Kyōto Mounted Horse Parade


Oda Nobunaga

Mounted Horse Parade


The Kyōto Mounted Horse Parade (Kyōto ouma-zoroe) occurred on 2/28 of Tenshō 9 (1581) in which Oda Nobunaga led a large-scale military parade with mounted soldiers through Kyōto.  The parade was held to the east of the Emperor’s personal area in the Imperial Palace.

Beginning with Niwa Nagahide and Shibata Katsuie, the parade featured a general mobilization of all units of the Oda army.  Emperor Ōgimachi was invited and court nobles led by Konoe Sakihisa skilled in equestrian arts also participated.  The parade served to elevate Oda Nobunaga, keeping surrounding daimyō in check by displaying his forces.  This enabled Nobunaga to restore relative peace to Kyōto and make known to all that he was the undisputed ruler.  Nobunaga may also have sought to intimidate the emperor and nobles by inviting them to witness the show of force, or the emperor may have been interested to inspect the army.

The site of the event to the east of the Imperial Palace was usually off-limits.  Other than messengers who arrived on ox carts, no persons or modes of transport including horses were permitted on these grounds of the Imperial Palace, but there is no evidence that the holding of this event on the grounds was considered a problem, suggesting that the emperor and nobles welcomed the parade.

Senior commanders of the Oda army in attendance included, in addition to Niwa Nagahide and Shibata Katsuie, Hachiya Yoritaka, Akechi Mitsuhide, Murai Sadanari, Kanamori Nagachika, Fuwa Mitsuharu, Maeda Toshiie, Hara Nagayori, Oda Nobutada, Oda Nobukatsu, Oda Nobukane, Oda Nobunori, Oda Nagatoshi, Oda Suō-no-kami, and Tsuda Nobuzumi.   Others included Ogasawara Nagatoki (a sengoku daimyō from Shinano Province), Isshiki Yoshisada (the military governor of Tango Province), Hosokawa Fujikata, Hosokawa Akimoto (the military governor of Awa, Settsu, and Tanba provinces), Ise Sadatame, mounted soldiers, archers, court nobles, servants, and many others.