|Clan(s)/Alliance(s):|| Sanada |
|Weapon Type:||Jumonji yari|
|5th Weapon:|| |
Tiger's Blood/Virtuous Agony (2:XL~3:XL)
|6th Weapon:|| |
|Moveset Type:|| |
|First appearance:||Samurai Warriors|
|Real name:|| |
|Japanese name:|| |
June 3, 1615
|Personal Item:|| |
Yukimura Sanada (真田 幸村, Sanada Yukimura) is the romanticized name created for Nobushige. His historical counterpart is best known for his steadfast defense against the Tokugawa at Osaka. His accomplishments have been exaggerated after his death, and he is often heralded as the "greatest warrior of the land". Masayuki is his father, Ina is his sister in-law and his older brother is Nobuyuki.
Like the Dynasty Warriors Zhao Yun, Yukimura is the "poster boy" for the Samurai Warriors series, usually being placed on the cover/manuals of the games. In the first Samurai Warriors, he is 19 years old. His height in the series is 185 cm (close to 6'1"). His Warriors counterpart appears as a playable guest character in Shin Sangoku Musou VS. Fans voted him to second place in Gamecity's Sengoku Musou 3: Empires popularity poll. In Koei-Tecmo's Facebook Sengoku Musou Chronicle 2nd poll, he was voted first place.
His Samurai Warriors counterpart shares three group songs with Mitsunari and Kanetsugu. They are titled Aogite Ten ni Hajizu, Appare! and Kusamakura no Yume. He has two solo songs for himself, Meikyou Shisui ~Mononofu ga Michi~ and Seimei no Taka.
Role in GamesEdit
"Never has a spear moved so fast!"
- ―Zhao Yun; Warriors Orochi
Yukimura is a valiant warrior who fights until the bitter end. Beginning his career under Shingen, he assists his lord's pincer attack at Kawanakajima. When Kenshin uses the fog to ambush Shingen's main camp, Yukimura climbs down the mountain to hurry to his lord's rescue. Surrounding Kenshin once more in a pincer leads to a victory for the Takeda. Invigorated to realize Shingen's march to the capital, he is confused with Shingen's cautious measures against the weaker Ieyasu. Told to calm himself, he follows his lord's orders obediently during the encounter at Mikatagahara. To turn the tables, Hanzō plans to assassinate Shingen for his master.
If the players have played Shingen's story, Yukimura will be able to spot the shinobi early and has the option to rescue his lord. With their lord still alive, the Takeda continue their march south. Ieyasu flees from the battle and pleads for Nobunaga's reinforcements at Nagashino. Once Shingen's plans to wait for the rain succeeds, Yukimura is given the order to lead the Takeda charge. Slaying Ieyasu during the conflict, Yukimura continues to assist his lord's battles against the retreating Nobunaga at Azuchi Castle and Yamazaki. As Shingen's peaceful world is realized, Yukimura continues to help his lord by coordinating the efforts to rebuild the land.
Players who don't have Shingen unlocked will be unable to save the elder from Hanzō at Mikatagahara. Yukimura, realizing that the Takeda troops are in utter chaos without their leader, tries to rally the men and calls for an immediate retreat. Holding a grudge against Hanzō for causing his lord's death, he charges the Tokugawa troops to bide them time. Katsuyori, wanting to carry out his father's ambition, continues the march in spite of their loss. Yukimura pleads his young lord to reconsider the reckless charge, but his advice is ignored. As the Takeda cavalry fall against the Oda rifles, Yukimura presses for Katsuyori's retreat and offers to defeat Nobunaga. Regardless of his efforts, the battle is a lost cause and he regretfully begs forgiveness from the departed Shingen.
With the Takeda now in ruin, Yukimura retreats back to his home at Ueda Castle to rebuild his forces. As Ieyasu tries to invade them, he helps his father's strategies by distracting the soldiers away from the gates and triggering the water attack. Hoping to find his meaning in life, he decides to join the Toyotomi years later at Osaka Castle. Knowing they have no chance of winning, he desires to die as a warrior worthy of his family's name. To try to restore ally morale, Yukimura temporarily leaves the battlefront to try to convince Hideyori to join the battle. When Harunaga disputes putting the young lord in danger, Yukimura refuses to surrender and heads by himself to take Ieyasu's head. His arrival in the Tokugawa main camp surprises Ieyasu, who flees to have Hanzō fight in his stead.
