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Numata Castle (沼田城) is a castle that has a long history with the daimyo in Kantō. It once belonged to the Numata clan, but, after their defeat by Kenshin, it became Uesugi property. Numata Castle was then held in contention between the Uesugi and Hōjō. Their alliance with the Takeda led to it becoming the Sanada clan's property. Masayuki was its castle lord and protected it from Tokugawa troops after the Takeda clan fell from their seat of power. It remained in their family's possession after Hideyoshi's siege of Odawara Castle.
In the games, Numata Castle has a prominent focus for an incident that occurred before Sekigahara.
Role in GamesEdit
Within the Samurai Warriors series, the historical basis for the battle is exaggerated and is blown into a full scale battle. It shares the same map as Ueda Castle but uses Okehazama's map in the third game.
Numata Castle is first featured in the series as a battle that only occurs in Ina's storyline. In Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends and the second title, Ina is the leader of the castle defenders, although Ieyasu acts as commander in the first appearance. Her army is low in numbers, but she keeps the spirits high by driving the enemy generals away from the castle gates. In every version of the stage, she is given the task of defending Tadashige Suzuki to help bolster morale. Mitsunari and his army also assist Masayuki's charge in the second game, allowing Ina the chance to simultaneously end the Western Army.
The third title has Ina defend the castle alongside her husband and substitutes as the second Ueda Castle siege. She acts regretful of her callous refusal to Masayuki, but her will to defy him remains the same. She fights against Kai and Kunoichi and needs to defeat Yukimura multiple times before the Sanada advance weakens.
Yukimura's story mode offers the Sanada side of the conflict. He acts as a decoy for Masayuki to approach the castle's main gate. Hanzō, Tadakatsu, Masanobu Honda, and others act on Ina's request to bolster the castle's protection. Yukimura is given the task of breaking into the castle's main keep in order to be victorious.
In either scenario, the battle ends with a report of Mitsunari's defeat at Sekigahara. Both Tadakatsu and Ina, who are impressed by the youth's resolve, plead to their lord to spare Yukimura from being executed with other Western generals.
When the Sanada family decided to throw in their lot with Mitsunari or Ieyasu, it is said that Masayuki met with his sons, Nobuyuki and Nobushige to determine their clan's future. He wanted to ensure the safety of their clan in either situation, splitting his sons to join both sides simultaneously. It's argued that Nobuyuki's marriage to Komatsuhime was the deciding factor for his allegiance to the Eastern Army.
The night before the main battle at Sekigahara, Masayuki and Nobushige were traveling to Ueda Castle along the Kiryu road. Near the vicinity of Numata Castle, which was owned by Nobuyuki by this time, Masayuki decided to make a detour for it. Stating that he wished to see his grandchildren, he announced himself at the castle's front gate. Nobuyuki was absent at the time, his troops having already departed for Sekigahara. Therefore, Komatsuhime confronted her father-in-law in the castle lord's absence. Weary of a possible plot by her father-in-law, she cited Masayuki as her enemy and barred his entry.
Depending on the source, Komatsuhime could have dressed herself in armor. She shouted and glared at him from behind the gates while arming herself with a sword in one hand. Others state that she shot a warning shot from her bow as Sanada soldiers tried to step closer. Yet another interpretation was that she answered the elder whilst escorted by heavily armed castle defenders. Another tale insists that Masayuki wanted to take the castle for the Western Army, his plea for his grandchildren being an excuse to lower the defenders' guard. Komatsuhime supposedly saw through the ruse and thwarted his plot with her refusal.
Whatever the case, most stories state that the Sanada troops were impressed by her bold spirit. Masayuki was obedient to her wishes and withdrew his army from the castle gates. Komatsuhime then met with him and Nobushige in private at a nearby temple, Shōkakuji. She brought with them her children and the Sanada commander was extremely grateful.