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47 Ronin – 四十七人の刺客 – Shijūshichinin no shikaku – 1994


The story of the forty-seven rōnin has been depicted in many ways, with each version focusing the emphasis on different parts of the story—the rivalry of Lords Asano and Kira, Asano’s assault on Kira, Asano’s sentence of seppuku immediately afterward, and the revenge attack 21 months later against Kira by the forty-seven loyal retainers. Oishi Kuranosuke, Asano’s chamberlain and the head of the 47 samurai, is often the primary character, and his actions are often held up as the epitome of bushido, the honor code of the samurai.

In this telling, the emphasis is on the preparation for and the attack on Kira’s castle. The immediate reactions to Lord Asano’s assault on Lord Kira are shown in flashback, and Lord Asano and the actual assault are barely shown at all.

Unlike other versions of the story, Oishi Kuranosuke does not pretend to descend into a life of debauchery, and Kira is shown as expecting the attack.

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