If the players performs well throughout his story, an exhausted Yukimura will somehow slay Hanzō and continue to press onwards to Ieyasu. Close to his target, an astounded Ieyasu names the young warrior the greatest warrior in the land. Yukimura smiles at the salute he receives and his strength finally gives out. Ieyasu then claims that peace can now flourish in the land. A poor performance will instead have a distraught Yukimura resting some distance away from Osaka Castle, having retreated from his pursuers. Kunoichi tells him to cheer up as they continue their fight against Ieyasu.
Starting on the losing side of Nagashino in Samurai Warriors 2, Yukimura is among the many shot down by Nobunaga's rifles. His fight to stand once more against the riflemen moves Keiji to defect from the Oda and rescue him. Recovering quickly, he helps Katsuyori escape from the field. Thinking that he should die in the field with his ancient traditions, Keiji tells him to instead live past the battle and find another meaning in life. Having lost the will to fight after the Takeda have ended, Yukimura is left with only honor and friendship as he heads to join the Toyotomi forces at Odawara Castle. Overhearing Mitsunari and Kanetsugu's conversation in the western camp, he speaks on impulse to treasure duty over the reliance of numbers. Swearing an oath of friendship with the two men, Yukimura believes he now has a purpose in the new age. Following Hideyoshi's death, several Tototomi generals riot against Mitsunari and Yukimura rides to save his friend in Kyoto. Wanting to additionally prove the worth of his new lifestyle to Keiji, he bravely rides to save his friend. Mitsunari wonders if Yukimura will lose his drive if the former dies, unintentionally snapping at his friend's rescue.
Advised to live life more freely by Keiji, Yukimura continues to side with his friends and helps his father defeat Hidetada at Ueda Castle. Their victory is rendered meaningless with Mitsunari's death at Sekigahara. Striving to defy Ieyasu at any cost in spite of his loss, he makes a brave stand at Osaka Castle. Kanetsugu, who joins the Tokugawa to preserve the Uesugi, challenges Yukimura in spite of their friendship. Expecting to die by Yukimura's hand, the crimson one sees past his duty and convices Kanetsugu to join him instead. With the friends united, they rout Ieyasu's forces. As Hideyori leads the pursuit, Yukimura excuses himself to prove his conviction against Keiji in a duel. Disarming the wild man, Yukimura thanks Keiji for teaching him to treasure himself and his own desires. With Kanetsugu beside him, the two men part on good ties.
In his dream stage, Yukimura quickly defeats Hidetada at Ueda Castle and hastens his lone march to aid his friend at Sekigahara. Kobayakawa has already defected and several Toyotomi generals are heavily surrounded. The Date and Yūki appear to aid the Tokugawa side. Thanks to Yukimura's efforts, they change the tides of the battle and miraculously claim victory. Mitsunari thanks his friend for his support.
Samurai Warriors 3 revisits his servitude with Shingen, this time joining Sakon in the Takeda troops at Mikatagahara. As they both face a resolute Tadakatsu, they experience first hand the power Ieyasu has to move his soldiers to fight. Not on orders to completely eradicate Ieyasu, the Tokugawa leader is given a reprieve by Yukimura. Though the battle is a technical victory for the Takeda, Yukimura knows that they have actually lost to the bonds that hold Ieyasu's men together. He swears to someday gain the same inner will to properly prevail over Ieyasu. The Takeda fall to Nobunaga after Shingen dies of illness and Nobunaga meets his own respective end at Honnōji, sending the eastern sections of the land into confusion. As Ieyasu and Ujiyasu try to invade Ueda Castle, the Sanada send an open plea for aid against them. Kanetsugu, Keiji, Magoichi, and Masamune answer the call, and they each introduce themselves to one another. During the battle, Yukimura meets Ina once more to protect his father from her. Masayuki marvels at the woman holding her own against his son, and Ieyasu is equally impressed by the Sanada's well coordinated resistance. Therefore, after the Sanada's victory, Ieyasu arranges for Ina to marry Yukimura's older brother, Nobuyuki.
Years later, Hideyoshi comes into power and suppresses all resistance against him except for the Hōjō. Joining his older sister-in-law and the comrades he met at Ueda Castle, Yukimura is a part of the effort to suppress the Hōjō's alternate position, Oshi Castle. Although he warns Ina to stay behind him for her safety, he admires her obstinate desire to join the battle and supports her. He thanks and accepts her into the Sanada family, realizing why his older brother and father enjoy her company. When tensions for Sekigahara begin, Nobuyuki joins the east and Yukimura joins his father in the west to ensure the guaranteed survival of their family. Therefore, they have no regrets as they lay siege to Nobuyuki's keep, Numata Castle. Awaiting them there is Ina, who calls upon her biological father and other Tokugawa generals to her aid. Defeating Tadakatsu and Ina, they unexpectedly receive news of Mitsunari's defeat moments before they can take the castle. Instilling Mitsunari's will to heart, Yukimura's fate is left to an understanding Tadakatsu, who begs his lord to spare the life of a worthy warrior.
Learning from Ina's honest nature to never waver, Yukimura comes out of his exile to stay true to his own beliefs as a samurai in the land's last war at Osaka Castle. His friends in the Tokugawa army sympathize with his bravery and beg that he live past the conflict. Despite Yukimura's defense of Sanada-maru, Hideyori falls victim to a Tokugawa fire attack and loses his life. Yukimura realizes that victory is lost yet charges by himself into Ieyasu's main camp. Preparing to strike the final blow against the surprised Ieyasu, Ina, wanting to stop her brother-in-law from throwing his life away, readies to stop him by force. She hesitates to take his life and loses, Ieyasu stepping aside into a wall of protective soldiers. Aware of Yukimura's exhaustion, Ina acknowledges that he is already the greatest warrior in the land and pleads once more in desperation to not rush to his death. Yukimura responds with his wishes for her to take care of herself and charges towards Ieyasu. Although his fate is unknown, the narration states the wars end and peace is established under the Tokugawa shogunate.
Orochi's story mode in the sequel reveals that Yukimura was previously serving Shingen until their defeat against the serpent army at Kawanakajima. During the first game, he and his clan form an alliance with Yuan Shao. Due to a false rumor spread by Da Ji, they mistake Zhao Yun and his party for undead phantoms terrorizing the land. After the sound reasoning of the Shu forces, Yukimura apologizes for his error and joins the resistance. He becomes good friends with Zhao Yun and continues to participate in a few of their battles. He helps save the Hōjō army at Komaki-Nagakute from Pang De in one of Shu's side stages.
Having found his lord, Yukimura returns to Shingen's side in the sequel. Once Sakon recruits his lord, he spots Kanetsugu in trouble and urges for a rescue effort. The two friends reunite at Hasedo and earn Kenshin's support in the process. Yukimura shares his dream stage with Zhao Yun and Yoshihiro as the trio work together to rescue Liu Bei from a massive army. When Masamune arrives, he declares that his spear can easily defeat his opponent's rifle troops.
Yukimura remained beside Shingen's side until they were defeated by the revived serpent army in Warriors Orochi 3. Placed under Kiyomori's spell, he acts as a mindless general for the serpent army at Yi Ling and Nagashino. When Ma Chao and company break the spell on him in the latter battle, Yukimura reunites with the still sad Kunoichi, offers his gratitude and allegiance to the coalition. He later leads the pursuit for Kiyomori at Anegawa and supports the coalition's invasion of Yang Ping Gate in Da Ji's past. When the coalition opposes his lord at Shizugatake, he and Kanetsugu put aside their past loyalties as they confront their masters in combat.
