- Saitō clan
The nihongo|Saitō clan|斎藤氏|Saitō-shi was a Japanese clan in
Mino Province(present-day Gifu Prefecture) during the Sengoku periodin the 16th century. According to records, the Saitō clan descended from the Fujiwara clan. Throughout the earlier years of the Sengoku period, the Saitō clan ruled as one of the most powerful clans in Japan.
Clan under Dōsan
A man by the name of
Saitō Dōsan(referred to by many as a serpent) was the powerful daimyo(feudal lord) of the whole province of Mino. One opposing daimyo, known as Oda Nobuhide(who ruled the Oda clan) wished to take Dōsan's land, but had much trouble doing so because he suffered from internal struggles within his own clan. Nobuhide was eventually defeated by Dōsan, leading Nobuhide to suggest an alliance between the two clans. This alliance was formed through his son, Oda Nobunaga(one of three Unifiers of Japan later on), marrying Dōsan's daughter, Nōhime. Throughout their alliance, they would mainly face off against the Imagawa clanof Mikawa Province.
Clan under Yoshitatsu
1555, Saitō Dōsan chose one of his sons to become his heir, excluding Saitō Yoshitatsu. Saitō Yoshitatsu soon became very lustful for power, to the extent that he would kill both of his brothers and attempt to kill Dōsan to take the throne. This immaturity on Yoshitatsu's part was somewhat fueled by the fact that Dōsan had not liked Yoshitatsu as his favorite son, causing more jealousy amongst him. Following the year of 1556, Yoshitatsu defeated and killed Dōsan following the Battle of Nagaragawa, effectively declaring himself the head of the Saitō clan.
Clan under Tatsuoki
Following the death of Oda Nobuhide during the year of
1551, Nobunaga would take the seat as the head of the Oda, in which he also attempted in his assistance of Saitō Dōsan when Yoshitatsu fought at Nagara River. After the Imagawa suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Okehazamaduring the year of 1560, Yoshitatsu himself was destined to die a year later. Following Yoshitatsu's death, Saitō Tatsuokitook the throne as the head of the Saitō, and elaborated well on his ineptitude. Nobunaga soon took this chance of the major loss in power in the Saitō to attack them. Nobunaga started by moving his base to the province of Mino and secretly conspire with many Saitō retainers to abandon their lord. This strategy was effectively put into place following the year of 1567, when Tatsuoki suffered the loss of Inabayama Castle (in which he was in at the time) and many of his retainers. He suffered in exile. This effectively spelled the death of the Saitō clan.
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