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wicked iemon
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:11 pm    Post subject: Asano Reply with quote
Its interesting that during the funeral of Ietsuna Asano's uncle stabbed another daimyo to death shouting "remember the grudge i owe you from a day or so ago ".Also to attack an un-armed old man with 40 years of service with nary a complaint or smear on his record from behind ????(not to mention he could not even kill him )maybe im really stupid or missing something but what is heroic about this ??
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:24 pm    Post subject: Bodart Bailey Reply with quote
Actualy i was raising some of ms Baileys points but while i do agree Asano may have had many personal shortcomings .The vendetta itself which had been called cowardly i feel was a smart ,well excecuted move .
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
1. Was Lord Asano a good daimyo? Was he well-loved by his retainers? Or was he merely a foolish hothead? If he was really a crazed hothead, then why would 47 of his retainers avenge his death?

My belief is that Asano was a good daimyo and was beloved by his retainers. The whole incident was Kira's fault. He totally insulted and humiliated Asano beyond forgiveness. Kira was just a corrupt aristocrat. It is reasonable to understand wanting to kill someone that insulted you badly. Asano would most certainly have to have been loved by his retainers, why else would they avenge him? Sure, they lost their ranks and jobs but they could have gone their own separate ways and made new lives somehow.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:43 pm    Post subject: Asano Reply with quote
But (see B Bailey )a report on all Daimyo conducted a year before the Pine Corridor Incedent laments Asano for poor martial skills and debauchery and blames his retainers (Oishi is named being chief councilor )for raising such a poor specimen (his father died when he was 8 ).Now this was a report for the Tokugawa on all Daimyo there would be no reason for them to say this without some merit .Kira on the other hand a low paid hatamoto had 40 years of service without a blemish(Nothing is recorded about this mans bad behaviour ) .I also read the reason Asano attacked Kira was being of limited inteligance he was unable to grasp his many dutys and when the reception of the envoys was moved up in time he panicked and lost his head blamed Kira for everything that was going wrong and tried to kill him .Anyway my point is it just seems more and more things about this story keeping popping out of the woodwork every year and its looking more and more that the hallowed story from puppet plays to tv dramas may have a lot more than meets the eye .Add the fact it was the favourite play in Satsuma /Choshu during the (well it was the Shinsengumi's favourite tale too )restoration maybe facts were tweaked to suit the new government or maybe not but it warrents debating and looking into at least at our own fan level.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Asano Reply with quote
wicked iemon wrote:
But (see B Bailey )a report on all Daimyo conducted a year before the Pine Corridor Incedent laments Asano for poor martial skills and debauchery and blames his retainers (Oishi is named being chief councilor )for raising such a poor specimen (his father died when he was 8 ). Now this was a report for the Tokugawa on all Daimyo there would be no reason for them to say this without some merit . Kira on the other hand a low paid hatamoto had 40 years of service without a blemish(Nothing is recorded about this mans bad behaviour ) .I also read the reason Asano attacked Kira was being of limited inteligance he was unable to grasp his many dutys and when the reception of the envoys was moved up in time he panicked and lost his head blamed Kira for everything that was going wrong and tried to kill him .Anyway my point is it just seems more and more things about this story keeping popping out of the woodwork every year and its looking more and more that the hallowed story from puppet plays to tv dramas may have a lot more than meets the eye .Add the fact it was the favourite play in Satsuma /Choshu during the (well it was the Shinsengumi's favourite tale too )restoration maybe facts were tweaked to suit the new government or maybe not but it warrents debating and looking into at least at our own fan level.
I hate to say this, but just because a government report states certain thing, it doesn't mean that it is necessarily the truth. Governments, like other institutions (including the Tokugawa Bakufu as well as the Meiji government) have their own agendas.

