Ako Roshi is the most famous allegiant samurai soldiers in Edo period,
and the Ako Incident or the Forty-Seven Ronins Incident was that the 47
ronins of former Ako state completed the their revenge to their master's
enemy in December 14th of 1702.
The incident happened at the midnight of the December 14th of Genroku 15th (1702). Yoshio Oishi, Kura no Suke, and 46 ronins former vessels of Naganori Asano,Takumi no Kami, raided into the mansion of Yoshinaka Kira, Kozuke no Suke, in Matsuzaka-cho in Honjo (now Rogoku in Sumida-ku Tokyo). They could succeed their revenge on Kira. They took Yoshinaka's head to Sengakuji Temple and they held the head up in front of Norinaga's tomb. Their revenge was completed.
The beginning had happened almost a year before, when their master Naganori Asano had been assigned to an officer in charge of entertaining the Imperial envoys and Yoshinaka Kira, later their enemy, had been also assigned to a master in charge of coaching the officers and whole ceremonies. During the preparation of the ceremony, they had misunderstood each other, finally Asano thought that Kira had treated him nastily.
In March 14th of Genroku 14th (1701), just before the Imperial envoys would arrived at Edojo Castle to return the Bakufu's New Year call to the Emperor, Naganori Asano attacked at Yoshinaka Kira with his sword at Matsu no Roka corridor (covered with pictures of pine trees)in Edojo Castle. Although he drew his sword, Asano could not kill Kira, since Yosobei Kajikawa stopped him. At that time, drawing swords in Edojo Castle was banned. Naganori Asano was sentenced to death because he had violated the law. However Kira did not get any punishment. Then many people in Edo complained to hear the result they thought it was very unfair as they both should be blame in their quarrel. Moreover, Asano Family and his vassals were forfeited their territories. Not only Oishi but also most of Asano's vassals were disaffected with Edo Bakufu (Shogunate).
After Naganori's death, Oishi and other vassals had wished to restore Asano Family and their territories, but it couldn't. They decided to revenge on Kira to insist that the penalty had had to be unfair.
After the forty-seven ronins had completed the revenge, they of course got the penalties to death as they had tried to corrupt social morals, so it implied that the decisions the Bakufu had given before had to be miscarriages of justice. Many samurais and scholars argued to get the decision. Many praised that the ronins were very faithfully loyal retainers, they were outstanding samurais. Then the forty-seven ronins entitled 'Ako Gishi' (the Forty-Seven Loyal Ronins). Even though they were faithful samurais, they disagreed with the decisions of the Bakufu (Edo government) and had killed Kira. Sorai Ogyu, the famous scholar in Edo period, said that their actions were very faithful in privately, but they were only murders publicly. 'If private ideas could be superior to public one to make decisions, the laws in the world would lose their validities.' The Bakufu finally gave them death penalties and they were dead in Febraury 2nd Genroku 16th (1703). And also the son of Yoshinaka Kira, Yoshichika, forfeited his territory.
Many people has visited Sengakuji Temple to pray for the forty-seven ronins' soul rest in peace for over three hundred years
Chushingura is the abbreviation of 'Kana Tehon Chushingura' a title of
a plot for Ningyo Joruri (a Japanese puppet show). Besides Chushingura
is the general title of all plots of Joruri, Kabuki, Kyogen whose theme
is the Forty-Seven Ronins and their incidents. Now Chushingura implies
the story of them.
Yoriteru Kajikawa was the man who stopped Naganori Asano, Takumi no Kami, attacking to Yoshinaka Kira, Kozuke no Suke, at Matsu no Roka corridor in Edojo Castle.
Yoriteru Kajikawa was a direct retainer of Tokugawa Shogun. He was the second son of Yoritsugu Toki. In August 11th of 1664, he was adopted into Kajikawa Family that his elder sister married into. He was an officer at Edojo Castle, in March 14th of 1701, he met with Ako Incident. After that, he gained rewards as he had kept the rule in the castle.
Yoriteru retired in Febraury 7th of 1719 and he died in August 8th of 1723 when he was 77 years old.
Yoriteru left his diary 'Kajikawa Yosobei Nikki', it has very specific information of the incident at Matsu no Roka in March 14th of 1701.
'Do you remember the grudge those days!', this famous phrase comes from his diary.
His tomb is in Kenrysan Tentokuin in Nakano-ku Tokyo. And Kontosan Shogyoji in Kashiwaicho, Ichikawa City, Chiba prefecture saved his kamishimo jakets and some mementoes.