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Oda Nobukatsu (織田 信雄?, 1558 – June 10, 1630) was a Japanese samurai of the Azuchi-Momoyama period. He was the second son of Oda Nobunaga. He survived the decline of the Oda clan from political prominence, becoming a daimyo in the early Edo period. Though often described as an incompetent general, Nobukatsu was a skilled warrior. In the battle of Komaki and Nagakute, he used a 13th-century tachi of the Fukuoka Ichimonji school, to slay a samurai known as Okada Sukesaburō, therefore the blade was known as Okada-giri Yoshifusa, now a national treasure.
In 1570, Nobukatsu became an adopted heir of the Kitabatake clan and married a daughter of the former lord of Kitabatake, Tomonori. The true nature of this marriage was a condition of truce forced by the Oda clan to the Kitabatake clan. In 1575, Nobukatsu officially became the head of the family. The next year, he killed his father-in-law, imprisoned the previous lord, who was his father by adoption, and completely took over the Kitabatake clan.
In 1579, eager to achieve fame, Nobukatsu directed an invasion of Iga, which only ended in disastrous failure and severe rebuke from his father. Two years later, Nobunaga himself led another invasion with an army of several ten thousand and destroyed the whole region.
Death of Nobunaga
When Nobunaga and his heir, Nobutada, died at the Incident at Honnō-ji in 1582, problems arose about who would succeed the lordship of Oda clan. Though Nobukatsu's younger brother Nobutaka intended to become the new lord, the retainers decided on the two-year-old son of Nobutada, Oda Hidenobu. It is said that the opinion of Toyotomi Hideyoshi was most influential on this decision, and Hideyoshi, Nobukatsu and Nobutaka were assigned to the custodian of the new lord. At this point, Nobukatsu changed his surname back to Oda. He succeeded his father as lord of Mino, Owari, and Ise Provinces.
Decline of Nobukatsu
During the succeeding chaotic years, Nobukatsu joined with Hideyoshi to destroy Nobutaka. However, soon their relationship became hostile, too, and Nobukatsu allied with Tokugawa Ieyasu to fight Hideyoshi in the Battle of Komaki and Nagakute in 1584. After more than a half year of battles, Hideyoshi persuaded Nobukatsu to make peace, offering him the security of the dominion. Nobukatsu took this offer and practically became a retainer of Hideyoshi. Later, when he served at the siege of Odawara (1590), he refused to accept Hideyoshi's order to change his dominion, and not only lost his original domain but was also forced to become a monk under the supervision of some Toyotomi retainers. A few years later, Hideyoshi's anger eased and Nobukatsu regained some land to rule.
He became the guardian of Toyotomi Hideyori after Hideyoshi's death. However, he betrayed the Toyotomi clan at the Siege of Osaka, and surrendered to Tokugawa Ieyasu. As a result, he was permitted to remain a daimyo by the Tokugawa shogunate. Though he is often described as an incompetent general, he managed to survive the series of upheavals. After the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate, he became the lord of the Uda-Matsuyama Domain in Yamato Province (modern-day Nara Prefecture), and comfortably lived the rest of his life.
- Father: Oda Nobunaga (1536-1582)
- Adopted Father: Kitabatake Tomonori
- (Japanese) Japanese Wiki article on Nobukatsu (18 Sept. 2007)
|Kitabatake family head
|1st (Oda) Lord of Uda-Matsuyama