Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
The daimyō were powerful Japanese feudal lords who, until their decline in the early Meiji period, ruled most of Japan from their vast, hereditary land holdings. In the term, dai means "large", myō stands for myōden, meaning private land. Subordinate to the shōgun, nominally to the Emperor and the kuge, daimyō were powerful feudal rulers from the 10th century to the middle 19th century in Japan. From the Shugo of the Muromachi period through the Sengoku to the daimyō of the Edo period, the rank had a long and varied history; the backgrounds of daimyō varied considerably. The term daimyō sometimes refers to the leading figures of such clans called "Lord", it was though not from these warlords that a shōgun arose or a regent was chosen. Daimyō hired samurai to guard their land and they paid the samurai in land or food as few could afford to pay samurai in money; the daimyō era ended soon after the Meiji Restoration with the adoption of the prefecture system in 1871. The shugo daimyō were the first group of men to hold the title daimyō.
They arose from among the shugo during the Muromachi period. The shugo-daimyō held not only military and police powers, but economic power within a province, they accumulated these powers throughout the first decades of the Muromachi period. Major shugo-daimyō came from the Shiba and Hosokawa clans, as well as the tozama clans of Yamana, Ōuchi, Akamatsu; the greatest ruled multiple provinces. The Ashikaga shogunate required the shugo-daimyō to reside in Kyoto, so they appointed relatives or retainers, called shugodai, to represent them in their home provinces; some of these in turn came to reside in Kyoto, appointing deputies in the provinces. The Ōnin War was a major uprising. During this and other wars of the time, kuni ikki, or provincial uprisings, took place as locally powerful warriors sought independence from the shugo-daimyō; the deputies of the shugo-daimyō, living in the provinces, seized the opportunity to strengthen their position. At the end of the fifteenth century, those shugo-daimyō who succeeded remained in power.
Those who had failed to exert control over their deputies fell from power and were replaced by a new class, the sengoku-daimyō, who arose from the ranks of the shugodai and ji-samurai. Among the sengoku daimyō were many, shugo-daimyō, such as the Satake, Takeda, Rokkaku, Ōuchi, Shimazu. New to the ranks of the daimyō were the Asakura, Nagao, Miyoshi, Chōsokabe, Jimbō, Hatano and Matsunaga; these came from the ranks of their deputies. Additional sengoku-daimyō such as the Mōri, Ryūzōji arose from the ji-samurai; the lower officials of the shogunate and rōnin, provincial officials, kuge gave rise to sengoku-daimyō. The Battle of Sekigahara in the year 1600 marked the beginning of the Edo period. Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu reorganized 200 daimyō and their territories into han, which were assessed by rice production; those heading han assessed at 10,000 koku or more were considered daimyō. Ieyasu categorized the daimyō according to their relation to the ruling Tokugawa family: the shinpan were related to the Tokugawa.
The shinpan were collaterals of Ieyasu, such as the Matsudaira, or descendants of Ieyasu other than in the main line of succession. Several shinpan, including the Tokugawa of Owari and Mito, as well as the Matsudaira of Fukui and Aizu, held large han. A few fudai daimyō, such as the Ii of Hikone, held large han; the shogunate placed many fudai at strategic locations to guard the trade routes and the approaches to Edo. Many fudai daimyō took positions in the Edo shogunate, some rising to the position of rōjū; the fact that fudai daimyō could hold government positions while tozama in general, could not was a main difference between the two. Tozama daimyō held large fiefs far away from the capital, with e.g. the Kaga han of Ishikawa Prefecture, headed by the Maeda clan, assessed at 1,000,000 koku. Other famous tozama clans included the Mori of Chōshū, the Shimazu of Satsuma, the Date of Sendai, the Uesugi of Yonezawa, the Hachisuka of Awa; the Tokugawa regarded them as rebellious, but for most of the Edo period, marriages between the Tokugawa and the tozama, as well as control policies such as sankin-kōtai, resulted in peaceful relations.
