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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.
REFERENCESZhukov, 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.