Oda Nobutaka (織田信孝)

Nobutaka ODA is a busho of the Azuchi-Momoyama period. He is the seventh son of Nobunaga ODA. It is said that his mother is Onabe no kata (Kyounin), a daughter of Genjuro TAKAHATA, but there are different opinions (refer to 'About His Birth Mother'). His wife is Koshuin, a daughter of Narimasa SASSA. His son is Takashige ODA. His official court rank is Jugoi (Junior Fifth Rank) Saemon no suke (assistant captain of the Left Division of Outer Palace Guards). His childhood name is Kobora/Gobo. His common name is Tojuro.

The Honnoji Incident

In 1576, he was born as the seventh son of Nobunaga ODA.

In 1582, when his father, Nobunaga, died in the Honnoji Incident, as he was still a young child, he was placed with Yukihiro UJIIE to be brought up. Later, he became a vassal of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, and he was given the territory of 1060 koku in Yamagami, Kanzaki County, Omi Province (current Shiga Prefecture) and selected as Kihoroshu (selected bodyguards of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI) in 1591. Also, he was allowed to use the name of the Hashiba clan, and he called himself Tojuro HASHIBA. In 1595, he was awarded an increase of 1000 koku of Hidemochi AWANO's former territory in Aichi County (current Shiga Prefecture) and then, his territory amounted to 2060 koku.

About His Birth Mother

Generally, he is considered the first son between Nobunaga and Onabe no kata, but there is few evidence to support this such as being given the territory in Yamagami which is the former territory of the Ogura clan.

Who accompanied Onabe no kata on living in the seclusion of her home in Omi was her younger maternal half-brother, Nobuyoshi ODA, and also Nobuyoshi was given the territory in Aichi County of Sanezumi OGURA, the husband of Onabe no kata, while the association between Onabe no kata and Nobutaka cannot be confirmed by historical materials at the time. Furthermore, the data that his position among the Oda family is higher than Nobuyoshi although he was born after Nobuyoshi suggests the possibility that his birth mother is a concubine of higher rank rather than Onabe no kata. The things about this concubine, including her existence, is not clear at all, but it is highly possible that she is a daughter of the Ujiie clan or a powerful local lord of West Mino associated with the Ujiie clan because of the following data: Nobutaka was placed with Yukihiro UJIIE, the second son of Naomoto UJIIE of the Three of West Mino; when Naoshige UJIIE, the first son of Naomoto, supported Nobutaka (信孝) at the battle of Nobutaka ODA (織田信孝) versus Hideyoshi, Nobutaka (信高) was also placed in confinement at home in Utsunomiya with Yukihiro (being placed in confinement at home can be interpreted as having been implicated as a relative). The Sassa clan, which is the birthplace of the lawful wife of Nobutaka himself, is also in Kasugai County in northwestern Owari Province, and it is not so far from Nishi Mino.

It is quite natural to think that before the downfall of Narimasa SASSA (and thus, before the seppuku of Nobutaka), the Sassa clan, whose original fief was close to that of Nobutaka's mother's family, tried to become maternal relatives of the Oda clan, in opposition to Hideyoshi, by form a marriage bond with Nobutaka, with whom the Sassa clan had a territorial relationship and whose mother's social status was also high.

There is also a conjecture that he has same mother as Nobuhide ODA (Obora) by association between their childhood names, but this is not likely because of following reasons: currently the leading hypothesis is that Nobuhide's birth mother is the Inaba clan, and also it is said that Nobuhide's birth mother became a concubine of Hideyoshi; If this theory is correct, there is no way to explain why Nobutaka was only allowed to call himself with the last name of Hashiba and his official court rank was Jugoige (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) Saemon no suke (assistant captain of the Left Division of Outer Palace Guards) and his territory was limited to 2000 koku compared to Nobuhide who promoted to daimyo with around 20000 to 50000 koku of chamberlains in addition to be allowed to call himself with the last name of Hashiba as a family member of Hideyoshi. If he were a son of a concubine related deeply to Nobutaka(信孝) and Narimasa, it would be explained why he had suffered an indignity in the Toyotomi government period and he had been treated very well as Koke (master of ceremony in Edo bukufu) after the foundation of the Edo bakufu (Narimasa SASSA was approaching Ieyasu in ways such as Sarasara Toge Goe (over the Sarasara Pass) in the period of hegemonic establishment of Hideyoshi). Because both Obora and Kobora/Gobo are place-name of Mino, It would appear that they came from the origin of each birth mother.

The Battle of Sekigahara

According to "Kansei Choshu Shokafu" (genealogies of vassals in Edo Bakufu), at the battle of Sekigahara in 1600, although he supported Eastern Camp with his younger brother Nobutada ODA, he failed to arrive at the main battle and had an audience with Ieyasu TOKUGAWA who was returning home with glory. However "Sekigahara Gunki Taise" (the grand collection of the war chronicles of Sekigahara) said that he belonged to Western Camp with his younger brothers, Nobuyoshi and Nobusada ODA, and he apologized and obtained absolution after the war. The latter is probably correct, and it seems that he belonged to Western Camp same as his younger brother Nobuyoshi and he lost his territory. Still, there is no record about his participation in the main battle.

He died on January 23, 1603. He died at the age of 28. His grave is located in Daitoku-ji Temple Sokenin in Kyoto.


In January 1616, Nobutaka's first son, Takashige ODA, newly served as a vassal of the shogun and he was given 2000 koku in Omi Province and Awa Province. Takashige's grandson, Nobukado ODA became Koke, and thereafter, the family continued as Koke Hatamoto (direct retainers of the bakufu, who were in a privileged family under Tokugawa Shogunate) to the end of Edo period.

In addition, Nobunari ODA (figure skater), who won the world junior figure skating championships in March 2005, is a descendant of the Hatamoto Oda family of Nobutaka's line, and he is regarded as a 17th-generation descendant of Nobunaga (actually, because the family had adoptees, genetically he is not direct line of Nobutaka but a descendant of Nobukatsu). Nobunari became a major candidate for the Japanese national team in Turin Olympic in 2006.

[Original Japanese]