Daimyō were required to maintain residences in Edo as well as their fiefs, to move periodically between Edo and their fiefs spending alternate years in each place, in a practice called sankin-kōtai. In 1869, the year after the Meiji Restoration, the daimyō, together with the kuge, formed a new aristocracy, the kazoku. In 1871, the han were abolished and prefectures were established, thus ending the daimyō era in Japan. In the wake of this change, many daimyō remained in control of their lands, being appointed as prefectural governors. Despite this, members of former daimyō families remained prominent in government and society, in some cases continue to re
Asakura Yoshikage was a Japanese daimyō of the Sengoku period who ruled a part of Echizen Province in present-day Fukui Prefecture. Yoshikage's conflicts with Oda Nobunaga resulted in his death and the destruction of the Asakura clan and its castle, Ichijōdani Castle. Yoshikage was born at the Asakura clan castle in Echizen Province, Ichijōdani Castle, in the present-day Kidanouchi district of Fukui, Fukui Prefecture, his father was Asakura Takakage and his mother is presumed to be the daughter of Takeda Motomitsu. The Asakura had displaced the Shiba clan as the shugo military commanders of part of Echizen in 1471. Yoshikage succeeded his father as head of the Asakura clan and castle lord of Ichijōdani Castle in 1548, he proved to be adept at political and diplomatic management, markedly demonstrated by the Asakura negotiations with the Ikkō-ikki in Echizen. As a result of the negotiations and effective governance by Yoshikage, Echizen enjoyed a period of relative domestic stability compared to the rest of Sengoku period Japan.
Echizen became a site for refugees fleeing the violence in the Kansai region. Ichijōdani became. After the capture of Kyoto, Ashikaga Yoshiaki appointed Yoshikage regent and requested Asakura aid in driving Nobunaga out of the capital; as a result, Oda Nobunaga launched an invasion of Echizen. Due to Yoshikage’s lack of military skill, Oda's forces were successful at the Siege of Kanegasaki, leaving the entire Asakura Domain open to invasion. Yoshikage benefited from the military conflicts between Azai Nagamasa, brother-in-law of Oda Nobunaga. Azai had launched a pincer attack strategy against Nobunaga in Kanegasaki, but the coalition of Asakura and Azai forces failed in the task of capturing Nobunaga. In the Battle of Anegawa in 1570, Yoshikaga and Nagamasa were defeated by the numerically superior Tokugawa clan headed by Tokugawa Ieyasu. Yoshikage fled to Hiezan after the Battle of Anegawa and negotiated a reconciliation with Nobunaga and was able to avoid conflict for three years. Yoshikage was betrayed by his cousin, Asakura Kageaki in 1573.
He was forced to commit suicide by seppuku at Rokubō Kenshō-ji, a temple, located in present-day Ōno, Fukui Prefecture. He was 39 years old; the Asakura clan was destroyed with the death of Yoshikage. The former Asakura residence in Fukui Prefecture was excavated in 1967 and revealed the ruins of the castle and gardens of Ichijōdani; the site has been designated a Special Places of Scenic Beauty, Special Historic Sites, an Important Cultural Properties of Japan as the Ichijōdani Asakura Family Historic Ruins. The site covers 278 hectares. Https://archive.is/20030925005405/http://www.sengoku-expo.net/person/E/176.html
Ashikaga Yoshiaki was the 15th shōgun of the Ashikaga shogunate in Japan who reigned from 1568 to 1573. His father, Ashikaga Yoshiharu was the twelfth shōgun, his brother, Ashikaga Yoshiteru was the thirteenth shōgun; the absence of an effective central authority in the capital of Japan had lasted until the warlord Oda Nobunaga's armies entered Kyoto in 1568, re-establishing the Muromachi shogunate under the puppet shōgun Ashikaga Yoshiaki to begin the Azuchi–Momoyama period. Ashikaga Yoshihide, the fourteenth shōgun, was deposed without entering the capital, his childhood name was Chitosemaru. Most historians consider 1573 to have been the year; the power of the Ashikaga was destroyed on August 27, 1573, when Nobunaga drove Yoshiaki out of Kyoto. Yoshiaki became a Buddhist monk, shaving his head and taking the name Sho-san, which he changed to Rei-o In; some note. Despite a renewed central authority in Kyoto and Nobunaga's attempt to unify the country, the struggle for power among warring states continued until unification and final peace was achieved long after Nobunaga's assassination in 1582.
