The Oda clan originated from Owari Province, but Nobusada was born in 1574 when his father, Oda Nobunaga, resided in Gifu Castle in Mino Province. Later, while serving Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Nobusada received a small fief in Ōmi Province.
Lifespan: Tenshō 2 (1574) to 6/6 of Kanei 1 (1624)
Title: Junior Fifth Rank (Lower), Assistant Master of the Eastern Capital Office
Lord: Toyotomi Hideyoshi → Tokugawa Ieyasu → Tokugawa Hidetada
Father: Oda Nobunaga
Mother: Hijikata-shi (daughter of Hijikata Katsuhisa) (?)
Siblings: Nobutada, Nobukatsu (Kitabatake Tomotoyo), Nobutaka, Hashiba Hidekatsu, Katsunaga (Nobufusa), Nobuhide, Nobutaka, Nobuyoshi, Nobusada, Nobuyoshi, Nagatsugu, Nobumasa, others
Children: Nobutsugu, Sadaoki, daughter (wife of Oda Shigeharu, later (after separation), wife of Mibu Tadatoshi), daughter (wife of Sasaji Masatoki)
Oda Nobusada served as a bushō during the Azuchi-Momoyama period and hatamoto, or a direct retainer of the shōgun, during the early Edo period. He had the common names of Tōshirō and Utanosuke.
In 1574, Nobusada was born as the ninth son of Oda Nobunaga and a consort named Hijikata-shi. According to one source, Hijikata-shi was the daughter of Hijikata Katsuhisa, a bushō and daimyō who originally served under Oda Nobukatsu in Owari Province. Katsuhisa, however, was born in 1553, which is inconsistent with her giving birth to Nobusada in 1574. Based on another account, she was the daughter of an individual with the Aoyama surname.
On 6/2 of Tenshō 10 (1582), his father, Nobunaga, unexpectedly died in a coup d’état known as the Honnō Temple Incident. Thereafter, Nobusada was raised by Haibara Nagahisa (Kaga-no-kami). After the death of Nobunaga, Nagahisa served Oda Nobukatsu (Nobunaga’s second son).
After maturing, Nobusada served as an umamawari, or member of the cavalry, for Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He received landholdings of 1,000 koku in the Kanzaki and Gamō districts of Ōmi Province. Nobusada was conferred the titles of Junior Fifth Rank (Lower) and Assistant Master of the Eastern Capital Office.
In 1600, at the Battle of Sekigahara, Nobusada joined the Western Army and participated in the Siege of Fushimi Castle. Owing to the defeat of the Western Army, he was removed from his position.
In one account, together with his older brother, Oda Nobutaka, Nobusada hastened to join the Eastern Army, but did not arrive on time, so, after the war, he met with Tokugawa Ieyasu during the victorious march of his army on the road in Mino. At this time, in deference to the fact that he was the son of Oda Nobunaga, his life was spared.
Later, Nobusada was engaged to serve Ieyasu and granted temple lands to support himself. From 1614, Nobusada served in the Tokugawa forces at the Siege of Ōsaka.
In 1624, Nobusada died at the age of fifty-one.
He was buried at the Jōgyō Temple in the Higashiyama ward of Kyōto. In 1914, that temple merged with the Kuon Temple and was renamed the Jōgyōyama-Myōyū-Kuon Temple. His grave is also at the family temple of the Oda family at the Sōken sub-temple at the Daitoku Temple in Kyōto.
Nobusada’s wife was the daughter of Nobunaga’s younger sister and Tsuda Motoyoshi such that he wed his cousin. He was succeeded by his second son, Oda Sadaoki. His eldest son, Oda Nobutsugu, was of frail health, so did not inherit the clan, but Nobutsugu’s son, Oda Sadamoto, was adopted by Sadaoki and served as a retainer of the Owari domain. Sadaoki inherited the Yūraku school of the sadō, or tea ceremony, from his uncle, Oda Yūrakusai (Nagamasu). He became well-known with many disciples including Sadamoto (Bishū-Yūraku school). He had two daughters. One wed Oda Shigeharu and the other wed Sasaji Daizen. Their descendants served as kōke-hatamoto, or retainers responsible for conducting ceremonies for the Tokugawa shōgun family. The members of cadet families also served as hatamoto.