Forty-seven Ronin

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Forty-seven Ronin,

Jap. Chushingura, group of Japanese samuraisamurai
, knights of feudal Japan, retainers of the daimyo. This aristocratic warrior class arose during the 12th-century wars between the Taira and Minamoto clans and was consolidated in the Tokugawa period.
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 who avenged the disgrace and seppuku (suicide) of their master, Lord Asano, in 1703 by assassinating Lord Kira, the official responsible for his death. After a year of debate at all levels of society, the ronin (masterless samurai) committed seppuku as they had been ordered. They have since been regarded as great cultural heroes who embody the virtue of loyalty and are celebrated in traditional tales and a number of works of art. These include a popular 18th-century drama by Chikamatsu MonzaemonChikamatsu, Monzaemon
, 1653–1725, the first professional Japanese dramatist. Chikamatsu wrote primarily for the puppet stage in the Tokugawa shogunate. His literary work is divided into historical romances (jidaimono) and domestic tragedies of love and duty (
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; 19th-century Japanese prints; films by Kinugasa Teinosuke (1932), Mizoguchi Kenji (1942), and Hiroshi Inagaki (1962); modern stage and television plays; and, in the West, a dramatic adaptation (The Faithful) by John MasefieldMasefield, John
, 1878–1967, English poet. He went to sea as a youth and later spent several years in the United States. In 1897 he returned to England and was on the staff of the Manchester Guardian.
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