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

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
I would imagine in all probability it would be like William Adams and those Dutch who worked for Tokugawa. Hatamoto (minor nobility), descendants fade into obscurity.

The difference, however, is thier jobs. The abovementioned were basically pet Euro-experts valued because they were hostile to the Portuguese and Spanish. Yasuke was one of Nobunaga's personal bodyguard- basically with him all the time. Given the right kind of luck, he'd have more opportunity to distinguish himself.
 
Chapter 6: Nobutaka vs. Motochika Round 2
Chapter 6: Nobutaka vs. Motochika Round 2

Chosokabe Motochika’s success would prove to be short-lived. After splitting with his second son Kagawa Chikakazu, he attempted to chase and corner the retreating Oda army but was harassed by Kuki Yoshitaka who led a small naval-based contingent along the river to maraud any Chosokabe forces along the Yoshino River and conduct hit-and-run raids on any encampments and supply lines.

Additionally, he received reports that the Kawano and Saionji clans in Iyo province were preparing their armies to directly invade Tosa province itself, and with the Treaty of Takamatsu, they could expect assistance from the Mori, Otomo, and Shimazu clans. Moreover Motochika’s own diplomatic overtures, especially to any remaining independent Western daimyo, went nowhere as Ryuzouji Takanobu (龍造寺隆信), facing invasions on all sides, opted to submit to Nobunaga by the end of 1582 while Hatakeyama Masahisa (畠山政尚) in Kii province (紀伊国) was unable to mobilize an army in time to intercept Oda reinforcements led by Mitsuhide and Tsuneoki.

Both Mitsuhide and Tsuneoki would arrive in Awa province in October, where they split, with Mitsuhide marching with an army of 13,000 towards Chikakazu’s force of 10,000 while Tsuneoki led the remaining 5,000 to directly join the main Oda army. Mitsuhide would quickly track down Chikakazu’s sieging army and defeat it in open battle, driving out all Chosokabe forces out of Awa province in the process.

Upon hearing this, Motochika would retreat back to Kawashima Castle and meet up with Chikakazu’s beleaguered army once more. The Chosokabe lord would also request reinforcements in the hopes of building up enough strength against the Oda once more. Fortunately for him, Nobutaka and Mitsuhide would rest their respective armies for the winter, allowing 3,000 reinforcements to come from Tosa province for Motochika. The decisive clash would take on March 28th, 1583 in what would go down as the Battle of Takagawara (高川原の戦い).​

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Oda=red, Chosokabe=green, Akechi=light orange, Kuki=yellow
The Chosokabe army of 34,000 marched out of Kawashima Castle towards Nobutaka’s reinforced army of 22,000 to avoid a pincer attack from across the islet and the two forces met at Takagawara, south of the river. Despite being outnumbered, the Oda army resisted the Chosokabe charges with their effective use of arquebuses and maintained high morale. This success gave Mitsuhide enough time to move all of his forces across the Yoshino River and rush the Chosokabe in a coordinated pincer move, delivering a devastating blow to Motochika’s army. The daimyo himself retreated with a part of his force but while attempting to cross the river was struck in the shoulder with an arrow from a group of patrolling Kuki boats and knocked off his horse into the water, where he was captured and executed.

The battle ended with the majority of Motochika’s army dead, wounded, or captured, with only 10,000 under the command of Chikakazu successfully retreating all the way back to Tosa province. With this victory, the Oda subjugation of Shikoku neared completion.​

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Statue of Chosokabe Motochika at the site of the battlefield later constructed in the 17th century​
 
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Great work so far! Was considering my own Nobunaga timeline, but, I never managed to get the drive to actually work on the thing. In any case, watched.
 
Great work so far! Was considering my own Nobunaga timeline, but, I never managed to get the drive to actually work on the thing. In any case, watched.
Thank you and I feel ya, tbh this is my second ever thread of any kind on this forum although I’ve been following other timelines for a few years now.
 
Chapter 7: Yoshiaki’s Last Gamble
Chapter 7: Yoshiaki’s Last Gamble

One of the people Motochika had reached out to in a bid to gain allies against the Oda was former shogun Ashikaga Yoshiaki (足利義昭). Ever since Nobunaga had driven him out of Kyoto and ended the Muromachi shogunate (室町幕府) in 1573, he had been exiled in Bingo province (備後国) where he waited for a chance to coalesce anti-Oda forces around him and revive the shogunate. Despite his numerous efforts over the years, Yoshiaki had been completely unsuccessful.​

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Portrait sketch of Ashikaga Yoshiaki
However, when Motochika sent a letter asking for support in late 1582 in return for the Chosokabe supporting Yoshiaki’s reinstatement as shogun, he saw an opportunity. While in reality Motochika was offering an empty promise to Yoshiaki under opportunistic pretenses, the latter took it seriously and embarked upon his own letter-writing effort. In addition to the pro-Motochika Hatakeyama Masahisa in Kii province that was already considering an attack on Oda lands in Izumi and Kawachi provinces (和泉国, 河内国), Yoshiaki also contacted displaced Mouri vassals in the ceded provinces and even Kikkawa Motoharu, Mouri Terumoto’s uncle who still secretly wished for conflict with the Oda, and planned an uprising of him and other dissatisfied Mouri retainers against Hideyoshi’s forces to coincide with Yoshiaki also taking a stand and Masahisa’s army marching into Oda lands absent of major generals like Akechi Mitsuhide and Ikeda Tsuneoki in March 1583.

