Ieyasu (left) and Oda Nobunaga in battle together
the picture above for details and pictures of why & how Oda
and Tokugawa won most of their wars together.
Yoshitatsu got really mad in his dying days, because
of the Oda-Tokugawa alliance.
here for the details and pictures of the Sunomata war of Oda Nobunaga
against Saito clan.
Oda Nobunaga's scheming brother in-law, Lord Saito Yoshitatsu,
died of something that might be said of as leper.
heir, and thus the next chief of the Saito clan, Saito
Tatsuoki, was only 13 years old, but this kid was already
a veteran when it came to women and alcolholic substances. His
late-night parties were notorious, and during his short reign
he practically had always been in a hangover.
made Oda to decide 'now or never' about the fate of the Saito
year, for this was the one when Oda Nobunaga sealed an alliance
with Tokugawa Ieyasu.
was Oda Nobunaga's idea, and Tokugawa turned out to have been
having the same thought about their dads' useless routine small-scaled
skirmishes around the Owari-Mikawa borders (click
here to know what Oda Nobunaga actually wrote to Tokugawa when
proposing the alliance).
tried to keep it as a hush-hush biz for a while, though news like
this surely leaked.
had all the reasons to conduct the hushing up; his wife and son
were held hostage by Imagawa Ujizane, the new
Lord of Suruga, who obviously copied faithfully his dad's way
of powergaming (this clan seemed to have really loved
taking hostages, like the Takedas of Kai).
hostage situation went on until after Tokugawa got his own
hostages, and a barter was forced on Imagawa.
that, his alliance with Oda was okay to be known throughout Japan.
it wasn't an earthquaking news, you know.
27 years old, and even more so Tokugawa, 18 years old, was seen
as an apprentice in the business of warlording the country. They,
in a universally 'Asian' way of seeing, were 'immature'. Older
people than they hadn't yet succeeded, or got a chance to, so
how could they?
everyone predicted a major fallout soon because Oda's personality
was exactly the opposite of Tokugawa's (click
here for why it worked very very well instead, for the same reasons).
the rest were totally skeptical because the real great
warlords of the year -- Takeda Shingen of Kai,
Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo, Mori Motonari
of Kai -- were all major shareholders in the dreamed-of 'Japan,
Inc.' of Oda Nobunaga's. How could he, even in a duet with Tokugawa,
pave the way that wasn't even his to begin with?
the first years of their alliance, while Oda Nobunaga was warring,
Tokugawa himself was mostly busy overhauling and mending the long-neglected
province of Mikawa, and slowly building the finest army that other
warlords could only dream of. Including Oda Nobunaga.
the 25 years-old Toyotomi Hideyoshi
got married. His
wife was a low-ranked archer's daughter, named Asano Nene.
to rumors, Nene used to be Maeda Toshiie's girlfriend,
and if we are to believe Toyotomi's biographers, they were even
already engaged -- only Nene changed her mind and chose Toyotomi
boost to women's rights sounds too 20th century to be authentically
16th, but there's no way we could verify such a thing now.
Oda Nobunaga (standing
with a sword) watching construxion workers building the Komaki
average rate of construxion work in 1570's in Japan was around
3 years per castle -- a lot of castles didn't have any stone-mine
close by, or woods, or clay.
Nobunaga, of course, wouldn't have had any patience to wait that
long. His most colossal architectural stuff, Azuchi,
was to get finished in 3 years. To workers at the Komaki hill
he gave a deadline of 6 months.
here for pictures of the Komaki castle.
Oda Nobunaga's 29th birthday, the Oda HQ was moved to the newly-built
Komaki castle for strategic reasons: it was much
more convenient than Kiyosu to march a large joint-army from,
it had a better water supply, and it was closer to the province
Nobunaga, then, was militarily preparing to take over the Saito
province of Mino. This made battles against that clan a new routine.
crucial being in the campaign was Toyotomi
Hideyoshi, who was by now a 27 years-old Captain
and on his unbelievably speedy promotion to be a General.
the first time, Oda Nobunaga saw validation of what he had somehow
already sensed when he took the man from the street: Toyotomi's
'secret power' in warfare.
knew the man was not a soldier (and never would be all
his life); he never mastered martial arts and swordsmanship to
the level that equals his official rank in the Oda Army. Any Sergeant
-- no, any freshly-conscripted private -- could beat him easily
in a duel with whichever weapon.
