Nobunaga’s Ambition Realized: The Dawn of a New Rising Sun

Intro
Things to note before going into this timeline:

1. As this is a Japan-centric timeline, all Japanese names will be written in the traditional "last name, first name" format.
2. Kanji iterations of terms and names will be inserted alongside the English writing the first time it's introduced.

Enjoy!!

Intro

In 1582, Japan was on the cusp of unification and a new era of unprecedented prosperity and for the first time ever, prestige, power, and even expansion beyond its immediate borders. All of this would be initiated by one man: Oda Nobunaga (織田信長).

Born as the first son of a small daimyo in Owari province (尾張国), Nobunaga would embark upon years of rapid expansion under the banner of “Tenka Fubu” (天下布武), overthrowing the shogunate and establishing a new capital in Azuchi (安土) in Oumi province (近江国). Fueling this often brutal quest was expanded trade and new contact with the Portuguese, who introduced many goods and technology, especially guns and gunpowder. Nobunaga’s measures towards opening up and patronizing trade also facilitated the growing faith of Christianity in his territories.

This story will see how Nobunaga successfully united the entirety of Japan under the hegemony of the Oda clan and how he and future rulers of Japan would translate their realm into a maritime military and economic power in the East.​

Z9S0d8XHOhbVPN3Z-X0ae8eR6HRs5nuKVEl4dhtM8C9nA7oHID5FBlATtn3_48xxykO3S4Otxb3RIgQVjvya2tSmFmXSNGfhvYqvkiSflueRuqZdt93imOrj8cOkA69jAaxl4zDu5BOS68LsirHJiHDCYsNE9Htol6Dw9imiYJatWTHYLssG0Ad-DQ
 
Last edited:
Chapter 1: How the Mouri Submitted to Nobunaga
Nobunaga’s Ambition Realized: The Dawn of a New Rising Sun


Chapter 1: How the Mouri Submitted to Nobunaga

On March 15th, 1582, under orders from Oda Nobunaga, the future unifier of Japan, Hashiba Hideyoshi left Himeji Castle (姫路城) with an army of 20,000 towards the province of Bitchu (備中国), which was under the control of Mouri Terumoto (毛利輝元), who dominated the Chugoku region (中国地方). Along the way, his forces were joined by the Ukita clan’s 10,000 troops. The now 30,000 strong army headed straight towards Takamatsu Castle (高松城), defended by a force of 5,000 led by Shimizu Muneharu (清水宗治), and commenced a siege on April 15th.

Early attempts to storm the castle and end the siege with force failed due to the castle being a hirajo (plains castle/平城) and not a yamashiro (mountain castle/山城) and therefore arquebus and cavalry-heavy tactics being of little use. That would be so until Kuroda Yoshitaka (黒田孝高), better known as Kuroda Kanbei (黒田官兵衛), Hideyoshi’s chief strategist, stepped in and came up with an “inundation” plan to end the siege and capture Takamatsu Castle.

This plan involved constructing dikes to divert the waters of the Ashimori River (足守川) and flood the entire surroundings of the castle. Involving both the labor of local peasants as well as the troops, Kuroda’s plan commenced on May 8th, finishing up in 12 days and coinciding with a downpour that quickly flooded the castle and its surroundings. The floods seeped into the castle itself and damaged the rice provisions the troops depended on in Takamatsu Castle as well as overall morale.​


FK4p0wFUcGX4jb08tj-ofPhk8pjSKfkWhhhWegR-kEEI7O0Au45XLW0kuLh-FVy9jpEPjSS27Ot2IYZU-WjL_D3u-EmsaZXUnnSVrRkbrdMAKfnHp_x7sbDZnLvPD7W_skcLmT4cUn_EbAiroBz3uTvGyQK9n_5pM-uA9xFBIJoFKFULLWC4k_S5GQ


19th century ukiyo-e art (浮世絵 ) depiction of the siege
In response to this and reports that Hideyoshi had requested direct intervention by Nobunaga himself, Terumoto started heading towards Takamatsu Castle with an army numbering between 50,000 and 80,000, varying with the sources.

Despite leading an army that easily outnumbered Hideyoshi’s forces, however, Terumoto was uneasy. Nobunaga getting involved would mean more men against the Mouri and the entire Oda domain investing in wiping out the Mouri clan. Additionally, Nobunaga had recently not only established friendly relations with the Shimazu and Otomo clans (島津氏,大友氏) in Kyushu but also committed their forces against the Mouri as well. Realizing the precarity of the situation and the lack of allies in this fight, Terumoto decided to dispatch his notorious “diplomat-priest” Ankokuji Ekei (安国寺恵瓊) to negotiate peace with Hideyoshi.

