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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References in periodicals archive ?
A fantasy action film, "47 Ronin" depicts a fictional account of the forty-seven Ronin, a real-life materless Japanese samurai group in 18th century who avenge the murder of their master.
Among them are the beautiful single mother Osae, played by Miyazawa Rie, who will become the main character's romantic interest; a poor ronin; the children of the alley; and a small group of samurai hiding under false identities but in reality members of the forty-seven ronin, the historical group of loyal samurai who, after their master's death, exacted revenge on the treacherous Lord Kira, who had caused it.
The subversive qualities of Hana are intensified by the way in which Kore-eda skillfully fixes the unorthodox story of Soza's vendetta against the background of the all-time classic of Japanese revenge stories, Chushingura, the fictionalized account of the historical revenge exacted by the forty-seven ronin. The conventional samurai vendetta story most often involves a highly skilled swordsman who either carefully plots his revenge on those who have wronged him before dispatching his foes one by one, as for instance in Kobayashi's Harakiri, or who by brute force vanquishes his opponents, as in the many incarnations of the Lone Wolf and Cub series.
Kore-eda adds another dimension to his vengeance-driven story by placing Soza's uncertainty and struggles with regards to his vendetta against the backdrop of Chushingura, the fictional account of the historical revenge in 1703 by the forty-seven ronin of the death of their master, Lord Asano.
Kore-eda has four of the forty-seven ronin take up residence in the alley and shows others coming and going.
Kore-eda's portrayal of the members of the forty-seven ronin is subversive, to say the least.
However, one of the forty-seven ronin who has taken up residency in the tenement alley is given a different treatment.
Perhaps the moat famous of these historical adaptations is Chushingura, the tale of the Forty-Seven Ronin. In March 1701, the daimyo of Ako, Lor Asano, drew a sword and wounded Kira, an official of the Shogun's government who had insulted him.
Fukuzawa's own autobiography describes his early enjoyment of (pre-Perry) scholarly debate, on literary interpretation(3) and his debates in the Ogata school on the propriety of the acts of the Forty-Seven Ronin:
If the theme of the Forty-Seven Ronin came up, I would challenge my comrades, "I will take which-ever side you are against.
Debate over the Forty-Seven Ronin had already been something of a national pastime in Japan for more than a century before Fukuzawa joined the fray (and before the arrival of Perry).