Oda Nobuhide (織田信秀)

Nobuhide ODA is a busho (Japanese military commander) and daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) of Owari Province in the Sengoku period (period of warring states). He is the father of Nobunaga ODA.

Family History

According to himself, his original family name was Taira (it probably was Inbe in reality). His family line is the Oda clan, a hikan (low-level bureaucrat) of the Shiba clan of Owari Shugo (Millitary Governor of Owari Province) which derives from the genealogy of Shinto priesthood of Tsurugi-jinja Shrine in Odanosho, Echizen Province. The family line of Nobuhide is 'the ODA Danjonojo family', which is a branch family of 'the Oda Yamato no Kami family' appointed to Owarishimoyongun Shugodai (Deputy Millitary Governor of four upper districts of Owari Province) and also one of the three magistrates of Kiyosu, a senior vassal of the Oda Yamato no Kami family, and the lord of Shobata-jo Castle. His official court rank is Danjo no jo (Judge of the Ministry of Justice), Bingo no kami (Governor of Bingo Province) and Mikawa no kami (Governor of Mikawa Province). He had a younger brother, Nobumitsu ODA. His children include the first son Nobuhiro ODA, the second son Awa no kami (Governor of Awa Province) Nobutoki, the third and legitimate son Nobunaga ODA, Nobuyuki ODA, Nobukane ODA, Urakusai ODA, Oichi no kata and more.

Sccession to The Family

In 1510, he was born as the first son of Nobusada ODA, the lord of Shobata-jo Castle (current Inazawa City and Aisai City, Aichi Prefecture) spreading over Kaito District and Nakajima District which controlled southwest area of Owari Province. Nobusada was a member of the Oda clan of Shugodai (Deputy Millitary Governor) of Owari Province, and as a branch family of 'the Oda Yamato no Kami family' (the Kiyosu ODA clan) of Owarishimoyongun Shugodai, he served as one of the three magistrates of Kiyosu, a senior vassal of the master's house.

Nobuhide was given reigns of the family in 1527 when his father, Nobusada, was still alive. Just after the succession to family headship, around 1532, he fought against Tatsukatsu/Michikatsu ODA of master's house, but they were reconciled later.

Expansion of Power

In 1532, he seized Nagoya-jo Castle (那古野城) (Naka Ward, Nagoya City, later Nagoya-jo Castle (名古屋城)) which was considered as Ujitoyo IMAGAWA's castle, and he moved to the castle to expand his power in Aichi District (current Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture) (However, there is a theory that the year of taking Nagoya-jo Castle is 1538).

After that, with the expansion of power, he constructed and moved to Furuwatari-jo Castle (Naka Ward, Nagoya City) in 1539 and Suemori-jo Castle (Chikusa Ward, Nagoya City) in 1548.

In the situation where he had a lot of enemies at home and abroad as an upstart, he governed the Province, and when he visited Kyoto he contributed money to the Imperial Court and was appointed to Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and Bungo no kami (Govener of Bungo Province). In addition, he also visited Muromachi bakufu to have an audience with the 13th shogun Yoshiteru ASHIKAGA. In 1541, when Ise-jingu Shrine was transfered, he presented lumbers and 700 kanmon of cash, and therefore, he was appointed to Mikawa no kami by the Imperial Court as recognition of the service in September of the same year (the old calendar).

Thus, even though Nobuhide kept the vassalage relationship to the Owari Shugodai 'Oda Yamato no Kami family' of his master's house, he exceeded his master's house and their lord, the Owari Shugo Shiba clan, and he had established himself in the position of overwhelming other forces in the Province by allocating the strategic spots of Orari to his family and vassals such as his younger brother Nobuyasu ODA and Nobumitsu ODA. However, Nobuhide settled for the position of a vassal of Shugodai and he couldn't take the reins of the whole Owari Province.

As for outside Owari Province, after Kiyoyasu MATSUDAIRA was killed in a freak accident of the Moriyamakuzure Affair (also known as 'the assassination of Kiyoyasu Matsudaira') in 1535, Nobuhide invaded Mikawa in an unguarded moment of confused Matsudaira clan, and captured Ansho-jo Castle and kept it under control in 1540. However, for this reason, the Matsudaira clan built a dependent relationship with the Imagawa clan, and then Nobuhide became adverse to Yoshimoto IMAGAWA. In 1542, Nobuhide fought against the Imagawa Army and had a victory at the Battle of Azukizaka, and protected his interest in Nishi-Mikawa.

At this time, in Mino, Yorinari TOKI was displaced by the landed daimyo Dosan SAITO and Nobuhide fought against Dosan SAITO, supporting Yorinari, and seized Ogaki-jo Castle for a while.

Limits and Fate
Furthermore he attacked Gifu-jo Castle, the castle of Dozan, in 1547, but he was defeated by Dosan's counterattack (the Battle of Kanoguchi, there are other theories about the time of the battle). In 1548, the lord of Inuyama-jo Castle Nobukiyo ODA (a younger brother of Nobuyasu and nephew of Nobuhide) and the load of Gakuden-jo Castle Tosada ODA raised a a rebellion, but Nobuhide put it down and subordinated them. Also in the same year, he was defeated by the Imagawa clan at the second battle of Azukizaka and he lost Ansho-jo Castle in the third battle of Ansho-jo Castle, which subsequently happened, then he gradually became surrounded by Imagawa, Saito and other domestic enemies. Therefore, in 1549 he was reconciled with the Saito family by the strategic marriage between his son Nobunaga and Dozan SAITO's daughter Nohime, but as the confrontation with the Imagawa clan still continued and afflicted him, he suddenly died by epidemic disease in Suemori-jo Castle (Owari Province) in April 18, 1551. He died at the age of 42. In this regard, however, there are various factors about the year of his death such as the theory of 1548 and 1552, and also about the year of his birth such as the theory of 1508 and 1511, and they are uncertain. The reigns of the Oda family were inherited by the eldest legitimate son Nobunaga ODA.

Personal Profile and Anecdote

Nobuhide was a visionary who brought economic distribution hub at the time under control in order to activate commerce, such as getting economic power by governing Tsushima City and Atsuta, commercial cities near Shobata-jo Castle.

He is also famous as Nobunaga's father, but Nobuhide himself is also a wise and brave busho, and he was called the 'tiger of Owari' and feared because of his gallantry.

According to legend, it is a famous episode of showing Nobuhide's character as busho that on the occasion of seizing Nagoya-jo Castle, Nobuhide approached Ujitoyo IMAGAWA, the lord of the castle and a brother-in-law of Owari Shugo Yoshimune SHIBA, friendlily in advance, and after he became a friend of playing renga (linked verse) and put off Ujitoyo's guard, he captured the castle with a subtle stratagy.

He laid the foundation for future Nobunaga's dramatic rise by contributing 4000 kanmon to the Imperial Court at the time of the transfer of Ise-jingu Shrin to establish a friendship with the Imperial Courte, along with above-mentioned great achievements.

[Original Japanese]