Unfortunately for Yoshiaki, Hideyoshi and Terumoto figured out what was going on and swiftly suppressed any rebellious sentiments in the West. Hideyoshi immediately sent a messenger to Azuchi Castle while also sending a few thousand troops towards Yoshiaki. The former shogun, realizing what was happening, fled in disguise to the Hatakeyama, who immediately raised arms against Nobunaga. His army, incorporating Yoshiaki’s supporters as well as the Negoro Temple warrior monks and Saika mercenary regiments (根来衆, 雑賀衆), numbered 20,000, and immediately entered Izumi province.

With no major armies in the areas, Nobunaga charged Oda Nobutada with gathering an initial army of 8,500, with the majority of forces being Yamato province’s (大和国) Tsutsui Junkei’s (筒井順慶) troops, and also requested assistance from Hideyoshi and Katsuie.

Yoshiaki and Masahisa’s first target was the city of Sakai, the Oda clan’s most important trading hub. They started sieging the city in March; however, they faced stiff resistance from Matsui Yuukan (松井友閑), the city’s magistrate, and from the few thousand samurai and townsfolk armed with arquebuses, who prevented Yoshiaki’s forces from crossing the city’s moat. At night, raids were conducted on the camp by both Yuukan and Nobutada, whose army was positioned nearby. The raids wore down Yoshiaki’s army’s morale, especially as the former shogun failed once again to be an inspiring figure.

After two weeks, Masahisa intervened and changed course, choosing instead to chase down the Oda army they still heavily outnumbered. By then, however, Katsuie’s army of 15,000 and Hideyoshi’s army of 10,000 were nearby and Nobutada was able to link up with both, now possessing a grand total of 33,500 troops. Yoshiaki’s, meanwhile, had suffered some casualties and desertions but still numbered 17,000. The two armies would meet at Yamazaki, an area bordering both Settsu and Yamashiro provinces (摂津国, 山城国).

The Ashikaga-Hatakeyama army, which camped on the small Enmyouji River (円明寺川) utilized the warrior monk’s experience with firearms and organized a front line of 5,000 arquebusiers while positioning the cavalry in the wings and the rest of the largely spear-wielding ashigaru infantry behind the arquebusiers. Meanwhile, the Oda army positioned its center and wings across from the Ashikaga’s, with Katsuie manning the left wing, Hideyoshi the right wing, and Nobutada the center. Nobutada also placed a hidden cavalry contingent led by Nagaoka Fujitaka (長岡藤孝) and his son Tadaoki (長岡忠興) on Mt. Tennouzan (天王山), and this would be key in the outcome of the battle.​

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The battle started with the Oda wings charging first, crashing into the Ashikaga wings despite some gunfire from their arquebusiers. As the Ashikaga cavalry got pushed back, the ashigaru spear infantry assaulted from the sides of the center and for a moment, the battle was a stalemate left and right. Seeing a chance, Nobutada ordered the center to charge, but it was immediately set aback by the arquebusiers in the front row.

At this moment, the Nagaoka contingent rode down from Mt. Tennouzan and flanked the Ashikaga right, scything through the army. The Oda numbers finally turning the tide, the Ashikaga wings completely collapsed and led to a general rout. However, the warrior monks refused to surrender, gathering together while surrounded on all sides after the rest of the forces had retreated. They resisted viciously with their matchlocks and naginata polearms, and it is said that every last warrior monk was slain.

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Red=Oda, Black/White Striped= Ashikaga-Hatakeyama​

The battle, later known as the Battle of Yamazaki (山崎の戦い), was a complete disaster, and eventually Yoshiaki was captured while retreating. On the orders of Nobunaga, he was beheaded and his head displayed at Rokujougawara (六条河原), a longtime execution ground in Kyoto, as a grisly, mocking way of allowing Yoshiaki to “return” to Kyoto. Thus, the main line of the Ashikaga clan became extinct.
 
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Thank you and I feel ya, tbh this is my second ever thread of any kind on this forum although I’ve been following other timelines for a few years now.
It's an ambitious undertaking, pun not intended. The problem with working off any ATL Shogunate or just ATL Sengoku era is that you need to address the concerns of Hideyoshi and Ieyasu after reunification, if you pursue unification in the first place. But after that you left with trying to make something you have few blueprints to go work with, but it's good to see someone else using a popular, but seldom used area in AH. I would always remember that you go revise or redo this. If you want to run some things past me as idea's I'm open to go listen. Also if you can, I'd recommend listen the Samurai Archives podcast if you can.

As for this chapter, I think it's a potentially unnecessary and maybe a little confusing, unless the point is to further hurt some clans. Yoshiaki was very small potatoes at this point in time, and anyone who could realistically go through the whole lets go restore the Shogun has been significantly cowed, or might not care. If Nobunaga's control is effectively Honshu give or take the North and most of Shikoku, he really has no threats. But I think the time period is taking me out of it, Yoshiaki is at this point for the period is an old man, and by 1583 Nobunaga has just managed to secure the parts of Honshu that matter and break the Chosokabe. This is saying nothing about how being Shogun was basically an exercise in towing the line or risking getting executed by the ones that have the real power, since Yoshiaki's brother Yoshiteru was killed in a coup while Yoshiaki was just sent into exile.

I'm more wondering what you plan to do with mess that is the Northeast of Japan, and possibly Kyushu more than anything else.
 
