Nobunaga Oda was a powerful daimyo, or feudal lord, during the Warring States period of Japanese history. During his reign as the leader of the Oda clan, he made great strides in attempting to unify all of Japan under his rule. His forces annihilated other great clans of the era including the Imagawa and Takeda, and these successes brought a large portion of the nation under his control.
Although Nobunaga led an overwhelmingly successful military campaign during his lifetime, he was betrayed by one of his officers, Mitsuhide Akechi, who staged a military coup in June of 1582. Nobunaga was surrounded at Honno-ji, a temple in Kyoto where he had stopped to rest, and Mitsuhide's forces set the temple aflame. With no other alternative, Nobunaga committed suicide. The Oda officer Hideyoshi Toyotomi avenged Nobunaga by defeating Akechi at Yamazaki, and then assumed control of Nobunaga's legacy. Hideyoshi successfully united the remaining lands under his rule thanks largely to Nobunaga's efforts.
In Video Games
Because of his pivotal role in Japanese history, Nobunaga appears in many video games set during Japan's Warring States era. Some games such as the Onimusha or Samurai Warriors franchises characterize him as a cruel and demonic villain. However, other games such as the Nobunaga's Ambition series and Kessen III have portrayed him and his deeds in a more historically accurate or even romantic light.