THE ODA ARMY & NAVY PART II

PART I   PART III   PART IV   PART V   PART VI


O D A
NOBUTADA

(1557-1582)

Although the literal meaning of his first name is 'the grand rice field' (there is no such a thing!), at 15 he was already a General, like his father. His first war was when he was around 7 years old, like his father's. He married for politics, like his father. And he looked like his father.

Oda Nobutada was so much of Nobunaga, that not even one soul questioned why he was the heir -- although of course Oda Nobunaga could bestow it on any of his concubines' sons because his official wife Lady Oda Nou didn't give him any kid. And Nobutada's mom was the only woman that Nobunaga ever loved -- that's a bonus (click here for story and pictures).

Oda Nobutada's greatest war was against the Takeda clan between 1571 and 1575. Then he fought against his uncle-in-law (is there such a thing?) Asai Nagamasa of Omi, and troops in several quenching of rebellions were under his command.

But his career was slashed short even a whole lot earlier than his daddy's. Oda Nobutada died at the Nijo Palace of Kyoto, attacked by Akechi Mitsuhide's army. He left a baby boy whose bio would be very heart-wrenching, Oda Hidenobu, the next heir of Nobunaga who never even got a fingertip of what his grandfather ever got.

PICTURES & STORY OF ODA NOBUTADA'S DEATH Click Here

O D A
NOBUTAKA

(1558-1583)

This third son of Oda Nobunaga -- who didn't look like his father -- could also sign official dox as 'Kambei Nobutaka' or whatever his name there was, because he was adopted into that Ise-based clan for political reasons (daddy wanted the land).

His first name already got all the possible grandeur: 'nobutaka' means 'the great hawk'.

Only he was neither.

Nobutaka's life was as short as his older brother's, but with less to clap the hands for. He did command the army in several battles, but without major victories on his credits -- unlike Oda Nobutada's winnings against the Takeda, Asai and Asakura clans, plus victories over the rebels of Oda's former vassals such as the Matsunaga clan.

And yet he wanted to be Oda Nobunaga's heir after Nobutada was no more. His uncle Shibata Katsuie agreed to this, though he might have been for anyone as long as it meant opposing Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

He might have won, Nobutaka. The Shibata clan was formidable, and Katsuie himself was the strongest of Oda Generals. But Nobutada blew it all off by crying war prematurely. He died when losing it all.

PICTURES & STORY OF ODA NOBUTAKA'S SUCCESSION BATTLE Click Here

O D A
NOBUO
(1558-1630)

Since 1569, Oda 'the Great' (that's what 'Nobuo' means) could also dis-Oda himself in official letters and such; he was adopted by the Kitabatake clan after it lost against Nobuo's dad. In 1576, Nobuo was even the head of this clan.

But this most heartbreaking son of Oda Nobunaga craving the 'head of the Oda clan' title still, and he was willing to do anything to that end. Including talking his step-brother Nobutaka into suicide, ready to nearly serve Toyotomi Hideyoshi as long as his own life was spared in splendour, and so on. And to acknowledge the Tokugawa Shogun as his superior, too; which enabled him to live happily until old age.

His battle records were all beneath his two brothers; Nobuo was no better either in intrigues though he might have believed so.

Yet, with such a poor skill in warcraft, he attempted to invade the Iga clan's domain of Ise in 1581 without Nobunaga's consent; because he failed so shamefully there, the clan must really invade the territory to save face.

PICTURES & STORY OF ODA NOBUO'S DIRTY WAR Click Here

TOYOTOMI
HIDEYOSHI

(1536-1598)

His whole life was a great adventure of a son of a farmer to Lord Chancellor of Japan. But click the arrow below this line instead; there is nothing more to add to what's already in there.

PICTURES & STORY OF TOYOTOMI HIDEYOSHI,
HIS WIFE, HIS CONCUBINE, HIS SON, ETC.
Click Here

PICTURES OF TOYOTOMI'S 'MAGIC CASTLE' OF SUNOMATA
& TOYOTOMI'S ARTEFACTS STORED THERE
Click Here

PICTURES OF PLACES WHERE TOYOTOMI
USED TO HANG OUT TOGETHER WITH
MAEDA TOSHIIE & IKEDA SHONYU
Click Here

 

TSUTSUI
JUNKEI

(1549-1584)

Tsutsui joined Oda Nobunaga in 1568, recent enough compared to other Captains. His career wasn't very bright but not a series of failure either.

His entire life was in and around the Oda clan, literally.

