HOMEOTHER PUBLISHERS(その他の出版者) > 『四十七士』(Shiju-shichi-shi)
Forty-Seven Ronin

English ed. 1893 (Meiji 26) Catalogue No. 186


編者:宮崎吉五郎(Editor : Kichigoro Miyazaki)
絵師:雪谷(Illustrator : Sekkoku)
English ed. 1893 (Meiji 26)Catalogue No. 186

■ あらすじ 
Outline of this story
 This story is set in the early 18th century. Asano Takuminokami, the Daimio (i.e., lord) of the province of Ako, had received insulting maltreatment from Kira Kodzukenosuke, a high official in the Court of Tokugawa, and slashed him in retaliation. Kira survived, but the Court of Tokugawa found Asano guilty of causing injury with a sword inside the palace, ordered him to commit “Harakiri” (i.e., to disembowel himself), and confiscated his estates and castle. Having become "Ronin" (i.e., masterless samurai), his retainers dispersed. But Oishi Kuranosuke, who had been Asano's chief councillor, brought the faithful ones together again in a plot to kill Kira and avenge their late master. Oishi induced their enemies to relax their guard by feigning drunkenness, and succeeded in sneaking men into Kira's mansion to gather information. On a cold winter night, they raided the mansion and slew Kira. After paying a visit to Asano's grave to announce their accomplishment of the deed, they followed the shogunate orders and committed “Harakiri” to pay for their crime.
■ Note
 Generally known as the "Chushingura" (Tale of the Loyal Retainers), this story is based on a historical event: the Genroku Ako Incident. A brief outline of the incident is followed by profiles of a total of 53 characters involved in it, from Asano, Kira, and the 47 retainers to Oishi's wife, a retainer who killed himself before the attack, and a merchant who procured the weapons for the raid. The profiles devote one page to each character and are accompanied by illustrations, but contain some factual errors. The illustrator is noted as "Sekkoku" on the flip side of the cover.