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Sanada Nobushige, also known as Yukimura, emerged as one of the most illustrious samurai of the Sengoku Period. Born as the second son of Sanada Masayuki and younger sibling to Sanada Nobuyuki, he was originally named Nobushige and acquired the moniker "Yukimura" only through later Edo period tales. Renowned as the "Crimson Demon of War" due to his blood-red banners and armor, he earned titles such as "Japan’s Greatest Warrior" and even the "Last Sengoku Hero" among his contemporaries.

As a youth, he was sent by his father as a hostage to the Uesugi clan, later returning to serve Toyotomi Hideyoshi directly. Nobushige married Aki-hime, the daughter of Otani Yoshitsugu, who was adopted by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Throughout his life, Nobushige displayed remarkable bravery and strategic prowess in various battles, notably defending Ueda Castle against multiple Tokugawa sieges. Despite being vastly outnumbered, he valiantly held off Tokugawa forces, earning admiration and respect.

Following the Battle of Sekigahara, where the Sanada family was divided between the Western and Tokugawa forces, Nobushige and his father were stripped of their domain and exiled to Mt. Koya. Despite this setback, Nobushige continued to resist the Tokugawa, participating in the Winter Siege and Summer Campaign of Osaka Castle. He constructed the formidable Sanada Maru, a crescent-shaped fortress, and led fierce defenses against overwhelming Tokugawa forces.

Tragically, during the Summer Siege of Osaka, Nobushige, exhausted from relentless battles, faced defeat. Despite his valiant efforts, he succumbed to his injuries under a pine tree in the grounds of the Yasui Shrine, allowing a Tokugawa samurai named Nishio Nizaemon to claim his head. Nobushige's death dealt a significant blow to the morale of the Osaka troops, marking the end of an era. Today, a statue commemorates his valiant spirit beneath the solemn shade of the shrine's pine tree.


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