The 47 Ronin: The Faithful Samurai
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No.1.21 Oribe Yahei Kanamaru

Oribe Kanamaru was seventy-eight years old when the vendetta was concluded. He was more courageous than most younger men and had long experience with martial pursuits, in which he was a student of the Yamamoto school.
          He had one daughter, whom he married to a man named Yasubei, famous for his part in a vendetta at Takata-no-Baba, in which he showed uncommon power. Kanamaru respected greatly his fierce disposition.
          About this time, in Kaneyama, in Seishu province, the Ishii brothers were exacting vengeance on their father’s enemy Akahori Mizuemon. Kanamaru loved to listen to the stories associated with that action, all the while emitting wild ejaculations of wonder, then would recount over and over the admirable exploits of Yasubei at Takata-no-Baba.
          In this year, however, the news of their lord’s death brought him considerable grief. He made the pledge with Ōboshi and waited impatiently for their day od reckoning.
          He had always been good with the spear, and during the night attack the old man’s battle cries struck terror into the multitude. His son, Yasubei, helped him when he could. Father and son killed a number of the enemy. They avenged the dishonour visited on their departed lord but then had to pay the penalty for their lawless action.
          Yahei’s daughter, Kane-jo sixteen years old, then donned charcoal-coloured robes to devote the rest of her life to prayer for the salvation of her husband and father. She took the name of Myōkai and lived at Kamedo opposite one of the six Amidas. She lived, it is said, until she was ninety-three, in a hut she built herself at Sengakuji.
          Attached to Yahei’s spear was a poem that read:

Long as I have lived
and known all the pleasant things
long life can enjoy,
there is nothing to surpass
the victory we won today.


References:             David R. Weinberg. Kuniyoshi: The faithful samurai. Hotei Publishing –
Leiden, The Netherlands, 2000, no.1.21. pp.80,81.




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