Tsutsui mostly served under Oda Nobutada's command. When Nobutada died, he supported Oda Nobutaka. He died while attacking Oda Nobuo.

Pictures: Tsutsui Junkei and Tsutsui clan crest.

I N A B A
ITTETSU

(1515-1588)

Ittetsu's bio is even shorter. He joined Oda Nobunaga in 1561, and be one of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's efficient but not-much-heard-of Captains after 1582.

Pictures: Inaba Ittetsu and Inaba clan crest.

HOSOKAWA
FUJITAKA

(1534-1610)


Picture of Hosokawa crest


Picture of Hosokawa Fujitaka

Though he surely went to war, too, all of Hosokawa's known traits are civilian. He used to be the most loyal follower of the Ashikaga clan, even as the Ashikaga Shoguns in his lifetime -- Yoshiteru and Yoshiaki -- happened to be the worst of the stock.

The shogunate was nearly crumbling to pieces and yet none of two Shoguns that Hosokawa so faithfully attend to ever woke up from their grand daydream of being in power. Not even when someone assassinated the incompetent Ashikaga Yoshiteru in 1565. His brother Yoshiaki wanted the seat, but there was nothing in his pocket -- he didn't even have a house!

Hosokawa followed (actually guided and did all the diplomacy for) Ashikaga around, from one warlord to another, begging for help (financial and military). This mobile or nomadic Shogun, the sorriest of the kind, finally found a patron in Oda Nobunaga in 1568. Oda marched to war for Ashikaga, crushed the Shogun's enemies, built a palace for him in Kyoto after installing the Shogun back in that capital city where he got kicked out from.

Then Ashikaga began his conspiracies with everybody to wage war and/or assasinate Oda Nobunaga -- with the Takeda clan, Mori clan, warrior-monks, anybody as long as they were not at Oda's side. He got so viciously bothersome, that Oda sacked him in 1573.

Only then Hosokawa gave Ashikaga up as being really beyond helpless. He declared loyalty to Oda Nobunaga, and went to war as an Oda General since 1578. Oda gave him any land that he could snatch by himself that way. Now Hosokawa could start thinking of a dynasty, and one that would last to the next millenium, too.

After Oda's death, Hosokawa led his men fighting against his in-law, Akechi Mitsuhide (Hosokawa's son was the husband of the Catholic 'saint' Akechi Tama -- a.k.a Hosokawa Gracia; click here for story and pictures). Then he sort of retired from wars, and stayed with Toyotomi as an advisor until Toyotomi's death, after which he hang out with Tokugawa Ieyasu. So finally Hosokawa found a Shogun worth the title.

KURODA
KANBEI

(1546-1604)


Picture of Kuroda clan crest


Picture of Kuroda Kanbei

People said Kuroda Kanbei (a.k.a Yoshitaka, and his clan name means 'the black field'), the finest warrior in Central Japan, whose nickname was 'Tiger', was Toyotomi Hideyoshi's match in battle. The Toyotomi army was doing what Oda Nobunaga wanted them to, at the time; prying open the province of Mino that he coveted. Then one day the two met. But not in battle; they sat sipping tea.

This Catholic warlord and General was already famous and had his own castle, his own army, his own everything before joining Oda Nobunaga in 1576. And yet, it was by his own initiative that he approached the Oda clan. He read the way the wind blowed, and to his soldiery mind it seemed like Oda was worth servicing for rather than being an independent warlord or under other clans' political canopy. The decision was surely shocking to everybody; even Oda Nobunaga himself was surprised and wasn't convinced until he met Kuroda himself in Kyoto.

Besides being a great strategizer and an inimitable leader of the army, Kuroda was also Toyotomi Hideyoshi's closest friend -- as close as Maeda Toshiie, or even closer in geographic terms. Oda Nobunaga assigned him to help Toyotomi, a post that both Kuroda and Toyotomi liked, and which Kuroda would stay at permanently although that meant his rank was relegated to Captain.

That Kuroda was really something was obvious.

He and Toyotomi was stuck against the 'Western Mori' in 1582, and they were expecting Oda Nobunaga or Oda Nobutada to arrive soon with a backup army, when a civilian messenger delivered the news from faraway Kyoto about Akechi Mitsuhide's ambush. Kuroda didn't lose his mind in the predictable chaos that blew all over the commanders' camp there. Toyotomi instantly made peace with the Mori clan (via a trick), and both marched right to Akechi's place.

