The Obata of Kai Province were related to the Takeda and served them into the sengoku period. Following the destruction of the Takeda in 1582, certain branches of the Obata went on to enter the service of the Tokugawa.
Yamashiro no kami
Toramori first served Takeda Nobutora, from whom he was granted the use of 'tora' in his name. He fought in many battles for Takeda Shingen under the leadership of Baba Nobufusa and was said to have been wounded no fewer then forty times over the course of career, which came to an end when he died of illness in July 1561 at Kaizu Castle.
Bungo no kami
Masamori was the son of Obata Toranori and a noted general of Takeda Shingen. For some time he acted as Kosaka Masanobu's second in command at Kaizu Castle in northern Shinano Province. He commanded men at the battles of Mimasetoge (1569) and Mikatagahara (1573) and was wounded at the Battle of Nagashino. His health declined afterwards and he eventually died of illness. Masamori was married to a daughter of Hara Toratane.
Kagenori became a Tokugawa retainer following the fall of the Takeda and was made a page to Tokugawa Hidetada. He is known to have seen service at the Osaka Winter Campaign (1614) and is reputed to have been sent to the Osaka garrison as a spy by the Tokugawa. Kagenori is attributed with writing at least part (if not most) of the Koyo Gunkan, the well-known history of the Takeda of Kai in the 16th Century, which in fact amounts to a piece of hagiography extolling Takeda Shingen. From this work comes the popular view of the events surrounding the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima, a contest otherwise poorly documented in more reliable sources.
The Obata of Kôzuke Province were related to the Obata of Kai. The allegiances of the various branches of the family shifted between the Uesugi, Nagao, Takeda, and Hôjô depending on the situation in Kôzuke.
Nobusada joined the Takeda around 1560 after fleeing his lands in Kôzuke Province. He had his old fief restored to him by Shingen the following year and proved to be one of Shingen's most dependable generals and almost certainly the most significant of Shingen's Kôzuke men. He led large forces at the Battles of Mimasetoge and Mikatagahara and was very useful in the Takeda's Kôzuke campaigns. He commanded somewhere around 500 men at the Battle of Nagashino for Takeda Katsuyori. When the Takeda fell in 1582, he joined first Takigawa Kazumasa and then the Hôjô, finally ending up with Sanada Masayuki (1590).
Hyô Bushô Yû
Toramasa was adopted into the Obu from the Iitomi. He first served Takeda Nobutora, then became a central figure in the plot to remove him from his office. When Nobutora was replaced with his son Harunobu (Shingen) in 1541, Toramasa became a valued retainer of the latter and was made a guardian for Harunobu's son, Yoshinobu. He was given Uchiyama Castle in Shinano and here he and 800 of his men once held off an attack by an 8,000-man Uesugi army. For this and other services in war, Toramasa earned the nickname 'Kai no Môko' (Fierce Tiger of Kai, a pun, presumably, on the 'tora', or tiger, in Toramasa's name). He was implicated in a plot along with Yoshinobu in 1565 and was made to commit suicide in Kofu. He was the elder brother of Yamagata Masakage, who is thought to have leaked the supposed plot to Shingen.
The Oda of Owari Province were originally retainers of the Shiba shûgo family (starting from around 1400). When the Shiba's power dwindled in the early Sengoku Period, the Oda became lords of Owari, though nominal respect was shown the Shiba lord until the 1550's. Two main rival factions of the Oda, known as the Kiyosu and Iwakura branches, contended for decades, with the Kiyosu faction, eventually led by Oda Nobunaga, becoming dominant by 1555. The Oda rose rapidly with Nobunaga's drive for national hegemony but lost most of its influence following his death. The Oda's roots are obscure and while Nobunaga claimed Taira descent, this was and is impossible to confirm. In fact, it is unclear just how the Iwakura and Kiyosu Oda had been related.
Bingo no kami, Danjô no chu
Nobuhide was born the eldest son of Oda Danjô no chu Nobusada, in Shobata Castle in the Kaito District of Owari. He was a powerful figure within Owari Province, though not a daimyô in his own right. Rather, he was one of the 'elders' of the Kiyosu branch of the Oda. He had a reputation as a spirited leader and conducted numerous raids into Mikawa and Mino Provinces. He clashed with the Matsudaira of Mikawa and fought a series of contests with the Imagawa of Suruga and Tôtômi, highlighted by his victory at Azukizaka in 1542. He fought with Saitô Dôsan of Mino in 1547-48 and concluded a peace treaty that saw his son Nobunaga married to Dôsan's daughter. His progress in Mikawa, on the other hand, was checked by the Imagawa, who defeated him at Azukizaka in the spring of 1548, although he was able to secure the Matsudaira's Anjo Castle in 1549. He fell ill and died at Suemori Castle on 8 April 1551 and his funeral was carried out at the Bansyôji. He is remembered as being brave, at times reckless, and intemperate.
