Around eight in the morning on May 19th, 1560, Nobunaga made a brief stop at Atsuta Shrine to pray for victory. Many of the Oda soldiers where called to arms gathered to the shrine to pray as well. Nobunaga was humming to a tune and the shrine priests did not know if he was going to fight it out with the Imagawa. All warfare is based on deception! How true it is.
Nobunaga wrote a noted and deposited in the shrine box ripping Yoshimoto to shreds. Owada Tetsuo's Okehazama no Tatakai (pp. 142-143) and the Oze Hoan Shinchoki has the complete letter written out.
If you have seen the 2002 Taiga Drama Toshiie to Matsu, at the shrine a white heron flew into the sky and it was considered good luck. Owada did mention the heron story in his book (135-136) as well as Oze Hoan.
According to the Toyoake City Okehazama Battlefield pamphlet, two white herons flew into the sky and guided Nobunaga's army to Okehazama. The two birds perched on a tree Ishizuka-no mori. Based on the legend, Yamaguchi Masayoshi erected a monument(located near the Toyoake City Okehazama Battlefield). To tell you the truth, I am skeptical about this event and do not think it happened at all. That is my opinion.
There was another event that happened at Atsuta Shrine which I can believe. At the shrine, Nobunaga grabbed some coins and threw them in the air and landed face up (heads). A modern coin toss. Heads we win, tails we lose (See Owada Okehazma no Tatakai, p. 136). Nobunaga was blessed by the Gods that day for sure.
Now there was another shrine Nobunaga might have visited, Hioki Shrine (located in Nagoya City).
Here some Hioki Shrine photos I took last October. As for Atsuta Shrine, I always pay a visit there every time when in Japan. A special place for me. If someone is looking for a book on Yoshimoto that is not written by Owada Tetsuo, please read Arimatsu Yugaku, Imagawa Yoshimoto, 2008.
Tenka no tame!