Through talks, Ekei settled on a peace offer to cede the provinces of Bitchu, Bingo, Izumo, Mimasaka, and Houki (備中国,備後国,出雲国,美作国,伯耆国) in return for sparing the lives of the troops inside Takamatsu Castle. Hideyoshi, however, demanded the seppuku of Muneharu with the terms offered by Ekei. This, then relayed to Terumoto, nearly froze peace negotiations. The Mouri, meanwhile, had sent a messenger to Muneharu asking him to surrender and become an Oda vassal, to which he replied that his life would go down with the castle. Mouri Terumoto, taking in all this, realized the only alternative to the Hideyoshi’s demands was a long, bloody war with a good chance of the Mouri clan being destroyed in the process. His uncle Kikawa Motoharu (吉川元春) objected to what he perceived as cowardly surrender and pushed strongly for continued conflict; however, even he was eventually persuaded to begrudgingly accept peace with the intervention of Terumoto’s younger uncle Kobayakawa Takakage (小早川隆景). [1]

On May 28th, Terumoto sent Ekei to Hideyoshi to relay the acceptance of terms. This would herald the end of Nobunaga’s invasion of the Chugoku region. Hideyoshi quickly sent messengers to both Nobunaga and Akechi Mitsuhide (明智光秀), another key Oda general who had been ordered to aid Hideyoshi with his forces. Nobunaga would arrange for his heir Nobutada (織田信忠) to meet up with Mitsuhide and march towards Takamatsu Castle to oversee the submission of the Mouri, Otomo, and Shimazu clans and the redistribution of former Mouri lands. Nobunaga, meanwhile, would cancel his trip to Honnouji Temple (本能寺) as he was no longer preparing for himself to march on the Mouri and would decide on future matters from Azuchi Castle (安土城). [2]

Upon hearing the news, Mitsuhide would delay the assembling of his army and quietly rest any secret plans he had.

[1]: 1st POD-IOTL negotiations froze up until the irl Honnouji Incident
[2]: 2nd POD-Nobunaga only left Azuchi Castle to prepare for his participation in the invasion of the Chugoku region.​
 
Last edited:
Chapter 2: The Fall of Kasugayama
Chapter 2: The Fall of Kasugayama

While the Mouri had saved itself from imminent destruction, the Uesugi clan (上杉氏) would not be so lucky and 1582 would see its fall. Centered around the northern province of Echigo (越後国) from Kasugayama Castle (春日山城), it rivaled every major daimyo clan within his reach under its legendary head Kenshin (上杉謙信), even successfully invading Oda lands in the provinces of Kaga (加賀国) and Noto (能登国) in 1577 and 1578.

However , after Kenshin’s death in 1578 a civil war broke out between his co-heirs Kagekatsu (景勝) and Kagetora (景虎). The former would triumph but the damage was done: Oda forces under Shibata Katsuie (柴田勝家) reconquered Kaga and Nodo and began invading Etchu Province (越中国) while encouraged by the neighboring Ashina and Date clans (蘆名氏, 伊達氏), Uesugi vassal Shibata Shigeie (新発田重家) rebelled against Kagekatsu alongside former pro-Kagetora retainers. Additionally, after the fall of the Takeda clan, Oda generals Takigawa Kazumasu (滝川一益) and Mori Nagayoshi (森長可) positioned themselves in the provinces of Kozuke (上野国) and Shinano (信濃国) respectively, ready to invade Echigo from the south. Thus, the Uesugi became surrounded from three sides.​

TwFQNPEvmvdMyy6hznnimoc9xfnowVa1C1G71rnklfs1F6tv4xYMFgPJfaIi9F1vJEnJQDYDrbTBQ_CKKtk4AJFhbBy5S_tGT9P9cUN2GYhzeGLtQBClOldUQXmHzNTvevzLX28ZpvRicWJzo_RigcP0BVZWd9-5CIDz18_2kzpScR-lKDQS8MnMzw


Statue of Shibata Shigeie at Fukoshouji Temple (福勝寺) (image above)
Eventually, after a bloody 3-month siege, the last Uesugi stronghold outside of Echigo province, Uozu Castle (魚津城) fell on June 3rd to Shibata Katsuie after the main Uesugi army were forced to retreat and abandon the castle to confront Nagayoshi’s 5,000 strong army pouring in from the south. This main army advanced towards Nagayoshi’s position under Kagekatsu and defeated him at the Battle of Nihongi (二本木の戦い). Meanwhile, the lord of Arato Castle (荒砥城), Kuribayashi Masayori (栗林政頼), routed forces led by Kazumasu’s nephew Masushige (滝川益重) at the Battle of Mikuni Pass (三国峠の戦い), halting all Oda advances from the south. However, Kagekatsu had little time to solidify the defenses in the south before Katsuie’s army entered Echigo from the west and began sieging Katsuyama Castle (勝山城), the last major defense between the Oda and Kasugayama Castle.

