What Chushingura took Japanese people’s heart? This essay contribution about Chushingura would answer.
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December 14 (the day of the raid): my special connection with the Akou Gishi
December 14 is the day which the 47 ronin maid the raid of Kira’s mansion, and the day of Gishi festival, which is thrown at Sengakuji temple where the ronin sleep. And also it’s my birthday, I was born on December 14, 1939. When my mother carried me, she lost consciousness because of pre-eclampsia and had a cesarean section. “You may lose your child,” the doctor said to my father. My name, “博祐,” is named after 博士, means a doctor, and 天祐 means divine aid.
I am a cameraman for TV news and filmed the festival several times. Every time I film the festival, I felt “today is my birthday.” When I first filmed it, it was 56 years ago. And most of the people come to see the festival were local, from Tokyo or neighboring prefectures. In 2016, I went to film the festival again and become 77 years old. However, the image I saw on my camera is completely different from a half-century ago. There were so many foreign people holding joss sticks in their hands.
They say, the day one night before the raid, December 14, 1703, Tokyo had heavy snow. I was interested in the weather condition of that day since we really had such heavy snow in December in today's Tokyo. I had worked for weather information center of Nippon Television for 26 years, so I did some research about it. Initially, December 14, the day of the raid was on the old Japanese calendar, which is around January 30 on our current calendar. And it is the coldest season. It usually starts snowing in the middle of January to February in Tokyo now and then.
The day of the February 26 incident in 1936, frightened the people in the capital, was snowing heavily. And this year, 2018, the snow layer became 21 centimeters in central Tokyo. There is no question it snowed the day heavily before the raid when we check the date on the modern calendar.
They say Akou Gishi broke into Kira’s mansion around 2:00 to 2:30 in the morning. There were 100 samurais at there on that night, and Akougishi had only 47. However, they killed Kira without losing their member. I think the snow on the ground might help their covert operation. I don’t know whether it’s true, but in this freezing cold weather, such thought occurred in my mind.
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If I were one of the 47 ronin, I would be disgusted and leave the group.
I was born and raised in here, Susukino, Sapporo, where they call red-light district, and now I’m running a restaurant in the middle of there. Maybe that’s because I’m interested in Ichibiki-chaya part in Chushingura, the Loyal 47 Ronin. That is the 7th part.
Well, I know it’s part of Kabuki, but Kuranosuke Oishi, he was called “Yura-san” by prostitutes, must enjoy at there. That is so enviable, I think.
Also, in a short noble Ryunosuke Akutagawa wrote: “tasting the moment of being on an equal footing with forgetting about the fight.” In some way, it seems like a faint of a raid or revenge, the story says so, but if I were one of the 47 ronin, I would be disgusted and leave the group.
I would like to pay attention to these exciting story beside historical fact about Chushingura.
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