Oda Nobuo

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  • Born: 1558
  • Died: 1630
  • Titles: Chûjô, Chûnagon, Dewa no Kami, also called 御本所, Gohonjo
  • Japanese: 織田 信雄 (Oda Nobuo, possibly Nobukatsu)

Nobuo was the second son of Oda Nobunaga. He was adopted into the Kitabatake family following the submission of that family to the Oda in 1569 and assumed leadership in 1576. He ordered the 1st (unsuccessful) Invasion of Iga in 1579 and led around 10,000 men in the 2nd Invasion after being rebuked by his father for his lack of sense. After Nobunaga's death in 1582 Akechi Mitsuhide entered Azuchi castle. Frois says that after the Battle of Yamazaki Akechi's men fled without burning down Azuchi, but that Gohonjo (Nobuo), whose wisdom was less than normal, without reason ordered the castle and city burned.[1] On the other hand, some historians believe that this was part of an alleged effort by Frois to discredit Nobunaga and his family after Honno-ji. [2]

Following the Kiyosu Conference, Nobuo received much of Owari as well as Ise. His claim to his father's position was supported in 1584 by Tokugawa Ieyasu and as a result the Komaki Campaign was conducted, for the most part in Owari. Nobuo felt compelled to make a separate peace with Hideyoshi by the end of the year and as a result was allowed to retain some of his lands in Owari and went on to lead troops under Hideyoshi's standard during the 1590 Odawara Campaign. Hideyoshi later banished him to a small 20,000 koku fief in Dewa after an argument. He shaved his head, became a monk, and took the name Joshin to make amends. Hideyoshi subsequently pardoned him and he returned to Ise, eventually settling in the city of Fushimi. Nobuo backed the forces of Ishida Mitsunari during the Sekigahara campaign in 1600 and again found himself dispossessed, this time by Tokugawa Ieyasu. Toyotomi Hideyori's mother, Yodo-gimi, attempted to enlist his aid against Ieyasu. Nobuo declined and moved to Kyoto. As a reward, Nobuo was given a 50,000 koku fief in Yamato after the conclusion of the Osaka Campaign in 1615.

He received the title Chûnagon & post of Naidaijin in 1585, and is thus sometimes referred to as Naifu Jôshin.[3]


  1. Frois's History of Japan Ch 58 5:173. As seven or eight people had stayed in the Azuchi Seminary (5:154), he probably had good information. However, it seems that Japanese sources do not state this. Samson's History of Japan (2:308) says the burning was more likely done by a rabble of townspeople.
  2. For example, see Jeroen Lamers' Japonius Tyrannus 217-224. In short, the 'discredit' theory revolves around the assertation by Frois that Nobunaga had set himself up as a 'living god'. Most who subscribe to this theory agree with Samson that the fire was set by the townspeople. It should be pointed out, though, that the account by Frois of the burning of Azuchi is seemingly the only explanation that has eyewitnesses.
  3. Joyce Ackroyd, Told Round a Brushwood Fire, Princeton University Press (1979), 283n75.


  • Initial text from Samurai-Archives.com FWSeal & CEWest, 2005
  • Lamers, Jerden “Japonius Tyrannus:The Japanese Warlord Oda Nobunaga Reconsidered” Leiden:Hotei Publishing, 2000
  • Hinago Motoo Nihon No Bijutsu #54:Shiro Tokyo:Shibundo, 1970
  • Papinot, E "Historical And Geographical Dictionary Of Japan" Rutland/Tokyo:Charles E Tuttle Company, 1972