In 1701, young Lord Asano is goaded into attacking a corrupt official at the Japanese Court. Although the wound Asano inflicts is minimal, the Emperor’s punishment is harsh – Lord Asano is ordered to commit seppuku, or ritual suicide. His lands are confiscated and his family is dishonoured and exiled. His samurai now become ronin, or masterless, and are dispersed.
The Ronin were not trusted by their enemies and lived under the watchful eyes of spies for months. They appeared to adapt to their new circumstances by becoming tradesmen and teachers. But the Ronin only seemed to accept their fate. They were, in fact, making careful plans for revenge, biding their time until the moment to strike was right! Their deeds became Japan’s most celebrated example of bravery, cunning, and loyalty, in an age when samurai were heroes, and honour was worth dying for.
|Dimensions||203 × 130 mm|
John Allyn studied Japanese at Stanford University and was stationed in Japan during the early years of the U.S. occupation. After returning to the U.S., he entered UCLA where he received his master's degree in Theater Arts in 1951. He went on to specialize in Japanese theater, receiving a doctorate in Theater History. Stephen Turnbull is the author of over 50 books on the military history of Europe and the Far East. He works as a Japanese cultural consultant and a Lecturer in Japanese Religion at the Department of East Asian Studies at Leeds University. He served as the historical advisor for the Universal Pictures film 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves.
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