The Sanada clan claimed descent from the Seiwa Genji. Historically, the clans banner was established by Unno Yukiyoshi in the early 16th century. He emblazened the Rokumonsen on his banner. The Sanada were key vassals in the Takeda war machine contributing 3 Sanada's to Takeda's famous war generals, which were, Sanada Yukitaka(father), Sanada Nobutsuna(eldest son), Sanada Masayuki(second son), along with their younger brother Sanada Masateru.
At the Battle of Sekigahara Nobushige(Yukimura) fought against Tokugawa Hidetada at Ueda Castle successfully delaying him from reaching Sekigahara with 38,000 reinforcements. He opposed the Tokugawa again at the Battle of Osaka where he died.
Sanada Nobuyuki (1566–1658) was the oldest son of Masayuki. In 1600, he sided with the Tokugawa. He was given control of Ueda Domain in Shinano Province and Numata Domain in Kozuke Province with revenues of 65,000 koku. In 1622, Nobuyuki was transferred to Matsushiro Domain (100,000 koku) in Shinano. His descendants remained there until the Meiji Restoration in 1868.
- Yukiyoshi (Unno)
- Yukitaka (2nd)
- Sakuma Shōzan 佐久間象山 (1811–1864)
- Hayashi Sanada (sometimes spelled Hayashi Sanda) 真田林 (1803–1842)
NHK Television in Japan will be airing an annual Taiga broadcast about the Sengoku Jidai. This time (2016) it is the Sanada Maru.
- Papinot, Jacques Edmond Joseph. (1906). Dictionnaire d’histoire et de géographie du Japon; Papinot, (2003). ("Sanada," Nobiliare du Japon, p. 52 [PDF 56 of 80]; retrieved 2013-5-3.
- Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Sanada Nobushige" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 816.