Welcome to the website of the Taiga Drama “Awaiting Kirin” and Gifu Taiga Drama Museum

About Taiga Dramas

The taiga dramas that NHK has been broadcasting for over 50 years, which showcase the lives of Japanese historical figures, has heightened interest in the locations related to the story and main characters throughout the years after they were featured.
The 2020 taiga drama “Awaiting Kirin” features the Warring States Period military commander Akechi Mitsuhide as the main character, and illustrates life in Gifu, including such famous Gifu-related figures as Saito Dosan and Oda Nobunaga.

Characters related to Gifu City

Akechi Mitsuhide (at Hontoku Temple) Photograph by Kishiwada City Department of Tourism

Akechi Mitsuhide

Mitsuhide is a Warring States period military commander said to have been born in the year 1528 (Kyoroku 1) in Minonokuni (now Gifu Prefecture).
He was discovered by Saito Dosan, who made him a retainer, and he played an important role as Oda Nobunaga proceeded in his plans to take over all of Japan. During this time, Mitsuhide acted as a go-between during talks with General Ashikaga Yoshiaki, and thanks to his many achievements and contributions, he became a closely-trusted chief retainer to Nobunaga. However, in the year 1582 (Tensho 10), he turned against his master Nobunaga and incited the “Honnoji Incident”, but failed to defeat Hashiba Hideyoshi (also known as Toyotomi Hideyoshi) at the “Battle of Yamazaki”, and thereafter his infamous reputation is that of “traitor” and “short-lived ruler”.
Despite this reputation, he was also an excellent castle builder, involved in the building of Sakamoto Castle, Kameyama Castle, and Fukuchiyama Castle, and he was also said to be a skilled strategist and resourceful general for his role in plans such as the subjugation of Tanba. There are many mysteries surrounding his life, and some legends say that he was still alive even until the Battle of Sekigahara (Year 1600, Keicho 5).
In Yamagata City, Gifu Prefecture, many folk legends remain about Mitsuhide's birth and final years.

Color painting of Saito Dosan on silk (at Jozai Temple)

Saito Dosan

It is said that the one who laid the foundation for the city of Gifu wasn't actually Oda Nobunaga, but the previous master of Inabayama Castle (now Gifu Castle), Saito Dosan. In the taiga drama ““Awaiting Kirin””, Dosan is illustrated as young Akechi Mitsuhide's master.

Known as a soldier of fortune during the Warring States period, this feudal lord is also well known as the main character in Ryotaro Shiba's novel ““Kunitori Monogatari””. After serving the Minonokuni provincial military governor turned daimyo Toki Clan, he exiled the head of the Toki Clan, Toki Yorinori, and had Minonokuni in the palm of his hands. In order to service Inabayama Castle, which is located at the summit of Mount Kinka, and the residence located at the foot of the mountain, he moved Inaba Shrine from the foot of the mountain to its current location. In order to further establish the city, he ordered the peasants of Inokuchi village, located in the Nanamagaridori area (now Honmachi area) below his castle to build more houses, and he moved townspeople from Okuwa (now Yamagata City) to Hyakumagarimichi (now Kamiokuwa-cho area).
The city building that Dosan started was continued by the man who married his daughter Nohime and became the next lord of the castle, Oda Nobunaga. Even in this modern era, his name still lives on.

In the year Tenmon 23 (1554), Dosan's son Yoshitatsu succeeded his father as head of the family, but shortly after they came into conflict, and in the year Kouji 2 (1556), Dosan was defeated at the Battle of Nagaragawa on April 2nd.

Color painting of Oda Nobunaga on paper
Choko Temple (Toyota City) Owned by/Photograph by Toyota Museum of Local History

Oda Nobunaga

The most famous of the Warring States period generals, Oda Nobunaga was the second son of the chief retainer of the Kiyosu Oda family, Oda Nobuhide, and was born in Owari Shobata Castle and raised at Nagoya Castle. After marrying Nohime, the daughter of Saito Dosan, he inherited leadership of the household and shortly after sought to consolidate Owari.
In the year Eiroku 10 (1567), Nobunaga, who had taken over control of the castle, changed the name of the region from “Inokuchi” to “Gifu”, as well as making a declaration to “unify the nation by force” in order to achieve his dream of ruling the entire country. It was around this time that Akechi Mitsuhide came into the service of Nobunaga. Building of the city by free markets and open guilds, protecting cormorant fishing, Gifu's representative tourist attraction, and encouraging hospitality are all marks that have been left by Nobunaga that are still visible in Gifu City now.

In the year Tensho 4 (1576), Nobunaga turned over control of Gifu Castle to his eldest son Nobutada and moved to Azuchi Castle. Then, in the year Tensho 10 (1582) he was betrayed by Mitsuhide in the Honnoji Incident, and the story of his life came to a close.

About the Taiga Drama Museum

Exhibit Period
01/11/2020 (Saturday) - 01/11/2021 (Monday, holiday)
Open hours
9:00 - 17:00
Adults (High school and up) 600 yen (Groups 480 yen)
Elementary school and junior high school students 300 yen (Groups 240 yen)
*Group discount applies to groups of 20 or more
Gifu City Museum of History 2nd Floor, 2-18-1 Omiya-cho, Gifu City 500-8003 Japan (within Gifu Park)
Taiga Drama “Awaiting Kirin” Gifu Executive Committee
(Gifu City Commerce and Tourism Department, Taiga Drama Promotion Division)
Entrance Ticket Sales Management Center (9:00 - 17:00)
Tel. +81-58-201-3838
Fax. +81-58-201-3877

Photo Gallery