Oda Nobunaga

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Nobunaga (Nobunaga Oda) (nōbo͞onäˈgä ōdäˈ), 1534–82, Japanese military commander. The son of a daimyo, 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 Hideyoshi Toyotomi and his ally Ieyasu, 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.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Oda Nobunaga


Born 1534; died 1582. Japanese general and the first of the three unifiers of Japan (the other two being Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Ieyasu Tokugawa).

Oda was the administrator of a small principality in Owari Province in the central part of Honshu Island. In 1558 he began a campaign against neighboring feudal princes. In 1568, Oda entered the city of Kyoto, the residence of the shoguns and the capital of Japan, and in 1573 he deposed the last of the Ashikaga shoguns. By 1582, he had united at least one-third of Japan under his power.

Oda fought against the Buddhist monks, who opposed the centralization of the state and had allied themselves with hostile princes. From 1570 he waged a bloody struggle in many provinces against the Ikko sect, under whose banner the peasants revolted. (Ikko-Ikki is the name for the uprisings of the Ikko sectarians.) With a view to strengthening the feudal order, Oda began a land cadastre, abolished internal frontier posts, introduced a unified monetary system, and built roads. He was murdered by Mitsuhide Akechi, one of his closest associates.


Zhukov, E. M. Istoriia Iaponii. Moscow, 1939. Chapter 3, par. 1.
Ocherki novoi istorii Iaponii. Moscow, 1958. Pages 11–25.
Personality in Japanese History. Berkeley, Calif., 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Oda Nobunaga, at number three (Napoleon managed to grab the second slot), was the son of a 16th-century minor warlord who almost managed to unify Japan.
of Cambridge) provides an overview of Japanese religion from 538 to 1582, the dates marking the official arrival of Buddhism from Paekche, and the utter destruction of the monasteries on Nieizan by Oda Nobunaga. He problematizes the term Shinto, mentioning it relatively late in the narrative after using such circumlocutions as local cults or native deities.
The shelves in Origuchi's office are lined with hundreds of business books along with biographical novels of famous historical figures, such as Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu, whom he admires.
In an epistle stored at a Rome-based archive for Christian articles, Luis Frois (1532-1597), a Jesuit missionary from Portugal, wrote that Tawara had paid his respects to warlord Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582).
''There is the example of the Battle of Okehazama,'' said a Tokyo official, referring to the June 12, 1560 conflict on the border between the present-day cities of Nagoya and Toyoake in central Japan involving warlords Oda Nobunaga and Imagawa Yoshimoto.
In Japan, the firearms strategy conceived by legendary Japanese military commander Oda Nobunaga to annihilate the cavalry of his archrival Takeda Shingen in the late 16th century, and in Europe, Nazi Germany's blitz combining tanks, bombers and gunners to overpower Poland during World War II.
It ends in 1568 with the triumphant arrival in Kyoto of the warlord Oda Nobunaga who declares himself ruler of the realm.
Oda Nobunaga was one of the three strong military leaders to dominate the struggle for order, which spanned the years 1560 to 1616.
The historiographical foil for Brown's discussion of Kaga is the "standard view" of state-building in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, which emphasizes the role of Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu - the three hegemons who successively unified and pacified Japan between 1568 and 1600 - in defining social classes, land tenure, and general patterns of rural administration.
The Sengoku period, or Period of Warring States (1482 - 1588), saw the successive rise of three great military leaders: Oda Nobunaga (1534 - 82), Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542 - 1616).