Sons: Nobuhiro, Nobunaga, Nobuyuki, Nobukane, Nobuharu, Hidetaka (d.1555), Nobutoki (Awa no kami; d.1556), Nobuoki, Nobuteru (Etchû no kami; ?-?), Nagamasu
Nobuyasu was a younger brother of Oda Nobuhide and held Inuyama Castle in Owari Province. He fought in the 1st Battle of Azukizaka (1542) against the Imagawa and later that year accompanied Nobuhide on campaign against the Saitô of Mino Province. There he was killed in a night raid launched by Saitô Dosan. His son Shimotsuke no kami Nobukiyo was to have a falling out with Nobunaga and fled Owari, eventually taking up with the Takeda of Kai.
(Oda Magosaburô, Tsuda Nobumitsu)
Nobumitsu was a younger brother of Oda Nobuhide and held Moriyama Castle in Owari Province. He was one of Nobuhide's most important retainers, fighting alongside him in the 1st Battle of Azukizaka (1542) and later assisted his nephew Nobunaga in the capture of Kiyosu (1544) and Muraki (1554). He died suddenly in 1555, though just how is a matter of speculation. One theory holds that he was murdered by Sakai Magohachirô, possibly on Nobunaga's orders.
Nobutsugu was the youngest brother of Oda Nobuhide and was present for the Battle of Azikizaka in 1542. He served his nephew Nobunaga and held Moriyama Castle in Owari Province after his elder brother' Nobumitsu's death in 1555. In 1555, while hunting, Nobutsugu accidently shot to death Nobunaga's brother Hidetaka. Fearing retribution for the accident, Nobutsugu fled Owari. He returned when Nobunaga invited him back and nothing more came of the matter. He was killed in 1574 in the fighting with the Nagashima ikko.
Ôsumi no kami
Nobuhiro was the eldest son of Oda Nobuhiro and was given Anjô Castle in Mikawa after his father took it in 1540. In 1549 he found himself surrounded by the Imagawa at Anjô. He was saved by a deal arranged by his brother Nobunaga that saw the infant Tokugawa Ieyasu (then a hostage of the Oda) handed over to Imagawa in exchange for a lifting of the siege of Anjô. Nonetheless, the situation was a blot on Nobuhiro's reputation. Over the next two years or so his position in the Oda, already weak due to his being considered an illegitimate son of Nobuhide, was undermined by Nobunaga and a clique of retainers who had gathered around him. As a result, Nobuhiro was forced to accept that Nobunaga would be the head of the family. Later, in 1557, he plotted against Nobunaga with Saitô Yoshitatsu of Mino Province but his intentions were uncovered before any real damage was done. Nobunaga forgave Nobuhiro and the latter went on to serve his younger brother until 1574, when he was killed 13 October fighting the Nagashima monto.
(Taira no Anson, Fujiwara Nobunaga, Oda Sansuke Nobunaga)
Lord of Owari, 1st of the Three Unifiers
Owari no kami, Kazusa no suke, Udaijin (1577) Sadaijin (1578), Daijô daijin (1578)
Nobunaga was the 2nd son and fifth child of Oda Nobuhide and was born on 23 June 1534. In childhood he was known as Kippôshi (Kichihôshi) and was first married to a daughter of Saitô Dôsan and, later, to a woman from the Ikoma family. He became the leader of the Kiyosu branch of the Oda following the death of Oda Nobuhide in 1551 and partially due to the fact that his elder brother Nobuhiro was considered illegitimate. In 1553, his supporter, Shiba Yoshimune, the shugo of Owari and lord of Kiyosu Castle, was murdered by Oda Hikogoro (Nobutomo). Nobunaga responded the following year by capturing Kiyosu and this became the stronghold of Nobunaga's branch of the Oda. Popular history tells us that the young Nobunaga was headstrong and heedless of the advice of his senior retainers and, indeed, Hirate Kiyohide committed suicide in 1553 in remonstration. Afterwards Nobunaga is supposed to have moderated his behavior. He struggled with the Iwakura branch of the Oda, finally taking Iwakura in 1558 and effectively unifying the Oda. In the process he was forced to contend with dissension in his own family. His younger brother Nobuyuki and a number of noted Oda retainers took up arms against him in 1556. Although peace was made after a number of clashes, the following year he learned that Nobuyuki was again plotting and so had him put to death. His elder brother Nobuhiro was also implicated in a plot with the Saitô of Mino but was pardoned.