It's an ambitious undertaking, pun not intended. The problem with working off any ATL Shogunate or just ATL Sengoku era is that you need to address the concerns of Hideyoshi and Ieyasu after reunification, if you pursue unification in the first place. But after that you left with trying to make something you have few blueprints to go work with, but it's good to see someone else using a popular, but seldom used area in AH. I would always remember that you go revise or redo this. If you want to run some things past me as idea's I'm open to go listen. Also if you can, I'd recommend listen the Samurai Archives podcast if you can.

As for this chapter, I think it's a potentially unnecessary and maybe a little confusing, unless the point is to further hurt some clans. Yoshiaki was very small potatoes at this point in time, and anyone who could realistically go through the whole lets go restore the Shogun has been significantly cowed, or might not care. If Nobunaga's control is effectively Honshu give or take the North and most of Shikoku, he really has no threats. But I think the time period is taking me out of it, Yoshiaki is at this point for the period is an old man, and by 1583 Nobunaga has just managed to secure the parts of Honshu that matter and break the Chosokabe. This is saying nothing about how being Shogun was basically an exercise in towing the line or risking getting executed by the ones that have the real power, since Yoshiaki's brother Yoshiteru was killed in a coup while Yoshiaki was just sent into exile.

I'm more wondering what you plan to do with mess that is the Northeast of Japan, and possibly Kyushu more than anything else.
I wanted to cover Kii province (even though it hasn't been conquered yet although with this the Hatakeyama are completely screwed) but also cover someone like Ashikaga Yoshiaki, who not only communicated with several anti-Oda daimyo to attack him (he was mostly used as another excuse to rebel or attack) but continued to do so IOTL after Nobunaga died and it was only when Hideyoshi tried to become his adopted son to become shogun that Yoshiaki started to stop doing that and he did eventually submit after Hideyoshi became Kanpaku.

Yoshiaki's behavior is different in that the Chosokabe actually defeating the Oda in battle further empties the Kansai region of troops, creating a similar perception that similarly pushed Mitsuhide towards killing Nobunaga and Nobutada that it could be pulled off with an army because all the top generals are gone (of course Yoshiaki is not the smartest or luckiest guy similar to what happened in 1573). Also I imagine that Yoshiaki holds much much more resentment against Nobunaga as opposed to someone like Hideyoshi so there definitely is a motivation in actually attacking him.

Regarding Oshu, that's coming up very very soon.
 
Chapter 8: Daijo-daijin
Chapter 8: Daijo-daijin

After the Battle of Yamazaki, Hatakeyama Masahisa retreated back into Kii province where he hoped to rebuild his forces and defend against an impending Oda invasion. Nobunaga would put Shibata Katsuie in charge of that invasion in April 1583, with Nagaoka Fujitaka and Tsutsui Junkei acting as his deputies. His initial army of 20,000 would be supported by additional forces under the command of Nobunaga’s second son, Kitabatake Nobuoki (北畠信意) [1], who had just accepted the surrender of the sieged Koya-San (高野山).

Meanwhile, Chosokabe Nobuchika (長宗我部信親) succeeded his father as the head of the Chosokabe clan after the Battle of Takagahara and upon the return of the battered army to Tosa province would decide to surrender to Nobunaga after realizing they had no chance of victory. While the Chosokabe would be allowed to remain the lords of Tosa province, Kagawa Chikakazu was ordered to commit seppuku, his head being delivered to Azuchi as proof of final victory in Shikoku. As promised, Nobutaka would receive the province of Sanugi and become Miyoshi Yasunaga’s adopted son and heir, while Yasunaga and Sogo Nagayasu would split Awa province.

With these developments, outside of Oshu, Kii province remained the sole area outside of Nobunaga’s orbit, and unification was within his grasp. Even in Oshu, Kazumasu had been engaged in diplomatic contacts with the various northern clans to persuade them to pledge loyalty to Nobunaga and pay their respects and homage at Azuchi. Meanwhile, every daimyo from Kyushu as well as Mouri Terumoto all made the trip and paid homage and respect to Nobunaga in late 1582 and early 1583, with some including Kirishitan daimyo Omura Sumitada (大村純忠) and Arima Harunobu (有馬晴信) urged by Jesuit missionaries, with whom Nobunaga had developed an altruistic relationship with.​

1w32eGdaWzO8nhs2rSc4Ngi9UnJt2rcIh_KvQE2malF6ULFqlzIzk2ZGcHHchV_xaV6oYhqnLrnyVEhb8Od0ZYlVNAbxghmfep0vCWsjk0sJDHFD6DCxGhj2wvRUF22832Mp0xpjjApxWPtW_n_ieNd7pLSz-UQNRyHtlfXNnVdrXdv9I5juDn2mtw


Red=lands controlled by the Oda/direct Oda vassals, pink=lands controlled by autonomous allies and indirect vassals, salmon=lands controlled by autonomous allies and indirect vassals with Oda bloodline heirs, blue=non-Oda lands, green line=area under the authority of Kamakura-fu (credit to @BBadolato for updated map)​

Around this time was when Nobunaga decided to take up a matter indirectly from the imperial court. The designated liaison between the samurai and the court, the noble Kajuuji Harutoyo (勧修寺晴豊), had privately conversed with Nobunaga’s Kyoto Shoshidai (京都所司代), or magistrate Murai Sadakatsu (村井貞勝) in spring 1582. Their conversation was over the fact that Nobunaga kept refusing any imperial titles after relinquishing them all in 1578. What was agreed upon was that Nobunaga would take one of three titles: shogun (征夷大将軍), imperial regent or kanpaku (関白), or chancellor of the realm/daijo-daijin (太政大臣).

