The 47 Ronin: The Faithful Samurai
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No.30.Onodera Tōemon Hidetome

Hidetome was the foster son of Onodera Hidekazu, but since he had recently joined the Onodera family he received no stipend from Akao. He did receive the legacy of his foster father’s declared purpose., however, and the two of them made their way to the Kantō  to avenge their master’s death, following Ōboshi’s instructions.
          Disguised as tradesmen, they gained access to the Kantō mansion and inspected it while no one was around. They worked valiantly to achieve their objective and left s heritage of fame for future generations.
          On the 14th day of December in the 15th day of Kenroku, the rōnin gathered in three locations. There they were told that the attack would take place at the hour of the rat. Then they had a parting fraternal draught of sake. With it they ate dried chestnuts, konbu, tiny dried sardines, and sweets, to symbolize how they would bring low the enemy’s head. They also had duck, soup, and a feast of soba and went on toasting each other as much as they dared without falling asleep.
          Then, when the time came, they donned their mail shirts and their spiked leggings and set out as if to fight a fire, a redoubtable group.

          If the lord is wise,
          and his retainers good,
          the people are happy.
          The lord is like the head,
          and the retainers the members.
          If all is clear above,
          all is good below.
          If the lord is virtuous,
loyalty abides.
This is what we pray for.

This morning early
not even one word of mouth
passes among us,
as, for our lord’s sake alone,
the dew begins to gather.



References:             David R. Weinberg. Kuniyoshi: The faithful samurai. Hotei Publishing –
Leiden, The Netherlands, 2000, no.1.30. pp.98, 99.



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