The world famous story of the 47 Ronin has remained in the public eye largely due to its reflection in various art forms, such as traditional theater plays and paintings. The first theater play about them, that appeared almost immediately, less than two weeks after the events, was Akebono Soga no Youchi ("The Night Attack at Dawn"), written by the Soga brothers. The representation was soon closed by authorities, but this only added to the popularity of the story, which spread away from Edo, to Osaka and Kyoto.
Other bunraku and kabuki plays followed, and today, more than 300 years later, the story of the 47 Ronin is the symbol of loyalty and justice in Japan. Every year, on the 47 Ronin Day, which is celebrated on December 14, their tombs located at the Sengaku-ji Temple in Tokyo are visited by a large number of people bringing offerings of flowers, incense and fresh mochi rice cakes.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: