Entrance of the Sengokuji-temple


The Sengokuji temple is famous within the Buddhismn culture. For layman who are not too interested in Buddhismn though, it is still famous for a very unique story about the “47 Ronin”.

Summary from Wikipedia:

In 1701 there was a feudal lord named Asano who had to undergo etiquette training by Kira a high ranking imperial official. Because Asano didn’t provide as many  “presents” as repayment for Kira as expected, Kira was upset and did treat him with very little respect. Although at the beginning still bearing eventually Asano couldn’t hold it any longer and  attacked Kira. Unfortunately Asano failed his attempt and even worse it was an attempt on an imperial official on shogunate ground where drawing a Katana would even mean death. Now that the feudal lord died his goods and lands got confiscated and his people became Ronin (leaderless). He was then buried at the Sengakuji temple.

Out of the Ronin, 47 swore vengence. For Kira it was obvious that the samurai would avenge their master and he kept good track of them. Throughout the next 2 years the sworn brothers tried to hide their intention of revenge and worked towards their plan of killing Kira. In December 1702 under the leadership of Oishi they attacked Kira’s mansion making sure to only kill those who were willing to defend Kira. Ultimately they killed Kira beheaded him and went straight to the Sengakuji temple to present the head to their former master. As to be expected the ronin were sentenced to death but were given to freedom to commit honorable seppuku instead of being beheaded. Then their bodies have been buried next to the grave of their master.

Besides showing loyalty and honor there was a second side effect to their action. Many samurai who belonged to Asano  had troubles to find jobs because they have served under a disgraced family. After the revenge their names have been cleared and they could find better jobs.

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