The 47 Ronin: The Faithful Samurai
 
 
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No.1.42 The lay Priest Ryūen, Uramatsu Kihei Hidenao

Hidenao was living in Kantō when Lord En’ya met his end, and he immediately began preparation to go to Banshū. At the time he was sixty-two years old. His son, Handayū, tried
to dissuade him but finally gave in, and they set out for Akao together.
They had great respect for Ōboshi, who advised them to put off dying for the cause at this time. The castle was then surrendered, and they signed a compact agreeing to head for the Kantō and plan vengeance.
Hidenao returned and took up residence in Kōjimachi. On the night of the attack, when their hopes were realized, he carried his last words sewn into his skull cap.

          Giving up this life
for the sake of his dear lord,
to the samurai
means the fulfilment of all
he has wished his life would bring.

And that is not all.
You may try to get away a hundred or a thousand times,
but do not forget these words:
In the light of duty, life is light.

Life doesn’t tell you
that you are never able
to lose even one.
You may try to run and hide,
but life, you cannot escape

Uramatsu Kihei Hidenao
Lay priest
62 years old

Collections:

References: David R. Weinberg. Kuniyoshi: The faithful samurai. Hotei Publishing – Leiden, The Netherlands, 2000, no.1.42. pp.122, 123.

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