Oda Nobuhide (織田 信秀, 1510 – April 8, 1551) was a Japanese daimyō and magistrate of the Sengoku period known as the father of Oda Nobunaga, regarded as the first "Great Unifier" of Japan. Nobuhide was a deputy shugo (Shugodai) of lower Owari Province and head of the Oda clan which controlled most of Owari.
|Head of Oda clan|
|Preceded by||Oda Nobusada|
|Succeeded by||Oda Nobunaga|
Owari Province, Japan
|Died||April 8, 1551 (aged 40–41)|
Ōsu Kannon, Nagoya
|Relatives||Oda Nobuyasu (brother)|
Oda Nobumitsu (brother)
Oda Nobutsugu (brother)
Oda Nobuzane (brother)
Lady Otsuya (sister)
|Nickname(s)||"Tiger of Owari"|
|Battles/wars||Siege of Anjō castle (1540)|
Battle of Azukizaka (1542)
Battle of Kanōguchi (1547)
Battle of Azukizaka (1548)
Oda Nobuhide was born in 1510 in Owari Province, the eldest son of Oda Nobusada, the head of the Oda clan and a shugodai (deputy shugo) of the lower Owari area. Nobuhide became head of the Oda clan when Nobusada died in 1538, and became involved in open warfare as he was confronted to the north by Saitō Dōsan, the daimyō of Mino Province, and to the east by Imagawa Yoshimoto, the daimyō of Mikawa, Suruga, and Tōtōmi provinces.
In 1542 he defeated Imagawa Yoshimoto at First Battle of Azukizaka. Nobuhide managed to hold his own against his opponents, but was never able to fully unite Owari due to constant internal struggles within Oda clan, which prevented him from achieving a complete victory.
In 1548, Imagawa defeated Nobuhide in the Second Battle of Azukizaka and continued to expand his territory until 1560.
In 1549, Nobuhide made peace with Dōsan by arranging a political marriage between his eldest son, Oda Nobunaga, and Saitō Dōsan daughter, Nōhime. Dōsan supported the marriage which allowed Nobuhide focus on facing Yoshimoto. In one of his moments of glory, Nobuhide managed to capture Matsudaira Hirotada's Matsudaira Motoyasu (later known as Tokugawa Ieyasu) as a hostage en route to Yoshimoto, and was thus able to gain some footholds into Mikawa.
Nobuhide's eldest son, Oda Nobuhiro, was illegitimate, and before his death designated the young Nobunaga, his eldest legitimate son, to succeed him as the head of the Oda clan and its small domain. Nobunaga, who hardly knew his father and already had a bad reputation as a delinquent in Owari, arrived inappropriately dressed at Nobuhide's funeral and threw incense at the altar of the temple as he cursed his fate. Nobunaga's behavior and reputation resulted in almost all support that Nobuhide's retainers would have given him to disappear. Almost all Oda retainers and Nobunaga's mother Tsuchida Gozen favored his younger brother, Oda Nobuyuki, who was considered to be well-behaved and reputable. As a result, Nobunaga was left with support from Hirate Masahide and his father-in-law Saitō Dōsan, whom he had never met before, and a succession crisis. Many of Nobuhide's relatives and retainers attempted to usurp his heir, and it would take seven years for Nobunaga to consolidate his power within the Oda clan and finally unite Owari Province. Nobunaga eventually conquered most of Japan, beginning his campaign in Owari, and became known as the first of the three "Great Unifiers" of the Sengoku period.
- Father: Oda Nobusada
- Sister: Lady Otsuya
- Wife: Tsuchida Gozen (1511-1594), who gave birth to four of his sons (Nobunaga, Nobuyuki, Nobukane and Oda Hidetaka).
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