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Fourth Siege of Odani

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In the 4th battle of Odani, Oda Nobunaga had decided to try to finish Asai Nagamasa in one blow, leading a large army of somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 men to the castle. This was also to be the first battle his son and heir, Nobutada, took part in. Hideyoshi and many other well-known Oda generals were also present. The first Oda attack Nagamasa's outer defenses were breached and Nagamasa's own residence went up in flames. Further Oda efforts stalled, however, (thanks in part to the staunch resistance of Atsuji Sadahide, Odani's garrison commander) and in the meantime Asakura Yoshikage had led some 20,000 men down from Echizen and took up at Otake castle, somewhat north of Odani. Nobunaga sent Yoshikage a challenge to battle and a fight between Oda and Asakura ashigaru developed. In the course of the contest, a certain Asakura warrior named Nagasaki Daijo, a master bowman, rode in the direction of Nobunaga's headquarters, determined to put an arrow in Nobunaga. He was unable to get in range, however, due to Oda spearmen. While this battle was inconclusive, it finished in favor of the Asakura.

A few weeks later, a retainer of Asakura Kagemori named Takeuchi Sannosuke led a group of men under cover of a rain storm into the Oda camp and set a number of fires (how they managed this in a storm isn't explained) and generally created chaos. In the confusion, the Oda warriors began fighting with one another and all told around 700 men were killed in this manner. A great opportunity existed for the Asai and Asakura to follow up the fiasco in the Oda camp; unfortunately, Yoshikage hesitated and did not move (leaving Nagamasa with little choice but to sit tight). Nobunaga soon after departed the field.

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