Japan's most celebrated tale of chivalry, loyalty and revenge—and the basis for a Hollywood feature film starring Keanu Reaves—47 Ronin is the epic tale of a heroic band of Samurai warriors who defy the Japanese Emperor to avenge the honor of their fallen master.
The story begins in 1701 when the noble Lord Asano attacks an official at court. His punishment is swift and harsh—the Emperor orders Lord Asano to commit ritual suicide (harikiri). His lands are confiscated, his family exiled, and his Samurai warrior brigade is disbanded—becoming Ronin or masterless, wandering renegades.
While appearing to follow the Emperor's instructions, the 47 Ronin plot in secret for many years, biding their time until the moment to strike is right. Like the story of the Knights of the Round Table, the Ronin's deeds became legendary, iconic examples of courage, cunning and loyalty in an age when the Samurai were true heroes and honor was something worth dying for.
John Allyn's vivid retelling, with a foreword by scholar and film advisor, Stephen Turnbull, presents this epic of Japanese literature in its correct historical context.