Gathering an army of 12,000, Kagekatsu quickly marched towards Katsuyama Castle, which was close to submission by the Oda. His army arrived in the area in late July and positioned itself in the mountains overlooking Katsuie’s sieging army, sandwiching it between itself and the sea against Katsuyama Castle. Despite being outnumbered 3 to 1, he was confident that high morale from the victory at Nihongi as well as his strategic advantage would overcome Katsuie’s numerical advantage.
This was not to be. In what would be remembered as the Battle of Katsuyama Castle (勝山城の戦い), the Uesugi rushed down from their position in the early morning, using the morning fog to their advantage to take the Oda by surprise; simultaneously, the garrison inside Katsuyama Castle sent out a small force to skirmish and distract from the main attack. Despite initial success, Katsuie’s numbers quickly halted the Uesugi rush advance. 2 hours into the battle, a force of 7,000 under Maeda Toshiie (前田利家), who had been positioned further back in anticipation of the Uesugi attack, snuck up the mountains and launched a surprise attack on Kagekatsu’s main camp, slaying Kagekatsu’s young chief Councillor Naoe Kanetsugu (直江兼続) amidst the ensuing confusion. Hearing of the surprise attack, the main Uesugi force was thrown into chaos, their cohesion quickly crumbling and being forced into a hasty retreat. Meanwhile, Katsuie had crushed the Katsuyama Castle’s garrison’s onslaught from the east and was able to storm the castle, taking it by the evening.

The defeated Uesugi army retreated back towards Kasugayama Castle. Kagekatsu, realizing he had scant numbers to resist the Oda and no outside allies to rely on, decided to surrender to Katsuie. After Katsuie accepted, Kagekatsu would commit seppuku along with his chief vassals in return for the Oda sparing the lives of his battered forces. Within 4 years of Kenshin’s death, the Uesugi were no more.

Despite Kagekatsu’s death, resistance would continue as the lords of Honjo and Hirabayashi Castles, (本庄城, 平林城), Honjo Shigenaga (本庄繁長) and Irobe Nagazane (色部長実) continued fighting Shibata Shigeie, whom they felt directly contributed to the fall of the Uesugi. Additionally, Kuribayashi Masayori and other remaining retainers from Kagekatsu’s birthplace, Ueda-no-sho (上田庄), refused to submit to the Oda. However, they would all surrender by the end of 1582.

Shibata Shigeie would be the biggest beneficiary of the partition to follow, rewarded with all of northern and central Echigo. Southern Echigo up to Ueda-no-sho would be divided between Nagayoshi and Kazumasu while the rest would be given to Nagao Norikage (長尾憲景), a distant relative of Kagekatsu, to keep former Kagekatsu retainers under the governance of a pro-Oda member of the Nagao clan (長尾氏) (Kenshin and Kagekatsu were by blood members of the Nagao clan). [1]

ZZ45l0nQU4e15BvWi837EGBlLMyXlWB1G7fFqu5NvjNesBGc6bf_lK9B7bRJnmD82cn-hRTtoXNL1h2mvzmYoR1xaleoK3TSn-HvTH8Lq2spDcmE0KV5XJ2jgOZYxeAEPQzHrRalXGJlv-M7lcGemA0OwzX1Eo-obi7rFJOps9S2xqTVLicz8WAyHg


Partition of Echigo (Shibata Shigeie=dark green, Nagao Norikage=brown, Mori Nagayoshi=pink, Takigawa Kazumasu=light orange)​

Focus would shift to the Kanto and Oshu regions (関東, 奥州), where Kazumasu had already been busy with diplomatic overtures and negotiations.

