William Information


  • William is the main character in Nioh. He is a pale, blond-haired protagonist whom you play as in feudal Japan.
  • Please see Stats and Skills pages for character development.
  • Though he is based off the Englishman William Adams, the protagonist William is Irish. 
  • He is the only character who speaks English through the entire story, but is able to translate Japanese.




William Character Directory Entry

William is an Irish-born English Sailor. While still a boy, he lost both parents in the Irish war with England, but also met his Guardian Spirit Saoirse; the two have been inseparable ever since. Overcoming these early tragedies, William grew to be a strong and capable young man and threw in his lot with an English navy privateer-a pirate ship in all but name. Saoirse's special ability to locate powerful Amrita spirit-stones allowed him to flourish as a pirate for a time, but when he stumbled upon a secret military project to weaponize Amrita, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Just before William escaped the Tower of London, the alchemist Edward Kelley stole Saoirse from him. Determined to get Saoirse back, William followed Kelley doggedly across perilous seas all the way to Japan. But nothing he had heard about this fabled "country of gold" had prepared him for the realm of supernatural peril and death it proved to be.

On Kelley's trail with Hattori Hanzo, William was favored with an audience with Hanzo's lord, Tokugawa Ieyasu. Although Ieyasu's deep karmic debt forced him to sacrifice much that was dear to him, he remained grimly determined to build a world without war. A question from Ieyasu led William to begin rethinking the meaning of his own power.


William Adams History

The main character in Nioh is based on a real-life figure, a sailor called William Adams. He was the first Englishman to reach Japan, stranded to the island on 1598 while sailing a ship (de Liefde) for the Dutch East India Company. Unable to return to England, Adams settled in Japan, learned the language, and became the first ever "Western Samurai".

Due to his interesting background and foreigner knowledge, William became an advisor to the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, aiding in the construction of the first western fleet for Japan and assisting in the development of foreigner relationships with other Asian and European countries.  Ieyasu named him "Anjin Miura" (the pilot of Miura, a peninsula in Japan) and he was referred to as such in real life (as well as the game).

According to an interview with director Fumihiko Yasuda, the decision to use William as the main character is as follows: 

"The protagonist is based on a real-life historical figure named William Adams who was basically a pirate from England who arrived in Japan in the early 1600s and eventually trained as a Samurai, which is a very very rare occurrence throughout history. So we were just really fascinated by his story and thought he was a real badass, and that is why we wanted to use his story as our main character’s. Since the game is so based around his story, we decided not to have any custom character creation.

Although, one thing we would really like to consider for the future is more facial customization for online play. We do already have armor customization so that should bring some diversity between players online for the time being."

 If you want to learn more about William Adams in real history, click here.


Hairstyle & Beard

William will have four different hairstyles in Nioh: Ponytail, Samurai Knot, Pirate Bun, Wakajishi. Three types of beard: Sailor Cut, Five O'clock Shadow, Jurojin, Youthful Look.

In order to unlock hair styles, press Triangle to talk to Tome at the blacksmith (while in the blacksmith menu). Select “I have a request for Tome” and then “Unlock Barber Menu”.

Tired of anon posting? Register!
    • Anonymous

      Immagine Sekiro and William fighting each other. I think it will be the greathest shinobi vs samurai fight ever.

      • Anonymous

        0/10 I can't make my character an abomination. Jk but still, that's why we all love Character Customization.

        • Anonymous

          Look if I’m being honest I can’t ***** about not being able to customize William because He’s what I make 99% of the time anyway since I’m Blonde, Blue eyed, and pale.

          • Anonymous

            Witcher 4 has went into a weird direction. In all seriousness tho, i am surprised the dude is Irish and i never made the connection after following a literal fae from gaelic myth

            • Anonymous

              Not the kind of guy who gets super "PC police" about this stuff, but the "white savior of japan"-ness is making the part of me raised by an SJW tingle. Remember when Paul Mooney was talking about "the Last Samurai" starring Tom Cruise and Referenced "The Last N***a on Eatrh" starring Tom Hanks?

              • Anonymous

                Warning: Edgy preteens who get severely butthurt over opinions ahead. Please refrain from making contact with anyone with the mentality of a raging child who didn't get their way. Thank you and have a nice day.

                • Anonymous

                  So in short nice looking western guy travels to Japan , the "golden land" to rescue his waifu. Who is trapped behind glas, too. Seems the developers knew exactly for whom they made this game.

                  • Anonymous

                    Well in the game he defeats "Yasuke" a black man who was the first Samurai of none Asian decent appointed by Oda Nobunaga. European Fantasy Fiction indeed!

                    • Anonymous

                      Why do people make such a fuss over this guy? I've seen people saying things ranging from "why is he irish?" To "why the ***** isn't he customizable?". Jesus, just accept the fact that the developers wanted him to be like that and go enjoy the game for the jewel it is.

                      • Anonymous

                        This whole joke about him looking like Geralt barely even makes sense when you don't think about it, but the moment you even slightly scrutinize it becomes an outright idiotic claim. I'd be fine with it if it was meant to be "ironic" of sorts, where people obviously know he looks nothing like Geralt but they still say he does as an inside joke but it seems that's not the case.

                        Geralt has golden eyes, William's are blue.
                        Geralt has a very narrow concave jaw and chin while William's is VERY convex and broad.
                        Even the hair itself which is what is mainly making people think of Geralt isn't even white, it's golden blonde.

                        If I was a wiki editor I wouldn't entertain this "trivia". It isn't even trivia in the first place, even if the similarities were there.

                        • Anonymous

                          Finally get a game based on this bad ass historical figure from my home town...and they make him Irish. Like come on we even have Japanese street names in Gillingham and a festival once a year to celebrate his life. Would it of been that hard just to make him English not Irish.

                          • Anonymous

                            What an uninteresting looking protagonist, I hate Geralt from the witcher so making this guy a copy of that loser hurts this game in my eyes, I really wish there was a character creator.

                            • Anonymous

                              I'm Excited and thrilled when this game is released , a story to be told to all of us , to be shared with and all of its gameplay , enemies , myths in the culture and atmosphere just makes it all the more worth it , I do not mind no character customization because it would ruin the story quiet a lot but I have high hopes for this as well as reading and getting a knowledge of all this yokais and daemons and this game is a great example of getting inspired by something but as well been its own game , lets all have fun till the end guys!!

                              • Anonymous

                                "we decided not to have any custom character creation" big mistake, a good aspect of the souls games is your the star not some white hair male only character. Please add full custom character creation, with female option. Use lore to flesh out the world not a lead character.

                                • Anonymous

                                  Theres a butthurt yabk vandal going around everywhere falsifying that William is Irish. Be aware of him vandalising this page.
                                  Hes immensely butthurt that the main char is of the best nationality in history

                                Load more
                                ⇈ ⇈