I'm not saying that this report was false. I don't know; I haven't read it. What I'm saying is that just because officials within the Tokugawa Bakufu issued this report doesn't make it any more true than if officials in the Meiji government had issued it.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:49 am    Post subject: Re: Asano Reply with quote
wicked iemon wrote:
Kira on the other hand a low paid hatamoto had 40 years of service without a blemish(Nothing is recorded about this mans bad behaviour )


Can anyone verify that is true? I've read bad things about Kira, but perhaps what I read was inaccurate. There is really nothing written about his bad behavior anywhere? It's been a while since I've read anything about the 47 Ronin. To tell you the truth, I always looked upon in more for its value as a good story rather than how accurate it was historically, but what you said makes me more interested. I'm surprised by what you said about Asano. Can the information you stated all be found in the reference you cited because I would love to check that out.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:03 am    Post subject: Re: Asano Reply with quote
wicked iemon wrote:
Kira on the other hand a low paid hatamoto had 40 years of service without a blemish(Nothing is recorded about this mans bad behaviour ) .
Read this account, by James Murdoch. It is available at:

http://www.locksley.com/locksley/47ronin.htm
James Murdoch wrote:
At this date it was Kira Yoshinaka who usually discharged the duties of the office. Like many of his fellow-officials he was venal, with a most pronounced itch in his palm, and unless the Daimyo, consigned to his tender mercies, took adequate steps to appease his greed, he was apt to make matters very unpleasant for him indeed. To be put to public shame, to be subjected to “loss of face", was a terrible wound to the knightly honour of a feudatory, and Kira, in his position, could easily find the means of exposing his aristocratic pupils to ridicule, if not to contempt. In 1698, he made himself so unendurable to Kamei, Daimyo of Tsuwano in Iwami, that Kamei made up his mind to poniard him. However, that night Kamei apprised his steward of his intention, and the latter at once hurried off stealthily to Kira's mansion, with a load of costly presents. Next day Kira was exceedingly courteous to the Daimyo who, not knowing of the reasons which had brought about this complete change of demeanour, abandoned his anger and renounced his intention of killing him. Thus, by the cleverness of his steward, was Kamei, with all his house, saved from ruin.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:20 am    Post subject: Re: Asano Reply with quote
Wave Tossed wrote:
wicked iemon wrote:
Kira on the other hand a low paid hatamoto had 40 years of service without a blemish(Nothing is recorded about this mans bad behaviour ) .
Read this account, by James Murdoch. It is available at:

http://www.locksley.com/locksley/47ronin.htm
James Murdoch wrote:
At this date it was Kira Yoshinaka who usually discharged the duties of the office. Like many of his fellow-officials he was venal, with a most pronounced itch in his palm, and unless the Daimyo, consigned to his tender mercies, took adequate steps to appease his greed, he was apt to make matters very unpleasant for him indeed. To be put to public shame, to be subjected to “loss of face", was a terrible wound to the knightly honour of a feudatory, and Kira, in his position, could easily find the means of exposing his aristocratic pupils to ridicule, if not to contempt. In 1698, he made himself so unendurable to Kamei, Daimyo of Tsuwano in Iwami, that Kamei made up his mind to poniard him. However, that night Kamei apprised his steward of his intention, and the latter at once hurried off stealthily to Kira's mansion, with a load of costly presents. Next day Kira was exceedingly courteous to the Daimyo who, not knowing of the reasons which had brought about this complete change of demeanour, abandoned his anger and renounced his intention of killing him. Thus, by the cleverness of his steward, was Kamei, with all his house, saved from ruin.


I knew there had to be something about Kira somewhere. Could it be perhaps that neither Asano nor Kira was the better man in the incident? Maybe they both had their own faults. Its quite possible. I still subscribe to the belief that Asano was insulted and driven to violence whether because of his quick temper, slow mind or what-have-you. I think Kira pushed him over the edge somehow. I have yet to read anywhere that attempts to disprove that.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:30 am    Post subject: Re: Asano Reply with quote
niitsu kakunoshin wrote:
I knew there had to be something about Kira somewhere. Could it be perhaps that neither Asano nor Kira was the better man in the incident? Maybe they both had their own faults. Its quite possible. I still subscribe to the belief that Asano was insulted and driven to violence whether because of his quick temper, slow mind or what-have-you. I think Kira pushed him over the edge somehow. I have yet to read anywhere that attempts to disprove that.
What many historians believe is that, if Kira had been punished equally, the same way Asano had been punished i.e. sentenced to seppuku and had his house abolished: then there wouldn't have been any vendetta at all.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:44 am    Post subject: Re: Asano Reply with quote
Wave Tossed wrote:
niitsu kakunoshin wrote:
I knew there had to be something about Kira somewhere. Could it be perhaps that neither Asano nor Kira was the better man in the incident? Maybe they both had their own faults. Its quite possible. I still subscribe to the belief that Asano was insulted and driven to violence whether because of his quick temper, slow mind or what-have-you. I think Kira pushed him over the edge somehow. I have yet to read anywhere that attempts to disprove that.
What many historians believe is that, if Kira had been punished equally, the same way Asano had been punished i.e. sentenced to seppuku and had his house abolished: then there wouldn't have been any vendetta at all.


