The 47 Ronin: The Faithful Samurai
 
 
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No.1.45 Sumino Jūheiji Tsugufusa

After the dissolution of Akao. Sumino Tsugufusa wandered aimlessly about Kyoto, and not until the conspirators were about to move out did he inform his old mother of the obligation he was under. Then, at the last minute, he said to her: Ōboshi and some other men are going to the Kantō to visit our lord’s grave, and very soon I would like to go with them. I shall be back to Kyoto soon. So you be so good as to stay here, and don’t worry.
Then he took out ten ryō, which he had received from Ōboshi, and gave it to her. The old mother was sincerely pleased and counselled him, saying: ‘I assume that a party of men is ready to attack and, if so, I pray that your plans coincide with those that are fated in the heavens. Fight to the death mindful that the name you leave will be eternally compromised if you show cowardice. Please don’t expect to see me again. There are all kinds of things you will need on your journey, so take that with you,’ she said, and returned the money.
She went on chatting happily that day and retired even more cheerfully than usual. The next morning the son found that she had written a note and committed suicide.
Jūheiji was shocked. He informed Ōboshi of what had happened, and they laid her to rest, mourning this parting of son and mother. Then Jūheiji set out with his heart at peace.
His departed master’s enemy had now become his mother’s enemy. On the night of the attack, he towered above the throng. With murder in his heart, he charged into Moronao’s bedroom ahead of Uramatsu Kihei and Ōboshi Seizaemon but found only the bed from which Moronao had departed. He gnashed his teeth when he ran his hand under the quilts and found the bed still warm. Moronao couldn’t have gone far!
Tsugufusa ran from corner to corner of the mansion searching.

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References: David R. Weinberg. Kuniyoshi: The faithful samurai. Hotei Publishing – Leiden, The Netherlands, 2000, no.1.45. pp.128, 129.

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