47 RONIN

Lord Asano, my story —

One of the most famous samurai stories in Japan is the 47 Ronin, (also known as Chushingura).

In 1701, Lord Asano, confronted Lord Kira in Edo Castle and drew his sword. Because it was forbidden to use a sword inside the castle, Lord Asano was sentenced to death, and committed ceremonial suicide (seppuku).

Asano’s loyal retainers became ronin (samurai without a leader), but vowed to avenge their lord’s death.

On December 14, 1702, they attacked Lord Kira in his mansion and whacked off his head. The 47 ronin took Kira’s head to the Sengakuji temple, where Lord Asano is buried.

Later the ronin also committed seppuku and are buried together in the same temple.

These events took place in Edo (Tokyo), and today kids can visit Lord Kira’s residence and the Sengakuji Temple.

The encounter with 47 Akaho,who has a grave at Takanawa Sengakuji,began with an conversation with the Sengakuji Nakamise Cafe Godard owner.He told me to go to the graves of the 47 Ronin.The day was blessed with great weather and a pleasant breeze slipped through my body.That is the starting point for drawing the 47th character. I feel the pure beauty in Chushingura,which is full of freshness,in-law and humanity. Although generally called the 47 Ronin,”there are in fact 48 Ako Gishi graves at Sengakuji Temple,including a monument to Kayano Shigesane,who committed suicide before the battle. I make it with feeling of memorial service to 48 people.Rinin has freshness and humanity. I felt beauty there.

Genroku Art. The Genroku culture was born from the townspeople. Significant development has also been made in painting. Lots of new eras are born. Korin Ogata(1658-1716)from a kimono shop in Kyoto uses techniques from Kariganeya and Sotatsu Tawaraya. We breathed new wind into paintings and lacquer work. Gold leaf was used for the background. It was an era when wonderful techniques were born.

高輪泉岳寺に墓所のある赤穂四十七士との出合いは、泉岳寺仲見世カフェ・ゴダール店主との出会いから始まりました。「四十七士のお墓に行くと良いよ」と店主に言われ、なんと無くお墓に向かったのです。とても天気が良い日で、お墓参り中に、心地よい風が吹きました。それが、四十七士キャラクターを描くきっかけとなります。清々しさ、義理と人情の詰まった忠臣蔵に、美しさを感じます。一般的には、「四十七士」と呼ばれます。が、泉岳寺の赤穂義士墓地には、討ち入り以前に、自害した、菅野重実の供養碑を、含め48基があります。48人への供養の気持ちをこめて制作しています。 

そして、文化的背景から見ても、町人の中から生まれた元禄文化は、絵画においても、著しい発展がありました。新時代を感じさせる物が、次々と誕生しました。京都の呉服屋(雁金屋)出身の尾形光琳や俵屋宗達の技法を取り入れ、絵画や蒔絵に新風を吹き込みました。金箔が背景に使われ、素晴らしい技法が生まれた時代でもあります。

おおいしくらのすけ