Next year’s NHK drama’s hero will be Yukimura Sanada. He is one of the most popular samurai heroes in Japan. Many know him from TV games. Yukimura had been popular in Kabuki play since in Edo period (1603–1868). Japanese people love him. I will expect after this drama broad casted, Yukimura associated castles will be super crowded. So before that, I should visit all of them.
History of Sanada
Sanada family was a small samurai family in Shinano area current Nagano. Yukitaka (Yukimura’s grand father) gained power after he started to work for Takeda family. Takeda was one of the most powerful samurai families in Japan at that time. After Yukitaka became the ruler of Sanada area, he changed his family name to “Sanada”. Yukimura’s father Masayuki was the third son of the family, so he was sent out to succeed other family. However, his elder brothers died in a war, so he came back to inherit the family estate. In 1567 Masayuki inherited Sanada house. Soon after Takeda family fell down, and Shinano area was in turmoil. Masayuki was good in schemes like his father, and survived and saved Sanada family. When Tokugawa and Toyotomi families were dividing Japan into two and having a war, Masayuki and Yukimura decided to take a side of Toyotomi and Masayuki’s first son Nobuyuki went to Tokugawa. That was Masayuki’s plan that either side wins Sanada family survives.
Yukimura is the Best Samurai in Japan
The last war of Tokugawa and Toyotomi was Osaka summer and winter wars. Yukimura fought for Toyotomi’s Osaka and almost killed Tokugawa leader Ieyasu. However he failed and was killed. Ieyasu parsed Yukimura’s bravery and called Yukimura “The very best Samurai on the earth.”
Masayuki concurred this castle in 1580, and became his first son Nobuyuki’s residence. Nobuyuki and Masayuki were separated and belonged to different sides. Before the war, Masayuki visited Numata castle to see his grand children while Nobuyuki was away. Komatsuhime (Nobyuki’s wife) almost started to war against Masayuki.