Yukimura appears as a hero mid to late game in the first Kessen. Aspiring to gain his father's hard-earned approval by impressing him with his accomplishments in battle, he is a smart tactician with daring confidence. Early in the game, he is best known for leading a deadly army of kunoichi (female ninja) yet also excels at leading cavalry or spear units if needed. A trio of kunoichi -named Saizo, Sasuke, and Kosuke- serve him at all times. After the death of his father, he is revered as a shining star of hope for the Western army by Lady Yodo and others. If Josui Kuroda or Mitsunari lose their lives fighting for the Toyotomi side, Yukimura becomes the leading commander to replace them.
Depending on the story path, he will try to trap the Tokugawa troops in Seta, planning to ask the losers to join the west. Regardless of the battle's results, the Toyotomi will choose to hold out at Osaka Castle. If he wins this battle, he will charge Ieyasu's camp and slay him. Sasuke quickly deduces the corpse to be a double so he declares Ieyasu an enemy of the state. They meet for one more decisive battle at Sekigahara. Should he fall at Osaka, his kunoichi will pay respects to his grave.
He is a minor unit in Kessen III as he assists his father by protecting Ujiyasu from Ieyasu and Nobunaga.
The designers initially wanted him to represent the "standard yet cool hero" and adorned his armor red for historical accuracy and aesthetic tastes. They gave him a darker wardrobe underneath it to make it seem like he was cutting through darkness. For his redesign in the sequel, the team emphasized the symbolic significance of his crimson armor. With bold gold and white accents, they remark that he looked more ready for action and less generic.
When the series producer was asked why Yukimura is featured as the main protagonist for the Samurai Warriors series, he replied that he doesn't consider any particular character for the role while creating the games. He figures that the emphasis on making him "Japan's greatest warrior" has fans recognize Yukimura as such. At best, he considers him a "main hero" type.
Yukimura is a man who values duty above all else. He possesses unforeseen bravery even when he's faced with overwhelming odds or family from the enemy side. He is very devoted to his lord (from either the Takeda or Toyotomi families) and is humble in his presence. He highly respects the former and addresses Shingen as "great lord" (お館様, Oyakata-sama). A true warrior at heart, he believes every man's worth -including his own- can only be seen in the battlefield. In spite of his good deeds for the Toyotomi family, he hasn't gained the complete trust of its retainers, which causes some difficulties at Osaka.
Since he worries more about his lord than his own well being, Yukimura is prone to self-doubt and guilt if any of his lords are routed. He also has a hard time relaxing, which is sometimes seen as personal flaw by Kunoichi, Shingen, and Keiji. However, he is noble to his friends and will unquestionably come to their aid if they face danger.
During the Samurai Warriors series, he's symbolized by cherry blossom petals and the kanji for "courage" (勇) and "fire" (焔). Yukimura's titles in Samurai Warriors 2 are "Warrior in Red", "Sanada's Hope", "Crimson Samurai", "Raging Inferno", "Mightiest Hero", "Immortal Legend", and "History's Brightest" (in the Xtreme Legends expansion).
His second weapon in Samurai Warriors 2 is named after Sekiryu, known as Chilong in China. Known as one of the legendary five dragons of the Five Elements, Sekiryu is thought to have either been given birth from a volcano or the sun itself. He guards the south and represents fire. Sharing the same spot as Suzaku, Sekiryu shares the responsibilities and traits as its beast counterpart. Within Taoism, he has a human-like form known as the Red Dragon King of the Southern Sea.
His third weapon mentions a flying sparrow, a phrase used within seasonal poetry for spring. Aside from tying into his symbolic cherry blossoms, the flying sparrow is synonymous for one who moves with brilliant swiftness. It ties into Yoshitsune's famous portrayal from Tales of the Heike, in which the young lad was able to defeat Benkei's massive strength with unsurpassed agility. The red fang mentioned to form the spear's blade might be a callback to Sekiryu. The Power versions of the spear instead name a stout fang, and his Speed versions note it to be a wafting fang.
Yukimura's fourth weapon (first unique in the third title) is named after the storm god Susano'o.
