The 47 Ronin: The Faithful Samurai
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No.1.43 Yazama Kihei Mitsunobu

Yazama Kihei Mitsunobu was a loyal hereditary retainer of the En’ya clan. He had two sons, Jutarō and Shinroku, and all were strongly determined men. When Akao fell, they immediately made their way to the Kantō and, unaware of the dedicated group around Ōboshi, set to work to kill Moronao.
They frequented the roads Moronao took near the Kōno mansion and did all they could to waylay and kill him, but Moronao’s karma was strong, and they were never able to confront him.
Then, one day, Kihei happened to meet Senzaki Yagorō, who told them the whole story of  the loyal band and how they were in the process of moving into the area. They were overjoyed and went to where Hara and Yoshida were staying and signed on with the conspiracy.
Kihei changed his name to Somahara and rented a house in Kōjimachi and then, it is said, moved to Honjō just before the attack.
He had many years of acquaintance with the secrets of the spear and was in no way inferior to men much younger. He was particularly deft with the short bow and could shoot a fantastic number of arrows in quick succession. When he had emptied his quiver he could fight with the spear.
He left his spear with this poem on it at the gate of a samurai house:

Put the question to
the wise oystercatcher bird
of the capital,
whether this world can know shame
or whether it knows it not

Kōshu Gamu School
Yazama Kihei Fujiwara Mitsunobu
69 years old


David R. Weinberg. Kuniyoshi: The faithful samurai. Hotei Publishing – Leiden, The Netherlands, 2000, no.1.4. pp124,125.



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