Toyotomi never said 'impossible', and he was a past master in
persuasion so that instead of being attacked by or alternately
cutting the heads of Saito vassals Oda Nobunaga got them one by
one to his side -- via Toyotomi.
Asai clan of Omi wanted to take the same Saito
order to make peace with them, Oda Nobunaga gave her 13 years-old
sister Lady Oda Oichi away to be Lord Asai
marriage, despite the why, worked surprisingly very well.
himself found that he personally liked Asai.
he got time, he invited Asai to Kyoto and showed him around, treating
him like he never even did his own brothers.
Nobunaga's adopted daughter, 13 years old, was married to Lord
Takeda Katsuyori of Kai, 19 years old, son of
the powerful warlord Takeda Shingen, for the
same reason as Lady Oda Oichi's marriage previously.
here for story and pictures of the Takeda clan.)
in the same year, Oda's own daughter was married to Tokugawa
Ieyasu's son Nobuyasu. Both the
bride and the groom were conveniently facilitating political nuptials;
they were still 8 years old.
In a petition to
the Emperor, Tokugawa Ieyasu asked
to be let to use that name from this year on (sorry, I always
hate this sort of practice -- he previously known as 'Matsudaira Motoyasu').
at the time, started to capture Saito's outlaying castles.
Nobunaga's seal contained the slogan "One Realm Under
Click the picture above for story and pictures
of how Oda Nobunaga managed his conquests and aftermath of victories.
here for photograph of the authentic Oda Nobunaga's seal.
house of Gifu in winter.
Nobunaga's private chamber was here in 1568 in Gifu;
today what remains is just some neat ruins.
the picture for pix of Oda Nobunaga's hangout places at Gifu.
of Oda Nobunaga's Gifu
Oda Nobunaga's War to Get Gifu
a tremendous help from Toyotomi
Hideyoshi who planned some cutting-edge tactics
here for one of the magic trix of Toyotomi's in this campaign),
the province of Mino fell into Oda's hands, and he also got another
son, named Oda Hidekatsu.
son was adopted by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Such a thing, to a vassal,
was some kind of a reward and emblem of his status in the eyes
of his colleagues. So it got Toyotomi some fresh secret haters
within the Oda HQ.
he got a grandson from Takeda Katsuyori, Takeda Nobukatsu.
But his 18 years-old adopted daughter died when delivering this
kid into the warring planet. Since then, Oda's relationship with
the Takedas retrogressed.
no matter what, this was the year Oda Nobunaga's slogan (he even
got it engraved on his seal) "One realm under one sword",
or kind of 'Japan, Inc.' politically speaking (in Japanese the
slogan reads 'Tenka Fubu') was coined and gained currency.
not just a whim; Asians are forever sensitive to symbolism.
now on, anybody receiving a letter sent by Oda Nobunaga would
automatically get an announcement of his intention about the country
as a whole -- that he wanted to make it a whole, to begin
with. If you were a warlord nurturing a similar ambition, or you
were not that sort of dreamer and yet you didn't exactly love
Oda Nobunaga in the first place, it would have looked like a challenge
to combat, and you had to decide to be in his way or join him.
Ieyasu had been Oda's ally for six years now,
and Toyotomi Hideyoshi
was busy supervising things around the Oda castle, and both took
the 'Tenka Fubu' thing as a sign that they had been working
with (in Toyotomi's case, 'for') the right man.