Nobunaga continued his father's forays into Mikawa Province and clashed with the Imagawa of Suruga and Tôtômi and was defeated at Terabe in 1558 by the young Matsudaira Motoyasu (the future Tokugawa Ieyasu and a vassal of the Imagawa). In 1560 Imagawa Yoshimoto marched into Owari at the head of a powerful army but was defeated and killed at Okehazama in a surprise attack by Nobunaga on 12 June 1560. Following this great upset, Nobunaga made peace with the Matsudaira and in 1565 made alliances with the Takeda and Asai. He sent an adoptive daughter to marry Takeda Katsuyori (she died in 1567) and his sister Ôichi no kata (1548?-1583) was betrothed to Asai Nagamasa. His father-in-law, Saitô Dôsan of Mino Province, had been overthrown by his son Yoshitatsu in 1557. Attempts by Nobunaga afterwards to punish Yoshitatsu had come to nothing owing to the strength of the latter. But Yoshitatsu died in 1561, leaving a young son, Tatsuoki, as lord. Soon afterwards Nobunaga led an army into Mino in a campaign that culminated in a victory at Moribe. He made Komaki Castle his capital in 1563 and used this as a staging area for his raids into Mino. He managed to lure away a number of Tatsuoki's best men and in 1567 he took Inabayama (Inokuchi) Castle and sent Tatsuoki into exile. The following year he moved his headquarters from Komaki to Gifu and to stimulate growth in his new capital he declared its markets duty-free. Around the same time he was approached by Ashikaga Yoshiaki, younger brother of shôgun Yoshiteru (killed in 1565 by the Miyoshi and Matsunaga), who wished for Nobunaga to install him in Kyoto. Nobunaga had earlier gone to visit the capital and sometime during 1564-65 received a request from the emperor, Ôgimachi, to restore order to the capital. In fact, Nobunaga had indicated a desire to establish Yoshiaki in Kyoto as early as 1565. At that time Nobunaga had been in no position to respond to either the Emperor's overtures or those of Yoshiaki but he now led an army from Mino westward, first taking the Rokkaku's Kannoji Castle. He easily drove Matsunaga Hisahide and the Miyoshi Triumvir from Kyoto in November 1568 and Yoshiaki was established as shôgun. In fact, Nobunaga was unquestionably the ruling power in Kyoto, prompting resentment from Yoshiaki and increasing controversy.
As the new power in the area, Nobunaga took immediate steps to improve the economic situation by abolishing toll booths and encouraging mercantile activities. In 1569 Nobunaga expanded his foothold in Settsu Province by capturing the castles towns of Ikeda, Takatsuki, and Ibaraki, in the process bringing the important trade center of Sakai under his sway. Concurrently he secured his hold on Ise Province by forcing the submission of the Kitabatake clan and establishing a number of his relatives there as heirs to existing houses (including the Kitabatake). That same year, Nobunaga met with Luis Frois and was afterwards to enjoy good relations with the foreigners, who came to see him as their great patron. In 1570 he went to war with Asakura Yoshikage of Echizen Province after the latter refused to recognize his power but was betrayed by his brother-in-law, Asai Nagamasa of Ômi (whose ties to the Asakura outweighed his pact with Nobunaga). On 30 July 1570 Nobunaga and his ally Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated the Asai and Asakura at the strategically indecisive battle of Anegawa. He by now found himself confronted by a host of enemies, and of these the most formidable were the ikko fighters of the Ishiyama Honganji fortress and Nagashima in Ise Province. Nobunaga's initial attempts to reduce both these threats ended in failure. The Asai and Asakura had struck back against Nobunaga a few months after Anegawa and had benefited from their friendship with the warrior monks of the Enryakuji on Mt. Hiei. On 29 September 1571, despite the objections of some of his men, Nobunaga unleashed his army against the Enryakuji and destroyed that famous and influential complex. Owing to his many concerns Nobunaga was for a time unable to dispatch the Asai and Asakura, although he attempted on a number of occasions to bring down the Asai's Odani Castle. At the beginning of 1573 he was compelled to send reinforcements to Tokugawa Ieyasu, under pressure from Takeda Shingen, and after this the Oda and Takeda were openly at war, with Nobunaga and Shingen indulging in the issuing of statements defaming the other. To this point Ashikaga Yoshiaki had been chaffing under Nobunaga's authority (see Ashikaga Yoshiaki) and in March Yoshiaki openly broke from his erstwhile patron. However, Takeda Shingen died of illness in May and so Nobunaga felt comfortable to turn his strength against Yoshiaki and force him to submit. Yoshiaki again rebelled in August and this time Nobunaga drove him into exile, effectively bringing the Ashikaga shôgunate to an end. Soon afterwards he marked the event by petitioning the court to change the era name. This was promptly done, Genki thus being superceded by Tenshô. This event, which underscored Nobunaga's ever-growing power, was the beginning of his growing involvement in court affairs, to the detriment of the emperor, Ôgimachi, whom Nobunaga apparently intended to force from the throne.
In September 1573 Nobunaga destroyed both the Asai and Asakura and so brought all of Ômi and Echizen under his sway. That same year Oda troops eliminated the last Miyoshi resistance in Settsu Province but both the Ishiyama Honganji and Nagashima ikko remained unbroken. By 1574 the war against the Nagashima ikko had proven to be perhaps the most bitter and costly of Nobunaga's campaigns but he finally destroyed them that year at an enormous cost in lives. The ikko of Echizen, supported by their compatriots in Kaga, had risen up to aid the beleaguered defenders of Nagashima. This too Nobunaga had crushed by the following year, again with great loss of life to the ikko and their families. With his hold on the so-called Home Provinces now secure, Nobunaga was able to turn his attentions to the Takeda clan, which was now led by Takeda Katsuyori. On 29 June 1575 Nobunaga and the Tokugawa won the Battle of Nagashino, a contest that left as many as 10,000 Takeda men dead and supposedly featured the extensive use of as many as 3,000 matchlocks firing from behind barricades (although some modern scholars have convincingly argued that, although there is no question Nobunaga built extensive fortifications, the number of matchlocks actually used was far less-around 1,000-than the traditional version of the battle maintains).