The original name for his fifth weapon is named in honor of one of Susanoo's alleged sons, Isotakeru. Like his father, he is thought to be a tree or forest god, particularly for mountainous regions. Isotakeru is thought to have cultivated the land with trees and is sometimes seen as the god who embodies all trees in Japan. Known by some regions to be fierce and commanding, a few legends claim he shouldn't be disturbed or annoyed least he take away his gifts in anger. These legends are likely based on his name, which mentions that he must remain an untouchable god of fortitude. Isotakeru is also known as a god of wood, paper, or mountains.
His sixth weapon has several Buddhist terms within its creation, literally being translated as "Purgatory Spear Shining Arhat". The name is another fanciful symbolization for his famed six coin family crest and the romanticized image of accepting an honorable death in battle, meaning that Yukimura is prepared to face death and can only find his true purpose in war. His undeterred acceptance of his end follows the heroic image described in the Sanada Sandaiki and many other folktales that use the "Sanada Yukimura" moniker for him.
- David Berón - Samurai Warriors (English-uncredited)
- Leroy Simon Bean - Samurai Warriors 2 (English)
- Johnny Yong Bosch - Warriors Orochi series, Samurai Warriors 3 (English-uncredited)
- Dion Luther - Kessen (English)
- Takeshi Kusao - Samurai Warriors and Warriors Orochi series, Dynasty Warriors VS (Japanese)
- Hideyuki Hori - Kessen (Japanese)
- Takahiro Kawachi - CR Sengoku no Arashi ~Nobunaga no Shou~
Live Action PerformerEdit
- See also: Yukimura Sanada/Quotes
- "Yukimura Sanada will not let you pass."
- "My warrior's spirit burns with the flame of justice!"
- "Spirit of the Sanada! Imbue my spear with power so I can cut open the belly of the beast!"
- "For what reason did I reach this rank...? It is still unclear to me, yet perhaps it was due to... honor? An emotion which moves people's hearts to protect what is most dear to them. Before I had realized it, I was the one being protected by everyone. Then, it is only natural to return these feelings in kind. I, too, swear to protect all of you."
- "Yukimura Sanada... A brave warrior and skilled leader... Truly a giant among men!"
- "Not at all! It is you to whom that epithet applies."
- "Great! Then we three, Nagamasa, Yukimura, and myself... Will stride as colossuses across the land!"
- "What the...? Who the heck are you?"
- ~~Nagamasa, Yukimura, and Kanetsugu; Samurai Warriors 2: Empires
- "I have a question for you, Yukimura. Why do you persist in fighting a battle that cannot be won? You could submit to Tokugawa rule. That way, the Sanada clan might be able to avoid annihilation."
- "Because we are warriors, we live by the sword in service of our clan. That is the way of the samurai. We fight solely to carry out the orders assigned to us by our lord."
- ~~Kanetsugu and Yukimura; Samurai Warriors Chronicles
- "Yukimura, don't be too reckless in battle now. A cloud can reform itself if it breaks apart, but it's a sad sight when it happens to a flower."
- "Even if a flower should decay, it will bloom again with the passage of time. If I were to fall, my sole desire for later generations is to remember how I once lived. No matter how faint their memory may be. It is you, Lord Keiji, who I plead to be cautious. Without the clouds, there can be no rain. Without the rain, people cannot live..."
- "That's too deep for me to handle. Do you want the cloud to burst a downpour of tears?"
- ~~Keiji and Yukimura; Samurai Warriors 3 Empires
- "I really love a man with such burning passion!"
- "Uh... Thank you...?"
- ~~Zhu Rong and Yukimura; Warriors Orochi
- "I am Yukimura Sanada! Prepare yourselves!"
- "I've never heard of you, you overgrown ladybug! Go back to the trash heap you came from!"
- ~~Yukimura and Dong Zhuo; Warriors Orochi 2
- "I watched your last training session, Master Yukimura. I found it full of vigor and very inspiring."
- "How embarrassing. I am still a novice, and have a long way to go before I reach your level."
- "You have a focus that I find lacking in myself and hope to learn from."
