Legend of the 47 Wanderers: Loyalty is more important than life

On a morning in March 1701, lord Asano Takumi no Kami of Ako region (now Okayama prefecture) drew his katana sword and slashed his superior, lord Kira Hozuke no Suke, right in Edo castle, because Kira insulted Asano’s subordinates, and this is said to be the reason why Asano lost his temper.

Drawing a weapon is an absolutely taboo action in Edo castle. That’s why, on that very day, great general Tokugawa Tsunayoshi ordered Asano to perform a seppuku ritual (a suicide ritual so that samurai could die with honor) in the garden of another lord, a place much lower than Asano’s status.

After performing the seppuku ritual, Asano’s body was buried at Sengakuji. All of his assets were confiscated. And Kira survived and did not suffer any punishment.

This caused great anger among Asano’s subordinates who have now become ronin (romantics). )i.e. masterless samurai wandering around. They begged the shogun to restore their master’s honor and fortune but it was in vain, so they gathered under the direction of their main subordinate Oishi Kura no Suke and decided to take matters into their own hands and avenge the cruel death. The owner’s memory.

More than a year later, on the night of December 14, 1702, the wanderer broke into Kir’s palace, killed all the guards, placed their heads in front of Asano’s grave, completed his revenge and surrendered to the court.

However that the laws of the time forbade cruel acts of revenge, but many people including court officials also felt that Asano had suffered an unjust death. Furthermore, the vagabonds’ loyalty to their masters was seen as emblematic of the traditional values ​​of bushido (warrior spirit), which many believed were gradually being lost in this society. decadent society.

Finally, the wanderers were given the right by the general to perform the seppuku ritual instead of being executed. Their bodies were buried next to their master Asano. 47 wanderers and their masters built a temple called Sengakuji, which currently attracts many visitors.

On December 14 every year, a large festival will take place here to commemorate the death of loyal samurai. The story of the 47 Romantics has also been circulated everywhere, becoming the pride of Japan and has been adapted into movies many times.