[1] Uesugi Kenshin was adopted by Uesugi Norimasa (上杉憲政) in 1561 after being born as the son of Nagao Tamekage (長尾為景), the Uesugi clan’s deputy in Echigo province in the early 16th century.​
 
Last edited:
Chapter 3: Homage, Adoptions, and Partitions at Takamatsu
Chapter 3: Homage, Adoptions, and Partitions at Takamatsu

Nobutada, accompanied by his and Mitsuhide’s armies, arrived at Hideyoshi’s position on June 14th and would oversee the ratification of the agreement between Hideyoshi and Terumoto, Shimizu Muneharu’s seppuku, and the distribution of the ceded Mouri lands. Additionally, Shimazu Yoshihisa (島津義久) and Otomo Sourin (大友宗麟), the heads of their respective clans, as well as a representative of the Kawano clan (河野氏), a Mouri ally in Shikoku busy fighting the Chosokabe clan, would also come to pay their respects to Nobutada.

Regarding the distribution of the five ceded provinces, Ukita Nobuie (宇喜多信家) [1] would be granted Mimasaka province while Kuroda Kanbei and Hachisuka Masakatsu (蜂須賀正勝), leading planners of the Takamatsu Castle siege, were rewarded generously with the western half of Bingo province and the southern half of Bitchu province respectively. Izumo was meanwhile split between Nobunaga’s younger brother Nagamasu (織田長益) and the resurrected Amago clan (尼子氏), a historical rival of the Mouri based out of Izumo before the latter annexed the former’s lands, under clan head Yoshihisa (尼子義久). Additionally, to compensate the Otomo clan for its commitment to the Oda under previous promises to give it lands among the Mouri’s western provinces, Otomo Sourin’s second son Tahara Chikaie (田原親家) was made an independent daimyo based from Fukuyama Castle (福山城) in Bingo province. The rest of the lands were distributed among lesser Oda retainers, particularly those that had served under Hideyoshi, and some former Mouri retainers.​

HJRCcfBOGJvHDGThCipsaid3SjRwdoTO9nrefyEMasGAgIgMvryrw7VmuFdmv0I3iqHuLhVLq0C9eepLB0_QM54kWRBK9JIDZjvcEQriDEBZ4GLxXRWUImf6csS-td2clki1Pj5SkhWSouFewXUtv3WdoL4bTvnwG_bR8TZXMwrPH3zBS3dvr-Daaw


New division of the Chugoku region (grey=Ukita Nobuie, lavender=Hachisuka Masakatsu, pink=Amago Yoshihisa, salmon=Kuroda Kanbei, lime green=Tahara Chikaie, green=Oda Nagamasu, yellow=Mouri Terumoto, tangerine=misc. holdings)​

Additionally, in a last minute order from Nobunaga himself, Nobutada’s younger brother Katsunaga (織田勝長) would become the Shimazu clan’s adopted heir, as clan head Shimazu Yoshihisa (島津義久) was 49 and childless. Katsunaga’s adoption solidified Azuchi’s newfound power and influence in Kyushu, and he would subsequently change his name to Nagahisa (島津長久).

Finally, the Mouri, Shimazu, Kawano, and Otomo clans formally submitted to Nobutada and promised to aid in the subjugation of any remaining daimyo in Kyushu and Shikoku not under the thumb of Nobunaga, namely the Chosokabe and Ryuzouji clans (長宗我部氏, 龍造寺氏); the latter three clans were also guaranteed their current lands. All 4 clans would eventually travel to Azuchi to pay their respects to Nobunaga himself. Oda suzerainty now extended all the way to the edges of Kyushu.

With the concessions and negotiations generally wrapping up by September, Nobutada and Mitsuhide would return to Kyoto and Tanba province (丹波国) respectively while Hideyoshi would oversee the resolution of the land distributions.​

[1]: Ukita Nobuie is IOTL’s Ukita Hideie (宇喜多秀家). Since Nobunaga or Nobutada don’t perish at Honnouji, instead of Hideyoshi becoming his godfather, Nobutada oversees his manhood ceremony at Takamatsu Castle, thus giving him his “信” character in front of the hereditary “家”character.
 
Last edited:
Chapter 4: Nobutaka vs Motochika Round 1
Chapter 4: Nobutaka vs Motochika Round 1

Initially, in Shikoku (四国), Nobunaga had established cordial relations with the daimyo of Tosa province (土佐国), Chosokabe Motochika (長宗我部元親). Such relations, however, soon deteriorated with Motochika’s refusal to become a vassal of Nobunaga while acting upon his own expansionary ambitions, and by 1582 the two were enemies. Nobunaga would turn to the Miyoshi clan, formerly enemies but now a regional power reduced in strength willing to submit in order to survive, as his primary allies in Shikoku. He also formed friendly relations with lords in eastern Sanugi and Iyo provinces (讃岐国,伊予国) to politically isolate Motochika, in particular the Saionji and Kawano clans (西園寺氏,河野氏).

In May of that year, Nobunaga appointed his third son, Kando Nobutaka (神戸信孝), to lead the Shikoku invasion campaign with Niwa Nagahide (丹羽長秀) and Hachiya Yoritaka (蜂谷頼隆) as well as Nobutaka’s cousin Tsuda Nobuzumi (津田信澄) serving as his deputies. By May 29th, 14,000 troops had amassed under these 4 men in Sakai and left for Shikoku on June 2nd. The pelagic supply lines across the Seto Inland Sea (瀬戸内海) between Sakai and Shikoku were maintained and protected by Kuki Yoshitaka (九鬼義隆) and his navy.
AlhhPFhZ5NfpcO-2a2FGPegGYuHjBsqK-0xV8FmkGUK2hfWz-tws35bEQx3QOb7Ss345QX-1azZ0KpkPsGGN78bIIL_cp7mlSw-8HmDJ7KeDm4fQfAJnFuG0PKsU_f7Ab86WtTJsu5z24VSEnXHW0fivCUiwzg6R3Ybge5hMSVXB38R0EqnbL44yQw

Sketched depiction of Kando Nobutaka
They would first land on the eastern coast of Awa province and aid Miyoshi Yasunaga (三好康長) and Sogo Masayasu (十河存保) in capturing Ichinomiya and Ebisuyama Castles (一宮城,恵山城), which would both fall by early August. The Oda coalition army would garrison the two castles before proceeding west along the Yoshino River towards Tosa province (土佐国), the Chosokabe’s stronghold, with a force now numbering 24,000 with the inclusion of the Miyoshi and Sogo forces.

The landing of Nobutaka’s army prompted Motochika to proceed into Awa province with his force of 25,000 and link up with his second son, Kagawa Chikakazu (香川親和) and his army of 10,000 in the hopes of forcing Nobutaka’s hand into a pitched battle before the Oda could advance further into Shikoku.

Motochika’s wish was granted as his army caught Nobutaka’s sieging force on August 11th August 11th while the latter was besieging Kawashima Castle (川島城), which overlooked the river as well as a large islet. In what would later be known as the Battle of Kawashima Castle (川島城の戦い), the Oda army quickly formed up and initially was able to hold back the numerically superior Chosokabe force. With the armies’ north flanks facing the river, they both sent their northernmost contingents up to secure the islet and then attack the opposing army southward, with the Oda force being led by Nobuzumi.​

w05kqxqU35dmz1DoWP_JtZmxzSGHfHt-0bM29drFgRyWfMCnKv_XcvilyyyU-m9-Z73PfridmVaHMqamlIlPdfAkkfyIbozXEFuBHEE8Sbh3G-wLOFEve4BpnzneBXXSESP8r1tLpZ5zIroDD_53CbP2b2-7g4IaFVmN_C4q3oxcSZY9xIMQLRJlSA

Red=Oda, Green=Chosokabe​

However, before control of the islet could be decided, the main Oda army started to break and was forced to retreat and abandon their siege on Kawashima Castle. Amidst the retreat, Nobuzumi’s force on the islet became cut off from the main army and was killed after getting knocked off his horse. The rest of Nobuzumi’s force was crushed, with only a few scattered contingents evading death or capture.

In total, the Oda would suffer 8,000 casualties while only inflicting 1,000 on the Chosokabe. Nobutaka’s demoralized army retreated east, with Motochika slowly following them with 24,000 and Kansas Chikakazu’s contingent of 10,000 heading north to Sanugi province.

Upon hearing the news of the defeat and the death of his nephew, Nobunaga would summon Akechi Mitsuhide and Ikeda Tsuneoki (池田恒興) and order them to join Nobutaka’s battered forces in Awa province while also sending instructions to Kuki Yoshitaka to utilize his naval forces aggressively. It was said that Nobunaga was in a vengeful mood, for Nobuzumi’s death was a personal blow to him despite Nobunaga having murdered Nobuzumi’s father, Oda Nobuyuki (織田信行), over the succession of the Oda clan 26 years earlier.​
 
Last edited:
Map of Japan (Reference)
For all readers unfamiliar with the pre-1871 provincial map, just wanted to post it as a reference. Hope you're all enjoying the timeline so far, for now I'll be posting updates daily.
CgiBNk3uA74UeaqruqqDmTQnqMbUSFJ7tL__B8jEusrmDB2m1mnNRWKF_8f_7QBAdb-TlzSQ-Ir8pDI_sKTyk7eD4b5eGJI1XcG9e-NPC7I5zpzknnU2ru5z5LEZqkzmxcUzNgd14eiaazp4QcTmIIG1vGqd48abWtgM4dQ87joC0aa7xjAzeTRPAA
 
Last edited:
Chapter 5: Kamakura-fu 3.0
Chapter 5: Kamakura-Fu 3.0

While the Shikoku, Echigo, and the Chugoku campaigns were marked by bloodshed, the subjugation of the Kanto region was a far more diplomatic affair.

