After deliberating for some time and calling in the advice of leading philosophers! Which, of course, they did. Not two weeks later the first play based on the incident was performed and promptly shut down by the authorities. This story of duty resolutely carried out to the most extreme lengths resonated within the core of the Japanese people and became the basis for a nearly boundless waterfall of plays, novels and films. In some texts the 47th ronin dies before the final attack for some reason or another. The multiple authorship of this play, in which, according to experts, different authors wrote different acts, led to a recognized unevenness in quality among the acts, as well as inconsistencies in the characters, resulting in one particular character being played by one actor early in the play and by another at the end!

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On the day of the reception, at Edo Castle , Asano drew his short sword and attempted to kill Kira. His reasons are not known, but many purport that an insult may have provoked him. For this act, he was sentenced to commit seppuku , but Kira did not receive any punishment. They then turned themselves in to the authorities, and were sentenced to commit seppuku, which they all did on the same day that year. However, as John Allen Tucker [4] points out that definition glosses over the religious meaning behind the term.

Scholars during that time used that word to describe people who had given their lives for a greater cause in such a way that they deserved veneration after death. Such people were often entombed or memorialized at shrines.

However, there is a debate on whether they even should be worshiped and how controversial their tombs at Sengakuji are. Perhaps even implying that the Bakufu had made a mistake. In Chinese philosophy, Confucius used to say that the great ministers served their rulers the moral way. Early Confucianism emphasized loyalty, the moral way and objection and legitimate execution of wrongdoers. Interpretations of the passage from the Book identified those who would sacrifice themselves in the name of duty should live on idealized.

Because they did violate the law by killing Kira Yoshinaka. Confucian classics and the Bakufu law may have seemed to complement each other to allow revenge. Actually during the seventeenth century there was a system of registered vendettas. This meant that people could avenge a murder of a relative, but only after their plans strictly adhered to legal guidelines.

Thus, they had to look to Confucian texts to justify their vendetta. Being able to draw Confucianist values from this story is no coincidence, it is said that Asano was a Confucian. So it would only seem natural that his retainers would practice the same thing. Their ultimate sacrifice for their master is something that is held in high regard in Confucianism because they are fulfilling their responsibility to the fullest extent.

There is nothing more after that kind of sacrifice. At that point the warriors have given their everything to their master. The title means " Kana practice book Treasury of the loyal retainers".

To avoid censorship, the authors placed the action in the time of the Taiheiki a few centuries earlier , changing the names of the principals. The play is performed every year in both the bunraku and kabuki versions, though more often than not it is only a few selected acts which are performed and not the entire work. To avoid shogunate censorship, the authors set the play in the earlier Muromachi period — and the names of the characters were altered. However some names sounded similar and those with knowledge knew what they were referring to in reality.

The play therefore fuses fiction and fact. Gradually, the actors are revealed in front of the Hachiman Shrine in Kamakura slumped over like lifeless puppets. He is hostile to the younger, inexperienced lords. He speaks of the insults which he suffered and his determination to take his revenge. The preparations for the ceremony are elaborate and formal. He must kill himself on two upturned tatami mats which are covered with a white cloth and have small vases of anise placed at the four corners.

The details of the seppuku were strictly prescribed: the initial cut is under the left rib-cage, the blade is then drawn to the right and, finally, a small upward cut is made before withdrawing the blade. Hangan delays as long as he can, however, for he is anxious to have one last word with his chief retainer, Yuranosuke. Hangan is left to despatch himself by cutting his own jugular vein. This act is a tosan-ba, or "do not enter or leave" scene, which means the audience was not allowed to enter or leave while it was played, the atmosphere had to be completely silent and nothing was allowed to disturb the suicide scene.

Interact, Michiyuki tabiji no hanamuko Ochiudo "The Fugitives" This michiyuki or "travel-dance" was added to the play in and is very often performed separately. He would take his own life to atone for his sin, but Okaru persuades him to wait.

The couple are waylaid by the comical Sagisaki Bannai and his foolish men. On a dark, rainy night we see him out hunting wild boar. Meanwhile, Okaru has agreed that her father, Yoichibei, sell her into prostitution in Kyoto to raise money for the vendetta.

Kanpei shoots at a wild boar but misses. Kanpei finds the body but cannot see who it is in the darkness. Hardly believing his luck, he discovers the money on the body, and decides to take it to give to the vendetta.

The truth, however, is revealed before he draws his last breath and, in his own blood, Kanpei is permitted to add his name to the vendetta list.

Yuranosuke is feigning a life of debauchery at the same teahouse to which Okaru has been indentured. Yuranosuke is forced to accept. It would appear that Yuranosuke has no thoughts of revenge. Now believing himself alone, Yuranosuke begins to read a secret letter scroll about preparations for the vendetta. On a higher balcony Okaru comes out to cool herself in the evening breeze and, noticing Yuranosuke close by, she also reads the letter reflected in her mirror. Finding the end of the letter torn off, he realises that yet another person knows his secret and he must silence them both.

