaments so he can conquer Japan as a beachhead (probably; the backstory isn't covered much).
  • In Samurai Deeper Kyo, Nobunaga was Japan's fiercest warlord who has a massive hate on for the main character. True to his nickname, his powers all revolve around Grim Reaper based attacks. Shou Hayami voices him here.
  • In Wrath of the Ninja, Nobunaga appears to be the chief antagonist for the 3 heroes, conquering Japan with demonic help and seeking to be transformed into a demon himself. This time, however, there's a Man Behind the Man, a demon looking to use the bloodshed of war and Nobunaga's cruelty to power the demons themselves, and Nobunaga is just his patsy.
  • In Blood Reign: Curse of the Yoma, Nobunaga doesn't directly appear, but the story takes place at the height of his conquests, and he influences the story since the main character is a ninja serving the Takeda clan when it opposes Nobunaga, and because the brutality of Nobunaga's conquests is giving power to the Yoma demons. At one point the main character thinks about Nobunaga's brutality and wonders if he is a demon. While he's doing this, Nobunaga and his army are seen in a montage, and all of them have glowing red eyes.
  • In Ghost Sweeper Mikami, the vampire lord Nosferatu is actually Oda Nobunaga. Or if Father Karasu's theory is correct, Nosferatu murdered a young Nobunaga and stole his identity. Either way, Akechi Mitsuhide eventually discovered his master's demonic nature and that was the reason for his betrayal at Honno-ji.
  • In the second Peacock King OVA, Castle of Illusion, a resurrected Nobunaga rebuilds Azuchi Castle as a fortress of evil and commands an unholy army of Cherubim.

     Live Action Television  

  • In Kamen Rider OOO's movie, the Kougami Foundation created a Homunculus copy of Nobunaga; since he was made from the same materials as the villainous Greeed, he ends up becoming a similar creature. However, this is revealed to be involuntary, instead acting as a Super-Powered Evil Side who comes forth to seek revenge on the descendants of those who killed the original Nobunaga.

     Tabletop Games  

  • The Call of Cthulhu supplement Secrets of Japan reveals that Nobunaga is but one of Nyarlathotep's thousand masks, and that the Outer God still occasionally pulls him out for, of all things, business meetings.

     Video Games  

Alternative Title(s): Demon Lord Nobunaga