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.