The 47 Ronin: The Faithful Samurai
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Hara Gōemon Mototoki grasps a sword in his right hand and a long-handled spear in his left. He has one knee down in a defensive position, an overturned lacquer tray behind him.
          Mototoki was one of the planners of the night time raid of the 47 Ronin to avenge the death of their lord.

No.1.46 Hara Gōemon Mototoki

Hara Mototoki was a grandson of Hara Heida Masatoki and commander of the En’ya samurai detachment in the Kantō area. He was a celebrated student of Yamaga Jingozaemon and was well-versed in the secrets of military lore and the arts of combat, in particular the uses of the sword and the spear.
He first served the Matsuda family, in Banshu, but then moved to the En’ya clan. When that fief fell and the time for dispersal came, he took charge of the movement of effects, complete with flags, with a minimum of disturbance. He was skilled at taking responsibility and issuing commands, and for these reasons Ōboshi, placed him in charge of strictly controlling the transfer of the hot-blooded young samurai to the Kantō.
He was a strong, heroic mand and during the interim period lived in Kōjimachi, where he was known as Wada Genshin, physician. He made a trip back to Kyoto to confer with  Ōboshi, and returned to the Kantō with many of the men who were ready to take part in the action. A story has gone around that, when he left for Kyoto, his old mother committed suicide, but that is not true. He had lived in Tokyo from the beginning, with his parents, wife and his children, and anything conflicting with that is a falsehood.
Hara’s adopted son, Heidayu, joined with the vendetta when Akao fell, but he disappeared before the attack, no one knows where.

A rich full moon in a wide sky
after thunder and unceasing rain
after piercing cold, a refreshing breeze
a rich full moon in a wide sky.


Last poem:

How unexpected:
to survive into the dawn
of this New Year’s Day
and now to go on waiting
the inevitable end.


David R. Weinberg. Kuniyoshi: The faithful samurai. Hotei Publishing – Leiden, The Netherlands, 2000, no.1.4. pp130,131.



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