|Battle of Okehazama|
Battle of Okehazama
|Conflict: Campaigns of Oda Nobunaga|
|Place: Okehazama, Owari Province|
|Outcome: Oda victory|
|Oda Clan|| Imagawa Clan|
|Oda Nobunaga|| Imagawa Yoshimoto†|
|few||Total force killed, wounded, or captured|
Oda Nobuhide went to war with the Imagawa Clan of Suruga Province in 1545, allied to the Matsudaira Clan. His son Oda Nobunaga continued his campaigns, first asserting control over the clan before making a decisive move. Imagawa marched on Kyoto with 40,000 soldiers
Nobunaga sent his cavalry under command of Toshiie Maeda to eliminate the Imagawa pickets, while his general Toyotomi Hideyoshi advanced to raid the enemy main camp. Though Toshiie doubted that 2,000 men could prevail over 40,000, he stuck to the plan and annihilated the cavalry advance unit. Nobunaga began his advance shortly after, defeating the main guard of Ii Naomori and killing him. Meanwhile, Hideyoshi entered the main camp, vacant and gates open. Imagawa Yoshimoto was dumbfounded and began to flee. Shibata Katsuie gave chase, while Hideyoshi headed to attack the Matsudaira army led by Takechiyo. Takechiyo refused to surrender, saying that he owed a life debt to the Imagawa, and the two began battle. Takechiyo's commander Honda Tadakatsu refused to let Yoshimoto flee into the Tokugawa camp, and was trapped. Nobunaga caught up to the enemy commander, and one of his samurai killed him. Rumored to be seen as one of his own men, Yoshimoto allegedly had no idea that he was under attack and was beheaded. After his lord's death, Takechiyo surrendered to the Oda army and became a general.
Imagawa Ujizane took control of the shattered Imagawa Clan, though in effect defeated. He played no role in the rest of the Sengoku period. Meanwhile, Oda Nobunaga continued his conquests with Takechiyo (renamed Tokugawa Ieyasu) under his protection. Nobunaga invaded the Saito Clan in 1567, followed with several other victories. Okehazama was just the beginning of Nobunaga's great battles.