- ~~Zhao Yun and Yukimura; Warriors Orochi 3
- "An army of millions and not a man among them. How pathetic. I shall end this war in one stroke! I shall attack the enemy camp and take Tokugawa's head."
- "But how-"
- "I shall prevail. I shall prevail!"
- ~~Yukimura and Lady Yodo before Osaka's defense; Kessen
|Keys||Normal Attack •||Charge Attack •||Musou •||Jump/Mount|
- , (), (): Yukimura readies himself by twirling his spear. He will continue to do so until the player either stops pressing or reaches the maximum the limit. Afterwards, he dashes forward. Pressing during his dash will make him perform slashes during his run and will cancel it. He ends the charge with a 360 slash.
- , , (), (), (): Launches enemy into the air and jumps after them. Attacks them in the air twice before sending them back down.
- , , , (), (), (): Lunges forward with the blunt end of his spear that moves behind his opponent, turns to deliver a dizzying blow with his spear's blade, and poses with a damaging aura surrounding him.
- , , , , (), (), ()...: Thrusts his spear multiple times, slowly lifting them upward. Finishes with a spinning attack.
- , , , , , , , : Various left and right swings that leads into a quick succession of attacks. Ends with an anticipated right swing.
- , : Drops with his spear pointing down which makes a shockwave
- , : Swings downward
- : Swings his spear left to right with each step he takes. In his True Musou version, he finishes the move with the final chain of his string.
- , : Swings upward, launching his enemy. Also breaks enemy's guard.
- , , : Back and forth swing.
- , , , : Downward swing that starts with his spear aiming in front of the horse.
- , , , , , , , : Three swings with his spear before he stabs multiple times towards his right.
- : Swings rapidly towards the right and finishes with a downward swing.
Samurai Warriors 2Edit
Moveset remains relatively the same except the damaging aura at the end of his C3 is replaced by a spinning uppercut. Like the rest of the cast, his horse musou changes to a damaging stampede by his horse. He also gains a Level 3 Musou, R1 skills, and a new charge attack in the Xtreme Legends expansion.
- , , , , :(Xtreme Legends only) Yukimura stabs his enemy and slowly lifts them over him. He smashes them into the ground and they are knocked high into the air.
- : His musou actions remain the same but his swings cover a greater range. During his level 3 version, pillars of fire will surround him.
- R1 + : Yukimura dashes forward, leaving a thin trail of fire behind him.
- R1 + : Whistles for his horse. Cannot be used if he does not have a horse or while in-doors.
- Personal Skill: (Stability) Can execute special stance during charge attack.
- Warriors Orochi
Yukimura's moveset remains the same except he loses his Samurai Warriors 2 special attacks. He has two new R1 abilities.
- R1: Yukimura dashes forward with a spear charge, if he connects, he leaps straight into the air and whirls his spear, juggling anyone he brings with him. His R1 is slower in Warriors Orochi 2 compared to its first incarnation.
- R1 (counter): Yukimura flashes before executing a quick horizontal swing.
- Warriors Orochi 2
- Triple Attack 1: Performs a low jumping slash that generates a strong air gust flying at mid-range.
- Triple Attack 2: Sends out a severe gust of wind forward.
- Triple Attack 3: Leaps in the air to produce a massive cyclone.
Samurai Warriors 3Edit
- (Ultimate/Kaiden): Yukimura leaps into the air and stabs his spear downward, unleashing a torrent of fire around him.
- Spirit Cancel:
- Warriors Orochi
Ultimate Musou is now True Musou in Warriors Orochi 3. Gains the following additions due to character type.
- R1: Thrusts spear forward while enshrouded in flames.
Yukimura is well-balanced character in the Samurai Warriors series. He has strong charge attacks (C2 and C3) and can easily handle crowds and one on one duels against generals. The personal ability he gains in Samurai Warriors 2, "Stability", allows him to cancel his combo attack by tapping the R1 button. Using this ability can allow players to easily chain together a string of relentless attacks.
