After reading his take on Okehazama, I have concluded that Nobunaga had a plan and did not trust his generals due to bribery and defection. Nobunaga trusted the Men of the Fields who did contribute to his success at the Battle of Okehazama in 1560.
(Neilson, p. 70)
"Furthermore, the Men of the Fields could function as spies, and quartermasters, and because of their familial relationship with Nobunaga, were probably more reliable and less susceptible to bribery and offers of defection than others who served Nobunaga in the capacity of leaders and generals."
Nobunaga kept his plan secret and his general staff did not even know what was going on. To have any sort of success, Nobunaga had to play the role as a fool and coward.
(Neilson, p. 75)
"For all Nobunaga knew, he may had Imagawa spies among his own general staff. So, while he continued to attend strategy sessions with his own generals, Nobunaga appeared distracted, aloof, and unsure of what to do. His strategy, which he seemingly shared with no one, was appear to be unprepared. At the same time, while appearing to be engrossed with fishing, dancing, and living out his last days in idleness, Nobunaga was using these activities as excuses to meet with the Maeno, Hachisuka, and the Men of the Fields. Since Nobunaga stayed at Ikoma mansion when visiting Kitsuno, he could meet with the Men of the Fields without attracting the attention of Imagawa spies and not even his people would suspect that Nobunaga was actually implementing a plan behind the backs of his own general staff. For the plan to succeed, everyone, even his own generals, had to believe that Nobunaga was cowardly and unprepared. It was an unlikely plan, which was even less likely to succeed. In the end, it was perfect."
- Nobunaga had a plan all along.
- Did not trust or wanted his own general staff to know his plan.
- Used the Men of the Fields or middlemen to help him who were more loyal and trusted than his own staff.