Sadakatsu presented the matter to Nobunaga a few months later but the latter dismissed the issue. However, by 1583, unification was close to reality and the transition to nation-building was already beginning. Encouraged by conversations with his closest retainers and allies like Hideyoshi, Sadakatsu, and his chief attendant Mori Naritoshi (森成利), better known as Ranmaru (蘭丸), Nobunaga decided to make a decision and adopt a title to attain total legitimacy as the supreme overlord of Japan, officially only below the emperor. Drawing upon his claimed lineage as a Oda clan member from the Heishi clan (平氏), Taira no Kiyomori (平清盛) [2], and chose to become daijo-daijin. [3] [4]

On May 5th, 1583, before Emperor Oogimachi (正親町天皇), he was bestowed the title of daijo-daijin along with the Junior 1st rank (従一位). This ceremony and its consequences are often marked as the beginning of the Azuchi period in Japanese history (安土時代) and the start of the Oda Chancellorate (織田太政府).​

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Portrait of Nobunaga as daijo-daijin​

[1] Previous name of Oda Nobukatsu (織田信雄)

[2] Taira no Kiyomori became daijo-daiji in 1167 and grew his power as a samurai leader through both military power and internal court intrigue and politics.

[3] The title of shogun is heavily associated even back then with the Genji lineage, as demonstrated by Hideyoshi attempting to become Ashikaga Yoshiaki’s adopted son and become shogun and Ieyasu claiming lineage from the Genji himself when trying to become shogun. Similarly, the imperial regency was exclusive to the Sekke (摂家), or the 5 most noble branches of the Fujiwara clan, and Hideyoshi actually became the adopted son of Konoe Sakihisa (近衛前久). Therefore, to some extent, Daijo-daijin is seen as the highest position a member of the Heishi could attain.

[4] It’s entirely possible that Nobunaga could’ve picked whatever title he wanted but 1. since this wasn’t an official offer, that’s not a guarantee 2. Individuals like Ieyasu or even Mitsuhide who were descended from the Genji could challenge Nobunaga’s or a future Oda member’s legitimacy.​
 
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Chapter 8: Daijo-daijin

After the Battle of Yamazaki, Hatakeyama Masahisa retreated back into Kii province where he hoped to rebuild his forces and defend against an impending Oda invasion. Nobunaga would put Shibata Katsuie in charge of that invasion in April 1583, with Hosokawa Fujitaka and Tsutsui Junkei acting as his deputies. His initial army of 20,000 would be supported by additional forces under the command of Nobunaga’s second son, Kitabatake Nobuoki (北畠信意) [1], who had just accepted the surrender of the sieged Koya-San (高野山).

Meanwhile, Chosokabe Nobuchika (長宗我部信親) succeeded his father as the head of the Chosokabe clan after the Battle of Takagahara and upon the return of the battered army to Tosa province would decide to surrender to Nobunaga after realizing they had no chance of victory. While the Chosokabe would be allowed to remain the lords of Tosa province, Kagawa Chikakazu was ordered to commit seppuku, his head being delivered to Azuchi as proof of final victory in Shikoku. As promised, Nobutaka would receive the province of Sanugi and become Miyoshi Yasunaga’s adopted son and heir, while Yasunaga and Sogo Nagayasu would split Awa province.

With these developments, outside of Oshu, Kii province remained the sole area outside of Nobunaga’s orbit, and unification was within his grasp. Even in Oshu, Kazumasu had been engaged in diplomatic contacts with the various northern clans to persuade them to pledge loyalty to Nobunaga and pay their respects and homage at Azuchi. Meanwhile, every daimyo from Kyushu as well as Mouri Terumoto all made the trip and paid homage and respect to Nobunaga in late 1582 and early 1583, with some including Kirishitan daimyo Omura Sumitada (大村純忠) and Arima Harunobu (有馬晴信) urged by Jesuit missionaries, with whom Nobunaga had developed an altruistic relationship with.​

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Red=lands controlled by the Oda/direct Oda vassals, pink=lands controlled by autonomous allies and indirect vassals, salmon=lands controlled by autonomous allies and indirect vassals with Oda bloodline heirs, blue=non-Oda lands, green line=area under the authority of Kamakura-fu​

Around this time was when Nobunaga decided to take up a matter indirectly from the imperial court. The designated liaison between the samurai and the court, the noble Kajuuji Harutoyo (勧修寺晴豊), had privately conversed with Nobunaga’s Kyoto magistrate Murai Sadakatsu (村井貞勝) in spring 1582. Their conversation was over the fact that Nobunaga kept refusing any imperial titles after relinquishing them all in 1578. What was agreed upon was that Nobunaga would take one of three titles: shogun (征夷大将軍), imperial regent or kanpaku (関白), or chancellor of the realm/daijo-daijin (太政大臣).

Sadakatsu presented the matter to Nobunaga a few months later but the latter dismissed the issue. However, by 1583, unification was close to reality and the transition to nation-building was already beginning. Encouraged by conversations with his closest retainers and allies like Hideyoshi, Sadakatsu, and his chief attendant Mori Naritoshi (森成利), better known as Ranmaru (蘭丸), Nobunaga decided to make a decision and adopt a title to attain total legitimacy as the supreme overlord of Japan, officially only below the emperor. Drawing upon his claimed lineage as a Oda clan member from the Heishi clan (平氏), Taira no Kiyomori (平清盛) [2], and chose to become daijo-daijin. [3] [4]

On May 5th, 1583, before Emperor Oogimachi (正親町天皇), he was bestowed the title of daijo-daijin along with the Junior 1st rank (従一位). This ceremony and its consequences are often marked as the beginning of the Azuchi period in Japanese history (安土時代) and the start of the Oda Chancellorate (織田太政府).​

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Portrait of Nobunaga as daijo-daijin​

[1] Previous name of Oda Nobukatsu (織田信雄)

[2] Taira no Kiyomori became daijo-daiji in 1167 and grew his power as a samurai leader through both military power and internal court intrigue and politics.

[3] The title of shogun is heavily associated even back then with the Genji lineage, as demonstrated by Hideyoshi attempting to become Ashikaga Yoshiaki’s adopted son and become shogun and Ieyasu claiming lineage from the Genji himself when trying to become shogun. Similarly, the imperial regency was exclusive to the Sekke (摂家), or the 5 most noble branches of the Fujiwara clan, and Hideyoshi actually became the adopted son of Konoe Sakihisa (近衛前久). Therefore, to some extent, Daijo-daijin is seen as the highest position a member of the Heishi could attain.

[4] It’s entirely possible that Nobunaga could’ve picked whatever title he wanted but 1. since this wasn’t an official offer, that’s not a guarantee 2. Individuals like Ieyasu or even Mitsuhide who were descended from the Genji could challenge Nobunaga’s or a future Oda member’s legitimacy.​

Nice map, especially because splitting Dewa and Mutsu was tough in my own experience. Although considering the power players of 68/E and 67/F probably being the same clan you could have kept a truncated Mutsu and Dewa instead of divisions that small. I do have a criticism with Hokkaido. Only Oshima or H would have been under Japanese control (minor control as well as this point time too) and that was by a member of the Kakizaki or later on known as the Matsumae clan. If this is just a found map you can always go and make corrections with an image editing software, but map making can be something of a pain depending on the need for changes, but it allows you present accurate information.

So the Oda are not Shoguns. However the full extent of the Kamakura-fu looks problematic enough if things hit the fan to be some kind of power base. Although since Nobunaga has both legitimacy and plenty of heirs, nothing idiotic like the invasion of Korea is going to happen is it, because I kind of question those who think it was Nobunaga's idea in the first place.
 
Chapter 9: Tenka Touitsu At Last!!
Chapter 9: Tenka Touitsu At Last!!

Nobunaga’s accession to the chancellorship was followed by Nobutada being bestowed the Junior 2nd rank and the position of Gon-Dainagon, or major councilor (従二位権大納言), strengthening his power and legitimacy as Nobunaga’s heir and the head of the Oda clan.​

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Ceremonial portrait of Oda Nobutada
Using his newfound title, Nobunaga decided to command all remaining independent daimyo to submit to him. This action being especially directed towards the Oshu clans, the daijo-daijin would make a trip to Kamakura and strengthen his hold in the East. Accompanying him would be the forces of Ikeda Tsuneoki, Akechi Mitsuhide, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and Maeda Toshiie along with his personal retinue. Among his retinue was his steadfast African bodyguard, Yasuke (弥助), who led his lord’s advance guard and grabbed much attention with his huge stature.

Nobunaga arrived in Kamakura in late July after spending some time viewing Mt. Fuji (富士山), being immediately greeted by the Kanto daimyo as well as Takigawa Kazumasu and Oda Nagatoshi. Then came a stream of Oshu daimyo. In addition to Date Terumune and Ashina Moritaka, who had already paid homage to Nagatoshi and Kazumasu and had also supported Shibata Shigeie against the Uesugi, notable lords included Mogami Yoshimori (最上義守) and Onodera Yoshimichi (小野寺義道) of Dewa province (出羽国), Nanbu Nobunao (南部信直) and Ooura Tamenobu (大浦為信) of Mutsu province (陸奥国), Honma Yasutaka (本間泰高) from Sado province (佐渡国), and Kakizaki Suehiro (蠣崎季広) from the far north on the Oshima Peninsula (渡島半島) on the northern island of Ezo (蝦夷). Suehiro, in particular, caught the attention of Nobunaga who told him of the unexplored, untapped lands further north inhabited by the Ainu people and presented to him furs and other goods from his own territory and commercial profits. Interested similarly to how he was with stories and gifts from Portuguese merchants and Jesuit missionaries, the daijo-daijin would send a party led by his close vassal Mouri Yoshikatsu (毛利良勝) [1] to visit Suehiro’s lands and compile a detailed report on Ezo.

Only a few lords in the Oshu region, notably Hienuki Hirotada (稗貫広忠) and Waga Yoshitada (和賀義忠), would refuse to pay any respects or homage to Nobunaga. In response, Kazumasu and Toshiie would be charged with marching north and subjugating their lands. The duo and any other holdouts would either surrender or be defeated by mid-1584.

On the battlefield, meanwhile Nobunaga’s newfound legitimacy demoralized the Hatakeyama clan, with many of their vassals switching sides. This would bring a surprisingly quick end to the Kishu (紀州) campaign [2], with Masahisa committing seppuku and the remaining clan dispossessed of all of their lands. With this, only the Hosokawa clan (as the Nagaoka clan) survived with any power among the three “Kanrei clans” who had monopolized the Kanrei position under the Ashikaga Shogunate.

Nobunaga would return to Azuchi by the end of 1583, with one final daimyo, Sou Yoshishige (宗義調) of Tsushima (津島). Within a couple months, all of Japan was Nobunaga’s. He had done it: Japan was united once again, under the hegemony of the Oda clan.