- See also: Yukimura Sanada/Weapons
Warriors Orochi 3Edit
Big Star WeaponsEdit
Yukimura uses the following big star weapons in the game.
- Ether Piercer
- Savage Trident
- Dragon Slayer
- Draconian Might
- Virtuous Agony
- Dragon's Maw
- Merciless Might
- Bug Catcher (DLC)
- Clean Sweeper (DLC)
- Moptop (DLC)
Sanada Nobushige was praised as a "man amongst men" who had a true warrior's spirit. His favorite weapon of choice was his personalized jumonji yari (cross spear), which was proudly coated with his clan's vermilion colors. A legend states that he said to Ieyasu that he would share a drink with him "on the other side of the river", a reference to his family's coat of arms.
His brother stated that Nobushige was calm, patient, and fitting to be called a brave general. Nobuyuki also said that it was difficult to tell when his brother was angry as his actions and expressions did not change. He also criticized him, stating that while Nobushige is quite the warrior, he lacked advanced skills in scholarship and careful planning. This would later be used to coin the phrase to describe the blotchy defense around Osaka, the "hermit's position".
Additionally, the claim that Ieyasu and Hideyoshi considered him to be a "feared general" is actually false. It likely originated during the Edo Period, nearly a century after his death. The idea that Ieyasu also called Nobushige "the greatest warrior in the land" is disputed as well, since most historical sources indicate that Shimazu Tadatsune was actually the man to utter these words.
His wife was Akihime (Chikurinin) a foster-daughter of Ōtani Yoshitsugu. His height is unknown but it is believed that he had a diminutive height. He had five concubines and eleven children, two of them being his sons, Daisuke (Yukimasa) and Daihachi (Yukinobu).
"Sanada Yukimura" is believed to be a name to have also been invented during the Edo Period. The name "Yukimura" first appeared in the gunki monogatari, Namba Senki (難波戦記), in 1672. After the book's publication, the name began to appear in temples around the Matsushiro Domain. Furthermore, the novel, Book of Sanada's Third Generation, further attributed Nobushige as being Yukimura; it also romanticized his final battle by creating the Sanada Ten Braves. His full name in this book became Sanada Saemon-no-Suke Yukimura (真田 左衛門佐 幸村). He was also nicknamed in the novel as "The Mysterious Bow Taker" based on a quote said by Yamashita Hiroku. The exact reasons for the Yukimura name remain unclear though it is widely believed that it draws basis from Sanada Masayuki and Date Tsunamura.
It is currently unknown whether or not Nobushige actually called himself Yukimura since the evidence needed to dispute the claim is difficult to locate. Most of Nobushige's letters or written documents were lost or destroyed. There are a few people who claim that Nobushige did call himself Yukimura during the final two months of the Osaka Campaign, but this also has little evidence to verify it. The alias that he actually used in history was Genjirō (源次郎 or 源二郎). Historians will sometimes refer to Nobushige under his pseudonym due to its popularity in Japanese culture (but will add his real name in parenthesis).
There is also an interesting story regarding his other name, Denshin Gessō (伝心月叟). During the Winter Osaka Campaign, Nobushige and his party wished to stop at Gessō Shrine to pay their respects. A messenger was sent in advance to request entry but was strangely denied. Nobushige personally went to the gates and the head priest, suspicious of the general's intentions, demanded to see the general's sword. Though he questioned, Nobushige complied. The head priest was surprised that Nobushige would be willing to part with his "soul" on request and modestly returned it to him. After being treated kindly by the mountain village for a short time, the elder declared the mountain to be Nobushige's domain and eternal home. His sword was given another marking to reflect his time there (Denshin Gessō). Nobushige was said to have been blushing with joy when presented with their gift and replied, "My blade is much better now, isn't it?"
Nobushige was the second son of Sanada Masayuki, the head of the Sanada clan. His mother was Yamanote-dono, Masayuki's wife. His childhood name was Benzōmaru (武藤弁丸).
When he was nine, the Battle of Nagashino claimed the lives of Masayuki's two elder brothers. His father was named as the clan's successor. By 1582, the Oda-Tokugawa forces had destroyed the Takeda clan. The Sanada initially surrendered to Oda Nobunaga, but, after the Incident at Honnōji, it became independent again, drifting between stronger daimyo such as the Uesugi clan, the Late Hōjō clan, and the Tokugawa clan. Eventually, the Sanada clan became a vassal of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. During this period, Hideyoshi treated Yukimura with extreme care and hospitality as he was taken prisoner to prove Masayuki's loyalty for the Toyotomi. Hideyoshi's fondness is shown by the fact that Yukimura was given the right to use the surname of Toyotomi Clan, which was the clan of the Kanpaku during that period. Thus, he is sometimes referred to (even by Yukimura himself) as Toyotomi Nobushige.
In 1600, Tokugawa Ieyasu rallied various daimyo to attack Uesugi Kagekatsu. The Sanada clan complied as well, but when Ishida Mitsunari decided to challenge Ieyasu, Masayuki and Yukimura joined the western forces, parting ways with Masayuki's eldest son and Yukimura's brother, Nobuyuki, who joined the eastern forces. The true motive of Masayuki and Yukimura's decision is disputed with many theories, but there are two main schools of thought: In one, Masayuki made the decision (and Yukimura agreed); he expressed the willingness to take a gamble, so that if he were to join the weak side and win the battle, the Sanada would gain much more power. The other theory is the opposite where they planned a safety net; Masayuki, Yukimura, and Nobuyuki discussed the situation when Ieyasu asked them to state their allegiance clearly, and they decided to join both sides separately, so that, regardless of the outcome of the battle, the Sanada clan would survive. It is also believed that the clan's participation for the western army was partially due to Yamanote-dono being held hostage by Ishida Mitsunari.
The Sanada fortified Ueda Castle. When Tokugawa Hidetada marched a sizable army on the Nakasendō, the Sanada resisted and were able to fight back Hidetada's 40,000 men with only 2,000. However, as it took much longer to take the castle than was expected, Hidetada lost focus and never showed up on the battlefield during the Battle of Sekigahara where the main force was awaiting the arrival of his crucial army, a mistake that put the Tokugawa clan in jeopardy. After the Western Army lost the battle at Sekigahara, Masayuki and Yukimura were captured and sent into exile.
During the Winter Siege of Osaka, Sanada Yukimura built fortifications south of Osaka Castle and called it Sanadamaru (known as the Sanada Ward in the games). It was surrounded by a five foot deep trench and fences, meaning that invaders would need to climb their way past the garrison. From there, he defeated the Tokugawa forces (approximately 30,000 men) with groups of 6000 arquebusiers. Two other minor gates were copied to fortify the castle's defense. When Sanadamaru fell, Yukimura retreated with his remaining troops to a nearby mountain and separated his army into three battalions. Near the end of the battle, his army made a miraculous charge for Ieyasu's camp, boldly ignoring several enemy armies along the way. Though they reached their destination, Yukimura's men were pushed back and he was forced to retreat.
Despite his efforts, the Toyotomi forces were greatly outnumbered and were eventually defeated. According to The Life of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu by A.L. Sadler, in his intense fight against the wavering Echizen troops, Yukimura was badly wounded, leaving him exhausted. Soldiers from the Echizen army quickly went to Sanada. Now too tired to fight back, Yukimura allowed the men to kill him, reportedly saying, "Go on, take my head as your trophy". Sanada died honorably at age 49, leaving behind a legend. Though they were enemies, Ieyasu was impressed by Yukimura's bravery and posthumously called him "the greatest warrior in Japan". Yukimura is believed to have committed suicide with Toyotomi Hideyori. His grave is now located in Osaka.
- In the Sengoku Jidai themed comic, Sengoku Angelique, Randy acts as the Yukimura of the cast. His full name is "Sanada Randy Yukimura".
- Samurai Warriors 3 Yukimura appeared as a guest in the TBS historical documentary and variety program Seki no Wide Show! The Konya ha History. He narrated a few lines in the episode featuring the Osaka Campaign. He repeated the act again in the show's episode for the Sanada clan.
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