Who Is Oda Nobunaga?

Oda Nobunaga was a powerful samurai daimyo and warlord of Japan in the late 16th century, living from June 23, 1534, to June 21, 1582. He initiated the unification of Japan near the end of the Warring States period, an effort completed by his successors, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Nobunaga was the son of a government official who amassed wealth and a respectable force of military retainers. In 1549, he inherited his father's estate. By 1560, he controlled all of Owari and defeated the neighboring overlord. Nobunaga lived a life of continuous military conquest, eventually conquering a third of Japan before his death in a 1582 coup. Through alliances and military conquests, Nobunaga unified Japan under the rule of the shogun. As virtual dictator, Nobunaga restored stable government and established the conditions that led to the unification of the country.