Oda Nobuhide, renowned as the Tiger of Owari and the father of Oda Nobunaga, emerged as a prominent figure in feudal Japan. Born in Owari (Western Aichi Prefecture) in 1510, Nobuhide wielded influence as a warlord, magistrate, and Buddhist monk. He held the esteemed position of the head of the powerful Oda clan, which exerted control over much of Owari Province. However, internal strife within the Oda clan hindered his complete dominance over Owari.

Facing formidable adversaries, Nobuhide confronted the Viper of Mino, Saito Dosan, to the north, and Imagawa Yoshimoto, ruler of Mikawa, Suruga, and Totomi (Shizuoka Prefecture) to the east. Notable among his conquests was the capture of Nagoya Castle from the Imagawa in 1532, a strategic move that marked his relocation from Shobata Castle, the birthplace of Nobunaga, to the centrally located Nagoya.

Engaging in a series of battles, Nobuhide's military exploits included the Battle of Anjo Castle (1540), the First Battle of Azukizaka (1542) against Imagawa Yoshimoto, the Siege of Yasuyoshi Castle (1545), the Attack on Mikawa (1547), and others. However, he faced defeat in the Second Battle of Azukizaka (1548) against overwhelming forces led by Imagawa Yoshimoto.

In the aftermath of the Battle of Kanoguchi (1547) against Saito Dosan, Nobuhide recognized the need for strategic alliances. He orchestrated a political marriage between his son, Nobunaga, and Dosan's daughter, Kicho (Nohime), fostering peace with the Saito clan. This allowed Nobuhide to redirect his efforts against the Imagawa clan.

Tragically, Nobuhide's life was cut short on April 8, 1551, at the age of 41, succumbing to a brief illness. Before his demise, he designated Nobunaga as his heir. However, Nobunaga's unconventional behavior at the funeral, arriving late and improperly dressed, led to a loss of respect and support within the clan.

Nobuhide's final resting place was originally at the Bansho-ji temple, situated near the Sakura Dori and Otsu Dori intersection in downtown Nagoya City. In 1610, Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered the relocation of the temple, along with Nobuhide's grave, to the present Osu area of Nagoya during the construction of Nagoya Castle. Unfortunately, the Bansho-ji, like much of Nagoya, fell victim to the devastating firebombing of WWII, resulting in the loss of Nobuhide's remains, despite the restoration of his grave markers.


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