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Honnōji Incident

The assassination of the hegemon Oda Nobunaga by his vassal Akechi Mitsuhide on June 21, 1582. Nobunaga had arrived in Kyoto two days previously, taking up quarters at the temple Honnōji. Only a few attendants were with him; the armed retinue of his son Nobutada was quartered elsewhere in the city; and none of his principal captains was in the vicinity. Mitsuhide, the daimyo of Kameyama in Tamba Province (just west of Kyoto), had orders to march his army of 13,000 to the Chūgoku region to engage Mōri Terumoto for control of the area, but instead perpetrated a surprise attack on Nobunaga, who died in the burning temple. Toyotomi Hideyoshi returned from the Chūgoku front and defeated Mitsuhide in the Battle of Yamazaki eleven days after the Honnōji Incident. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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