Kagome: Oda Nobunaga
June 23, 1534 - June 21, 1582
An important daimyo (warlord) of the Sengoku period, and one who is considered to be one of the most influential people in Japanese history. He was the third son of a daimyo named Oda Nobuhime. In 1551, his father died suddenly, and Nobunaga became his successor. By 1559, he had claimed and unified the Owari province, and by 1568, became dictator of central Japan. With the help of his general Toyotomi Hideyoshi and ally Tokugawa Ieyasu, he was able to unify most of Japan except for the north and west. He changed the way that war was fought in Japan, and had created one of the most modernized forces at that time, with firearms, pikes and ironclad ships. He was the first of three unifiers in the Sengoku period, the other two being his general and ally. Under Nobunaga's rule, free trade became encouraged and a great amount of castle building began. He was on his way to gaining the entire unification of Japan, when in 1882, one of his generals named Akechi Mitsuhide betrayed Nobunaga, and forced him into committing seppuku (a form of ritual suicide) in Honnoji, Tokyo. Mitsuhide had blamed Nobunaga for the murder of his mother. Mitsuhide then claimed Nobunaga's domain, but only for a short time. About eleven days later, he was defeated by Nobunaga's general, Hideyoshi. The unification of Japan was later completed by Hideyoshi and Ieyasu.