Nobunaga could now leave the Takeda to the Tokugawa for the time being and focused on expansion to both the west and northeast. Since direct attacks on the Honganji had come to nothing, Nobunaga had instead placed that formidable complex under siege. The Môri of western Honshu entered the fray on the side of the Honganji and broke Nobunaga's naval blockade in 1576, prompting him to send Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi on a march into the Chugoku region the following year. At the same time Hosokawa Fujitaka and Akechi Mitsuhide were dispatched to reduce Harima and Tajima Provinces.
Oda forces under Shibata Katsuie (who had overseen Japan's first sword hunt, or katanagari, between 1575-76) pushed into Kaga, in the process provoking Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo into war. The Môri navy was defeated in 1578 and the blockade restored, forcing the Honganji to finally surrender in 1580. Despite his ruthless treatment of ikko elsewhere, Nobunaga was unusually generous to the defenders, and there was no wholesale slaughter attending the event. On the other hand, Nobunaga used the opportunity afforded by the surrender to pull down castles in Settsu, Kwatchi, and Yamato (in the case of the last, Koriyama was to be the only castle to remain), decidedly foreshadowing Toyotomi and Tokugawa policy in this regard. While Hideyoshi pressed the war against the Môri and Shibata worked to expand Oda influence deeper into the Hokuriku, Nobunaga spent much of his time in the central provinces consolidating his power there. He built his expansive Azuchi Castle in Ômi in 1576 and made this his capital in 1578 after declaring its market's duty-free to induce trade (as he had at Gifu). He ordered land surveys carried out in those provinces he held and shuffled his retainers around to prevent them from becoming overly powerful in one area, and dismissed those who either proved incompetent or had outlived their usefulness (in a single stroke in 1580, he dismissed Sakuma Nobumori and his son, as well as Niwa Ujikatsu and Ando Morinari). He accepted a rapid succession number of titles from the Court between 1577 and 1578, including ju nii, or Junior Second Rank, shô nii, or Second Rank, Udaijin, and Sadaijin). This rise culminated in his acceptance of the title of Daijô daijin (or Great Chancellor) in February 1578. Yet three months later he resigned from all of his courtly posts, requesting unsuccessfully that they be instead given to his son Nobutada. He afterwards avoided taking on any traditional titles even as he worked to undermine the already fragile powers of the Court and in particular the Emperor, Ôgimachi.
In 1581 he presided over the bloody conquest of Iga Province, erasing a bungled failure by his son Nobuo to capture that backwater in 1579. By 1582 Oda forces had marched as far at Etchû to the north and Bitchû to the west and that spring Nobunaga directed what might have been his single greatest campaign-the invasion of the Takeda lands, which symbolically ended with Takeda Katsuyori's suicide on 3 April. As a result he added Kai, Shinano, and Kôzuke to the Oda domain and allotted Suruga to Tokugawa Ieyasu. Immediately afterwards the Court again pressed Nobunaga to accept some sort of official position, hinting at the post of shôgun, since, given his conquest of the Takeda, the post of Barbarian Quelling General, once given to those leading campaigns into the eastern provinces, would seem appropriate. Nobunaga put off giving any response. He was in the process of preparing to join the campaign against the Môri when Akechi Mitsuhide suddenly rose up and destroyed him at the Honnoji in Kyoto on 21 June 1582 (Tenshô-10/6/2). The exact manner in which he died is unknown, though it is assumed that he committed suicide as the temple burned around him. According to Luis Frois, who was not far from the Honnoji that morning, Nobunaga had been wounded early in the fight by an arrow but fought against his attackers with a naginata until retiring to commit suicide. Since his heir Nobutada was killed elsewhere in Kyoto on the same day, the question of succession would prove to be the end of the Oda's bid for national hegemony. Nobunaga was posthumously named Soken-in and his funeral service was held at the Daitokuji.
Luis Frois, who was in a good position to observe Nobunaga, described him as being 'tall, thin, sparsely bearded... reticent about his plans, an expert in military strategy, unwilling to recieve advice from subordinates... brusque in his manner, despises all the other Japanese kings and princes and speaks to them over his shoulder in a loud voice as if they were lowly servents... yet converses quite familiarly with the lowest and most miserable servant.' (See Cooper's They Came To Japan.)
Nobunaga represents one of the most complex and controversial figures in Japanese history. Unquestionably brilliant in his way, and a great strategist, Nobunaga's greatest military talent may have been in his effective delegation of important campaigns to subordinates such as Shibata and Hideyoshi. By the eve of his death, Nobunaga had campaigns ongoing in the Hokuriku, the Chugoku, and one slated to bring Shikoku under his control, none of which he himself spent much time personally involved with. Nobunaga was a generous patron to the foreigners who called on him and an avid collector of the curiosities they offered. He took to wearing European pants, boots, and cloaks, as well as developing a taste for European wine. His ruthless treatment of the ikko and his secular character gave the foreign missionaries hope that he would convert to Christianity but in this they were disappointed. In fact, Frois became appalled by Nobunaga's expanding sense of grandiosity, recording that Nobunaga had gone so far as to declare himself a divine being (Hideyoshi would be fond of implying that his birth was divine but stopped short of saying that he was divine). A connoisseur of tea items and an amateur poet, Nobunaga's cultural expressions extended to the patronage of such artists as Kano Eitoku, who was responsible for many of the touches in Azuchi Castle's interior. He was boundlessly ambitious, going so far as to reportedly indicate to Hideyoshi that he desired to someday invade China. But his stubborn refusal to be burdened with traditional posts and titles, and his combination of energy and fascination with the wider world, add to the sense of mystery surrounding his ultimate intentions. His untimely death in 1582 must be considered one of the most significant events in Japan's history.
Sons: Nobutada, Nobuo, Nobutaka, Hidekatsu, Katsunaga, Nobuhide, Nobutaka (d.1602), Nobuyoshi (1573-1615), Nobusada (1574-1624), Nobuyoshi (d.1609), Nagatsugu (d.1600, killed at Sekigahara)
Daughters: Among Nobunaga's daughters were those married to Takigawa Kazumasa, Gamô Ujisato (Fumiko, d.1541), Niwa Nagashige, Maeda Toshinaga (Naga, 1574-1623), and Tsutsui Sadatsugu (Hideko). An adoptive daughter was married to Takeda Katsuyori but died in 1567.
Musashi no kami
Nobuyuki was the 3rd son of Oda Nobuhide. He was a staunch opponent of his elder brother Nobunaga, beginning, we are told, at the funeral of their father, where Nobunaga is said to have acted disrespectfully. He conspired against Nobunaga with a clique of Oda retainers, including Shibata Katsuie and Hayashi Hidesada. Matters came to a head in the fall of 1556 when the supporters of Nobunaga and Nobuyuki went to war. Nobuyuki's supporters were defeated and Nobunaga was content to forgive Nobuyuki for his activities in light of their shared mother. Around this time Nobuyuki changed his name to Nobushige. When rumors began to circulate that Nobuyuki had returned to his plotting (one version of events reports that Shibata Katsuie came to Nobunaga with word of Nobuyuki's renewed intentions) Nobunaga is said to have devised a trap: he feigned a serious illness, in the expectation that Nobuyuki would come to offer expected well-wishes. When Nobuyuki indeed left his Suemori Castle and appeared to visit his elder brother, he was set upon and murdered. Whether or not Nobuyuki's execution occurred in such a fashion, it is at any rate not altogether clear if he was killed in 1557 or 1558.
Kôzuke no suke
Nobukane was a younger son of Oda Nobuhide. Around 1569 he was adopted by Nagano family of Ise Province. He was at Nagano Castle when his brother was killed at the Honnoji in Kyoto by Akechi Mitsuhide. He attended the Kiyosu Conference later that year, where he supported Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and stood out for his conduct and bearing. He fell out of favor with Hideyoshi for urging him to show clemency for the deated leaders of the Hôjô when Odawara fell in 1590 and in 1594 cut off his hair and became a monk, assuming the name Rôtaisai. He later regained Hideyoshi's good-will and was given a 60,000-koku fief in Tamba Province in 1598, as well as being allowed to attend to the young Toyotomi Hideyori. He supported Ishida Mitsunari during the Sekigahara Campaign (1600) and later died of natural causes. He was considered something of a talent at painting.
Sons: Nobushige, Nobunori, Shigenao
Nobuharu was a younger brother of Oda Nobunaga. He was tasked with the defense of Usayama in Ômi Province and killed alongside Mori Yoshinari when attacked by some 30,000 Asai and Asakura troops in the 9th month of 1570.
Nobuoki was a younger brother of Oda Nobunaga and came to hold Ogie Castle in Ise Province. In 1570 his castle was surrounded by rioting ikko-ikki from Ise's Nagashima area. Nobunaga was occupied with the Asai and Asakura families at the time and could send no assistance. As a result the castle fell and Nobuoki, after climbing to upper level of his keep, committed suicide.
(Oda Nagamasu, Oda Yuraku, Oda Urakusai)
Nobumasu was a younger son of Oda Nobuhide and was known as a child as Gengo. He was a well-known tea-master who entered the service of Hideyoshi following Nobunaga's death. He later supported Tokugawa Ieyasu during the Sekigahara Campaign (1600) and led some 450 men at the Battle of Sekigahara. He joined the defenders of Osaka Castle in 1614 and was to survive the siege. He afterwards retired from active life and took the name Urakusai-Joan. He died on 24 January 1622.
Sons: Yorinaga, Nagamasa (Nagataka?), Hisanaga
(Oda Matajûrô, Tusda Nobutoshi)
Nobutoshi was a younger son of Oda Nobuhide. He was present for a number of Oda campaigns, including Nagashima (1574). He alongside Oda Nobutada when Oda Nobunaga was killed in the Honnoji in Kyoto in June 1582 and died fighting Akechi troops at Nijô.
Jô no suke, Akita no Jô, Dewa no kami
Nobutada was the eldest son of Oda Nobunaga (the theorized existence of an elder brother notwithstanding) and at his coming of age ceremony was named Oda Kankurô Nobushige. In fact, and somewhat unusually, he had already been on campaign under his father the year before his coming of age, participating in the siege of Odani Castle in 1572. Nobutada was considered a promising commander and was liked by those who served with him. In 1574 he led a force to relieve Akechi Castle in Mino, which was under siege by Takeda Katsuyori, but did not arrive in time. The following year, after being present at the Battle of Nagashino, he was responsible for bringing down the Takeda's Iwamura Castle in Mino Province. He joined Tsutsui Junkei in forcing Matsunaga Hisahide to commit suicide in 1577 at Shigizan, and the following year briefly joined Hideyoshi's Chugoku campaign. In 1582 he led an army into Shinano as part of the invasion of the Takeda lands and besieged Takatô Castle. He was in Kyoto when Akechi Mitsuhide rose against his father and killed him at the Honnoji. Nobutada was surrounded at Nijô Castle and committed suicide. This was on 21 June 1582.
Sons: Hidenobu (Sambôshi), Hidenori (Zaemon no jô; 1581-1625)
(Kitabatake Nobuo, Oda Nobukatsu)
2nd son of Oda Nobunaga
Chûjô, Dewa no kami
Nobuo was the second son of Oda Nobunaga. He was adopted into the Kitabatake family following the submission of that family to the Oda in 1569 and assumed formal leadership in 1576. On his own initiative he ordered the 1st invasion of Iga Province in 1579, which went badly and earned him a rebuke from his father. Two years later he led around 10,000 men in the 2nd Invasion of Iga, which was a success. After his father's death at the hands of Akechi Mitsuhide in June 1582, Nobuo was named as a possible successor at the Kiyosu Conference. His bid was fruitless, though in fief he received much of Owari as well as Ise. His claim to his father's position was belatedly supported in 1584 by Tokugawa Ieyasu and as a result war broke out between Nobuo and Ieyasu and Hideyoshi. Much of the fighting of the so-called Komaki Campaign was conducted in Nobuo's domain - Ise and Owari, with several castles being lost in the former. At the end of 1584 Nobuo felt compelled to make a separate peace with Hideyoshi and consequently was allowed to retain some of his lands in Owari. He received the title Chûnagon in 1585 and went on to lead troops under Hideyoshi's standard during the 1590 Odawara Campaign. Afterwards he fell out of favor with Hideyoshi and shaved his head. Later forgiven, his eldest son was established in Echizen Province. Nobuo was to support Ishida Mitsunari in the Sekigahara Campaign (1600), for which he lost his lands after Mitsunari's defeat. While living in Kyoto, he was approached about joining the defenders of Osaka Castle in 1614 but at length declined. He died on 10 June 1630.
Sons: Hideo (1573-1610), Nobuyoshi (d.1626), Takanaga, Yoshio, Nagao
3rd son of Oda Nobunaga
Nobutaka was Nobunaga's third son and his mother was from the Saka family. He was in fact born 20 days before Oda Nobuo but as his mother's social standing was inferior to Nobuo's, Nobutaka was considered the younger of the two. In 1568 Nobutaka was married to a daughter of Kanbe Tomomori and later became the head of the Kanbe house of Ise Province. Nobunaga had intended to send him against the four provinces of Shikoku along with Niwa nagahide, and in fact the two were assembling an invasion force in Settsu Province when Nobunaga was suddenly destroyed by Akechi Mitsuhide in June 1582. Nobutaka's first act in the aftermath of this upset was to order the death of his cousin, Oda Nobusumi, whom he suspected of being in league with the Akechi. He then joined Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi's army and helped defeat Akechi at the Battle of Yamashiro. He was a possible heir to the Oda house and his claim was supported by Shibata Katsuie at the so-called Kiyosu Conference held in Owari Province. Though Nobuo, the other mature claimant, was considered Nobunaga's second son, and so technically more eligble to succeed his father, Nobutaka, unlike Nobuo, had been present at Yamazaki. While his cause foundered at Kiyosu, Nobutaka was named the lord of Mino Province and took up residence at Gifu Castle. Perhaps at the instigation of Shibata, he defied a request by Hideyoshi to release Sambôshi (the late Oda Nobutada's son) into the latter's custody. Afterwards Nobutaka plotted with Katsuie against Hideyoshi but jumped the gun by raising his banners at Gifu before the Shibata were in a position to help him. Faced with the sudden arrival of Hideyoshi's army, he submitted, only to rebel the following spring. He was briefly besieged at Gifu, then committed suicide when he learned that Shibata Katsuie had taken his own life following the Battle of Shizugatake (June 1583). Even prior to the Kiyosu Conference, Nobutaka and his elder brother Nobuo had been rivals, with each endeavoring to outdo the other. This, it has been suggested, was Nobunaga's intention when he arranged for both to become the lords of families within Ise.
4th son of Oda Nobunaga
Hidekatsu was adopted by Toyotomi (then Hashiba) Hideyoshi and at the time of his natural father's death in June 1582 was at Kojima in Bizen Province. He accompanied Hideyoshi to the Battle of Yamazaki, where Akechi Mitsuhide was defeated, and during Nobunaga's funeral held his late father's mortuary tablet (ihai). He was given Kaneyama Castle in Tanba and served Hideyoshi during the 1584 Komaki Campaign. He died suddenly in 1585, leading some to suspect that he had been murdered on Hideyoshi's orders. He is sometimes confused with another Hashiba Hidekatsu, Miyoshi Yorifusa's second son and also an adopted son of Hideyoshi.
