Nobunaga's Ambition and Contemporary Japan: History of Medieval Historiography, Medievalism, and Historical Subcultures

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Nobunaga's Ambition is a series of historical simulation games in the Sengoku and the Azuchi-Momoyama periods of Middle-age Japan. Today, it is not unusual to find military simulation games that consider not only combat but also territory management, diplomacy, geopolitics and other factors, but when the first work in the series was released in 1983 Nobunaga's Ambition was a pioneer in full-fledged historical simulation games. Nobunaga's Ambition was also highly regarded as a tool for learning history even in schools, with more than several hundred real-life characters appearing. As the Sengoku period is the most popular era in Japan, this work has attracted support from all ages, and 16 titles have been released to date. While the latest research results are reflected in each new release (e.g. ability values or appearance of characters), and in some cases influenced by trends in social movement and subcultures (e.g. non-military princesses can be controlled as generals due to the rise of gender equality theory), this series is also strongly influenced by Japanese medievalism for the general public. This presentation examines the history of Japanese medieval history and medievalism in contemporary Japanese historical subcultures through the changes in the characters throughout Nobunaga's Ambition.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2024
EventThe Middle Ages in Modern Games: Exploring Medievalisms in Modern Gaming Contexts - University of Winchester, Winchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Jun 20247 Jun 2024


ConferenceThe Middle Ages in Modern Games
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Cite this