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Oda Nobunaga

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In this Japanese name, the family name is Oda (織田).

Oda Nobunaga (織田 信長) was the daimyo who initiated the unification of Japan that would be achieved by his successors Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu, who became Shogun in 1600.

During his childhood years, Nobunaga displayed signs of bizarre behavior and earned the nickname Owari no Otsuke or the "Fool of Owari". When he became daimyo of Owari, Nobunaga had to prove himself by successfully unifying the province, but he was still faced by the daimyo of Suruga, Imagawa Yoshimoto. In 1556, Nobunaga countered a coup d'état by Saito Yoshitatsu of Mino. Then in 1560 Imagawa Yoshimoto made his march towards Kyoto to overthrow the decrepit Ashikaga Shogunate. Nobunaga seized the opportunity to take out Imagawa once and for all. His plan was to attack the Imagawa from behind. The odds were all in Nobunaga's favor, the Imagawa samurai were drunk from too much sake (Japanese rice wine) there was high humidity and the day was topped off with a thunderstorm with mass rainfall. In the end, Yoshimoto was killed and the Imagawa were annhialated. After the battle, an Imagawa general became Nobunaga's ally, his name was Tokugawa Ieyasu (known then as Matsudaira Motoyasu). Nobunaga even admired Heishiro Mitsurugi for his valor, and swordsmanship. Nobunaga was also fond of a new weapon, the Tanegashima rifle or matchlock musket. Nobunaga used the Tanegashima rifles when the armies of the Oda and Tokugawa clans defeated Takeda Shingen's son at the battle of Nagashino in 1574. Unfortunately for Nobunaga, he would learn the cost of his conquests. On June 4, 1582, Nobunaga was betrayed by his retainer Akechi Mitsuhide at Honnō-ji and died.

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