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In 1701, young Lord Asano is goaded into attacking a corrupt official at the Japanese Court. Although the wound Asano inflicts is minimal, the Emperor's punishment is harsh--Lord Asano is ordered to commit seppuku, or ritual suicide. His lands are confiscated and his family is dishonored and exiled. His samurai now become ronin, or masterless, and are dispersed.
The Ronin were not trusted by their enemies, and lived under the watchful eyes of spies for months. They appeared to adapt to their new circumstances, some more gracefully than others, by becoming tradesmen and teachers. But the Ronin only appeared to accept their fate. They were in fact making careful plans for revenge, biding their time until the moment to strike was right! Their deeds became Japan's most celebrated example of bravery, cunning, and loyalty in an age when samurai were heroes, and honor was worth dying for.
[This enduring tale has been told and retold in innumerable plays, books, movies and television series. In November of 2012, the story will open in theaters for the first time as an epic 3D fantasy adventure directed by Carl Rinsch. Keanu Reeves leads the cast, and the film will bring the timeless Ronin story to global audiences in a way that it has never been seen before.]
John Allyn does a masterful job of presenting 47 Ronin as a compelling and suspenseful tale--one that will appeal to fans of the forthcoming film.
- Tuttle Publishing, September 2012
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