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Biographies of Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura
By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Chushingura, or the 47 Ronin, is one of the most popular stories in Japanese culture. The scenes of the plot and portraits of the heroes, the 47 Ronin, have been immortalized by many Japanese ukiyo-e artists as woodblock prints. This page features a rather rare series by the great Meiji artist Yoshitoshi Taiso.

Chushingura - The Story of the 47 Ronin

The story of the 47 Ronin is based on real events that took place in feudal Japan of 1703. Fourty-seven samurai lost their master when he was forced to commit an unjustified suicide. The 47 now masterless samurai vow revenge.

On a winter's night 46 masterless samurai (one had died in the meantime) attacked the mansion of Lord Kira Kozunosuke and took his life in revenge for the unjustified suicide of their lord, Asano Takumi no kami Naganori. The 46 samurai were arrested, and sentenced to death, inspite of an outcry from the public being sympathetic to the 46 ronin. Shogun Tsunayoshi allowed them the 46 samurai to take their lives themselves in the honorable way of a samurai - by disembowelment, the Japanese suicide known as seppuku.

A few years later, the story was performed for the first time as a kabuki play under the name Chushingura. To avoid censurship, the names of the 47 ronin, the places and the historical period had to be changed in the play. Chushingura became the most popular kabuki play ever.

The 47 Ronin - by Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

In late 2013 we received a commission of the complete series of Seichu Gishi Meimei Den - "Biographies of Loyal Retainers of Chushingura" by the great Meiji artist Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (Taiso).

The series consists of 49 sheets, one title sheet showing Kira Kozunosuke (the "bad guy" Moronao in the Kabuki play), plus Asano Takumi no Kami (the "good guy" Enya Hangan, the former lord of the ronin), and one portrait sheet for each of the 47 Ronin.

The prints were published by Marujin in 1869. Since our foundation in 2001 we have never seen not even one print from this series. We therefore regard it as rather rare.

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Loyal Retainers of Chushingura

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

Dieter WanczuraAuthor: Dieter Wanczura

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