The battle of Okehazama occurred in 1560 is a battle that Oda Nobunaga and his army smashed Imagawa Yoshimoto’s much larger force, made know the name all over Japan. It opened Nobunaga’s first step towards the goal of national unification. This battle should be especially mentioned in Japanese history.
Imagawa Yoshimoto with 25,000 samurai warriors had invaded Owari (modern-day western Aichi Prefecture). In May 19th, Yoshimoto began a military advance toward Odaka Castle. He entered his main camp at the Okehazamayama en route to Odaka Castle. While he took a rest, Yoshimoto received reports such as Matudaira Motoyasu’s attack against fortresses that morning.
Meanwhile, Oda Nobunaga had learned that two of his forts had come under attack. After Nobnaga who got to know the attack to one of his forts, he immediately departed in a hurry Kiyosu castle.
After he prayed for victory in Atsuta Jingu Shrine, Nobunaga entered the Zenshoji Fortress around 10am.
Nobunaga led about 2000 samurai toward the Imagawa Yoshimoto’s commands post. They went through mountains and valleys in a sudden rainstorm, finally arrived at the foot of Okehazamayama.
Nobunaga waited for the best offensive opportunity.
When the storm cleared, Nobunaga raised his spear and in a loud voice commanded the attack to begin.
The Imagawa’s army is flustered by the sudden attack and Yoshimoto had no choice to begin retreat. They were driven into Dengakutubo where the Okehazama Battlefield Park now stands.
Although Yoshimoto fought bravely, Mouri Shinsuke took Yoshimoto’ head. Many of Imagawa’s samurai tripped over in deep paddy fields. Imagawa’s army were almost completely defeated and retreated from Okehazama.
Nobunaga gave a shout of triumph.
Before he was returning to Kiyosu Castle, Nobunaga ordered the Okehazama villagers to dig graves and offer memorial services for the war dead.