Nobuyuki Sanada (1/2)The eldest son who protected the Sanada family

Nobuyuki Sanada

Nobuyuki Sanada

Article category
Nobuyuki Sanada (1566-1658)
place of birth
Nagano Prefecture
Related castles
Ueda Castle

Ueda Castle

Numata Castle

Numata Castle

Matsushiro Castle

Matsushiro Castle

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In the late Muromachi period, the period of war, also known as the Sengoku period, came to an end with the Tokugawa clan.
After winning the Battle of Sekigahara, Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Edo Shogunate. He defeated the Toyotomi family left behind by Toyotomi Hideyoshi at the Battle of Osaka Castle. In this battle of Osaka Castle, it was Nobushige Sanada (Yukimura) who pushed Ieyasu into a corner. Nobushige's older brother, Nobuyuki Sanada, devoted himself to the Tokugawa family and laid the foundation for the Sanada family, which continued until the Meiji period. This time, I will explain about Nobuyuki Sanada.

From birth to Genpuku

Nobuyuki Sanada was born in 1566 as the eldest son of Masayuki Sanada.
The Sanada family was a branch of the Umino clan of Ogata District, Shinano Province (currently Ogata District, Nagano Prefecture). He served Takeda Shingen, who ruled Kai (present-day Yamanashi Prefecture) and Shinano (present-day Nagano Prefecture) from the time of Nobuyuki's grandfather, Yukitaka Sanada.

Since his father, Masayuki, was Yukitaka's third son, he was adopted by the Muto family. However, in 1575, Shingen's son Katsuyori Takeda and Oda Nobunaga fought at the Battle of Nagashino, which resulted in the crushing defeat of the Takeda family, and Masayuki's older brothers were killed in the battle, so he returned to the Sanada surname and started his family. I inherited it.

Nobuyuki was born as the eldest son of Masayuki Sanada, who returned to the Sanada family. Nobuyuki spent his childhood as a hostage of the Takeda family.
In 1579, he was allowed to celebrate his Genpuku at the same time as Nobukatsu, the eldest son of Katsuyori Takeda, and was given the first character of Takeda Shingen and was given the name Nobuyuki.

After the fall of the Takeda family

In March 1582, Oda Nobunaga, who was promoting hegemony mainly in the Kinki region, carried out the conquest of Takeda in Shinano and Kai provinces. Katsuyori Takeda, whom Masayuki Sanada served, committed suicide on Mt. Tenmoku, and the Takeda family was destroyed.

Nobuyuki Sanada, who was a hostage of the Takeda family at the time, fled to his father Masayuki at Ueda Castle.
However, Oda Nobunaga, who had overthrown the Takeda clan, also committed suicide in the same year after being killed by his vassal Akechi Mitsuhide at Honnoji Temple.
At this time, Shinano Province and Kai Province were territories of the Oda family. However, due to the death of Oda Nobunaga, a rebellion against the Oda family broke out in Shinano and Kai provinces (Tensho Migo War).
It was Ujinao Hojo from the Kanto region who invaded the chaotic Shinano and Kai provinces from the east. The Sanada family showed their vassalage towards the Hojo family.

Around the same time, Uesugi Kagekatsu, who ruled Echigo Province (present-day Niigata Prefecture), also advanced into Shinano Province from the north.
The Sanada family, which had shown an attitude of subordination to the Hojo family, led by Nobuyuki to disrupt Kaizu Castle, which was in Uesugi territory.
However, Tokugawa Ieyasu, who ruled the Tokaido from the south, also invaded Shinano and Kai provinces. Many former Takeda vassals joined the Tokugawa family, and with the invitation of his uncle Nobutaka Sanada and others, Numata Castle was recaptured from the Hojo clan, and the Sanada family also became hostile to the Hojo clan regarding the Tokugawa clan.
Nobuyuki led a force of 800 cavalry and was said to have achieved great military success by recapturing Tekomaru Castle, which was defended by 5,000 soldiers of the Hojo clan, in just one day.
The guerilla warfare of Nobuba Yoda and others was also successful, and the Sanada family succeeded in expelling the Hojo side from the Numata area.

In the 12th year of Tensho (1584), the Sanada family also took control of Ogawa District, Shinano Province, under their control. In this way, they came to have territory from the eastern part of present-day Nagano Prefecture (Toshin region) to the northern part of Gunma Prefecture.

The feud with the Tokugawa family and Toyotomi Hideyoshi

After the fall of the Takeda family, the Sanada family followed the Tokugawa family.
However, in 1585, when the Tokugawa family and the Hojo family formed an alliance, the Tokugawa family decided to cede part of the territory of the Sanada family to the Hojo family. Masayuki Sanada broke off relations with the Tokugawa family and submitted himself to the Uesugi clan.
This caused Masayuki to fight against the Tokugawa family (the First Battle of Ueda). Nobuyuki entered Toishi Castle, a branch castle, with over 300 soldiers and used guerrilla warfare to disrupt the Tokugawa clan.

After that, Masayuki became a vassal to Toyotomi Hideyoshi through Kagekatsu Uesugi, and in 1589, he also made peace with Ieyasu. The Sanada family became the ruling daimyo of the Tokugawa family.
Ieyasu, who highly valued Nobuyuki's talent, adopted Komatsuhime, the daughter of his senior vassal Honda Tadakatsu, and married her.

In this way, Nobuyuki became close to the Tokugawa family even within the Sanada family.
In 1590, Toyotomi Hideyoshi subjugated the Hojo family, and after the war, Numata territory was established as the territory of the Sanada family. Nobuyuki became the lord of Numata Castle.

In 1594, he was appointed to the rank of Jugoi (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Izu Province), and later promoted to Junior Fourth Rank (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade), with his main official being the Chamberlain, who also held the post of Izu Province.

Battle of Sekigahara

In 1598, Toyotomi Hideyoshi passed away. After Hideyoshi's death, Tokugawa Ieyasu, the highest ranking member of the imperial court, began to take control.

In 1600, Ishida Mitsunari, a five-magistrate who had lost his position, raised an army against Tokugawa Ieyasu (Battle of Sekigahara). His father, Masayuki Sanada, and younger brother, Nobushige (Yukimura Sanada), joined Mitsunari's Western army. This is because Nobushige married the daughter of Yoshitsugu Otani, who joined Ishida Mitsunari's army. Nobuyuki, whose wife was Komatsuhime, the daughter of Honda Tadakatsu, a senior vassal of the Tokugawa clan, who he married after being adopted by Ieyasu, decides to join Ieyasu and his army.

Nobuyuki Sanada's article continues

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Tomoyo Hazuki
Writer(Writer)I have loved history and geography since my student days, and have enjoyed visiting historical sites, temples and shrines, and researching ancient documents. He is especially strong in medieval Japanese history and European history in world history, and has read a wide range of things, including primary sources and historical entertainment novels. There are so many favorite military commanders and castles that I can't name them, but I especially like Hisashi Matsunaga and Mitsuhide Akechi, and when it comes to castles, I like Hikone Castle and Fushimi Castle. Once you start talking about the lives of warlords and the history of castles, there's a side of you that can't stop talking about them.
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