I would certainly think not. After all wasn't that the issue with the 47 ronin in the first place? I thought the whole reason they killed Kira was because they thought he wasn't punished fairly. How could there have been a vendetta if Kira killed himself. Many of the ronin may still have committed seppuku over losing their livelihoods and master but the assassination would obviously not have happened because...well...Kira would have been dead.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:28 am    Post subject: Re: Asano Reply with quote
niitsu kakunoshin wrote:
but the assassination would obviously not have happened because...well...Kira would have been dead.
True, true!! Just Kidding Hard to kill someone who is already dead. Twisted Evil Very Happy Harakiri
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: Asano Reply with quote
Wave Tossed wrote:
niitsu kakunoshin wrote:
but the assassination would obviously not have happened because...well...Kira would have been dead.
True, true!! Just Kidding Hard to kill someone who is already dead. Twisted Evil Very Happy Harakiri


I'm not saying they might not have found a way... They were pretty crafty. Separating for several years, assuming different identities than regrouping and striking. They might have been able to pull it off. Cool
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:52 am    Post subject: Re: Asano Reply with quote
niitsu kakunoshin wrote:
Wave Tossed wrote:
niitsu kakunoshin wrote:
but the assassination would obviously not have happened because Just Kidding ...well...Kira would have been dead.
True, true!! Just Kidding Hard to kill someone who is already dead. Twisted Evil Very Happy Harakiri


I'm not saying they might not have found a way... They were pretty crafty. Separating for several years, assuming different identities than regrouping and striking. They might have been able to pull it off. Cool
What? Killing someone who is already dead? Evil or Very Mad

I was gently pulling some legs here, mostly my own after my own post, where I said
Quote:
the same way Asano had been punished i.e. sentenced to seppuku and had his house abolished: then there wouldn't have been any vendetta at all.
Which after looking at it a couple of times -- didn't make a lot of sense. Just Kidding
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:17 pm    Post subject: MURDOCH Reply with quote
James Murdoch (who does a great job on Yui's aborted rebellion ) is generally well regarded but he was a devout protestant (this really comes through with his take on Frois/Nobunaga /Honnoji )really did not like Tsunayoshi or and of his government because he was a homo sexual (Although Bodart Bailey claims this too to be a smear from Arai Hakuseki who was trying to appease Shogun #6 who did not have much love for his uncle )but i used to swear by Murdoch until i discovered his evangelical leanings .So what im really saying is its hard to really figure out any text without getting an idea of the person who wrote it ,As far as Bodart Bailey i would never swear by her book (because she may have an agenda too )but she does really raise some interesting points with credible evidence however she dampened my interest when she started praising that creep who wrote Hagakure .But she should be read (through a library as 60 bucks is pretty steep )
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Asano Reply with quote
James Murdoch Wrote:
James Murdoch wrote:
At this date it was Kira Yoshinaka who usually discharged the duties of the office. Like many of his fellow-officials he was venal, with a most pronounced itch in his palm, and unless the Daimyo, consigned to his tender mercies, took adequate steps to appease his greed, he was apt to make matters very unpleasant for him indeed. To be put to public shame, to be subjected to “loss of face", was a terrible wound to the knightly honour of a feudatory, and Kira, in his position, could easily find the means of exposing his aristocratic pupils to ridicule, if not to contempt. In 1698, he made himself so unendurable to Kamei, Daimyo of Tsuwano in Iwami, that Kamei made up his mind to poniard him. However, that night Kamei apprised his steward of his intention, and the latter at once hurried off stealthily to Kira's mansion, with a load of costly presents. Next day Kira was exceedingly courteous to the Daimyo who, not knowing of the reasons which had brought about this complete change of demeanour, abandoned his anger and renounced his intention of killing him. Thus, by the cleverness of his steward, was Kamei, with all his house, saved from ruin.


