47 Ronin

Posted: January 2, 2014 in Movies
Tags: , ,

Japanese history and culture has always fascinated me. The weight of ‘honor’ is greater than the idea of ‘self’; a concept which is absent from the evolution of Western Civilization.

While the knights in Europe were drinking and raping under the guise of pomp and chivalry, the Samurai practiced a philosophy of Bushido, ‘The Way of the Warrior’. Bushido is greatly influenced by Zen Buddhism which teaches a life of loyalty, frugality, honor unto death, and mastery over the body.
The Forty-Seven Ronin is Japan’s greatest example of Bushio. A group of samurai were left leaderless after their lord was compelled to commit seppuku, a ceremonial suicide. The lord’s samurai were disbanded as Ronin and forced to roam the countryside in disgrace. For two years this group of Ronin planned to avenge the death of their lord and return his honor. When it was all said and done, the Ronin had regained the honor of their lord and thus themselves. Because they murdered as Ronin, they were condemned to death but were allowed to die as samurai.

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The grave markers of the Forty Seven Ronin

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Grave Site at Sengaku-ji

 

This story of loyalty, honor and sacrifice grew into a fantastic legend and then a magical myth.

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Keanu Reeves plays Kai, a distrusted outsider.

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