Yazawa Yoritsuna (矢沢頼綱)

Yoritsuna YAZAWA (1518 – June 21, 1597) was a busho (Japanese military commander) during the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States [in Japan]). He was the son of Yorimasa SANADA. Yukitaka SANADA was his older brother. His childhood name was Gennosuke. He also called himself Yoriyuki. His zuryomei (honorary title) was Satsuma no kami (Governor of Satsuma Province). His children included Yoriyasu YAZAWA (his heir), Yorikuni YAZAWA, and a daughter (Yukisada UMINO's wife).

Although in his early days he entered the priesthood and became a monk at Kurama-dera Temple in Kyoto, he returned to secular life in his hometown after a short while, performing brilliantly as a member of Shinano Senpo shu (one of the groups of feudal lords and their warriors in the dominions annexed by Shingen TAKEDA) under his older brother Yukitaka, who served Shingen TAKEDA. After working under Yukitaka and then his nephew Nobutsuna SANADA who succeeded Yukitaka, he also worked for his other nephew Masayuki SANADA, who took over the Sanada family after Nobutsuna's death at the battle of Nagashino, capturing Iwabitsu-jo Castle in Kozuke Province and becoming its Keeper.

After that, as a chief vassal of the Sanada clan, he captured more castles, including Onabuchi-jo Castle (小那淵城), Nagurumi-jo Castle and Ogawa-jo Castle (Kozuke Province). He later captured Numata-jo Castle and became its Keeper, and when the Castle was attacked by Ujikuni HOJO, he performed brilliantly in repelling the attack with the help of a relief army from Kagekatsu UESUGI.