BackgroundEditSaber's True Name is Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami Munenori (柳生但馬守宗矩, Yagyū Tajima-no-Kami Munenori?). One of the strongest swordsmen of the Edo Yagyuu. A genius of the sword known as the child of Yagyuu Sekishuusai and the father of Yagyuu Juubei. It has been said that, during the Siege of Osaka (1615 AD), he protected the Shogun Hidetada by cutting down seven warriors in an instant. After his death, Shogun Iemitsu extolled him as “Peerless in Swordsmanship.”
It has been recorded that the Third Shogun Iemitsu would call Munenori by the nickname “Ryuutan”. A nickname formed by taking one kanji character each from “Yagyuu” and “Munenori”.
A strategist and politician. Not only has he instructed many Daimyou and their younger relatives in the Shinkage-ryuu, but he also sent his disciples to serve influential Daimyou as swordsmanship intructors. In historical novels and historical plays, he is often regarded as an extraordinary plotter. This is probably out of the notion that, in the early Edo period, it would be impossible to raise the Yagyuu Clan up to a social position of a Daimyou with 12,500 koku just by being honest and upright.
With excellent foresight, it has been said that he quickly saw through the expansion of the Shimabara Rebellion. In the 14th year of the Kan'ei era (1637 AD), right after news of a rebellion by Christian believers arrived, Munenori frantically tried to hold back Itakura “Naizen-no-Kami” Shigemasa, who was tasked with leading a punitive expedition. It has been said that, when asked why by Shogun Iemitsu, Munenori answered “religious wars are always a serious matter” and “Mr. Shigemasa will likely die in battle.”
The situation progressed as Munenori predicted. Shigemasa - a Daimyou of 15,000 koku - was lacking in strength despite leading all the western Daimyou and found himself forced into a hard fight as a result. As he saw the situation turn grimmer, Shogun Iemitsu dispatched his chief vassal, Matsudaira Nobutsuna, to act as supreme commander, but Shigemasa became impatient upon learning that and attempted an assault on the enemy camp before Nobutsuna arrived, dying tragically in the process.
A demon of rationality that gaze at everything with a reasoning of ice, unswayed by emotion. Methodology equals rationality; in other words, by mastering the sword, everything will naturally be fulfilled without any futility—
Never speaking of his passions, he does not become impetuous or impatient. He thoroughly carries out the optimal, shortest measures in order to achieve an objective with the utmost coolness. A man of ice and steel who is reliable as an ally, but extremely terrifying once he becomes an enemy.
- Miyamoto Musashi
- There are anecdotes of Munenori having criticized Musashi’s existence during his lifetime. He said things such as “Musashi is a member of the Western Army” and “an enemy of the Tokugawa.”
- In his lifetime, Munenori never clashed with nor even met Musashi, but was in fact mindful about him—or so has been established in this work. Thus, he was fixated with a showdown with Musashi during "The Tournament of the Seven Heroic Spirit Blade-Masters” despite knowing that she was a different person than the “Miyamoto Musashi” from his own world.
- The Munenori who was summoned to Chaldea as a Heroic Spirit has recognized Musashi’s skills and way of being. As for what he thinks of the “Miyamoto Musashi” of his own world... that remains unknown for now.
Musashi Trial QuestEdit
During Musashi's travels through alternate worlds, she fights Saber briefly before deciding to run away. As she enters through the portal to the next world, he lands a strike that hits her head, knocks her out, and causes her brief amnesia in the next world. After she disappears, he says he will remember her name.
Shimosa Province: The Stage of Rivers of Blood and Mountains of CorpsesEdit
He is one of the seven Heroic Spirits Blade-Master known as the Saber Empireo (セイバー・エンピレオ, Seibā Enpireo?).
His Noble Phantasm is Peerless in Swordsmanship - Zen and the Sword As One. Although able to withstand his sword strikes, Musashi says this swordsman far surpasses her and runs away from the battle. Munenori is a Sword Saint, and his sword has reached the level of One.
- Magic Resistance (C Rank): Cancels spells with a chant below two verses. Cannot defend against magecraft on the level of High-Thaumaturgy and Greater Rituals.
- Riding (B Rank): Most vehicles and animals can be handled with above average skill, even vehicles that did not exist in the time period one was alive in, for they are no exception. However, cannot ride the likes of Phantasmal Species such as Monstrous Beasts.
- Shinkage-ryuu (A++ Rank): Has completely studied the secrets of the Yagyuu Shinkageryuu. From infancy until he was 24 years old, Munenori was raised while learning about the sword directly from his father, Munetoshi (Sekishuusai). Being endowed with over A Rank in this skill, Munenori possesses not only sword techniques but also resistance to mental attacks. An expert of the Shinkage-ryuu - which views zen meditation as indispensable - has no doubts nor hesitates.
- Swordless Capture (A Rank): A secret elucidated by Yagyuu Sekishuusai, first devised by the master swordsman Kamiizumi Nobutsuna. It is said that, even without holding a blade, an expert of the Shinkage-ryuu wins over an armed opponent. In other words, this is a more advanced version of that trick of “catching” a swinging sword barehanded. 
Saber of EmpireoEdit
In the Shimosa Singularity, after Caster of Limbo cast the Curse of Annihilation on Yagyuu, he became known as Saber Empireo, greatly increasing his power. Berserker of Saṃghāta Hell claims she wouldn't dare mess with Caster of Limbo and Saber of Empireo due to her having a "weak little Spirit Origin". If Rider of Kālasūtra Hell and her had to fight them, she'd want to at least have the same bodies and power that they did when we were alive. Empireo also boasts an immense aura on par with Houzouin Inshun's own Magical Energy. When fighting him, Houzouin said that Empireo was a true master of the art of the sword and a person with monstrous abilities much like Mushashi just from exchanging a few blows with him. Although he's very strong, he is unable to block Houzouin's Hazy Inverted Moon - Eleven Styles which completely destroyed his heart, however, due to him having the ability to regenerate granted by Caster's curse, he was able to defeat Houzouin. Despite him claiming the reason he defeated Lancer was that his sword had even surpassed the gods and the Buddha, and ascended to true supremacy, to the realm of Empireo, it was made very clear that had he had the body of a Heroic Spirit, Houzouin would have won. Nevertheless, Empireo is a TRUE master of the sword who achieved a level that even surpassed Miyamoto Musashi's father.
Creation and ConceptionEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 Fate/Grand Order Profile of Yagyuu Munenori, translated by Master of Chaos at Beast's Lair.
- ↑ Fate/Grand Order: Epic of Remnant - Shimousa: Section 11: Quarta Cantica: Kalasutra Hell (Middle)
- ↑ Fate/Grand Order: Epic of Remnant Shimosa: Section 2 Prima Cantica: Purgatorio (Middle)
- ↑ Fate/Grand Order: Epic of Remnant Shimosa: Section 15 Ultima Cantica: The Stage of Carnage, Onriedo (Ending)