Father: Ashikaga Yoshiharu Mother: Keijuin Concubines: Osako no Kata Kosaki no Tsubone Children: Ashikaga Yoshihiro Isshi Yoshitaka Nagayama Yoshiari Yajima Hideyuki Significant events shape the period during which Yoshiaki was shōgun: 1568 – Oda Nobunaga sets Yoshiaki up as shōgun. 1569 – Yoshiaki's Nijō residence is built. 1570 – Ikkō monks defeat Oda Nobunaga. 1571 – Oda Nobunaga destroys Enryaku-ji. 1573 – Takeda Shingen dies. 1588 – Yoshiaki resigns from his post as shōgun. The span of years in which Yoshiaki was shōgun are more identified by more than one era name or nengō. Eiroku Genki Tenshō Ackroyd, Joyce. Lessons from History: the Tokushi Yoron. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press. ISBN 9780702214851. Nihon Ōdai Ichiran. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 585069
The Sengoku period is a period in Japanese history marked by social upheaval, political intrigue and near-constant military conflict. Japanese historians named it after the otherwise unrelated Warring States period in China, it was initiated by the Ōnin War, which collapsed the Japanese feudal system under the Ashikaga shogunate, came to an end when the system was re-established under the Tokugawa shogunate by Tokugawa Ieyasu. During this period, although the Emperor of Japan was the ruler of his nation and every lord swore loyalty to him, he was a marginalized and religious figure who delegated power to the shōgun, a noble, equivalent to a generalissimo. In the years preceding this era the Shogunate lost influence and control over the daimyōs. Although the Ashikaga shogunate had retained the structure of the Kamakura shogunate and instituted a warrior government based on the same social economic rights and obligations established by the Hōjō with the Jōei Code in 1232, it failed to win the loyalty of many daimyōs those whose domains were far from the capital, Kyoto.
Many of these Lords began to fight uncontrollably with each other for control over land and influence over the shogunate. As trade with Ming China grew, the economy developed, the use of money became widespread as markets and commercial cities appeared. This, combined with developments in agriculture and small-scale trading, led to the desire for greater local autonomy throughout all levels of the social hierarchy; as early as the beginning of the 15th century, the suffering caused by earthquakes and famines served to trigger armed uprisings by farmers weary of debt and taxes. The Ōnin War, a conflict rooted in economic distress and brought on by a dispute over shogunal succession, is regarded as the onset of the Sengoku period; the "eastern" army of the Hosokawa family and its allies clashed with the "western" army of the Yamana. Fighting in and around Kyoto lasted for nearly 11 years, leaving the city completely destroyed; the conflict in Kyoto spread to outlying provinces. The period culminated with a series of three warlords, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu, who unified Japan.
After Tokugawa Ieyasu's final victory at the siege of Osaka in 1615, Japan settled down into several centuries of peace under the Tokugawa shogunate. The Ōnin War in 1467 is considered the starting point of the Sengoku period. There are several events which could be considered the end of it: Nobunaga's entry to Kyoto or abolition of the Muromachi shogunate, the Siege of Odawara, the Battle of Sekigahara, the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate, or the Siege of Osaka; the upheaval resulted in the further weakening of central authority, throughout Japan regional lords, called daimyōs, rose to fill the vacuum. In the course of this power shift, well-established clans such as the Takeda and the Imagawa, who had ruled under the authority of both the Kamakura and Muromachi bakufu, were able to expand their spheres of influence. There were many, whose positions eroded and were usurped by more capable underlings; this phenomenon of social meritocracy, in which capable subordinates rejected the status quo and forcefully overthrew an emancipated aristocracy, became known as gekokujō, which means "low conquers high".
