The Story of the 47 Loyal Retainers

One of Japan’s most famous historical tales involves the revenge of the 47 ronin. More commonly known as the “Ako Incident,” the tale is immortalized in the (numerous) Japanese film(s) and books entitled Chūshingura, which tell the story of the 47 ronin who avenged their master (and then committed mass suicide).


Many Westerners have heard of Chūshingura — either because they’ve seen one of the famous (and, in some cases, brilliant) Japanese film or stage adaptations or (regrettably) due to the recent Keanu Reeves Hollywood release, 47 RONIN (which modified the original very heavily but drew its inspiration from the Japanese tale).

What many Westerners don’t realize is that the story–at least the Japanese versions–is true, and that the 47 loyal samurai who avenged their lord and then took their own lives en masse are buried, and honored, at a Tokyo temple called Sengaku-ji.

Last summer, during my research trip to Japan, I visited Sengaku-ji, and I’m sharing photos and the story of the 47 Ronin over at Murder is Everywhere. Click here for the full story.