ODA, Nobunaga (1534-82)


Sengoku daimyo. Son of Oda Nobushige the daimyo of Owari province in western Japan. After his father
s death Nobunaga became the daimyo of Owari province. In 1560 he defeated Imagawa Yoshimoto, thus making a name for himself as an able warrior. He then formed an alliance with Tokugawa Ieyasu, and in 1568 he began a process of unifying Japan. Through forming alliances with those who were willing to accept him as a leader, and fighting those who opposed him, Nobunaga was able to bring the beginning of the end of civil strife that has engulfed Japan for many decades. His aggressive tactics won him an image of a cruel and merciless general. He brought to an end the Ashikaga shogunal dynasty (1571), and destroyed Mt. Hiei (1573) killing some three-thousand monks. Any opposition to Nobunaga was futile. In the mid 1570s, Nobunaga defeated the Asai, Asakura, and Takeda armies, and built the magnificent Azuchi castle. In 1577 he defeated the strong Mori clan of the Chugoku region, and in 1580 he attacked Honganji with a massive force, destroying the temple and killing many monks. Nobunagas methods of warfare, and his unpleasant personality, created fear and disatiscation not only among his opponents but also among his generals. In 1582, while staying overnight at Honnoji, he was assassinated by one of his generals, Akechi Mitsuhide. Upon hearing about the assassination of Nobunaga, another of Nobunagas generals, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, hurried to take revenge and killed Akechi Mitsuhide. This act of revenge allowed Hideyoshi to become the guardian of Nobunagas son, thus making Hideyoshi Nobunagas successor.