Takigawa Kazumasu, a major commander in the Kai-Shinano campaign, was designated by Nobunaga as his representative in the Kanto region as well as the provinces of Kai and Shinano (甲斐国, 信濃国). Early on, he oversaw the submission and homage of former Takeda clan vassals in Shinano province as well as many minor lords in the northern Kanto area, especially in Kozuke and Shimotsuke provinces (上野国, 下野国). Kazumasu was also involved in the conquest of Echigo province and diplomatic contacts with Ashina Moritaka and Date Terumune (蘆名盛隆, 伊達輝宗), heads of their respective clans.​

M4AaS5yEx0YhY73qNnIw3Zt0QkBjH-LYNJGT42ll2Wrjr5MQkyJMGb05GnfcqmbNLn34obbcTsJ02nhfwgGznB9b6H67NDDxRCdKIygZ7ex7_JcBddt-h4eNQ2lkoNhPSV5a_cb-uDlmkV6hvRszb-OhPd9nxvCFdSDnVfWlmNYOIGDWpRlyRybpZQ


Sketch of Takigawa Kazumasu​

Kazumasu’s biggest challenge, however, came with the Go-Hojo clan (後北条氏). Clan head Hojo Ujimasa (北条氏政) was the most powerful daimyo in the Kantō region and like his forefathers, dreamed of subjugating the entire region. However, throughout 1582 he had been sending gifts to Nobunaga and even proposed a marriage between one of Nobunaga’s daughters and his heir Hojo Ujinao (北条氏直). Such an arrangement would make Ujimasa an equivalent of Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康), the lord of Mikawa , Suruga, and Tootoumi provinces (三河国, 駿河国, 遠江国) Nobunaga’s longtime ally of 20 years who had participated in many campaigns, particularly against the former Takeda clan (武田氏) in Kai as a partner rather than a vassal.​

4CK7p-s90MFmWfOsjLYIYBEx7hAGL31oBCuElMOmUw5vJavwu6gLBjL5ye7X9nkMvZG7XKPCvTZOyBsjLWy_qf6ZZlozJbKiau87mtjiXMpkI_OzCDKDNjtzT0P6VF5VHNot4Dc3MZB8SP4kLsIJPcreikASsjKIC8oZjz3E3RIw_XjQkAlKtMmnDw


Portrait of Hojo Ujimasa​

The possibility of a Oda-Hojo marital alliance ruling the Kanto region, however, alarmed many clans who felt threatened by Ujimasa’s expansionary ambitions, including the Utsunomiya clan (宇都宮氏) in Shimotsuke province and the Satake clan (佐竹氏) in Hitachi province (常陸国), and had come to Kazumasu for protection.

Stuck between two rocks, Kazumasu decided to revive an old institution and proposed the creation of a new regional government in the Kanto region based from Kamakura (鎌倉) headed by a member of the Oda clan to Nobunaga: a Kamakura-fu (鎌倉府). In the past, both Emperor Go-Daigo (後醍醐天皇) and shogun Ashikaga Takauji (足利尊氏) had established Kamakura-fus in 1333 and 1336 led by one of their younger sons to maintain a military and political presence in the historically unruly and anti-Kyoto region. Nobunaga, upon receiving the suggestion, would approve and would send his youngest brother, Oda Nagatoshi (織田長利), to Kamakura at the end of 1582, and Kazumasu would act as his right-hand man.

He would also approve of the marriage between his oldest daughter, Tokuhime (徳姫), and Ujinao. Thus, Ujimasa would be Nobunaga’s brother-in-law but still a vassal of Nagatoshi.

This arrangement would prove palatable to most daimyos, with the glaring exception of the regional Ashikaga Kubos, or mini-shoguns (公方), in Koga and Oyumi (古河, 小弓) who had been vying for the vacant position of Kamakura Kubo (鎌倉公方), the old deputy of the Ashikaga shoguns in the Kanto region. The creation of the new Kamakura-fu completely canceled any previous authority or claims they nominally possessed as heirs of the original Kanto Kubos. This astonishingly caused the two to reconcile and unite their houses, with the heir of the Oyumi Kubo, Ashikaga Yorizumi (足利頼純) designated as heir of a reunited Ashikaga Kanto cadet branch. The reunified Ashikaga sought to rally support for their cause but were unsuccessful in peeling off any minor lords or daimyo from the Oda.

