The 47 Ronin: The Faithful Samurai
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No.1.5 Shikamatsu Kanroku Yukishige

Kanroku’s family had been faithful Akao retainers for generations. He was proficient in all the military arts, was particularly skilled in archery, and could even kill birds in flight.
He was a good son to his aged mother, almost seventy, and never talked back to her or neglected her in any way. He was a splendid person.
When fate intervened and their lord was executed and the Akao estates were confiscated, he went to stay with friends in the village of Yoko-o, in Banshū. That was when over 360 men signed in blood a compact with Ōboshi to defend the castle and die martyr’s deaths.
After the castle was surrendered peacefully, more than 150 men gathered again in the sanctuary of Kagakuji and swore to die together. Fifty of them, however, considering their oath to be iron-clad, followed the counsel of Ōboshi and his advisers and worked out plans for a more secret vendetta. With that they made their separate preparations to move to the
Kantō , where they could vent their burning indignation.
          At that time, Kanroku was busy taking care of his mother and informed Ōboshi that she was unable to travel with him. Ōboshi told him that, although he was going to the Kantō at this time, Kanroku could follow later at his own pace. In fact, Ōboshi met with the mother and told her not to worry.
          She then talked to Kanroku and told him that if he was so concerned about his mother he might do something of which he was not worthy, and with that she told him he must go. That night she hanged herself.
          Those who heard the story were taken by the self-abnegation she showed and broke into tears.



David R. Weinberg. Kuniyoshi: The faithful samurai. Hotei Publishing – Leiden, The Netherlands, 2000, no.1.5. pp48,49


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