[1] This is the Mouri Shinsuke that 23 years ago took out Imagawa Yoshimoto at the Battle of Okehazama.

[2] Kishu is an alternate name for Kii province.​
 
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Nice map, especially because splitting Dewa and Mutsu was tough in my own experience. Although considering the power players of 68/E and 67/F probably being the same clan you could have kept a truncated Mutsu and Dewa instead of divisions that small. I do have a criticism with Hokkaido. Only Oshima or H would have been under Japanese control (minor control as well as this point time too) and that was by a member of the Kakizaki or later on known as the Matsumae clan. If this is just a found map you can always go and make corrections with an image editing software, but map making can be something of a pain depending on the need for changes, but it allows you present accurate information.

So the Oda are not Shoguns. However the full extent of the Kamakura-fu looks problematic enough if things hit the fan to be some kind of power base. Although since Nobunaga has both legitimacy and plenty of heirs, nothing idiotic like the invasion of Korea is going to happen is it, because I kind of question those who think it was Nobunaga's idea in the first place.
Yeah Nobunaga has 12 sons at this point in addition to 4 living brothers, 6 nephews, 4 grandsons, and 2 great-nephews, it's gonna be almost impossible to wipe out the Oda clan lmao. If anything, having so many Oda clan members could lead to other issues down the line.
 
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Speaking of maps, you've showed a map of the Oda holdings, vassals and enemies. However, will you show a full map of which Clan controls which provinces? If I recall so far:
  • The main Oda Clan controls the entire Kansai and Chubo region as Daijo-daijin, with other family members in Chugoku and a Kamakura-Fu in Kanto
  • The Ashikaga Clan is wiped out
  • The Mouri controls half of Western Chugoku, while Izumo is divided between the Oda and Amago Clan
  • The Tokugawa controls Mikawa, Suruga, and Tootoumi provinces
  • The Ryozoji Clan, Omura Clan and Arima Clan divides Hizen
  • Echigo is divided between clans such as the Shibata and Nagao, and other minor ones.
  • Awa province is divided between the Miyoshi Clan and Sogo Clan
  • The Chosokabe still controls Tosa
  • The Later Hojo controls the Sagami, Izu and Musashi
  • The Ukita controls Bitchu and Bingo
  • Mimasaka is divided between the Kuroda Clan and Hachisuka Clan
  • Takigawa Kazumasu controls the provinces of Kai and Shinano, a bit of Echigo.
  • Utsunomiya clan controls Shimotsuke province
  • Satake clan controls Hitachi province
  • Hatakeyama Clan still controls Kii Province
  • Ashina Clan and Date Clan divides Southern Mutsu province
  • The Mogami Clan and Onodera Yoshimichi divides of Dewa province
  • Nanbu Clan and Ooura Tamenobu (OTL Tsugaru Clan) divides Northern Mutsu province
  • Honma Clan retains Sado province
  • Kakizaki Clan (OTL Matsumae Clan) controls Ezo
So that's what I got so far, though I feel like I'm missing a few like the Hosokawa, Maeda, Otomo, Akechi, Hashiba, etc, or a few wrong.
 
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Also, this question is a bit minor in the grand scheme of things, but it has to do with Odo Nobutada. What happens to Matsuhime, Takeda Shigen's daughter, who was betrothed to Oda Nobutada, but was called off due to Takeda Shingen's march West. Reading about her, she was considered unusual at the time as she was genuinely devoted to Nobutada Oda, despite them having only spoken through letters. She was actually on her way to meet Nobutada... then the Honnō-ji Incident happened. And since the Honnō-ji Incident never happened in this timeline, does that mean Matsuhime is with Oda Nobutada?
 
Speaking of maps, you've showed a map of the Oda holdings, vassals and enemies. However, will you show a full map of which Clan controls which provinces? If I recall so far:
  • The main Oda Clan controls the entire Kansai and Chubo region as Daijo-daijin, with other family members in Chugoku and a Kamakura-Fu in Kanto
  • The Ashikaga Clan is wiped out
  • The Mouri controls half of Western Chugoku, while Izumo is divided between the Oda and Amago Clan
  • The Tokugawa controls Mikawa, Suruga, and Tootoumi provinces
  • The Ryozoji Clan, Omura Clan and Arima Clan divides Hizen
  • Echigo is divided between clans such as the Shibata and Nagao, and other minor ones.
  • Awa province is divided between the Miyoshi Clan and Sogo Clan
  • The Chosokabe still controls Tosa
  • The Later Hojo controls the Sagami, Izu and Musashi
  • The Ukita controls Bitchu and Bingo
  • Mimasaka is divided between the Kuroda Clan and Hachisuka Clan
  • Takigawa Kazumasu controls the provinces of Kai and Shinano, a bit of Echigo.
  • Utsunomiya clan controls Shimotsuke province
  • Satake clan controls Hitachi province
  • Hatakeyama Clan still controls Kii Province
  • Ashina Clan and Date Clan divides Southern Mutsu province
  • The Mogami Clan and Onodera Yoshimichi divides of Dewa province
  • Nanbu Clan and Ooura Tamenobu (OTL Tsugaru Clan) divides Northern Mutsu province
  • Honma Clan retains Sado province
  • Kakizaki Clan (OTL Matsumae Clan) controls Ezo
So that's what I got so far, though I feel like I'm missing a few like the Hosokawa, Maeda, Otomo, Akechi, Hashiba, etc, or a few wrong.
Definitely will, althought it'll be out after a couple updates after covering the early political developments of the new Oda regime.
Also, this question is a bit minor in the grand scheme of things, but it has to do with Odo Nobutada. What happens to Matsuhime, Takeda Shigen's daughter, who was betrothed to Oda Nobutada, but was called off due to Takeda Shingen's march West. Reading about her, she was considered unusual at the time as she was genuinely devoted to Nobutada Oda, despite them having only spoken through letters. She was actually on her way to meet Nobutada... then the Honnō-ji Incident happened. And since the Honnō-ji Incident never happened in this timeline, does that mean Matsuhime is with Oda Nobutada?
Matsuhime is in Gifu Castle with Nobutada currently (Nobutada in 1576 had actually become the head of the Oda clan to manage Oda lands in Mino and Owari provinces) although nothing much has happened beyond that since Nobutada had been busy with campaigns.
 
Chapter 10: A New Government
Chapter 10: A New Government

Nobunaga had taken the first steps towards building a new political structure not only through his governance of his own lands but more recently with his acceptance of the daijo-daijin title and a formal establishment of a Daijo-fu. After the Kamakura visit, however, he would take significant strides in establishing a new central authority based out of Azuchi.

He would first disband the regional army divisions utilized during the unification process to prevent a vassal from maintaining a high degree of military power. In return, he would bestow the junior 3rd rank and associate counselor (従三位参議) positions to the 5 major generals of the previous regional armies: Akechi Mitsuhide, Hashiba Hideyoshi, Niwa Nagahide, Shibata Katsuie, and Takigawa Kazumasu. This began a tradition of the titles being given to the 5 most important Oda retainers who would directly participate in government as councilors. Furthermore, Nobunaga would make it clear that these titles were not hereditary and rather based on both merit and seniority, particularly the former. Mitsuhide’s and Hideyoshi’s presence especially emphasized the fact, as the former was a former retainer of Ashikaga Yoshiaki while the latter, originally a peasant, started his service to Nobunaga as his sandal-bearer.​

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From left to right: top (Akechi Mitsuhide, Hashiba Hideyoshi, Niwa Nagahide), bottom (Takigawa Kazumasu, Shibata Katsuie)​

Another way Nobunaga would suppress the chances of rebellion, especially among non-Oda daimyo, would be to standardize the practice of holding hostages in Azuchi and require all daimyo to maintain a residence in the city. Daimyo under the authority of the Kamakura-fu would be imposed similar conditions in Kamakura, although they would still be required to annually pay homage in Azuchi. Nobunaga would, however, also appoint lords outside direct Oda suzerainty as councilors to better establish governance across all regions of Japan. 5 would be designated : Tokugawa Ieyasu, Otomo Sourin, Date Terumune, Miyoshi Yasunaga, and Mouri Terumoto.​

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From left to right: top (Date Terumune, Otomo Sourin), bottom (Tokugawa Ieyasu, Miyoshi Yasunaga, Mouri Terumoto)​

Nobutada along with his younger brother Nobuoki and Kajuuji Harutoyo would round out the 10 previously mentioned names, establishing a total of 13 inaugural members of Nobunaga’s council.

Nobunaga would also appoint magistrates in major ports and cities beyond those already administered directly by the Oda clan like Sakai, Gifu, and Kyoto in order to better monitor and regulate economic activities and direct regional and national commercial interests. In cities like Yamaguchi that were previously under the complete control of the local daimyo, the lords were able to retain some level of authority as well as their revenue and profits. The increased nationalization of trade and commerce would be but the first step towards Nobunaga’s greater goal of increasing the realm’s mercantile and maritime power abroad.

Finally, Nobunaga would decree a national katanakari (刀狩) or sword hunt, in order to confiscate swords, arquebuses, and other weapons from commoners and would subsequently ban the possession of said weapons among non-samurai, although short swords, or wakizashi (脇差) were only lightly regulated under these new changes. In tandem with the katanakari, Nobunaga would announce a land survey decree (検地令) for the purposes of recording estimated crop yields and standardize measurements across the entire realm. The process would take around 9 years to compile and record. [1]

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Later depiction of Nobunaga's decreed land survey
Nagatoshi, who had been granted the junior 3rd rank and the middle palace commander of the left (従三位左兵衛督) [2], would enact similar decrees and political reforms in the Kanto region with the administrative support and backing of Takigawa Kazumasu, and those efforts would play a significant role in revitalizing Kamakura as the center of economic and political power in the Kanto region.

[1]: Happened under Hideyoshi IOTL

[2]: Previous imperial titles held by Kamkura kubo during the Muromachi period​
 
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Chapter 11: Red Seals and Iron Plates
Chapter 11: Red Seals and Iron Plates

In 1584, Nobunaga introduced a “red seal” system where the central government in Azuchi would issue red-sealed permits to merchants and certain daimyo as licenses for foreign trade. Under this system, Nobunaga could not only control who was trading with whom overseas but also implement measures better targeted at protecting said trade from competing commercial interests. Red seals also served to regulate the presence of non-Japanese merchants in the country, particularly Europeans. In practice, the Oda regime under Nobunaga’s direction issued red seal permits pretty liberally, especially in major ports and harbors under the jurisdiction of an Oda-appointed magistrate, allowing trade between Japan and markets in Southeast Asia, Korea, and beyond to explode in volume and profit even more than where it already was headed.​

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17th century red seal permit
In the long term, it would have significant effects both within the realm and overseas. Many feudal lords who either lacked a red seal or were inland and therefore had no access to the sea would overtime put resources and energy into developing goods, natural exports, and even local industry as well as interior trading networks to tap into the expanding trade over the next few decades. Meanwhile, the rapid commercial expansion saw an influx of not only many foreigners on Japanese soil but even more Japanese on foreign soil, especially unemployed samurai, many of whom had been displaced by the Oda themselves. Seeing opportunity, they would leave and within 10-15 years, Japanese enclaves slowly emerged in major ports from modern day Bireitou (美麗島) [1] to Ayutthaya while Japanese samurai mercenaries abounded in foreign armies.