One of the earliest instances of this was Hōjō Sōun, who rose from humble origins and seized power in Izu Province in 1493. Building on the accomplishments of Sōun, the Late Hōjō clan remained a major power in the Kantō region until its subjugation by Toyotomi Hideyoshi late in the Sengoku period. Other notable examples include the supplanting of the Hosokawa clan by the Miyoshi, the Toki by the Saitō, the Shiba clan by the Oda clan, in turn replaced by its underling, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a son of a peasant with no family name. Well-organized religious groups gained political power at this time by uniting farmers in resistance and rebellion against the rule of the daimyōs; the monks of the Buddhist True Pure Land sect formed numerous Ikkō-ikki, the most successful of which, in Kaga Province, remained independent for nearly 100 years. After nearly a century of political instability and warfare, Japan was on the verge of unification by Oda Nobunaga, who had emerged from obscurity in the province of Owari to dominate central Japan, when in 1582 Oda was assassinated by one of his generals, Akechi Mitsuhide.
This in turn provided Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who had risen through the ranks from ashigaru to become one of Oda's most trusted generals, with the opportunity to establish himself as Oda's successor. Toyotomi consolidated his control over the remaining daimyōs and, although he was ineligible for the title of Sei-i Taishōgun because of his common birth, ruled as Kampaku. During his short reign as Kampaku, Toyotomi attempted two invasions of Korea; the first spanning from 1592 to 1596 was successful but suffered setbacks to end in stalemate. When Toyotomi died in 1598 without leaving a capable successor, the country was once again thrust into political turmoil, this time Tokugawa Ieyasu took advantage of the opportunity. Toyotomi had on his deathbed appointed a group of the most powerful lords in Japan—Tokugawa, Maeda Toshiie, Ukita Hideie, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Mōri Terumoto—to govern as the Council of
The Honnō-ji Incident refers to the forced suicide on June 21, 1582, of Japanese daimyō Oda Nobunaga at the hands of his samurai general Akechi Mitsuhide. This occurred in Honnō-ji, a temple in Kyoto, ending Nobunaga's quest to consolidate centralized power in Japan under his authority. Oda Nobunaga was at the height of his power, having destroyed the Takeda clan earlier that year at the Battle of Tenmokuzan, he had central Japan under his control, his only rivals were the Mōri clan, the Uesugi clan, the Hōjō clan, each weakened by internal affairs. After the death of Mōri Motonari, his grandson, strove only to maintain the status quo, aided by his two uncles, as per Motonari's will. Hōjō Ujiyasu, a renowned strategist and domestic manager, had died, leaving his less prominent son Ujimasa in place; the death of Uesugi Kenshin left the Uesugi clan, devastated by an internal conflict between his two adopted sons, weaker than before. It was at this point that Oda Nobunaga began sending his generals aggressively into all directions to continue his military expansion.
He ordered Hashiba Hideyoshi to attack the Mōri clan. At the same time, Nobunaga invited his ally Tokugawa Ieyasu to tour the Kansai region in celebration of the demise of the Takeda clan. Around this time, Nobunaga received a request for reinforcements from Hashiba Hideyoshi, whose forces were stuck besieging the Mōri-controlled Takamatsu Castle. Nobunaga parted ways with Ieyasu, who went on to tour the rest of Kansai while Nobunaga himself made preparations to aid Hashiba in the frontline, he ordered Akechi Mitsuhide to go to Hideyoshi's aid, travelled to Honnō temple, his usual resting place when he stopped by in Kyoto. The only people he had around him were court officials, upper-class artists, dozens of servants. Upon receiving the order, Mitsuhide returned to Sakamoto Castle and moved to his base in Tanba Province. Around this time, he had a session of renga with several prominent poets, where he made clear his intentions of uprising. Mitsuhide saw an opportunity to act, when not only was Nobunaga resting in Honnō-ji and unprepared for an attack, but all the other major daimyō and the bulk of Nobunaga's army were occupied in other parts of the country.