Early in 1583, Nagatoshi himself would lead an army of the various Kanto clans including the Hojo and crush the rebellious forces, eliminating the Kanto cadet branch of the Ashikaga clan for good. Most of the rebels’ lands would become direct fiefs of the Oda clan. Thus, Nobunaga secured yet another region of Japan on his path towards complete reunification.
 
Last edited:
Things to note before going into this timeline:

1. As this is a Japan-centric timeline, all Japanese names will be written in the traditional "last name, first name" format.
2. Kanji iterations of terms and names will be inserted alongside the English writing the first time it's introduced.

Enjoy!!

Intro

In 1582, Japan was on the cusp of unification and a new era of unprecedented prosperity and for the first time ever, prestige, power, and even expansion beyond its immediate borders. All of this would be initiated by one man: Oda Nobunaga (織田信長).

Born as the first son of a small daimyo in Owari province (尾張国), Nobunaga would embark upon years of rapid expansion under the banner of “Tenka Fubu” (天下布武), overthrowing the shogunate and establishing a new capital in Azuchi (安土) in Oumi province (近江国). Fueling this often brutal quest was expanding trade and new contact with the Portuguese, which brought in goods, especially guns and gunpowder. Nobunaga’s measures towards opening up and patronizing trade facilitated the growing faith of Christianity in his domain.

This story will see how Nobunaga successfully united the entirety of Japan under the hegemony of the Oda clan and how he and future rulers of Japan would forge their realm into a maritime military and economic power in the East.
Okay, so someone is finally making another Sengoku timeline, I'm interested to see how this turns out. Although it does seem kind of odd to go bring back a regional government for Kanto, or that it would be controversial, ever since the Uesugi before Kenshin fell by the wayside Kanto Kanrei had very little meaning. I am kind of curious what the glaring issues of an Oda Shogunate is going to be, even if it looks to be more structurally stable than the Tokugawa.
 
Last edited:
Okay, so someone is finally making another Sengoku timeline, I'm interested to see how this turns out. Although it does seem kind of odd to go bring back a regional government for Kanto, or that it would be controversial, ever since the Uesugi before Kenshin fell by the wayside Kanto Kanrei had very little meaning. I am kind of curious what the glaring issues of an Oda Shogunate is going to be, even if it looks to be more structurally stable than the Tokugawa.

ITTL, since the regime is going to be centered in Azuchi and the Kinki region in general, having a regional authority is not only a precedent but also is a much safer option than having someone like Ujimasa be a de facto autonomous ruler of the Kanto region.

In regards to resistance against a new Kamakura-fu being established, like previously mentioned it was really only the Ashikaga cadet branch and a few other scattered supporters that went against it, all the major players (Hojo, Satake, Satomi, etc) were for it and the Ashikaga just saw it as their own ancestral claims practically being erased overnight.

Definitely this timeline’s Kanto region is gonna be more turbulent since you lack an Ieyasu who wholesale displaced nearly everyone else in the region, managed to establish a new shogunate from the Kanto region, and redistributed almost all the lands to direct vassals and relatives in a single generation.
 
I’m wondering about certain figures, like Sanada Masayuki and his sons, Sassa Narimasa and Niwa Nagahide, or even Yasuke.
Niwa Nagahide is currently involved in Nobutaka's Shikoku campaign while Sassa Narimasa is stabilizing matters in Etchu province. Yasuke definitely has a bright future. Whether Masayuki is relegated to nothing more than a minor lord in northern Shinano remains to be seen in an Oda Japan united much faster than IOTL.

Cool timeline so far.

Why are some kanji spaced out? Kanji should not have spaces between them.
I'll see if I can fix it but it's probably because of the justified formatting I'm using it.
 
So why did Mitsuhide not betray him in this timeline?
There are many theories as to what motivated Mitsuhide to betray Nobunaga IOTL but he didn’t ITTL because the golden opportunity wasn’t there.

IOTL, no army was protecting Nobunaga or his heir Nobutada and both were outside Azuchi Castle preparing to leave for the Chugoku campaign. Meanwhile, his top commanders were theoretically bogged down in a campaign and too far away to immediately attack Mitsuhide while Tokugawa Ieyasu was sight-seeing Sakai.

