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See: "Akoh Gishi-sai" Festival to Honor 47 Loyal Samurai at Sengakuji & Zojoji !
On Friday, December 14th, join our tour to legendary Sengakuji & Zojoji temples in Tokyo for a celebration of the legendary "47 Ronin" Festival! This annual festival honors forty-seven loyal retainers of Akoh. It is also known as "Akoh Gishi-sai", who've been immortalized in Japan's most famous kabuki plays and in many films: “Chushingura“ or "The League of Loyal Hearts"! We'll join the festivities & the ceremony which starts at 11am, then enjoy lunch from local-traditional food stalls on the temple grounds, (VERY TASTY!) then visit the Sengakuji museum & treasure-house. We'll then take a short train ride to Zojoji temple to see a reenactment of the return of these 47 samurai from Ryogoku with the wrapped "head" of Lord Kira suspended on the end of a pike! (NOTE: this is all pure theater, but it's a LOT of fun!) “The Forty-Seven Loyal Retainers in Akoh” is a drama based on an incident in 1703 when 47 vassals (loyal samurai) avenged their Master, Lord Asano’s death by killing his enemy, Lord Kira. Since then, it has been performed or shown many times n in the form of Joruri (a narrative ballad), in Kabuki plays, films & TV dramas until today. This is one of the best-loved tales in Japan. Plays and novels of the tale are more commonly known under the titles of Chushingura (“The Loyal Retainers”) and Akoh Roshi. "In 1701 in the area of ​​Ako, between Okayama and Kobe, Naganori Asano, the lord of forty-seven samurai, was sentenced to die by ritual suicide by Tokugawa Tsunayoshi for injuring Kira Yoshinaka, a samurai & tea master who had insulted him." "On the day of his death, he drew his sword & attempted to kill Kira in the Corridor of the Pines at Edo Castle in what is now Tokyo, but was wounded and failed to kill Kira. On the same day, shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi sentenced him to commit seppuku (also called hara-kiri) which he did after writing his death poem. ( 「風さそう花よりも / なお我はまた / 春の名残を / いかにとやせん」 "Kaze sasou hana yori mo / naho ware ha mata / haru no nagori wo / ika ni toyasen." "More than the cherry blossoms, Inviting a wind to blow them away, I am wondering what to do, With the remaining springtime." He was buried in the graveyard of Sengaku-ji "His grieving disciples, the ronin, were left leaderless, and organized a suicide attack to avenge their master. They killed Kira on the 14th December 1702 by cutting off his head, then took it as an offering to the grave of Asano at Sengakuji temple. This remarkable legend is very popular in Japan because it evokes several values ​​of Japanese society: self-sacrifice, courage and loyalty. At Sengakuji Temple in Minato-ku, Tokyo where the festival is held, you will find the graves of the Lord who was forced to commit harakiri and of his 47 vassals who did the same after taking their revenge by defeating their Lord’s enemy. Akoh Gishi Memorial Museum, completed in 2001, exactly 300 years after the death of their Master, exhibits fascinating mementoes of the vassals as well as various articles associated with the incident. Every December 14th, which corresponds to the anniversary of the uchiiri (raid), large numbers of people respecting the master-less vassals of Akoh visit the temple to pay homage to them at their burial site, and watch the Gishi Gyoretsu, a procession of volunteers dressed as the 47 samurai parading through the streets. The entire neighborhood becomes packed with crowds of visitors. After the opening ceremonies, we'll spend a few hours exploring these historic areas until 3pm when the Parade will return to the temple to complete the ritual. NOTE: Being a "no-show" or changing your RSVP after the deadline hurts your fellow members & organizers too, so please don't do it! Thanks, your Meetup organizer, Kerry D. @}:^)

Sengakuji Station

2-16-34 Takanawa, Minatoku · Tokyo

Respond by: 12/14/2018

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[About this Meetup]

Let's try various kinds of Japanese cultural experience with this meetup group!
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