Mitsuhide led his army toward Kyoto under the pretense of following the order of Nobunaga. It was not the first time that Nobunaga had demonstrated his modernized and well-equipped troops in Kyoto, so the march toward Kyoto did not raise any suspicion; as they were crossing Katsura River, Mitsuhide announced to his troops that "The enemy awaits at Honnō-ji!". Before dawn, the Akechi army had the temple surrounded in a coup. Nobunaga and his servants and bodyguards resisted, but they realized it was futile against the overwhelming numbers of Akechi troops. Nobunaga committed suicide. Ranmaru followed suit, his loyalty and devotion makes him a revered figure in history. Nobunaga's remains were not found, a fact speculated about by writers and historians. After capturing Honnō-ji, Mitsuhide attacked eldest son and heir of Nobunaga. Nobutada committed suicide. After trying to persuade Oda vassals in the vicinity to recognize him as the new master of former Oda territories, Akechi entered Azuchi Castle and began sending messages to the Imperial Court to boost his position and force the court to recognize him as well.
Akechi Mitsuhide's reasons for the coup are a mystery and have been a source of controversy and speculation. Although there have been several theories, the reason the historian Kuwata Tadachika put forth was that Mitsuhide bore a personal grudge. Other theories maintain that Mitsuhide acted out of fear, had the ambition to take over Japan, was acting to protect the Imperial Court, or was trying to remove the iconoclastic revolutionary. Another theory is. Many think; when Nobunaga invited Tokugawa Ieyasu to Azuchi Castle, Akechi was the official in charge of catering to the needs of Ieyasu's group. He was removed from this post for unknown reasons. One story spoke of Nobunaga yelling at him in front of the guests for serving rotten fish. Another story tells that when Nobunaga gave Akechi the order to assist Hashiba Hideyoshi, it was somehow hinted that Akechi would lose his current territories and would have to fight for land, not under Oda control yet; as Nobunaga had sent two senior retainers under him, Sakuma Nobumori and Hayashi Hidesada, into exile for poor performance, Akechi might have thought that he could suffer a similar fate.
Akechi was in his early fifties, some believe he might have felt insecure about such a grim future. Furthermore, when invading Tanba Province, Akechi Mitsuhide sent his mother as hostage to the Yagami Castle castellan, Hatano Hideharu to convince him to surrender. Nobunaga, had Hatano Hideharu executed, an act that caused former Hatano retainers to kill Akechi's mother. Akechi Mitsuhide felt humiliated and depressed by this and decided to kill his master; this story, began to circulate only during the Edo period, is of dubious historical origin. Luís Fróis wrote that Mitsuhide liked to use treachery and diversion as his
Oda Nobunaga was a powerful daimyō of Japan in the late 16th century who attempted to unify Japan during the late Sengoku period, gained control over most of Honshu. Nobunaga is regarded as one of three unifiers of Japan along with his retainers Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. During his life, Nobunaga was known for most brutal suppression of determined opponents, eliminating those who by principle refused to cooperate or yield to his demands, his reign was noted for innovative military tactics, fostering free trade, encouraging the start of the Momoyama historical art period. He was killed; the goal of national unification and a return to the comparative political stability of the earlier Muromachi period was shared by the multitude of autonomous daimyōs during the Sengoku period. Oda Nobunaga was the first for. Nobunaga had gained control over most of Honshu before his death during the 1582 Honnō-ji incident, a coup attempt executed by Nobunaga's vassal, Akechi Mitsuhide. Nobunaga was betrayed by his own retainers.
