The 47 Ronin: The Faithful Samurai
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En’ya Hangan Takasada in a threatening stance

En’ya Takasada was talented in both literature and the military arts. His family had been known for generations in the surrounding regions for its benevolence. He was by nature respectful and warm-hearted.  He always treated his retainers with gracious affection and deported himself properly, never violently. Who but those who had served in that gracious warmth would be able to become part of that dedicated band, laying down their lives for their beloved lord? With his upright and generous nature, Takasada found an unkindness shown him impossible to bear and, place and time notwithstanding, went so far as to shed blood. We must not say that his lord was wrong.
These were times when one had to restrain oneself, even in the face of direct attack. The period of the warring states had come to an end fairly recently. Although the way of governing was not greatly different, customs were much simpler. One took care to treat underlings with courtesy, and if it came to combat, warriors were in demand and literature was scorned. It was not a time for short tempers.
Moronao had slighted Takasada a number of times. On the day of the ambassadorial banquet, even though he had been given the wrong instructions and been insulted, En’ya remained composed. But then anger clutched at his vitals in a way he could not control, and in the Maki corridor he drew and cut Moronao. He was restrained by Katsukawa, but he shook loose and was finally separated from Moronao only with great force. Moronao was not dead, but when the furore quieted down, Takasada had to die.
Moronao lived, but En’ya’s lands were confiscated and his clan dissolved. In these dire straits, his beloved retainers, tormented constantly by grief in an upside-down world, organised themselves into a loyalty confederacy of forty-seven men under Ōboshi. In accordance with their master’s last instructions, they presented his enemy’s head at his grave. Their prayers had been answered. They had fulfilled their purpose in life, and their fame now sounded to the four seas, a model for warriors, of undying praise.


References: David R. Weinberg. Kuniyoshi: The faithful samurai. Hotei Publishing – Leiden, The Netherlands, 2000, no.1.19. pp.76.77.




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