Saitō Dōsan (斎藤 道三, 1494 – May 28, 1556), also known as Saitō Toshimasa (斎藤 利政), was a Japanese samurai during the Sengoku period. He was also known as the Viper of Mino (美濃の蝮, Mino no Mamushi) for his ruthless tactics. His honorific title from the Imperial Court was Yamashirō-no-kami and since he was a monk he was also called Saitō Yamashirō-nyudō-no-kami.
|Died||May 28, 1556 (aged 61–62)|
Battle of Nagaragawa, Mino Province
|Battles/wars||Battle of Kanōguchi|
Battle of Nagaragawa
In desperation, Dosan is alleged to have named Nobunaga as lord of Mino in his will and sent this document to Nobunaga. Nobunaga, however, was unable to provide help.
Dōsan's head was taken by a certain Komaki Genta, a retainer of Yoshitatsu's son Tatsuoki. His remains were originally interred in Sōfuku-ji, but they were later moved to Jōzai-ji because the Nagara River kept overflowing and covering his burial mound. Both temples are located in Gifu.
Saitō Dōsan is known for having a large number of pseudonyms and for frequently changing his name. Some believe that this is because there were two Saitō Dōsan, father and son, and the son adopted his father's name after his death. Other names of Saitō Dōsan are Minemaru (峰丸), Hōrenbō (法蓮坊), Matsunami Shogorō (松浪庄五郎), Nishimura Kankurō Masatoshi (西村勘九郎正利), Shinkurō (新九郎), Nagai Norihide (長井規秀), and Saitō Sakondayu Toshimasa (斎藤左近大夫利政). The name Saitō was adopted from the former shugodai of Mino who had been overcome by the Nagai clan in the 1520s.
- Father: Matsuda Motomune (in one traditional story; another version says that he was child of Shinzaemonzo, a monk of Myoukaku-ji Temple)
- Wife: Omi no Kata, daughter of Akechi Mitsutsugu
- Concubine: Miyoshi no Kata
- Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Saitō Dōsan" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 809.
- Glenn, Chris (May 28, 2015). "The Viper of Mino, Saito Dosan". Japan World.
- Turnbull, Stephen (1987). Battles of the Samurai. Arms and Armour Press. p. 57. ISBN 0853688265.
- Sengoku Bushō Retsuden 12: Saitō Dōsan Archived 2012-03-30 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed September 20, 2007.
- Buke Kaden - Mino Saitō-shi. Harimaya. Accessed September 20, 2007.
- Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. Cassell & Co. p. 211. ISBN 1854095234.
- Gifu City Walking Map. Gifu Lively City Public Corporation, 2007.