Seven Ashina Spears Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi is the next mini boss fight in Sekiro, found in the game's Ashina Reservoir area, following on from Ashina Elite Jinsuke Saze in our walkthrough of the game's bosses and mini-bosses.
You'll find Seven Ashina Spears Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi waiting for a fight out the front of the tower where you first rescued Lord Kuro and got your sword, right at the start of the game - only this time it's in daylight hours.
Below, we'll cover how to beat Sekiro's Seven Ashina Spears, including any particularly strong methods or weaknesses they might have and any handy things to bear in mind.
For more guides and pages like this, meanwhile, cycle back to our main Sekiro walkthrough and boss guide hub.
Sekiro Seven Ashina Spears Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi - how to beat and kill Seven Ashina Spears
Seven Ashina Spears is a mini boss who really likes to poke you with a spear.
He's probably the most Perilous Attack-heave boss you'll have encountered in the game so far, packing several different variations that cover all three types of unblockable attack, with the sheer number of them making it hard to read exactly which one he's about to use and how to counter it.
Thankfully, there are ways to use the environment and your surroundings - and your unique mobility as a Shinobi - to make this fight a fair bit easier.
How to beat Seven Ashina Spears
First, get a stealth Deathblow to take off one of his marks. Head left from the Ashina Reservoir Sculptor's Idol (this is where you first beat Leader Shigenori Yamauchi, believe it or not), and jump into the canyon to a tree branch that juts out halfway across.
Go to the next tree, and then left and up a wall, where you'll see a Rifleman to your right and then on your left, on the other side of the wall you should be purching on, a little Drummer who sounds the alarm if it spots you. Jump down onto that for a stealth Deathblow and immediately drop back into stealth in the nearby long grass.
Sneak through that grass to the building you crawled under at the start of the game - but note that, if you killed the two guards on the bridge back by the Ashina Castle Idol, you can enter this building and find the Loaded Spear Prosthetic Tool location and add it to your collection. More on how to do so in that guide!.
Continue under that building for now though, and stealth kill the guard on the other side. Stay in the long grass and kill the guard at the end of it, then drop down and shimmy across, just as you did at the start of the game, and up into the building where you first get your sword by the same side entrance you did last time.
From here, you can sneak up on Seven Ashina Spears Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi for your first Deathblow, and then get to fighting him head on - without alerting all the various nearby guards.
Now for the hard part. Like it or not, you're going to need to get good at countering Perilous Attacks - thankfully we do have an ever-so-handy guide on Sekiro's Combat System and how to counter Perilous Attacks, which you should probably take a look at if you're struggling!
He performs a Thrust attack more than any other, which is signalled by this glint on the tip of his spear as he lowers it to poke you with.
Use a Mikiri Counter on that whenever you can, because what you need to focus on with Seven Ashina Spears is Posture, and not Vitality.
Lowering his Vitality with a few hits early on will definitely help, because it slows his Posture recovery, but he's so tanky that just relying on Vitality damage will be too difficult.
The Mikiri Counter for those Thrust attacks is perfect - as is the Shinobi Eyes Skill that increases its Posture damage - and the Shinobi Axe is also a useful tool, but there's one other thing to look out for.
Looking for more Sekiro pages like this? First up, the first main Sekiro patch notes for update 1.03 are live. Otherwise, our Sekiro boss guide, boss list and walkthrough hub has everything in one place, including pages on Lady Butterfly, Genichiro Ashina Way of Tomoe, Folding Screen Monkeys, Corrupted Monk, Guardian Ape, Great Shinobi Owl, Emma and Isshin Ashina, True Corrupted Monk, and Divine Dragon. We also have in-depth pages like Sekiro tips and tricks to get you started, Sekiro Skills, skill tree and Esoteric Text locations explained, our deep dive on the Sekiro combat system, Posture, and Perilous Attacks, or details on all Sekiro Prosthetic Tool locations, how to cure Dragonrot and Rot Essence in Sekiro, Gourd Seed locations, a Divine Confetti farm route method, all Treasure Carp Scale locations, all, Prayer Beads locations and all Snap Seed locations, too. And when you're ready - the how to beat Isshin Sword Saint and an Isshin Sword Saint cheese, plus the many Sekiro endings.
Seven Ashina Spears will often use a sweep-like attack, where he sort of "winds up" by spinning his spear above his head first. This isn't actually a Perilous Attack - at least it isn't always - but it can be countered in the same way: by jumping on his head like you're Mario and he's a lowly Goomba.
Every time he winds up his spear, jump on his head, bop him and land a few swings of your sword, and repeat. It's possible to catch him in stun lock whilst doing this if he's near a cliff edge or wall, which really helps too. It does heavy Posture damage and, combined with good use of the Mikiri Counter, should leave you in very good stead.
Finally, one other thing to note is the environment around you. There are several spots you can grapple to - if you find yourself backed into a corner that you don't like, or just need to get away for some healing and Posture recovery, use your grapple! It's also a good way to bait him into awkward positions where you can land some easier head-jumps and counters, or a few free hits while he repositions himself, too.
Keep the pressure on, hitting him even when he's blocking - when you know it's safe to do so - just to keep the Posture bar from falling back down again, and you'll be surprised how quickly he goes down when you're brave.
That's all you'll hopefully need for tackling this encounter. Next up in our guide is Lone Shadow Longswordsman, or you can cycle back to our main Sekiro walkthrough and boss guide hub for much more explainers and advice.