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Memorial Service for 47 Ronin (masterless samurai) at Sengakuji Temple
Tens of thousands people visit the Sengakuji Temple in Tokyo on Dec. 14 to burn incense and offer flowers to adorn the graves of Lord Asano and the 47 ronin (vassals) who sacrificed their lives to avenge the death of their Lord Asano Naganori. The youngest among them was the son of Oishi Kuranosuke (leader of the avengers), Oishi Chikara who was 16 years old when he committed harakiri.

The Ako warriors' action posed a dilemma for the shogunal government of Tokugawa. The 47 ronin had violated the public law by resorting to violence as a group causing public disturbances, but at the same time they had faithfully lived up to the cardinal duty of the samurai - absolute loyalty to their lord. After much deliberation by the authorites and confucian scholars, the shogunate handed down the sentence of harakiri (suicide by disembowelment) to them. The sentence was intended to save the honor of the 47 ronin and to satisfy the need of the shogunate to maintain the social order of the land.

Parade of 47 Ronin near Kabukiza in Ginza
The parade participants take commemorative photos at Kabuki-za (Kabuki-theater). The Kabukiza building will be demolished in the next year to build a new kabuki theater. (The new kabuki theater opened in 2014).
Parade of 47 Ronin at Zojoji Temple in Hamamatsucho
The reenacted parade of 47 ronin visit the Zojoji Temple in accordance with the original 47 ronin called on the temple before their raid on the residence of Kira in pray for a success of their vengeance.

47 Ronin Report Their Successful Revenge to the Grave of Lord Asano at Sengakuji Temple
46 out of 47 ronin are buried at Sengakuji Temple beside the grave of their beloved lord. For one person Terasaka Kichiemon did not commit harakiri. He disappeared after the assault on Kira's residence. There are several views on this such as he was excluded due to his lowest ranking as samurai or he had to leave Edo as soon as the incident successfully finished to report it to the people of Ako. He was not punished by the shogunate and lived to 83 years old.

Kira-sai (Kira Festival) at the former residence of Kira Yoshinaka in Honjo, Ryogoku
There was a large residence and a huge land owned by the Tokugawa shogunate's top ranking offical Kira Yoshinaka (or Kozukenosuke) in this area of Honjo. Despite his legendary image of a bad man, he was a good lord for people of his province in Kira (today's Kira in Aichi Prefecture) and the memorial services and ceremonial events still continue for him today at Kira in Aichi and at this place in Honjo, Tokyo. A stone well covered with a bamboo work was used by the 47 ronin to wash the head of Kira after his assassination. A bazaar is held near the residence of Kira during the festival on the second Sat. and Sun. in December. URL: Kirasai

Kounji Temple - Family Temple of Lord Kira in Nakano
Kira's family and nine retainers who lost their lives in the incident are buried in this temple. The memorial plate lists 38 names of the total 42 victims of the incident since the names of the rest are not confirmed.

The story of the 47 ronin was immensely popular among the Japanese until the end of the W.W. II. It became kabuki plays, movies, novels etc. There was and is perhaps no Japanese who don't know about the 47 ronin. They were the great heroes of Japan. Today, some criticize the feudalistic story which emphasized sacrificing and strong loyalty as a sublime expression of Bushido, the true spirit of Japan was misused by Japan's militarism.