The 47 Ronin: The Faithful Samurai
 
 
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No.1.51 Jinzaburō, retainer of Shikamatsu Kanroku

Jinzaburō had served the Shikamatsu family faithfully for years and followed his master, Kanroku, when he became a rōnin. In the Kantō, in their bare lodging, he endured privation while caring for his master’s every need.
When the time for the attack approached, the various members of the band started giving their landlords notice and selling their household goods. Kanroku then approached  Jinzaburō and told him that he was about to take a trip to the eastern provinces with some other rōnin and would be gone for a long time and now wished to reward him for his long and faithful service. Then he suggested that Jinzaburō take up employment elsewhere and handed him five ryō in coins.
  Jinzaburō, however, was severely put out and tearfully rejected the money. ‘I am a simple person, and you have never confided in me, but I have, after all, been at your side day and night and have drawn certain conclusions about great plans you may have. I know that when those plans are realized they will be magnificent and will establish your fame throughout the nation. So being let go by you is a terrible blow to me. Isn’t there any other way?’
Kanroku said: ‘I have never had any doubts about your loyalty, but my oath prevents me from taking along a retainer’s retainer. You must understand the reasons for that.’
 Jinzaburō, took those words to heart, but during the attack he carried a ladder and a basket of provisions, and as the faithful ones left the scene he passed out water, rice crackers and tangerines so that nobody went hungry.
Afterward, he shaved his head and tended the graves at Sengakuji. At that time, a humorous poem went around having fun with what might have happened if he had made a mistake packing his basket. It went:

In the confusion
Jinzō carted everything
including the cat

 

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References: David R. Weinberg. Kuniyoshi: The faithful samurai. Hotei Publishing – Leiden, The Netherlands, 2000, no.1.51. pp.140, 141.

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