5th son of Oda Nobunaga
Katsunaga was sent to Nobunaga's aunt at Iwamura Castle as a young boy and when that place fell into Takeda hands in 1572, Katsunaga became a Takeda hostage. In 1581 Takeda Katsuyori repatriated Katsunaga back to the Oda and shortly afterwards he was given Inuyama Castle in Owari Province. He died alongside his father at the Honnôji in Kyoto in 1582.
1st son of Oda Nobutada
Hidenobu was an infant (and then known as Sambôshi) when his father and grandfather were killed by the forces of Akechi Mitsuhide on 21 June 1582. He was suggested as a successor to Nobunaga by Toyotomi Hideyoshi at the Kiyosu Conference and this was at length accepted by the bulk of the Oda retainers. Hidenobu was given Gifu Castle in Mino Province when he came of age, though he, of course, was never to succeed his grandfather in anything but name. He sided with Ishida Mitsunari during the Sekigahara Campaign (1600) and had his castle was stormed by Ikeda Terumasa and Fukushima Masanori. Although he was a Christian (and in this capacity known as Paul) he shaved his head and became a monk, dying two years later at Mt. Koya.
Nobusumi was the son of Oda Nobuyuki, Nobunaga's younger brother. Despite the fact that his father had been killed on Nobunaga's orders, Nobusumi continued in his uncle's service and was given Ômizo Castle in Ômi Province. In 1578 he was stationed in Osaka, and remained there until his death four years later. He accompanied his cousin Nobuo on the 1581 invasion of Iga Province and the following year took part in the invasion the Takeda domain, this time under his cousin Oda Nobutada. He was to join his cousin Nobutaka in a projected invasion of Shikoku, but this was cut short by the death of Nobunaga in June 1582. As Nobusumi was married to a daughter of Akechi Mitsuhide, Nobutaka doubted his loyalty and when they were preparing to join Hideyoshi's army to attack Mitsuhide, Nobusumi was murdered on his cousin's orders.
Hidenari was a son of Oda Nobumitsu and was married to a younger sister of Oda Nobunaga. He held Obata (or Kobata) Castle in Owari Province. A veteran of campaigns against the Asai and Asakura, he was killed in the fighting at Nagashima in 1574.
Nobutomo was the head of the Iwakura Oda family and ruled the four southern districts of Owari Province. He acted as Shiba Yoshimune's shûgodai (deputy governor) for Shiba Yoshimune, behind whom he ruled. After Oda Nobuhide died in 1551 and Nobunaga was named as the heir, Nobutomo plotted to assassinate him. Yoshimune learned of Nobutomo's designs and alerted Nobunaga, with whom he had a secret relationship. Nobutomo discovered Yoshimune's activities and had him killed. Nobunaga responded by attacking Kiyosu Castle and Nobutomo was killed.
The four retainers of Oda Nobunaga considered to be among his most reliable 'fighting' generals: Akechi Mitsuhide, Niwa Nagahide, Shibata Katsuie, and Takigawa Kazumasa.
The Oda of Hitachi were descended from Hatsuta Tomoie, a follower of Minamoto Yoritomo. During the Sengoku period they were active in the on-going struggle between the Hôjô and Satomi familes. They lost their lands around 1574 to the Ota. They bore no relation to the Oda of Owari and the characters that formed their names were different.
Masaharu was the 14th lord of the Oda and ruled his domain from Oda Castle. He clashed at various times with the Yuki family and allied with Ashikaga Haruuji. He was present with Haruuji for the Battle of Kawagoe in 1546 and after that defeat the fortunes of his clan waned.
Ujiharu was the son of Oda Masaharu and held Oda castle in Hitachi as a local power. When he came to power in 1548, the state of his clan was in decline and he was hard-pressed by the Yuki and Satake. He was defeated by the Satake in 1559 and in 1569 lost Oda Castle. He finally surrendered to the Satake in 1583 and sent his family as hostages. After 1590 he was deprived of what remained of his domain. He was known for his love of renga.
The Ogasawara of Shinano were descended from the Seiwa-Genji/Minamoto and were founded by Ogasawara Nagakiyo (1162-1242), a grandson of Takeda Yoshikiyo who served Minamoto Yoritomo during the Gempei War (1180-85). The Ogasawara later served Ashikaga Takauji and were given land in Shinano Province. In the early stage of the Sengoku Period, the Ogasawara, lords of Fukashi Castle, split, with one son going to serve the Imagawa while the other remained at Fukashi. The Fukashi-Ogasawara were later defeated by Takeda Shingen on a number of occasions, fleeing to the lands of the Uesugi for sanctuary. The other branch eventually became (largely) loyal Tokugawa retainers.
