Tekken and Soul series
Yoshimitsu in Tekken 6
First appearance Tekken (1994)
Designed by Aya Takemura (Tekken 3, Tekken 4, Tekken Tag Torurnament, Soulcalibur II, Soulcalibur III)
Voiced by
Phil Sheridan (Soulcalibur II)
Mitch Urban (Soulcalibur III, Soulcalibur IV)
Motion capture Gary Ray Stearns (film)
Voiced by
Nobuyuki Hiyama (Soulcalibur, Soulcalibur II, Soulcalibur III)
Norio Wakamoto (Soulcalibur IV)
Template:Tekken character

Yoshimitsu (吉光) is a game character originally created for the Tekken series of fighting games by Namco. Yoshimitsu made his first appearance in the first Tekken game in 1994 and has returned for all subsequent sequels to that game since his inception. Yoshimitsu, Heihachi Mishima, Nina Williams, and Paul Phoenix are the four Tekken characters to have appeared in every game in the series.

Additionally, an analogous character bearing the same name, weapon, clan and basic information, was later carried over into Namco's Soul series of fighting games as a secret character, making his debut in 1998.

In video games

Tekken series

Yoshimitsu makes his first appearance in 1994's Tekken. Referencing Kunimitsu's Tekken 2 story, it is revealed that Yoshimitsu's blade is passed down through the Manji's party leaders; the previous leader is ritually sacrificed, and the blade absorbs their power and skill. In the game's story, Yoshimitsu enters the first tournament as a decoy, so that other members of the Manji Party can steal the tournament's funds unobserved. Yoshimitsu learns about a sumo wrestler called Ganryu, whose disrespectful attitude in the ring cost him his promotion into Yokozuna rank. This base disrespect for the sumo code infuriates Yoshimitsu and he defeats Ganryu. At a later time Yoshimitsu leads an infiltration on Dr. Boskonovitch's lab in order to steal his Eternal Energy device. Though Yoshimitsu loses his arm during the infiltration, Boskonovitch helps the injured ninja escape and fits him with a mechanical prosthetic.

In Tekken 2, Yoshimitsu learns that Doctor Boskonovitch has been kidnapped by the Mishima Zaibatsu and enters the second Tekken tournament to rescue him. Kunimitsu returns to the tournament in order to steal the clan's tachi. Yoshimitsu defeats her and drops out of the tournament to rescue the Doctor after learning his location. He reappears in Tekken 3, trying to help Boskonovitch whose daughter is suffering from a mysterious disease; Tekken 4, attempting to form alliances between the Zaibatsu and the Manji Party; Tekken 5, seeking Bryan Fury after he killed members of his clan; and Tekken 6, looking for a new sword after realizing that his current one is a cursed weapon driving him insane.

Soulcalibur series

Yoshimitsu first appeared in Namco's Soul series in 1998's Soulcalibur. After refusing a power-hungry lord's offer of alliance, Yoshimitsu discovers his village has been destroyed. Attempting to battle the lord's army, Yoshimitsu loses his arm. He sets out to search for the fabled weapon Soul Edge, so that he could take his revenge against Lord Nobunaga. In meditation, Yoshimitsu concluded that if he were to give in to his hatred, he would be no better than either Oda Nobunaga or Nightmare; when he reaches the castle where Soul Edge is, he discovers it has been locked away with Soul Calibur.

In Soulcalibur II, Yoshimitsu discovers that his katana has been impregnated with corrupted energy from the castle, and so resolves to rid his blade of the evil. When Yoshimitsu is worn from trying to quell the corruption, the blade is stolen by Voldo. Fearing what would happen if the weapon wound up in the wrong hands, Yoshimitsu set out to retrieve the katana, in the process discovering a fragment of the Soul Edge. Wanting to destroy all the fragments which are spread across the earth, Yoshimitsu forms band of chivalrous thieves, known as the Manjitou, in order to do good and to find the fragments.

Yoshimitsu returns in Soulcalibur III devising a robbery in order to steal a fragment of the Soul Edge. The robbery fails as Tira, a servant of Soul Edge and Nightmare, ambushes the thieves and takes the fragment of Soul Edge. Later on, Tira murders one of his clan members, causing Yoshimitsu to seek her and Soul Edge down for revenge in Soulcalibur IV.

In Soulcalibur series, Yoshimitsu uses his beloved self-named katana with the Manji Ninjitsu style and was handed down through many generations in the Manji clan. It seems like a normal katana, but it has many unique features that accommodates the unique style of the Manji. Since it was forged with secret techniques which were passed down in the Manji clan, it cannot be replicated and is the last of its kind. Yoshimitsu, after the massacre of his clan, swore an oath of vengeance to this weapon. It has been tainted by the evil energy of Soul Edge and turned into a demonic weapon, but still is the preferred weapon of Yoshimitsu. Additionally, the sashimono on his back that accompanies the sword is also used as a striking weapon.

Other appearances

Yoshimitsu and references to him have appeared in other Namco games. His Tekken 3 incarnation is a bonus character available in Anna Kournikova's Smash Court Tennis for the PlayStation and his Tekken 3 "energy sword" is one of the game's unlockable secret tennis racquets. Yoshimitsu's sword is also an available weapon in the Tekken spin-off game Death by Degrees.

Character design

Yoshimitsu sports the kanji "" (Romaji: u, Pinyin: ) which means "universe".

In Tekken series, Yoshimitsu's sword was originally depicted as a tachi as it continues to be in Namco's artwork. However, from Tekken 3 onwards, it has the appearance of a lightsaber (although in some Tekken games like Tekken 4, his alternate costume wields a normal katana).


Yoshimitsu uses a lot of fast, poking attacks, like his flying knee (fubuki) and his numerous spinning attacks. Performing too many of these spinning attacks, though, may leave him dizzy.

In other media and merchandise

Yoshimitsu has brief cameos in the anime film Tekken: The Movie and a minor appearance in the 2009 live-action film Tekken, portrayed by Gary Ray Stearns.[1]

In 2006, Namco released a Yoshimitsu figurine as part of a Tekken 5 set based upon his promotional artwork for the game. While not posable, the PVC figure came with equipable clothing items modeled after those in the game.[2]


In a 2002 poll by Namco prior to the release of Soulcalibur II regarding their favorite character from Soulcalibur, Yoshimitsu placed sixth, with 4.56% of the tally.[3] He was also ranked as sixth by IGN in 2008, where they added "Yoshimitsu's blade has always felt more at home with his fellow Soul fighters...New players are often at a loss as to how to handle the character, but once they get a handle on him, Yoshimitsu becomes a true force of nature".[4] In 2010, ranked Yoshimitsu as the tenth best character in fighting games.[5] In 2011, ranked Yoshimitsu as the seventh-best ninja in all video games[6] and Play listed him among the top ten ninjas on the PlayStation consoles.[7]

GamesRadar listed a match-up between Sodom and Yoshimitsu as one of the match-ups they want to see in Street Fighter X Tekken[8] and Now Gamer listed a match-up between Vega and Yoshimitsu as one of the ones they want to see in this game, commenting "Any bout between these two would be a mind-boggling display of fast attacks across the screen".[9] In 2011, UGO Networks ranked Yoshimitsu's special costume in Tekken 5 as the ninth best alternate costume in gaming.[10]


External links

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