Rus Articles Journal

Who such 47 devoted ronins or Once in Japan. The story about a debt and revenge.

of the Fifteenth day of the last month of the 15th year of an era to Genrok (1702) the capital of Japan Edo (modern Tokyo) was shaken extremely by unusual news: in the seventh guards - at four o`clock in the morning - the house of the high-ranking government official, master of ceremony at court of of the shogun (the military governor of Japan), was attacked. It made the stunning impression: in hundred years of board of a dynasty Tokugawa Japan thoroughly got used to peaceful and law-abiding existence.

In one year nine months prior to this event in a so-called Pine corridor of the lock of the shogun in Edo 35 - tiletny Asano Takumi - but Kami Naganori with a sword in a hand attacked aged Cyrus Kodzuke - but suke Yosinaka - the head of a noble aristocratic family - and wounded him. It was most strictly forbidden to bare a sword in the palace, no reasons were taken into account.

Events so developed. Every year the syogunsky government (to a bakuf ) in the first month of new year sent to representatives of the military governor in Kyoto to the yard of the emperor for bringing of congratulations from the beginning of New year. Reciprocal visit to the shogun was carried out in the third month. For the government it was the ceremony of extreme importance, and daymyo (large feudal lords), appointed for reception of imperial ambassadors, were carefully instructed in order to avoid the slightest oversight. For reception of ambassadors about the ruling emperor Higasiyam - tenno (1674 - 1705) Asano Naganori was appointed.

By the established tradition everyone daymyo when there came its turn to direct reception of ambassadors, received from Cyrus Yosinak manuals about a ceremonial order. In gratitude for a lesson daymyo gifts usually presented Cyrus. However Asano did not wish to please Kira and did not make any gifts. It is probable for this reason did not receive any manuals of Asano, Cyrus defiantly did not pay him any attention. Of course, accepting ambassadors, Asano made many mistakes, and it tormented him. In fatal day of Cyrus spoke of Asano`s readiness in the most pejorative and abusive terms, claiming that Asano is only capable to offend imperial ambassadors - so he is rough and crude. All this excessively irritated Asano, and he was unable to constrain anger.

Shortly before the beginning of a ceremony of a meeting of ambassadors when Kira Yosinaka went along the Pine corridor, suddenly behind his back Asano Naganori and with exclamation appeared: Whether you Remember about my hatred to you for recent?! - hit it with a sword. The blow fitted on a forehead, but it was not deadly: Kira it was only easily wounded, started running, and though Asano still hit him with a sword twice (both blows had in the right shoulder of Cyrus), all wounds were insignificant.

At an emergency meeting led by the shogun Asano`s punishment - of seppuku was chosen (hara-kiri) which was carried out in the evening of the same day.

Right after it from a capital mansion of Asano the emergency ambassadors were sent to the Acre lock. Ambassadors informed all in the Acre lock on the incident: mister committed suicide, the clan is disbanded, possession are confiscated, and all Samurais serving Naganori lost a source of existence now and turned into ronins - of vassals without owner .

Opinions of the audience were shared. One suggested to accept a lot of destiny and to disperse in search of a new haven, others insisted on immediate suicide after mister, the third suggested to wait and find an opportunity to revenge the offender of their mister. Among the last there was also Oisi Kuranosuke who headed the union of avengers, the union of 47 ronins .

Wishing to revenge were in a difficult situation. Everything including Kira Yosinaka and to officials to a bakuf, it was clear that ronins of Acre clan will try to revenge. Therefore behind them continuous supervision was conducted. By order of Oisi members of the union of avengers dispersed in different places, with each other directly did not communicate, but all kept in contact with Oisi.

After the strengthened protection of a mansion of Cyrus was removed, ronins secretly got over in Edo where they were settled in different houses, but all near Cyrus`s house. Under assumed names everyone opened the business. All this was cover: clarification of routes of movements of Cyrus on the city, the mode of life of its mansion and other was the only purpose of devoted vassals.

On a signal storm of a mansion was begun along with two parties. There were four o`clock in the morning. In the house almost all slept. Resistance of protection was suppressed rather quickly. Attackers were scattered on rooms in search of Cyrus Yosinak. It was not anywhere. At last, it was found in the storeroom for coal. His face was densely covered with coal dust, and it was succeeded to identify it on the scars which remained from blows of a sword of Asano Naganori. The same sword it was also beheaded. The revenge, thus, was carried out, the objectives were achieved.

The assessment of actions of ronins even in the government was not unambiguous. The dispersion of opinions was broad, but it passed the decision: all to ronins to make of seppuku which was carried out next day. Seppuku was avoided only by one ronin - Teradzaki Kitiemon - disappeared right after storm of a mansion.

Soon real events of revenge of devoted vassals acquired fictional details, nonexistent characters were sometimes added. Incident of Acre and history of revenge of forty seven ronins did a lot of noise that kabuki could not stand aside.

Reaction of theater was instant. In ten days after devoted vassals made seppuku, Nakamuradza was put on the stage of capital theater the play Attack of brothers of Soga on an end of night . Representation took place only two times, for the third day the performance was forbidden. A story about 47 ronins became property not only theater, it got also to a codon - oral stories - a genre extremely Tokugawa, popular during the period. Seytyu`s series gisiden - Biographies of devoted vassals - is created at the end of 1840 - x years.

Material is prepared according to M. Uspensky`s book Samurais of east capital . - Kaliningrad: Amber narration, 1997