Minato alacarte

Minato City Sample Sightseeing Guide

Stroll through history“Chushingura”: Let’s tour the places related to the 47 loyal retainers

This is the same Chushingura as in Kabuki and the historical narratives. It was the dead of night on December 14, in the year Genroku 15 (1702), begins the famous preamble to the Japanese story. On this tour, we will visit places related to the 47 loyal retainers of this story and glimpse the world of Chushingura.

On March 14, in the year Genroku 14 (1701), ASANO Takumi-no-kami Naganori, who had been assigned by the Bakufu to attend an imperial envoy, was waiting for the ceremony to receive an imperial mission in the Matsu-no-roka (Matsu Corridor) of Edo Castle, when he drew his sword against KIRA Kozukenosuke. ASANO left his residence in Tsukiji Teppo-zu that morning and never again returned. Kozukenosuke was not censured; he was only ordered to recuperate. It is said that his wife suggested that he commit suicide, but he lived and on the night of December 14 in the year Genroku 15 (1702), the 47 surviving retainers of ASANO Takumi-no-kami, including OISHI Kuranosuke, avenged their master. After that, the retainers, who were divided into groups and held in custody in the residences of four daimyo, committed ritual suicide on February 4 in Genroku 16 (1703). The actions of the loyal retainers in avenging their master captured the hearts of the Japanese people, who are always sympathetic to the underdog. On December 14, the anniversary of their deaths, many people go to Sengaku-ji Temple to pray for their souls.

Sightseeing Model Route

Take Tokyo Metropolitan Asakusa Subway Line and get off at Sengaku-ji Station; use Exit No. 2 and head toward Isarago-zaka (about one minute’s walk).

Sengaku-ji Temple

Walk down the narrow road next to Takanawa Gakuen (school) and turn left when you come to the front of Takamatsu-no-miya’s residence. Enter the street between the Prince’s residence and the Metropolitan Takanawa 1-Chome Apartments and walk about 80 meters; turn left on the small street (about five minutes’ walk).

Place where OISHI Yoshitaka and 16 others of unswerving loyalty died

Take Tokyo Metropolitan Mita Subway Line from Shirogane-Takanawa Station and get off at Mita Station; use Exit No. A3 and enter Keio Naka-dori Shopping Street on the north side; turn right at the end of the street and it is immediately on the right (about five minutes on the train and three minutes’ walk).

Location of residence of MIZUNO Kenmotsu

Take Tokyo Metropolitan Mita Subway Line from Mita Station and get off at Onarimon Station; use Exit No. A4 and walk along Hibiya-dori toward Nishi Shimbashi; cross Shimbashi 4-Chome crossing and follow the footpath ahead (about five minutes on the train and five minutes’ walk).

Place of death of ASANO Takumi-no-kami

Walk from Shimbashi 4-Chome crossing toward Toranomon; cross Atago-dori and Sakurada-dori and continue until you come to Shiomi-zaka. Turn right between Hatsumei Kaikan (Inventors’ Hall) and Kokuritsu Insatsu Kyoku (National Printing Bureau) and Nissho Hall is immediately on your right (about fourteen minutes’ walk).

Location of residence of SENGOKU Hoki-no-kami

Ascend Reinan-zaka from the top of Shiomi-zaka; turn right at the first traffic light and enter Ark Hills. Exit at Roppongi-dori; cross using the pedestrian tunnel and walk toward Roppongi. Turn right at the tobacco shop in front of the Ark Hills Mae bus stop, then take the first left and it is right there (about thirteen minutes’ walk).

Nambu-zaka

Turn left at the American Embassy residence compound at the top of Nambu-zaka; walk ahead 200 meters and it is on the right (about three minutes’ walk).

Location of residence of ASANO Tosa-no-kami (Hikawa Jinja (Shrine))

 

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