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Nobunaga(Nobunaga Oda) (nōbo͞onä`gä ōdä`), 1534–82, Japanese military commander. The son of a daimyodaimyo
[Jap.,=great name], the great feudal landholders of Japan, the territorial barons as distinguished from the kuge, or court nobles. Great tax-free estates were built up from the 8th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. , Nobunaga greatly expanded his father's holdings, becoming master of three provinces near present-day Nagoya. The emperor secretly appealed to him for help, and Nobunaga, acting in the emperor's name, became (1568) dictator of central Japan. Though he restored the ousted shōgun (Nobunaga's ancestry made him ineligible for the title), the real power was his and, aided by his general HideyoshiHideyoshi
(Hideyoshi Toyotomi) , 1536–98, Japanese warrior and dictator. He entered the service of Nobunaga as his sandal holder and rose to become his leading general. After Nobunaga's death Hideyoshi ruled as civilian dictator.
..... Click the link for more information. Toyotomi and his ally IeyasuIeyasu
(Ieyasu Tokugawa) , 1542–1616, Japanese warrior and dictator. A gifted leader and brilliant general, he founded the Tokugawa shogunate. Early in his career he helped Nobunaga and Hideyoshi unify Japan.
..... Click the link for more information. , he unified all Japan except the extreme north and west. He broke the temporal power of the great Buddhist sects by destroying their armies. He was one of the first Japanese generals to supply his foot-soldiers with muskets. The early Jesuits in Japan gained Nobunaga's respect and, thereby, his permission to preach. Under his rule, free trade was encouraged and an era of castle building began. He was murdered by one of his discontented generals before the unification of all Japan, a task that was completed by Hideyoshi and Ieyasu.