Feigning merriment, he calls Okaru to come down and offers to buy out her contract. He goes off supposedly to fix the deal. He persuades Okaru to let him kill her instead so as to save their honour and she agrees. This is called hara-gei or "belly acting", which means he has to perform from within to change characters.

Emotions are also expressed through the colours of the costumes, a key element in kabuki. Gaudy and strong colours can convey foolish or joyful emotions, whereas severe or muted colours convey seriousness and focus. On the way, they pass a number of famous sites such as Mt. Fuji and, as a marriage procession passes by, Konami watches enviously, thinking that in better times she herself would have ridden in just such a grand palanquin.

Tonase encourages her daughter, telling her of the happiness to come once she is wed. In despair, Tonase and Konami decide to take their own lives. The action takes place at the premises of Amakawaya Gihei, a merchant who lives in the port of Sakai, near Osaka.

Yuranosuke has entrusted Gihei with the purchase and shipment to Kamakura of all the weapons, armour and other equipment which they will need for the vendetta. Knowing that he may be linked to the vendetta, Gihei has been preparing by dismissing his staff so that they would not be aware of what he was doing. Gihei agrees, thinking that his wife has betrayed him. Gihei refuses to allow them to open one of the chests of weapons and armour, even threatening to kill his own son to allay their suspicions.

Gihei, however, torn between his love for his wife and his duty to Yuranosuke reluctantly forces her to leave. Shut outside, she is attacked in the dark by two men who steal her hair pins and combs and cut off her hair.

Yuranosuke and his men reappear and, about to depart, place some gifts for Gihei on an open fan. Yuranosuke had his men attack her and cut her hair to that her father would be unable to marry her off. In hundred days, he says, her hair will grow back and she can be reconciled with her husband, Gihei. By then, Yuranosuke and his men will also have achieved their goal. Gihei and Osono, overawed by his kindness, offer their deepest thanks. Yuranosuke and his men depart for their ship.

The play became very popular and was depicted in many ukiyo-e prints. Because the break-in occurred in December according to the old calendar , the story is often retold in that month. The first original production followed in The story was adapted for film again in Parts of the original film were destroyed when fire broke out during the production. However, these sequences have been restored with new technology.

A Nikkatsu film retold the events to audiences in Since then, three generations of leading men have starred in the role. Younger actors play Asano, and the role of Aguri, wife and later widow of Asano, is reserved for the most beautiful actresses. Kira, who was over sixty at his death, requires an older actor. The two parts were titled Chushingura Go and Chushingura Zen They wanted a ferocious morale booster based upon the familiar rekishi geki "historical drama" of "The Loyal 47 Ronin".

Instead, Mizoguchi chose for his source Mayama Chushingura, a cerebral play dealing with the story. The 47 Ronin was a commercial failure, having been released in Japan one week before the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

The film was celebrated by foreign scholars who saw it in Japan; it was not shown in the United States until the s. During the occupation of Japan , the GHQ banned performances of the story, charging them with promoting feudal values. Under the influence of Faubion Bowers , the ban was lifted in The Hollywood film 47 Ronin by Universal is a fantasy epic, with Keanu Reeves as an Anglo-Japanese who joins the samurai in their quest for vengeance against Lord Kira, who is aided by a fictitious shape-shifting witch.

The film was originally scheduled to be released on November 21, , then moved to February 8, , due to creative differences between Universal and director Carl Rinsch, requiring the inclusion of additional scenes and citing the need for work on the 3D visual effects. It was later postponed to December 25, , to account for the reshoots and post-production. Consistently negative film reviews of this film rendition considered it to have almost nothing in common with the original play.

Hisaya Morishige , Naoto Takenaka , and others have portrayed Kira.


ISBN 13: 9780231035316

Akinozil Nov 05, Laela rated it it was amazing Shelves: In some texts the 47th ronin dies before the final attack for some reason or another. Fun to read, and I found it quite hilarious as well because everyone is wayyyyy over dramatic and jumping at the chance to kill themselves over petty things. I do not read many plays, but I was able to be enveloped in the story and was so compelled by it that I finished it the day that I started it. A lengthier broadcast may be found here: Just a moment while we sign you in to chushinguura Goodreads account. It is essential reading for anyone interested in classical literature from East Asia. It is very strange and just seems really foreign without a lot of context.


Chūshingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers): A Puppet Play

On the day of the reception, at Edo Castle , Asano drew his short sword and attempted to kill Kira. His reasons are not known, but many purport that an insult may have provoked him. For this act, he was sentenced to commit seppuku , but Kira did not receive any punishment. They then turned themselves in to the authorities, and were sentenced to commit seppuku, which they all did on the same day that year. However, as John Allen Tucker [4] points out that definition glosses over the religious meaning behind the term.

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Chushingura, the Treasury of Loyal Retainers: A Puppet Play Summary & Study Guide


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