Last Updated: 31 August 2011.
▪ Birthname: Akechi Tama (明智玉).
▪ Name: Hosokawa Gracia (細川ガラシャ).
▪ Birthdate: 1563, unknown month and day.
▪ Deathdate: August 25, 1600.
▪ Religion: Christian (said to have been influenced by Takayama Ukon, and was directly baptized by her Christian maid named Maria.)
▪ Other Relatives: Akechi Mitsuhide (father), Hirokohime/Tsumaki Hiroko (mother), Akechi Mitsuyoshi (eldest brother), Akechi Hidemitsu (adopted brother), Akechi Mitsuharu (uncle) & Hosokawa Tadaoki (husband).
▪ Short Bio: Born Akechi Tama (literally meaning "jewel", "sphere") to the famed Oda retainer Akechi Mitsuhide, she grew in a cultured and educated atmosphere that honed her wit and intellect. Though she was also a great beauty, Tama spoke her mind freely which in those days, was considered a strange trait for a woman to possess. It was Hosokawa Tadaoki, an up and coming general in his own right (and an avid lover of the tea ceremony), who saw her uniqueness as true beauty, and married her immediately. They spent most of their time in a, more or less, blissful marital relationship, though turbulent times lurked ahead of them.
When Tama's father rebelled against Oda Nobunaga, ambushing Nobunaga in his vacation spot in Honnoji's temples, Tadaoki was suddenly faced with a decision; the moment his father-in-law turned his sword against the Oda, who Tadaoki was in the service of at the time, he had to fulfill two obligations. It wasn't until the backlash between the Akechi and the Toyotomi at Yamazaki that Tadaoki had to make the actual decision. His wife was now a traitor's daughter, and at the same time, he had some ties with Mitsuhide because he married his daughter. However, Tadaoki refused to help his father-in-law, thus resulting in Mitsuhide's death and defeat against Hideyoshi. To protect his wife from harm, he sent her away to the Tango province where she would stay until Tadaoki was able to fix things politically.
Tama's reclusive stay in the mountains and her subsequent confinement in the Hosokawa manor afterwards, served as the medium for her claim to fame. Some time during her hiding, Tama conversed with Jesuit priests who were preaching the Christian Word. Her maid was also a Christian, thus exposing her to the religion even in her private quarters. Using her knowledge in Zen Buddhism, Tama exchanged debates with the priests and found out more about the religion. She was intrigued by it, and eventually, Tama wanted to be baptized under the Christian God. Her maid named Maria baptized her as "Gracia", meaning "the grace of God". When Tadaoki discovered her dangerous liason with the Christians, he forcibly tried to make his wife denounce her faith. If she were to be discovered Christian by the extremely anti-Christian Toyotomi movement, Tadaoki would not be able to protect her from death. Gracia remained steadfast despite the danger, and remained Christian until her death.
At the age of 35, Gracia met her untimely death amidst the backdrop of the pivotal battle in Sekigahara. After Hideyoshi's passing, Japan was suddenly split between the Toyotomi loyalists who wanted to keep Japan under the banner of their Lord, and Tokugawa Ieyasu, who finally saw his opportunity to rule and opposed the Toyotomi coalition. Tadaoki sided with the Eastern movement -- the Tokugawa side. Ishida Mitsunari, a prominent leading figure in the Western movement, hatched a plan to take family members of Eastern generals hostage, forcing the generals to switch sides or to at least, hinder their attack during Sekigahara. Gracia, while staying in the Hosokawa manor, was assaulted with Western soldiers aiming to take her hostage. In foresight however, it was said that Tadaoki saw the plan coming and ordered his men to kill her and then themselves, rather than be captured by the enemy. A second theory is that Gracia herself ordered a trusted Hosokawa general to kill her, because as a Christian, she could not take her own life. She would rather choose death than to compromise her loyalty to her husband, and to her God. Whichever theory stands correct, Gracia died on August 25, 1600 and the Hosokawa manor burned down afterwards. Today, a memorial stands in her honor in Osaka, and she is buried beside her husband as well. Gracia is a symbol of samurai love, loyalty as well as true Christian faith.
Additionally, it is popularly believed that Gracia's death caused the sabotage of Mitsunari's hostage plan, and Tadaoki's vigor in fighting back the Western army. He was said to successfully ward off Shima Sakon, and he grieved for the death of his beloved wife.
▪ Sources: I'll be right back with this. Most of what I summarized here came from stock knowledge, as well as tidbits I remember from my academic research paper I submitted for Japanese history class (PRS Japan). I just need to find it so that I can re-write my sources here ;3; S-Sorry!
▪ Fandom: Samurai Warriors (she appears in SW2:Xtreme Legends and SW3:Xtreme Legends).
▪ Taken From: She is currently from Samurai Warriors 3: Xtreme Legends.
▪ Historical Connections: Aside from her name, this current incarnation of Gracia actually shares more historical content with her real counterpart than her previous SW2:XL incarnation did. She is close to her father, she is married to Hosokawa Tadaoki, but she is not Christian in the games. There is no mention of her religion in any of her appearances. Most importantly, she actually fights in these games, whereas historically, she rarely left her home :|
▪ Headcanon:1.) Her birthday is on May 25, making her a Gemini. IDK, she just seems like a Gemini to me.
2.) Her mother, Hiroko-hime is made mention in snippets of Mitsuhide's cutscenes in Samurai Warriors 2: Empires. However, she is never seen or made mention of again. In one iconic scene, Mitsuhide and another general spoke fondly of their wives, claiming that the full moon reminded them of their spouses. For Mitsuhide, seeing the full moon reminded him of his wife's sacrifice; she shaved all her hair off and sold it so that he could buy a good horse with the money, to impress his lord with. Taking into account Gracia's own...hair color (I've personally never heard of a full-blooded Japanese woman born with red hair and green eyes.), I've come to believe that her mother in these games was a foreigner. Yeahup. It's the only way I can make sense of it all. And I know, it's a futile effort on my part, seeing as I'm playing KOEI games :|;;
3.) The Tadaoki/Gracia Dimension, My Two Cents; when you play her story in SW3:XL, you might think oh shit, she doesn't love this guy, he's a total creep why did he hit her, and all that. While I do agree that Tadaoki is a total creep, especially with how they portray him, he does genuinely loves his wife. KOEI took a more historical approach to the relationship. He only tried to kill Gracia in almost all her stages because it was under orders from Hideyoshi. But he never really succeeds in killing her (and you know, you always beat him up first anyway...), and in her final stage in Sekigahara, she pleads for Tadaoki to be her ally and to lend them his strength. He replies that it's a bad idea, what are you even thinking, but he gives in in the end and tells her he loves her. So I guess Tadaoki is just one conflicted guy, trying to balance out his love for his wife and her reckless decisions that, in retrospect, are also done out of love, though they're for her own father. Does Gracia love him back? I bet to some extent, yes. Though with the recent trend I'm seeing, Gracia's got a thing for the tsunderes (see Mori Ranmaru) Gotta draw her out of her shell for that kind of dedication, Tadaoki my boy.
5.) I want to say her fighting style is Karate, but IDEFK when you look at her moveset, it doesn't look like Karate at all....Maybe it's more Judo-centered? :(
-- I'll come up with more later, lol. --
▪ Current Games: Homeless.
▪ Previous Games: discedo @ livejournal, under the name mercifulsmile / later kagayakashi @ LJ. vatheon @ livejournal.