46 ronin


I know that this story is usually about 47 ronin, but at least in this version, they are only 46. I know a little bit of Japanese and even though my DVD subs say 47 they mention clearly 46, at least twice, and in the final text, it's also written that 46 attacked Kira's mansion.

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Edit: I've been reading Stephen Turnbull's excellent book on the subject. The missing man is Terasaka Kichiemon, and what became of him is a mystery much debated "over the centuries", says Turnbull. 47 men signed in, but when they got to the gates of Kira's mansion Terasaka was missing.

In this version he is very ill; he sets out to go to the rendezvous anyway but collapses in the street and can go no further. Other accounts have him running away in fear, or being sent home to Ako to report what is happening.

Terasaka was an ashigaru, a footsoldier, the lowest rank of samurai, hardly counting as samurai at all. This might be why he was chosen to go home, if that was indeed what happened.

He lived to a ripe old age,btw.

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47 ronin were involved in the planning but when the night came only 46 actually attacked. After Kira was killed, 2 were sent to report what had happened to the shogunate.

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Wasn't there 3 who dropped out via letter?

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Plus there was the one who killed his courtesan lover and himself (presumably)...
Ah yes, also the one who made seppuku to atone for the sin committed in killing the old woman while running as a messenger (the sparrow who died).

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Well yes, but all that is before they meet in Edo, that snowy night, count their numbers and discover that they are only 47. Or 46. There were of course hundreds of retainers in the clan before the disaster overtook them; gradually they drop away and the famous 47, or 46, Loyal Ronin are the ones who stayed faithful and who eventually make the long-awaited attack on Lord Kira's mansion.

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