The Oda clan (Japanese: 織田氏, Hepburn: Oda-shi) is a Japanese samurai family who were daimyo and an important political force in the unification of Japan in the mid-16th century. Though they had the climax of their fame under Oda Nobunaga and fell from the spotlight soon after, several branches of the family continued as daimyo houses until the Meiji Restoration. After the Meiji Restoration, all four houses of the clan were appointed Viscount in the new system of hereditary peerage.

The emblem (mon) of the Oda clan
Home province
Parent houseTaira clan (claimed)
Fujiwara clan (claimed)
Inbe clan (most likely)
FounderTaira no Chikazane (claimed; dubious)
Final rulerOda Nobutoshi
Founding year13th century
Dissolutionstill extant
Ruled until1871, abolition of the han system





Oda Nobunaga first claimed that the Oda clan was descended from the Fujiwara clan, and later claimed descent from Taira no Sukemori of the Taira clan. According to the official genealogy of the Oda clan, after Taira no Sukemori was killed in the Battle of Dannoura in 1185, Taira no Chikazane, the son of Sukemori and a concubine, was entrusted to a Shinto priest at a Shinto Shrine in Otanosho in the Echizen province. This Chikazane became the founder of the Oda clan.[1][2][3]

According to modern theories, there is no evidence that the Oda clan was descended from the Taira clan, and there is a theory that they were actually descended from the Inbe clan, who were Shinto priests in Otanosho. Fujiwara no Nobumasa, an ancestor of Nobunaga, is believed to have been adopted from the Inbe clan by the Fujiwara.[4] One theory as to why Nobunaga came to claim descent from the Taira clan is that he justified his own seizure of power by exploiting the belief at the time that the Minamoto and Taira clans were destined to alternate in power (源平交替思想, Genpei kōtai shisō). In other words, the idea was that the Minamoto clan, the shogun of the Kamakura shogunate, the Hōjō clan, descended from the Taira clan (Shikken of the Kamakura shogunate), the Ashikaga clan, descended from the Minamoto clan (shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate), and the Oda clan, descended from the Taira clan, were destined to seize power in that order.[1][2][3]

However, there are theories that question whether the people of that time really believed in this idea,[3] and whether the Hojo clan was really descended from the Taira clan.[5][6][7]



In the middle of the Muromachi period, the Oda clan served the Shiba clan, Shugo (守護) of Echizen province, and when Shiba Yoshishige was appointed Shugo of Owari province and moved to Owari, the Oda clan followed suit, and Oda Jōshō became a Shugodai (守護代) serving the Shiba clan.[1]

After the Onin War, the Shiba clan split into two factions and began warring, and from around 1466, the Oda clan also split into two factions and began warring, with Iwakura Castle and Kiyosu Castle as their respective strongholds.[1]

After the Onin War, the power of the Shiba clan declined, and in 1513, Oda Tatsusada rebelled against the Shiba clan, but the rebellion failed and he was killed. then, Oda Nobutomo increased his power and made the Shiba clan his puppets. During the Tenbun period, Oda Nobuhide overtook the main family and increased his power. In 1538, Nobuhide captured Nagoya Castle and became the most powerful sengoku daimyo in Owari Province.[8][9]

Nobunaga's reign


Oda Nobuhide took Nagoya Castle in 1538 (it was given to Nobunaga in 1542), and built Furuwatari Castle. Oda Nobutomo held Kiyosu Castle, but he was besieged and killed in 1555 by his nephew Oda Nobunaga who operated from Nagoya Castle. This led to the family being divided into several branches, until the branch led by Oda Nobunaga eclipsed the others and unified its control over Owari.

Then turning to neighboring rivals, it, one by one achieved dominance over the Imagawa, Saitō, Azai, Asakura, Takeda and other clans, until Nobunaga held control over central Japan. However, Nobunaga's plans for national domination were thwarted when he fell victim to the treachery of his vassal Akechi Mitsuhide who forced Nobunaga into suicide during the Incident at Honnō-ji in the summer of 1582. The Oda remained titular overlords of central Japan for a short time, before being surpassed by the family of one of Nobunaga's chief generals, Hashiba Hideyoshi.

Edo period


Though the Oda were effectively eclipsed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi following Nobunaga's death, it is not often known that the Oda continued to be a presence in Japanese politics. One branch of the family became hatamoto retainers to the Tokugawa shōgun, while other branches became minor daimyō lords. As of the end of the Edo period, these included Tendō Domain (also known as Takahata Domain, Dewa Province, 20,000 koku), Yanagimoto han (Yamato Province, 10,000 koku), Kaiju han (also known as Shibamura han; Yamato Province, 10,000 koku), and Kaibara han (Tanba Province, 20,000 koku).

During the reign of the daimyō Nobutoshi, the Oda of Tendō Domain were signatories to the pact that created the Ōuetsu Reppan Dōmei.

After Meiji Restoration


After the Meiji Restoration in 1871, the feudal domains were abolished, and all the four houses of the Oda clan were appointed Viscount in the new hereditary peerage (kazoku).[10]



Descendants of the Oda clan can be found throughout Japan, mainly in the south and southwest.[citation needed]

Notable figures

Oda Nobunaga, the most famous member of the Oda clan

Notable female members


Clan retainers


Nobunaga's notable retainers


Clan castles



  1. ^ a b c d 織田氏 (in Japanese). Kotobank. Archived from the original on 17 March 2024. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  2. ^ a b 織田信長 (in Japanese). Japan Knowledge. Archived from the original on 14 March 2024. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  3. ^ a b c 織田信長の先祖は平氏ではなく、源平交代思想も疑わしい (in Japanese). Yahoo News. 22 January 2024. Archived from the original on 23 March 2024. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  4. ^ 織田氏の系譜考察 (in Japanese). Kamon World. 29 September 2022. Retrieved 3 May 2024.
  5. ^ 源平は名門の証しとして威光を保ち続けた (in Japanese). 28 September 2021. Archived from the original on 18 December 2022. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  6. ^ 源氏政権樹立に尽力した「北条氏」のルーツは平氏だった? (in Japanese). Rekishijin. 2 February 2022. Archived from the original on 22 March 2023. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  7. ^ 「平家を捨て源氏に乗り換える」教科書には載っていない北条時政と源頼朝の篤すぎる信頼関係 (in Japanese). Yahoo News. 6 February 2022. Archived from the original on 30 June 2022. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  8. ^ かつて織田信長の主君だった、管領で尾張国守護の斯波氏の悲惨な末路とは (in Japanese). Yahoo News. 10 June 2023. Archived from the original on 23 March 2024. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  9. ^ 織田信秀 (in Japanese). The Nagoya Japanese Sword Museum Nagoya Touken world. Archived from the original on 23 March 2024. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  10. ^ Nihon dai hyakka zensho. Shōgakkan. 1989. 織田氏. ISBN 4-09-526001-7. OCLC 14970117.

This article incorporates text from OpenHistory.