Kinsuke Tsuruya, publisher
Color woodblock print
Gift of Louis W. Hill, Jr.
Saturday, October 30, 2010Sunday, February 20, 2011
Chu-shingura, or "Treasury of Loyal Retainers," is a fictionalized account of a true incident that occurred in the early 18th century. While serving at the shogun's court, Asano Naganori, the lord of a small rural fief, drew his sword on an abusive master of ceremonies, Kira Yoshinaka. For this egregious breach of protocol at court, Asano was forced to commit ritual suicide. His fief was confiscated, and his retainers were disbanded. On a snowy night in 1703, forty-seven of Asano's most loyal retainers attacked Kira's mansion and beheaded him. For over a year, these men had plotted in secret to avenge their lord's disgrace and death. Although they were all arrested for their crime and forced to commit suicide, the general populace lauded them as heroes for their fierce loyalty.