The story of the 47 Rōnin is a well loved part of Japanese history, one of loyalty and justice. To this day, more than 300 years after, is still relevant as it epitomizes the code of the Samurai warriors, values that are considered important in modern Japan.
Here’s what happened (From the Wikipedia) :
The story tells of a group of samurai who were left leaderless (becoming rōnin) after their daimyō (feudal lord) Asano Naganori was compelled to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) for assaulting a court official named Kira Yoshinaka, whose title was Kōzukeno suke. After waiting and planning for a year, the rōnin avenged their master’s honor by killing Kira. In turn, they were themselves obliged to commit seppuku for committing the crime of murder. This true story was popularized in Japanese culture as emblematic of the loyalty, sacrifice, persistence, and honor that people should preserve in their daily lives. The popularity of the tale grew during the Meiji era, in which Japan underwent rapid modernization, and the legend became entrenched within discourses of national heritage and identity.
This story has been represented in art, plays, operas and films. When I was there last week, there were people praying and paying their respects at the graves. They are very well looked after and in fact they were being kept up when I was there.
Sengaku-ji, where the graves are, is a beautiful Buddhist temple in Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo.
You can visit the graves for free until 18:30 I believe. There’s also a little 47 Rōnin museum but it closes at 16:00, entry costs 500¥.
Did you know the story of the 47 Rōnin?
As always, thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed my pictures!