- 1 Profile
- 2 Role
- 3 Abilities
- 4 Forms and Alternate Versions
- 5 Development
- 6 References
Profile[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
Saber'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.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Personality[edit | edit source]
A demon of rationality that gazes 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.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
- 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.
Role[edit | edit source]
Fate/Grand Order[edit | edit source]
Musashi Trial Quest[edit | edit source]
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 Corpses[edit | edit source]
Abilities[edit | edit source]
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.
Class Skills[edit | edit source]
- 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.
Personal Skills[edit | edit source]
- 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.
- Suigetsu (B Rank): One of the deepest levels of the Shinkage-ryu. To peer into those eyes right away without letting your guard down, that is the true form of Suigetsu.
- 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. 
Forms and Alternate Versions[edit | edit source]
Saber of Empireo[edit | edit source]
Saber of Empireo is the living counterpart of Yagyuu Munenori from the Parallel World that would later become the Shimosa Singularity that was modified by Caster of Limbo's Curse of Annihilation which turned him into a Heroic Spirit Swordmaster, 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 they were alive. Empireo also boasts an immense aura on par with Houzouin Inshun's own Magical Energy. When fighting him, Houzouin regards Empireo as a true master of the art of the sword and a person with monstrous abilities much like Musashi just from exchanging a few blows with him. Although he's very strong, he is unable to block Houzouin's Hazy Inverted Moon - Eleven Forms 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. Although the essence of Musashi's Niten Ichiryu lied in adapting to hundreds if not thousands of possibilities, this fighting style proved to be useless against Saber of Empireo due to her being unable to read his next move. To defeat his Suigetsu, she had to enter the realms of the gods herself. She had to find the one right answer that lay beyond every possibility by slashing through the unbreakable heavens themselves. In other words, she finally reached the void. By striking him with her new developed Ishana Daitenshou, she defeated Saber of Empireo in a one on one duel.
Development[edit | edit source]
Creation and Conception[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Fate/Grand Order material VI - Profile of Yagyuu Munenori, translated by Smoof101.
- 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)