Nobunaga, by officially inaugurating in full view his nationwide
campaign, had given the Tokugawa clan a direction they were most
eager to go through.
amateur historians wrote in several sites that the 'going public'
of 'Tenka Fubu' meant Oda Nobunaga wanted to be Great
others said he wanted to kill the Emperor and become one himself.
are equally preposterous assumptions.
Nobunaga, of all people, knew for a fact that he, as a descendant
of the Taira clan, could never, ever, become
a Shogun (click
here for story and pictures why so). It's not a law, but it
was a convention -- no one ever broke it anyway for a
never wanted to be Shogun. He only wanted to rule the country.
The first thing means an exact kind of ruling and an official
title. The second was free for him to define.
for deposing Emperors, that kind of thought is so cluelessly caucasian.
16th century warlord wanted to be Emperor. No sane Japanese ever
did, for that matter, any time at all; whenever something close
to such happened (as in Taira
Masakado's rebellion of 10th century), the ones trying it
already knew it would never work, nonetheless they tried it before
the inevitable downfall and sure death.
there were two Emperors at the same time such as at the Gempei
War (Minamoto versus Taira clans), both got the right DNA
to sustain the claim. Only the one who got more soldiers and better
Generals usually won the monopoly of the title in the end.
someone wanted to be Emperor without being born as such was totally
unthinkable in a society that grew within the belief of divinity
of their monarchs.
Nobunaga knew this, too, and although he could produce every proof
of being obsessive (like, when it came to horses and tea utensils),
he was never certifiedly insane.
(a.k.a Sasaki), Miyoshi, and Matsunaga
Nobunaga and Ashikaga Yoshiaki started
the biz with a mutually beneficial alliance, although it would
have sent Tokugawa Ieyasu to tragic laments if
he were to take Oda's place in financial terms. Oda Nobunaga had
to pay for everything that Ashikaga and all his family and followers
ate, wore, consume, lived in, and senselessly given away.
return, the Oda clan got the position as the Imperial Army, which
means Oda's status was equal to a Shogun.
mutual symbiosis was a tick-tocking bomb precisely because of
its benefits. Ashikaga was a ridiculous daydreamer and really
believed in the empty shell of a shogunate that he didn't
even get by inheritance.
ended up feeling that Oda Nobunaga had trespassed his authority
-- an authority that he never even had, to start with.
Oda of course felt like getting snubbed after everything he had
done for (himself as well as ) the crybaby Shogun, and got pissed
because Ashikaga couldn't see the truth of who's the
people of Kyoto and the surrounding area reading Oda Nobunaga's
announcement of the abolition of toll booths.
this was the first time Oda Nobunaga (34 years old) marched side
by side literally with Tokugawa
Ieyasu (25 years old) to war (Tokugawa couldn't
join him in person before, until his internal restructuring of
the army was over), there was also a domestic biz that meant a
lot: Oda changed the name of the Saito's capital from 'Mount Inaba'
('Inabayama' in Japanese) to 'Gifu'
here for pictures).
here on, his star steadily pointed towards Kyoto in a way that
Imagawa Yoshimoto never even dreamed of in life.
Shogun Ashikaga Yoshiteru was murdered. His brother Ashikaga
Yoshiaki wanted to be the successor, but he had nothing
to start working toward it with. So he asked Oda Nobunaga for
marched to Kyoto as if he was only going shopping (in Ginza, that
is); crushing the clans of Rokkaku, Miyoshi,
and Matsunaga along the way -- the last two were
the Shogun's enemies, and the first was for putting up literal
roadblox on Oda's way.
priority after installing Ashikaga at a palace that he built for
that purpose (Nijo) was to overhaul the law and
other such annoyance in and around Kyoto.
of these was the abolition of toll booths that used to plague
average travelers to and from the capital city; many people couldn't
afford the fee to use the roads where toll booths stood.