So Kuroda was indispensible to Toyotomi until his death. After that, because he never liked Ishida Mitsunari (see the previous page and you'll see why), Kuroda chose to swerve his allegiance to Tokugawa Ieyasu. So there the future was shining on.

PICTURES & STORY OF KURODA KANBEI'S ADVENTURE Click Here
PICTURES & STORY OF CHRISTIAN SAMURAI, WARLORDS & REBELS OF JAPAN Click Here

YAMANUCHI
KATSUTOYO

(1546-1605)

Yamanuchi was under Oda Nobunaga's command in a long but, brilliancy-speaking, uneventful career, since he was still very young until Oda's death in 1582. Yamanuchi followed Toyotomi Hideyoshi after Oda was no more. He, too, disliked Ishida Mitsunari for obvious reasons, so after Toyotomi died he joined Tokugawa Ieyasu in the decisive battle of 1600 and stayed with the Tokugawas since.

Pictures: Yamanouchi Katsutoyo and Yamanouchi clan crest.

W A D A
KOREMASA

(1536-1571)

Wada, the Catholic samurai, was a Captain under Takayama Ukon's command, so he served Oda Nobunaga by extension, and got orders from Oda directly whenever Oda wanted to give them. He died when Araki Murashige, an Oda General, rebelled; Araki held Takayama's famiy hostages and attacked the clan when Takayama couldn't get blackmailed into supporting him.

Pictures: Wada Koremasa and Wada clan crest.

ASAKURA
KAGEAKI

(1529-1574)

A case of former foe, Asakura left his clan to join Oda Nobunaga in the war between the two in 1573. He was appointed Governor to Echizen by Oda, but the warrior-monks of the territory killed him.

Pictures: Asakura Kageakira and Asakura clan crest.

H A R A D A
NAOMASA

(1525-1576)

Harada, who got this name as a gift from Oda Nobunaga for his military achievements, was a good sniper in the Oda army. Though his rank was Captain, he mostly did things average soldiers did -- people said he was kind of workalholic. He led his men to brilliant victory at the famous Nagashino battle of 1575 against the Takeda clan.

Oda thought well of him even before that happened, so he was sent to Kyoto to add weight to Murai Nagato's administration in 1570.

A true-blue soldier, he died fighting when leading the Oda men in the war against the warrior-monks of Mt. Ishi.

K U K I
YOSHITAKA

(1542-1600)


Picture of Kuki clan crest


Picture of Kuki Yoshitaka

Kuki was the Oda clan's Admiral since 1570, and he is, today, revered as the founding father of the Japanese Imperial Navy -- despite the aviatoric meaning of his first name ('yoshitaka' means 'the good falcon').

Less known than Oda Nobunaga's landmass-wars, actually the Oda clan got through a lot of naval battles, too. And there Kuki was inimitable.

And he wasn't just competent in commanding battleships. He was also great in designing them, and supervising their assembling sessions. The Kuki battleships made in 1574, that were used against the 'Western Mori' clan that once had beaten Kuki's fleet, ensured Oda's victory in the last battles to win the territory so that at the time of his death Oda Nobunaga was the overlord of virtually all Central Japan -- that sounds like not much, but it was the part that politically mattered in 16th century (click here).

After Oda's death, Kuki retained his Admiralty under Toyotomi Hideyoshi's command. Toyotomi and his far-reaching dream of conquering not only Korea but also China (such a typical delusion of grandeur) necessitated the existence of such a person around.

But even Admiral Kuki made a mistake once; perhaps because it was an issue that got decided on land.

He fought under Ishida Mitsunari at the Seki plains in 1600. So he lost big. And he ended his life afterwards.

H O R I O
MOSUKE

(1543-1611)


Picture of Horio clan crest

Horio was such a commonsensically good person, that people nicknamed him 'Buddha'. He was Toyotomi Hideyoshi's 'discovery'; found high on the mountains when the Oda clan was surveying the vicinity prior to their war against the Saito clan of Mino in 1570's.

Oda Nobunaga only knew him a little, by extension; but he noticed Horio's skillful scouting jobs and his way around guns. After Oda's death, Horio of course didn't move an inch; he was already at the right place.

When Toyotomi died in 1599, Horio still didn't move -- he was sure of who's gonna win the inevitable war at Sekigahara, but he didn't lead his men for Tokugawa Ieyasu or Ishida Mitsunari alike. Nonetheless in this neutral stance he survived, and lent his skills to the Tokugawas afterwards.

