Last week, we aired the 50th and final episode of Hana Moyu, which was NHK’s 54th Taiga drama. Many viewers have called or emailed asking for information about the next Taiga drama.
The 55th Taiga drama is titled Sanada Maru. It is about the life of Yukimura Sanada, who is considered one of Japan’s last great commanders of the Sengoku — or warring — period. Yukimura’s actual name was Nobushige, and he was born to an exceptionally intelligent father, Masayuki Sanada, who was himself considered a great military strategist.
The Sengoku period lasted from 1467-1603 and was a time of great political turbulence, social upheaval, and almost constant military battles. Eventually, three warlords emerged as key figures in unifying Japan and ending the warring period: Oda Nobunaga, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Sanada Yukimura was aligned with Toyotomi, and led the defense of Toyotomi’s stronghold, Osaka Castle, against the much larger forces of Tokugawa. Sanada built a fortress on the periphery of Osaka Castle which came to be known as Sanada Maru. In the Siege of Osaka, the fortress was impenetrable, which helped solidify Sanada’s legendary status. He has been called “a hero who may appear once in a hundred years”.
Sanada Maru begins on Tuesday, February 16, at 8pm.