Kuniyoshi

Takebayashi Sadashichi Takashige (1847-48)

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About The Art

At number 24 in the series, here we see the samurai tying his waistband before the battle, a determined, resolved expression on his face. He knows that win or lose, the likely outcome of the raid will be death - either at the hands of his enemy or his own sword; enforced suicide would be the likely punishment from the Shogunate for their honorable vengeance.

The story that we now know as "the 47 Ronin" recounts the Ako Incident, a series of events taking place between 1701 and 1704. A tale of vengeance that embodied the principles of Bushido to their fullest effect, it soon became a Japanese cultural symbol, exemplifying core Bushido values of loyalty, honor and heroic courage. It would go on to inspire countless plays, poems, and artworks.