Nobunaga went to Kyoto undercovered once, in late 1560's; being
an 'average' traveler himself at the time, he could experience
the thing firsthand and didn't like that way of extracting tax.
was a very popular measure and the people loved it.
the same year, Nobunaga's 10 years-old third son Oda
Nobutaka was married to Lady Kambei
of Ise as a preliminary step to conquer this
much-coveted territory (click
here for story and pictures of Oda Nobunaga's kids).
the Kambeis didn't have an heir, Oda Nobutaka got the title as
Chief of this clan.
the clans of Ikeda, Takatsuki, and
Ibaraki in Settsu Province.
11 years-old second son Oda Nobuo
was adopted by the Kitabatake clan who lost the war.
Nobuo was to be the Chief of the clan, too, plus he was married to a
Kitabatake daughter. Nobunaga’s younger brother Oda
Nobukane was also adopted, by the Nagano
Oda Nobunaga was busy around the issue of Catholic missionaries this
year after his 35th birthday.
A V.I.P Nichiren
Buddhist priest somehow convinced the Emperor to order execution of
Catholic preachers, and to outlaw the religion in all Japanese spots.
Oda got there
in time to cancel the decree.
Like I said
everywhere else, Oda Nobunaga was not
interested in Roman Catholicism, and the feel-good statements of Portuguese
missionaries that Oda was about to get converted was true-blue bull.
He was merely tolerant towards Catholic missions; he always
got happy about imported stuff from the 'barbarian' lands.
'sympathy' toward Roman Catholicism was the same as his sympathy for
sponge cakes and red wine.
Plus he had
other things in mind; to 'use' the missionaries whenever necessary
for story and pictures.). Especially
to piss off his domestic enemies, the constantly troublemaking Buddhist
thing that is factual is that Oda Nobunaga was the most friendly of
the three so-called 'unifiers of Japan' when it comes to expatriates.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi wasn't
so nice to them, while Tokugawa Ieyasu
and his entire dynasty were downright hostile.
for history, pictures, profiles and map of Christian samurai, warlords
and rebels of Japan in 16th-17th century, and how Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi
Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu differently dealt with them.
Click here for story &
pictures of the bloodlusty warrior-monks.
Yoshiaki got his shogunate in Kyoto as firmly replanted
as he wished, thanks to Oda Nobunaga who fought for him and fed
him and built palaces for him and so forth. This Shogun was a
pain in the neck for real, but that time Oda didn't have time
to think about him. He was busy far away from Kyoto, though this
was related to Ashikaga's interests, too.
started with the convention of the time, that the Shogun had the
right to ask warlords -- only those who acknowledged his authority
and whose territory was easy to reach -- to come to Kyoto and
stay there awhile as a show of loyalty.
Asakura Yoshikage of Echizen refused to do this,
because he knew the real authority in Kyoto was Oda Nobunaga,
and he wouldn't care to pay such a homage to fellow-warlord.
getting this flat-out rejection, Oda fetched his men and marched
to Asakura's realm. Tokugawa Ieyasu
was with him in this expedition.
he kept his brother in-law Lord Asai Nagamasa
of Omi -- a former ally of the Asakura clan -- utterly in the
by Oda's attack of the Asakuras, Asai broke his former loyalty
to Oda Nobunaga, and fought him instead, to help the Asakuras.
two clans united with Oda Nobunaga's fiercest enemies, the warrior-monks
of Mt. Hiei.
battle is remembered today as the Anegawa war (click
here for story and pictures of the ugly personal stuff that happened
because of this war).
Nobunaga's brother, Oda Nobuharu,
was killed there; so was Mori Ranmaru's father,
brother of Nobunaga's, Oda Nobuoki,
died when his castle was attacked by the warrior-monks of Ise.
here for story and pictures of Mori Ranmaru, the person who was
closest to Oda Nobunaga all his life.)
the other hand, the Anegawa episode in the history of the Oda
clan was crucial for Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
He was, here, given the prestigious battle-fan (that meant he
was the Chief of Staff) by Oda Nobunaga.
Click here for details and pictures of the
battle of Ane River ('Anegawa' in Japanese) between Oda Nobunaga
and Tokugawa Ieyasu versus the Asai and Asakura clans.