SHIBATA
KATSUIE

(1530-1583)


Picture of Shibata clan crest

About the super-square, un-hip General Shibata, there have already been wordy pages at this site. The thing to be added is only that he had a brilliant record as long as wars are the subject; and he was by far the strongest warlord under Oda Nobunaga's command.

Only he was just that.

Having a severe disability in emotional matters and being absolutely oblivious of diplomatic intrigues, he died losing a war against Toyotomi Hideyoshi -- who never got a shortage of those things in his mind.

PICTURES & STORY OF SHIBATA KATSUIE BIZARRE MARRIAGE Click Here

TAKAYAMA
U K O N

(1552-1614)


Picture of Takayama Ukon's banner


Picture of Takayama Ukon

Today, Takayama Ukon is kind of sainted by Japanese Roman Catholics; and a statue was even erected to remember him by in Manila -- compliments from the Philippines.

One of the most famous Catholic warlords, Takayama Ukon (the clan name means 'high mountain'), needed a long time before deciding that Oda Nobunaga was the best man to serve. Only after Oda installed the crybaby Shogun Ashikaga Yoshiaki in Kyoto (1568) Takayama led his clan there to pay tribute to the rising Oda.

Under Oda Nobunaga's command, Takayama did well. So did he when promptly joining Toyotomi Hideyoshi to avenge Oda's death in 1582. Genuinely liking Oda Nobunaga despite the infamous temper, Takayama shaved his head as a sign for mourning at the death of the only warlord that tolerated his religion.

And he was to see his worst nightmare come true because of this death.

Although for some time Toyotomi continued Oda's laxity when it came to Roman Catholicism, increasingly he abandoned the characteristically Odaist policy. Though not yet as hostile as the climate under the Tokugawa shogunate, the later years of Toyotomi's reign was marked by the release of the Christian Expulsion Edict. In 1587 this made Takayama a landless and army-less warlord; he could have lost everything right there and then if Maeda Toshiie didn't take him in at the Maeda clan's territory that was untouchable to Toyotomi. Takayama was relegated to captainship there, but it wasn't so bad, since most Catholics of the time lost everything. And Maeda Toshiie's son Toshinaga still retained him there after the father's death in 1599.

Yet Takayama would still see the worst. Toyotomi's gone, Maeda's gone, now the new breed of the Tokugawas took control. Tokugawa Ieyasu was already banning Christians; his son Tokugawa Hidetada exiled and executed the Christians.

Takayama said 'no' to the Shogunate Inquisitors when they asked him whether he was willing to renounce his religion and 'get back to Buddha'. So he was given a choice between 1). getting arrested and crucified in Japan, or 2). packing up and exiled to the Philippines. It was in 1617. Maeda Toshinaga was afraid that Takayama would fight rather than submit (and if this happened, the entire Maeda clan would be in for a very bumpy ride), but to his utter surprise the man calmly packed up his personal belongings and got on board.

He reached the Philippines that year much weakened by the uncomfortable journey. He died in poverty and untreated illness shortly afterwards.

PICTURES & STORY OF CHRISTIAN SAMURAI, WARLORDS & REBELS OF JAPAN Click Here

U J I I E
BOKUZEN

(1540-1571)

Related to Oda Nobunaga by extension, Ujiie was a Captain under Shibata Katsuie's command since 1561. He was lucky enough not to see the boss falling from heaven's grace. He died in battle against the warrior-monks of Nagashima.

PICTURES & STORY OF WARRIOR-MONKS Click Here

Pictures: Ujiie Bokuzen and Ujiie clan crest.

NAKAGAWA
KIYOHIDE

(1542-1583)

Nakagawa ('inner river') was a Catholic Captain under the command of Araki Murashige. When his boss rebelled against Oda Nobunaga in 1578, Nakagawa left him; with Takayama Ukon, who was blackmailed into joining Araki, Nakagawa pledged loyalty to Oda Nobunaga.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi didn't expect him to show up when invited to join him in avenging battle of 1582 after Oda's death, but he did show up with his men and did well in whacking Akechi Mitsuhide's army.

Since Toyotomi came to blow with Shibata Katsuie over who's gonna be the next head of the Oda clan in 1583, Nakagawa had to fight the Shibata army, too, and there he died in the ugly succession war.

PICTURES & STORY OF CHRISTIAN SAMURAI, WARLORDS & REBELS OF JAPAN Click Here

 

NEXT : MORE ARMY & NAVY PERSONNELS NEXT PROFILES

 

THE ODA ARMY & NAVY

ODA NOBUNAGA'S WARS

 

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