Sanada Yukimura

The winter campaign began on November 19, 1614; Osaka Castle siege commenced on December 4, 1614, and lasted until January 22, 1615, when truce was reached.

On June 3, 1615 (6th day of 5th month of 20 year of Keicho era), at the Battle of Dōmyōji, Sanada Yukimura was in command of the Osaka Army on the right wing and engaged in a battle with Date Masamune forces in the area of Emperor Ōjin's Tomb and Konda Hachiman Shrine. This fight took place at around 12:00 and by 5:00 PM Sanada Yukimura made the decision to retreat towards Osaka Castle.

On June 3, 1615 (7th day of 5th month of 20 year of Keicho era), at the Battle of Tennōji after hurrying back to Osaka castle, Yukimura found the massive Tokugawa force of nearly 150,000 moving into positions in order to make their final assault on the castle. As the Tokugawa units were still moving into formation, the Toyotomi forces launched a last ditch offensive with their approximate 54,000 to 60,000 troops that hoped to take the still loose Tokugawa formations off-guard. As the vanguard of the Tokugawa left flank under Matsudaira Tadanao marched to their positions, Yukimura's troops charged down from Chausuyama (茶臼山) and fought with desperate abandon together with Mori Katsunaga's contingent. As Matsudaira’s line began to crumble, Ieyasu rushed his personal body of troops up to support Matsudaira and Yukimura saw his chance to smash through the center. If he could keep the center of the Tokugawa forces tied up long enough for Hideyori to sally out of the castle and lead a general charge on the exposed Tokugawa flank, the Toyotomi forces might have a chance at victory—or so he hoped. Thus, at this moment, Yukimura dispatched his son, Sanada Daisuke back to the castle to urge Hideyori to seize the moment and sally forward. But Hideyori was too late. As the fighting raged around him, the exhausted Yukimura collapsed on a camp stool. According to legend, Yukimura's last words were along the lines of "Who dares to take my head?" Nishio Nizaemon, a Tokugawa samurai, recognized Yukimura and charged forward, issuing a challenge. Unable to muster the strength to fight, Yukimura acknowledged who he was and took off his helmet. Seconds later, his life came to an abrupt end.

According to primary historical sources and personal letters, he was never referred to as Yukimura. That name surfaced in a military novel written during the Edo period and has since been popularized in modern plays, books, novels, and different media of entertainment. The historical documents use his historical name "Nobushige".

A legend says that Yukimura had ten heroes who took an active role at the battles at Osaka Castle. They were called the Sanada Ten Braves, a group of ninja.

Another legend states that in the Winter of 1614, Tokugawa Ieyasu sent an envoy to Yukimura with a notice that, if he were to abandon the Toyotomi cause, that he would give his entire prefecture of Shinano and 400,000 koku. Yukimura laughed and posted the notice on the wall for all in the castle to see.