Hyōgo, My Travels, Out Of The Box — September 27, 2015 at 4:49 PM

47 Ronin: the Epic Tale of Loyalty!

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Ema depicting the 47 Ronin at Akōōishi Shrine (赤穂大石神社) in Hyōgo Prefecture.

Ema depicting the 47 Ronin at Akōōishi Shrine (赤穂大石神社) in Hyōgo Prefecture.

47 Ronin Warriors and Akō City:

47 Ronin Warriors: after visiting Himeji castle and spending a wonderful evening along the Seto Inland Sea (瀬戸内海), I visited the Akōōishi Shrine (赤穂大石神社) and the 47 Ronin Warriors (四十七士). The entrance to the shrine is lined with statues of these Lordless samurai. Inside the shrine is a small museum and along the outside walls of the Haiden (拝殿) and Honden (本殿) of Akōōishi Shrine you can find a pictorial describing this epic tale of the “47 Ronin”.

The Story of the 47 Ronin:

Akō Ōishi Shrine and the 47 Ronin Warriors. The entrance to the shrine is lined with statues of these Lordless samurai.

Akō Ōishi Shrine and the 47 Ronin Warriors. The entrance to the shrine is lined with statues of these Lordless samurai.

There are several version of this true historical event, like the one written by Isaac Titsingh, one of the earliest foreigners that came to Japan towards the end of the 18th century. And then there is the version of Baron Freeman-Mitford “Tales of Old Japan”, written towards the end of the 19 century. A search on Amazon will list almost 50 titles to choose from. I liked the story from Baron Freeman-Mitford titled “Tales of Old Japan”.

What is a Ronin:

The word “Ronin “means, literally, a “wave-man”; one who is tossed about hither and thither, as a wave of the sea. It is used to designate persons of gentle blood, entitled to bear arms, who, having become separated from their feudal lords by their own act, or by dismissal, or by fate, wander about the country in the capacity of somewhat disreputable knights-errant, without ostensible means of living, in some cases offering themselves for hire to new masters, in others supporting themselves by pillage; or who, falling a grade in the social scale, go into trade, and become simple wards-men. See All Pictures Here!

The Haiden (拝殿) and Honden (本殿) of Akōōishi Shrine (赤穂大石神社) famous for the story of the 47 Ronin. Akō-Ōishi Shrine is dedicated to the Akō gishi (赤穂義士) or the virtuous men of loyal samurai, lords and generals of the Asano (淺野氏) and Mōri clan (毛利氏).

The Haiden (拝殿) and Honden (本殿) of Akōōishi Shrine (赤穂大石神社) famous for the story of the 47 Ronin. Akō-Ōishi Shrine is dedicated to the Akō gishi (赤穂義士) or the virtuous men of loyal samurai, lords and generals of the Asano (淺野氏) and Mōri clan (毛利氏).

47 Ronin sites in Japan:

Outside of the Akō Castle Ruins (赤穂城跡) near the Akōōishi Shrine (赤穂大石神社) where the residence was of Lord Asano, there is the grave site of Lord Asano and his 47 Ronin at the Sengaku-ji Temple (泉岳寺) in Tokyo. Here in Kyoto you can still have some matcha at “Gion Ichiriki Chaya (一力茶屋) Tea House”. It’s the same machaya were Ōishi Kuranosuke (大石 内蔵助) was entertained by Geisha. Both the City of Akō and Tokyo have events every 14th of December to commemorate the loyalty of the 47 Ronin.

Kuranosuke is the First to Commit Seppuku.

Kuranosuke is the First to Commit Seppuku.

Check out the many books that have been written about the 47 Ronin at Amazon.com, purchasing through my site helps support me, Thank you!

 


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