Sama no Suke, Daizen-dayu
Nagatoki was the ruler of the Fuskashi area of north-central Shinano and allied with other Shinano daimyô in an effort to stop the expansion of the Takeda. In 1541 he allied with the Suwa and advanced into Kai Province, where he was defeated by Takeda Shingen at Nirasaki. He suffered defeat again, along with Murakami, Suwa, and Kiso, at the Battle of Sezawa in 1542. After meeting further defeats at Shingen's hands, notably at Shiojiritoge (1548) and Uenohara (1552), and suffering the loss of Fukashi Castle (1550), Nagatoki sought refuge (along with Murakami Yoshikiyo) in Echigo. While Murakami continued to fight the Takeda, Nagatoki retired to teach archery and horsemanship. He was murdered under mysterious circumstances many years later.
Sons: Sadayoshi, Nagataka, Sadatsugu
Uesugi, Tokugawa, Toyotomi retainer
Sadayoshi was a son of Ogasawara Nagatoki. Originally a retainer of Uesugi Kenshin, he left the Uesugi's service and joined Tokugawa Ieyasu. Following the Komaki Campaign (1584) he defected to Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Sons: Hidemasa, Sadayori
(Ogasawara Nagauji, Ogasawara Okihachiro)
Nagauji was the son of Ogasawara Nagataka. He served the Imagawa and was given Takatenjin Castle after he defeated Fukushima Masanari and thereby established the Takatenjin branch of the Ogasawara. He married a daughter of Imagawa Ujichika.
Sons: Ujikiyo, Yoshiyori, Kiyohiro, Tsunauji
Mimasaka no kami, Sakyô no shin
Ujikiyo was the eldest son of Ogasawara Haruyoshi and served the Imagawa, with control of Mabusezaka and Takatenjin castles. When the Tokugawa and Imagawa went to war after 1568, he sided with Tokugawa.
Sakyû no Shin
Yoshiyori was a son of Ogasawara Haruyoshi and served the Tokugawa, participating at the Battle of Anegawa in 1570 and other engagements.
Sons: Yoshiharu, Ujinobu, Shigetsugu
Imagawa, Tokugawa, Takeda retainer
Ujisuke was the eldest son of Ogasawara Ujikiyo and inherited his domains in 1569. He initially served the Imagawa and then sided with the Tokugawa and fought at the Battle of Anegawa (1570). In 1574 he was besieged in Takatenjin Castle by Takeda Katsuyori, and to the shock of his family (serving elsewhere in the Tokugawa domain) he surrendered, afterwards being given a fief at Omosu in Suruga Province. After the fall of the Takeda (1582) he fled to the Hôjô domain and was assassinated sometime after the fall of Odawara in 1590.
Tomotaka was the eldest son of Ogasawara Tomosada and died in the Battle of Mikatagahara.
One branch of the Uesugi of the Kanto region. See UESUGI (Ogigayatsu).
Emperor of Japan
Ôgimachi, who succeeded Go-Nara, was the emperor from 1557 until 1586 and his actual coronation, held in 1560, was paid for in large part by contributions from Môri Motonari. He made overtures to Oda Nobunaga of Owari Province in late 1564 and when Nobunaga marched to Kyoto in 1568 with Ashikaga Yoshiaki, Ôgimachi formally acknowledged Yoshiaki as shôgun. By 1573 it seems apparent that Nobunaga was endeavoring to remove Ôgimachi from office, making a number of requests that he abdicate in favor of Prince Sanehito. In fact, and according to the diary of Nakayama Tadachika, a court noble, Ôgaimachi agreed to Nobunaga's request in 1573. In the event he was not to abdicate in Nobunaga's lifetime and, to be sure, the extent that Nobunaga played in Ôgaimachi's premature decision is unclear. Nobunaga continued to work against Ôgimachi by meddling in courtly affairs and duties for the duration of the former's lifetime, though his specific purpose for doing so is hazy. Ôgimachi finally retired in 1586 and a retirement palace (In no Gosho) was built for him by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He was succeeded by his son Go-Yôzei.
(Odai no kata, Odani no kata)
Sister of Oda Nobunaga
Ô-ichi was the fifth and youngest daughter of Oda Nobuhide and Oda Nobunaga's sister. Around 1565 she was given in marriage to Asai Nagamasa, daimyô of northern Ômi. She produced two sons and three daughters for Nagamasa, who broke with Nobunaga in 1570 and was brought to defeat in 1573. Nagamasa committed suicide when his castle (Odani) was besieged by the Oda and had his sons killed while sending out Ôichi and the daughters. Ôichi was later given back to Shibata Katsuie and as a result found herself in another doomed castle in 1583 following the Shibata defeat at the hands of Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi. She elected not to abandon her husband and died alongside him at Kita no shô on 14 June 1583, though once again her three daughters were spared. The daughters eventually went to as wives to notable men: Hideyoshi, Kyôgoku Takatsugu, and Tokugawa Hidetada (from eldest daughter to youngest).
Sadataka initially submitted to Takeda Shingen of Kai, then defected to Murakami Yoshikiyo in 1543. Shingen brought down his castle of Nagakubo and later had him executed in Kai.
Yukiyoshi was the son of Ôi Yukiyori and held Iwao Castle in Shinano as a Takeda vassal. When the Oda and Tokugawa invaded the Takeda domain, Yukiyoshi's forces clashed with the Tokugawa's advance gaurd at Iwao and offered the latter their only serious resistance in Shinano. After some hard fighting, Yukiyoshi surrendered and retired from active life.
copyright 2005 F. W. Seal