What if Saito Dosan was still alive and in power during Okehazama? Would the "Viper of Mino" still support his son-in-law? Would Yoshimoto still attack Owari and continue his crusade to Kyoto? These are some great questions that need to be asked and I do have answers to them.
- I still believe that Dosan would have supported Nobunaga. Dosan did provide aid to Nobunaga during the Battle of Muraki in 1554, a battle that Nobunaga won. After the meeting in 1553 at Shotokuji in Tonda, Dosan knew Nobunaga was a rare bird and a self-made man. Dosan had to build his empire by himself as well. He knew the Imagawa was a threat to his son-in-law, but to him as well.
- Imagawa Yoshimoto was no fool. If he knew that Dosan was still in total control of the Saito house, the Kyoto crusade would have to wait. Dosan still had the Mino Big Three: Inaba Ittetsu, Ujie Bokuzen, and Ando Morinari in his pocket along with several others. If the Oda/Saito alliance was still strong, Yoshimoto could not afford to waste any valuable resources he had. Sure, Yoshimoto did have Mikawa and Totomi as revenue cash cows, but Mino was stronger in my opinion.
- More important, it is very hard to defeat self-made men like Nobunaga and Dosan. They saw the Sengoku world much differently than the traditional powers such as the Hojo, Takeda, and Imagawa. A Nobunaga/Dosan combo team would be hard to beat.
However, this was not the case. Dosan was betrayed by his evil son Saito Yoshitatsu in 1556 and Nobunaga had no more allies. Which make his success at Okehazama much more remarkable.
Tenka no tame!