47 Ronin (Ako Incident- Chushingura)

  • The true story of 47 samurai perfectly summarizes the bushido values of loyalty, honor, and persistence. Most Japanese know about this incident as it has been featured in Kabuki and Bunraku plays.
  • This is the incidence where 47 samurai were charged with seppuku for avenging their master.
  • In 1701, Asano, a daimyo representing the Ako region, was insulted by a powerful official from the Tokugawa shogunate while visiting the Edo castle. The official, Kira, nsulted him because Asano had not bribed him. Facing with a series of insults, Asano could not hold his temper and assaulted Kira wounding him on the face. In just a few hours Asano was judged and sentenced to seppuku because he attacked a government official in the shogunate. His execution was held on the same day.

  • Asano’s 47 men sworn an oath to avenge their master knowing that all of them would be executed if they touched Kira. At the same time, they were suspected to do something for the revenge and some high ranking men were followed by the spies of Kira. After waiting a year and half, they finally attacked Kira’s residence in Edo. They captured Kira and killed him. They returned themselves in and were given a chance for seppuku rather than an execution.

  • The youngest ronin was let go to maintain the samurai blood and to tell what happened in Edo to the people of Ako.
  • The graves of the ronins are located in the Sengakuji temple near Shinagawa station of Tokyo. Every year in mid-December there is a special commemoration event held at the temple.

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