The motivation behind Mitsuhide's betrayal was never revealed to anyone who survived the incident, has been a subject of debate and conjecture since the incident. Following the incident, Mitsuhide declared himself master over Nobunaga's domains, but was defeated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who regained control of and expanded the Oda holdings. Nobunaga's successful subjugation of much of Honshu enabled the successes of his allies Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu toward the goal of national unification by subjugating local daimyōs under a hereditary shogunate, accomplished in 1603 when Ieyasu was granted the title of shōgun by Emperor Go-Yōzei following the successful Sekigahara Campaign of 1600; the nature of the succession of power through the three daimyōs is reflected in a well-known Japanese idiom: "Nobunaga pounds the national rice cake, Hideyoshi kneads it, in the end, Ieyasu sits down and eats it." All three were born within eight years of each other, started their careers as samurai and finished them as statesmen.
Nobunaga inherited his father's domain at the age of 17, gained control of Owari province through gekokujo. Hideyoshi started his career in Nobunaga's army as an ashigaru, but rose up through the ranks as a samurai. Ieyasu fought against Nobunaga, but joined his army. Oda Nobunaga was born on June 23, 1534, in the Owari domain, was given the childhood name of Kippōshi, he was the second son of a deputy shugo with land holdings in Owari Province. He is said to have been born in Nagoya Castle. Through his childhood and early teenage years, he was well known for his bizarre behavior and received the name of Owari no Ōutsuke, he was known to run around with other youths from the area, without any regard to his own rank in society. With the introduction of firearms into Japan, however, he became known for his fondness of tanegashima firearms. In 1551, Oda Nobuhide died unexpectedly. Nobunaga was said to have acted outrageously during his funeral, throwing ceremonial incense at the altar. Hirate Masahide, a valuable mentor and retainer to Nobunaga, performed seppuku to startle Nobunaga into his obligations.
Although Nobunaga was Nobuhide's legitimate heir, some of the Oda clan were divided against him. Collecting about a thousand men, Nobunaga suppressed those members of his family who were hostile to his rule, including his younger brother, Oda Nobuyuki. In 1556, he destroyed a rival branch located in Kiyosu Castle. Although Nobuyuki and his supporters were still at large, Nobunaga took an army to Mino Province to aid Saitō Dōsan after Dōsan's son, Saitō Yoshitatsu, turned against him; the campaign failed, as Dōsan was killed in the Battle of Nagara-gawa, Yoshitatsu became the new master of Mino in 1556. In 1557, Nobunaga's brother, was defeated in the Siege of Suemori by Ikeda Nobuteru. In 1558, he protected Suzuki Shigeteru in the Siege of Terabe. By 1559, Nobunaga had eliminated all opposition within Owari Province. In 1560, Imagawa Yoshimoto gathered an army of 25,000 men and started his march toward Kyoto, with the pretext of aiding the frail Ashikaga shogunate; the Matsudaira clan of Mikawa Province joined Yoshimoto's forces.
Against this, the Oda clan could rally an army of only 2,000 to 3,000. Some of Nobunaga's advisers suggested "to stand a siege at Kiyosu". Nobunaga refused, stating that "only a strong offensive policy could make up for the superior numbers of the enemy", calmly ordered a counterattack. Nobunaga's scouts reported that Yoshimoto was resting at the narrow gorge of Dengaku-hazama, ideal for a surprise attack, that the Imagawa army was celebrating their victories while Yoshimoto viewed the heads. Nobunaga set up a position some distance away. An array of flags and dummy troops made of straw and spare helmets gave the impression of a large host, while the real Oda army hurried round in a rapid march to get behind Yoshimoto's camp; the heat gave way to a terrific thunderstorm. As the Imagawa samurai sheltered from the rain Nobunaga deployed his troops, when the storm ceased they charged down upon the enemy in the gorge, so that Yoshimoto thought a brawl had broken out among his men, only realizing it was an attack when two samurais charged up.
One aimed a spear at him, which Yoshimoto