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160901-0022 - Scene from 47 Ronin


Outside Meiji 1900s Unknown

Hikifuda (引札), a print used as an advertising flyer by local shops. They were popular from the 1800s through the 1920s.

This print appears to show a scene of Chushingura (忠臣蔵), also known as the Ako Wandering Samurai (赤穂浪士, Ako Roshi) based on events that happened between 1701-1703.

The story exemplifies Bushido (武士道), the samurai code of honor.

A group of samurai became ronin (leaderless warriors) after their daimyo-master was forced to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) because he assaulted the court official Kira Yoshinaka.

After patiently waiting and planning for over a year, the ronin finally avenged their master’s honor by killing Kira. As they had known from the beginning, the murder of Kira forced them to commit seppuku as well.

The story reached its height of popularity during the Meiji era. The rapid modernization made many Japanese long for their cultural roots. They found solace in this stirring story of undying loyalty, honor and sacrifice.

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