There once was a village of ninjas called the Manji that was
hidden away in the forests at the base of Mt. Fuji. One day, Oda Nobunaga,
a lord who
sought the power of the Manji clan, invited the Manji chief to his castle.
Due to his advanced age, the chief sent his strongest warrior, Yoshimitsu, on
behalf of him. As expected, Nobunaga requested the allegiance of the Manji
clan. The Manji clan, however, preferred to remain hidden in these troubled
times and refused to join in Japan's petty civil wars. After a few days'
stay at the castle, Yoshimitsu politely denied the Nobunaga's request and
returned to his village.
When he returned, he found the Manji village in ruins. Nobunaga had
prepared an army in anticipation of the clan's refusal to his proposition.
He had Yoshimitsu stay at the castle to buy time for the ruthless ambush.
Devastated by the deaths of his comrades, he vowed to seek revenge on the
lord. Either Nobunaga's soldiers would serve under Yoshimitsu, or he would
slay them as well as their master. They were too strong to remain
As the only remaining member of the Manji, Yoshimitsu devised a plan
to avenge his clansmen while fighting off attacks from the Nobunaga's men.
He knew that he could never match the Nobunaga's strength alone, and his plan
for revenge failed. In Nobunaga's brutal counter attack, Yoshimitsu lost his
right hand. All he could manage with his artificial hand was to escape into
a secret underground water vein only the Manji knew about. Days of drifting
in the dark caverns reminded him of the tale of the ultimate weapon that
was said to exist across the seas. With this weapon, Yoshimitsu believed
that he could finally crush his enemies once and for all. He had not
believed the stories before, but now it was the only hope he had.
Staking all his hopes on Soul Edge, he left for the west to find it.
During his travels, he heard a rumor of an azure knight who possessed the
sword, and saw the destruction the knight had caused. He felt the despair,
hatred and desire for revenge that emanated from the knight's evil and
thought. Yoshimitsu began to wonder whether or not the Soul Edge was worth
finding. If he used this evil sword, how would he be any different than
Nobunaga or the azure knight?
Yoshimitsu finally came to the realization that revenge was not his
true path. The souls of his dead clan did not desire this. Yoshimitsu,
who had been consumed with rage, began to change. He returned to his
homeland and became a protector of the poor. His name became known
throughout the land, and valient men came to gather under his name.
Yoshimitsu became the head of a band of chivalrous theives, an order that
continues to this day.