SBP Blog

New Book Announcement: Hiroaki Sato's 'Forty-Seven Samurai'

Michael Palmer - Thursday, August 15, 2019

One of the most spectacular vendettas ever: the history and haiku behind the mass-suicide featured in the 2013 film 47 Ronin. 

Stone Bridge Press is happy to announce publication of Hiroaki Sato’s in-depth analysis of the history and haiku behind the classic Japanese tale of the 47 Ronin, Forty-Seven Samurai: A Tale of Vengeance and Death in Haiku and Letters. Forty-Seven Samurai will be available from all great book sellers November 19th, 2019. 

Available 11/19/19


Print ISBN:9781611720549

$19.95/ $25.99 CAN|280 pages| Trim 6" x 8.5"

Format: Paperback/softback

A remarkable and true tale of loyalty, vengeance, and ritual suicide. . . . In the spring of 1701, the regional lord Asano Naganori wounded his supervising official, Kira Yoshinaka, during an important ceremony in the ruling shogunate's Edo Castle and was at once condemned to death. Within two years, in the dead of winter, a band of forty-seven of Asano's retainers avenged him by breaking into Yoshinaka’s mansion and killing him. Subsequently, all the men were sentenced to death but allowed to perform it honorably by seppuku.

This incident—often called the Ako Incident—became a symbol of samurai honor andat once prompted stage dramatization in kabuki and puppet theater. It has since has been told and retold in short and long stories, movies, TV dramas. The story has also attracted the attention of foreign writers and translators. The most recent retelling was the 2013 Hollywood film 47 Ronin, with Keanu Reeves, though it was wildly and willfully distorted.

What did actually happen and how has this famous vendetta resonated through history? Hiroaki Sato's examination is a close, comprehensive look at the Ako Incident through the context of its times, portraits of the main protagonists, and its literary legacy in the haiku ofthe avengers. Also included is Sato's new translation of Akutagawa Ryonosuke's short story about leader Oishi Kuranosuke as he awaited sentencing.

Pre-order your copy here:



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