ITTL, Nobunaga never goes to Honnouji because the Mouri agree to Hideyoshi‘s peace terms and cede land, thus ending conflict and negating Nobunaga’s reason to leave Azuchi Castle when he did. The end of the conflict also frees up Hideyoshi’s army, allowing him to march on Mitsuhide quickly if the latter sieged Azuchi Castle.
 
One thing I'm going to find interesting, is how Japanese culture is affected. Since there's no Edo Period and possibly no Isolation, Western Culture could become more prominent, mixing with Japanese culture. Add to that, an even more militarized than OTL, due to what you describe this Oda Japan as becoming "maritime military and economic power in the East". From this, I can see Samurai armies all over the East, and maybe even taking lands in Southeast Asia like the Philippines or Indonesia, which is going to affect European colonial ambitions. Hell, maybe they can make it to India or East Africa.

Point is, I'm really excited to see what happens, as an Oda Japanese Empire is one of my favorite PODS out there
 
I'm curious as to what happens with Yasuke, the Black samurai.
Imagine if Yasuke rises to such prominence, he gets his own castle and land, marries a Japanese Woman and starts his own clan (Like Hideyoshi or Tōdō Takatora we’re originally peasants before rising to prominence). It’s sounds like historical fantasy, but I love I anyway
 
One thing I'm going to find interesting, is how Japanese culture is affected. Since there's no Edo Period and possibly no Isolation, Western Culture could become more prominent, mixing with Japanese culture. Add to that, an even more militarized than OTL, due to what you describe this Oda Japan as becoming "maritime military and economic power in the East". From this, I can see Samurai armies all over the East, and maybe even taking lands in Southeast Asia like the Philippines or Indonesia, which is going to affect European colonial ambitions. Hell, maybe they can make it to India or East Africa.

Point is, I'm really excited to see what happens, as an Oda Japanese Empire is one of my favorite PODS out there

I've always had serious reservations about that as an idea, less so about the Oda, and more no Tokugawa 'isolationism' somehow gives you an earlier expansionist Japan because the problem with a Japanese empire is three fold.

First and foremost Japan is a feudal society and like it or not whoever is the Shogun is always going to have to rely the loyalty of the daimyo be they of provinces, han, domains, etc. Any and all military actions are going to have to rely on having enough lords willing to send troops. On top of that it's a system that the Shogun has to manage somehow and the unrestrained military power required for a possible army comes at the risk of said military power being used by lords to exert their own influence, or perhaps lead to a recreation of the weaknesses of the Ashikaga if not kept in check. Ignoring the whole you had plenty of rebellions and unrest by disaffected commoners, that Christianity of any flavor isn't going to make better, because like the Ikko-Ikki and Pure Land Buddhism a populistic faith offering salvation is going to be popular among downtrodden masses. And this isn't a system that can be changed overnight, I personally subscribe to the idea you would need military force to get rid of it along with shocks to it's very core.

The Sword Hunt, the one castle system and regular attendance system, as well reorienting samurai into bureaucrats, and banning of Christianity had happened for some very valid reasons. Trying to mitigate the dangers of an unstable system both with Hideyoshi and Ieyasu. I don't know how this reckoning might come about, but Nobunaga can only do so much, and we have no idea what his successors could be like even if the Oda don't have the weakness of the Toyotomi and Tokugawa.

Second the Japanese ability to fight other powers is always going to be limited. Japanese ships were little more than floating castles than true warships, and they really didn't have much experience against actual navies. On top of that, give or take the fantasy of samurai being full on elite warriors, and not just warriors that didn't farm or partially farmed, the Japanese armies would be at the mercy of logistics, and not all clans would have the same resources, or perhaps the willingness to go on these adventures. So I really don't see them whooping ass across Asia, or even taking on large armies through extended campaigns, if there is even a 'need' for it.

Lastly in a heavily feudalized system any kind of conquests are going to end being administered by more feudal lords, which runs into point one. While something like trying to conquer China would more than likely see more of a focus on the vastly wealthier and more populated China, and if some kind of military administration is set up that leads to more problems than 'gains'. Even for non-Chinese places, there's a serious risk they ignore or don't care for the words from the Capital, and this could apply to something as 'innocuous' as colonies too. Japan at this time really isn't going to be this amazing power, hell it only really lucked out OTL, because it was ignored and the Qing Dynasty didn't get it's act together. Your more likely to see Japan as some kind of decent trading power, then trying to backport Imperial Japan to the late 1500's.

Although I don't know where this TL is going other than an 'open' Japan, so what happens with it is OP's guess.
 
Last edited:
Top