What if Nobunaga was defeated by Imagawa Yoshimoto at the Battle Okehazama. Sengoku Japan would have been different fore sure. Luckily for Nobunaga, Okehazama was the shot heard all round Sengoku Japan. Neilson's Society at War wraps it beautifully on the what if question.
Neilson (pp. 88-89)
"The Oda victory at Okehazama is every bit as important as George Sansom recognized it to be. Why it has not been more widely recognized as the turning point which initiated the process of unification--and by extension, sounded the death knell of the Sengoku Period is something of a mystery. Had this battle resulted in the destruction of the Oda Clan--and by extension, the Maeno, Hachisuka, and Sassa Clans--all of whom later assumed important roles in the future of the country, Japanese history as we know it would very different. Nobunaga would have not spent the next twenty-two years in a struggle to unify the central provinces. Toyotomi Hideyoshi would never have lived to unify the country, invade Korea and menace China. Tokugawa Ieyasu might never have never become anything more than a vassal of the Imagawa and would never have had the opportunity to found a dynasty which would rule Japan for two and a half centuries."
The Arimatsu Okehazma Festival is in middle of May and plan to post information this weekend.
Tenka no tame!