I feel the need to once again point out that this is a FICTIONAL episode that Murdoch (given the limited resources of his time) related as fact. The story appears only in late Edo and Meiji period novels and romances. It does not appear in any contemporary documents, in any listings for the Kamei family history in any book I have seen, and is not mentioned for Kamei in the report prepared for Tsunayoshi on daimyo (the same report that calls Asano and his retainers to task, prepared the year BEFORE the attack). The story changes details every time it is told (one version even has this event taking place a few days before Asano’s attack, and has Kamei replacing Date as the daimyo working alongside Asano in direct opposition to documented evidence). Shikisoku has stated that this was oral history (ie:folklore) that gives a storyline for the origin of some regional cakes. This account in Murdoch’s history has no basis whatsoever in fact. Why is Murdoch virtually the only historical source that mentions it? Because later researchers, even Ronin supporters, realized it was a fictional event. If someone can come up with a solid historical source, please post it here, because it would indeed put the historical Kira in a new light. By ‘solid historical source’, I mean what was mentioned above:a contemporary document, diary, account, a listing in a family history, or something along those lines-not unsubstantiated references. Once again, this is an example of the Ronin story being infected by what Bodart-Bailey calls ‘Fiction accepted as Fact’.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:17 am    Post subject: Re: Asano Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
I feel the need to once again point out that this is a FICTIONAL episode that Murdoch (given the limited resources of his time) related as fact.

...Once again, this is an example of the Ronin story being infected by what Bodart-Bailey calls ‘Fiction accepted as Fact’.
Alas, I am sorely handicapped by my complete illiteracy in Japanese. Plus I am handicapped by not being able to access many of the English-language research articles -- for most of these, you have to have access authority, usually (I think) granted by a university.

Heron is sending me a photocopy of the Bodart-Bailey chapter on the 47 Ronin. After I read it, I can comment on it more thoroughly. Cool
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi, That brings up something related to access of data. Are there any groups you can join that will give you access to JSTOR without incurring huge fees? If you want to research a few different journals there it runs a fairly high price. Without institutional access it's a killer. What's worse is you can find what you need there but not access it, what a tease. John
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
shin no sen wrote:
Hi, That brings up something related to access of data. Are there any groups you can join that will give you access to JSTOR without incurring huge fees? If you want to research a few different journals there it runs a fairly high price. Without institutional access it's a killer. What's worse is you can find what you need there but not access it, what a tease. John
JSTOR was the very group I was thinking of, when talking about inaccessibility. It's such a pain to go Googling and run right into something that matches what I'm looking for. Then I click on the site, and it's something in JSTOR. You find a few sentences -- and then that message stating that you need to either have access or else pay a rather large fee to get the actual article. Confused Sad
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:10 am    Post subject: Re: Asano Reply with quote
Wave Tossed wrote:
Tatsunoshi wrote:
I feel the need to once again point out that this is a FICTIONAL episode that Murdoch (given the limited resources of his time) related as fact.

...Once again, this is an example of the Ronin story being infected by what Bodart-Bailey calls ‘Fiction accepted as Fact’.
Alas, I am sorely handicapped by my complete illiteracy in Japanese. Plus I am handicapped by not being able to access many of the English-language research articles -- for most of these, you have to have access authority, usually (I think) granted by a university.

Heron is sending me a photocopy of the Bodart-Bailey chapter on the 47 Ronin. After I read it, I can comment on it more thoroughly. Cool


One of JSTOR's best pubs is Monumenta Nipponica. You can subscribe to it directly for $40 a year (4 issues), and for what you get, it's a steal. I think you'd really enjoy it. You could also pick up the back issues that ran the series about the Ronin a couple of years back (Bodart-Bailey based a lot of her chapter concerning the ronin on them).
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:38 am    Post subject: Re: Asano Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
One of JSTOR's best pubs is Monumenta Nipponica. You can subscribe to it directly for $40 a year (4 issues), and for what you get, it's a steal. I think you'd really enjoy it. You could also pick up the back issues that ran the series about the Ronin a couple of years back (Bodart-Bailey based a lot of her chapter concerning the ronin on them).
Thanks. I'll definitely look into that. And then check my bank account and hopefully subscribe.

In the meantime, here is a very interesting Henry Smith article. I've posted this site on other threads, but it's particularly relevant here:

http://www.columbia.edu/~hds2/47ronin/47ronin_rev.htm

Henry Smith documents the problems with differentiating legends, speculations, historical theories, fictional accounts -- and the truth. What really is the truth? No one really knows for sure. Confused Shocked Cool
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:34 pm    Post subject: jstor Reply with quote
Join a library and you can acess JSTOR free
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