At the same time, Nobunaga would also create the foundation of the Japanese navy through the transition of the Oda feudal navy to a specialized and professional institution under Azuchi with nominal jurisdiction throughout the realm in order to safeguard Japan’s growing commercial and maritime interests. In addition to the centuries-old wakou (倭寇) pirates that abounded throughout the seas albeit in declining numbers, independent navies like the Murakami navy had emerged as their own political entities, patrolling inland seas while receiving revenue from trade and tolls that historically even powerful clans like the Ouchi clan (大内氏) had paid.

These autonomous maritime powers were a barrier to an Oda-regulated trade system, so Nobunaga would institute both the Naval Authority Decree (水軍権限令) and the Piracy Stoppage Decree (海賊停止令). The former officially appointed Kuki Yoshitaka as the chief admiral of the new Azuchi navy and gave it the authority to enforce regulations and decrees overseas, patrol shores and coastal waters, and guard ships and ports while the latter not only officially banned piracy but also legally disbanded all independent navies. Chiefly, however, the latter did provide the ability for pirates and independent navies to join and merge into the newly bolstered Azuchi navy. With Yoshitaka, himself formerly a leader of an independent navy and later nicknamed the “Pirate Daimyo”, providing much credibility to the new navy, almost all existing navies opted to merge into the Azuchi navy. Therefore, at the outset, Nobunaga’s new maritime military force was filled with experienced sailors, samurai, and ex-pirates.​

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Ceremonial portrait of Kuki Yoshitaka​

Yoshitaka, under the direction of Nobunaga, would expand the construction of “iron ships”, or Tekkou-sen (鉄甲船), iron-plated ships armed with cannons and built with holes to incorporate masses of arquebusiers and rapidly replace older ships with little use beyond being wooden fortresses that mainly saw boarding action and hand-to-hand combat. Tekkou-sen were successfully used, however, at the 2nd Battle of the Mouth of Kizugawa River (第二次木津川口の戦い) in 1578 against the Mouri navy, and afterwards Nobunaga desired their greater usage. Additionally, Yoshitaka would also assign some of his deputies to the study of Portuguese ships and in the long run would even have non-Japanese advisors on naval strategy, training, and composition.

These developments, helped by Nobunaga’s interest in commercial and maritime expansion and Azuchi’s jurisdiction over most major ports, would significantly increase Japanese power overseas and even contribute to domestic economic growth and prosperity in the long term.​

[1] ITTL’s modern day name of Taiwan, similar meaning as Formosa in Portuguese
 
Chapter 12: The 1585 Northern Expedition
Chapter 12: The 1585 Northern Expedition

Towards the end of 1584, Mouri Yoshikatsu would return from the Kakizaki clan’s lands in Ezo and present Nobunaga with a report on his findings, from the Ainu people the Kakizaki clan interacted with politically and economically to the harsh winter climate of the region. In particular, Yoshikatsu had extensively written about the topography and natural resources of the island, as Yoshikatsu had made a few exploratory ventures into Ezo’s forests and valleys with no Japanese presence.

Fascinated by the findings, the following year Nobunaga would send an expedition to Ezo led by Yoshikatsu once again, this time to explore the northern interior of the island. He would be accompanied by a bigger entourage with the notable inclusion of Mori “Boumaru” (坊丸) Nagataka (森長隆), Ranmaru’s younger brother, and Date Terumune’s son Masamune (伊達政宗). This group would also deliver a letter to Kakizaki Yoshihiro (蠣崎慶広) that requested additional men and supplies for the expedition.

The expedition arrived in May 1585 at Oshima Peninsula and would be subsequently reinforced and resupplied before departing into the unknown. Notably, Yoshihiro assigned Ainu-speaking interpreters to the entourage to allow communication with the various Ainu tribes. The expedition initially pushed through the entire southern peninsula before arriving at Mt. Youtei (羊蹄山), with several members remarking at the mountain’s similarity with Mt. Fuji. The expedition then pushed through west until they arrived at the Kushiro Marsh (釧路湿原), where they witnessed the beautiful red-crowned crane for the first time. Throughout the journey, they also took note of the lifestyle of the Ainu tribes and villages they came across as well as the vast natural resources, flora, and fauna of the region. The entourage also notably would bring back a brown bear skin and a preserved bear skull as well as a collection of red-crowned crane feathers and gifts from the Ainu villages including clothes, tools, and crafts. On the way back, they hugged the southern coast as it became colder, although they would avoid the worst as they would return to Kakizaki lands by winter, losing only a few men.​

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Kushiro Marsh​

The expedition would return to Azuchi in 1586 and Yoshikatsu would subsequently submit his findings. Nobunaga, enthralled by the results of the expedition, would once more Yoshikatsu back to Ezo, this time with instructions to revitalize the abandoned port of Hakodate (箱館) as its new magistrate and utilize it as the Oda’s primary gateway to the far north. He would also encourage the Kakizaki clan to increase its contact with the Ainu people further north and make greater headways in terms of trade and development.​
 
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