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who's who

wooden sculpture Kao signature monument


Kazuemon was originally Okano-Jidayu's child, the Asano's
masterless samurai, but he became Fuwa the adopted child of
the old retainers. He also became a masterless samurai.
Kazuemon was the only masterless samurai allowed to work for
Asano. Kazuemon became a masterless samurai because of his
mistakes. It happened five or six years earlier with the accident
on the pine tree corridor ( Matsu-no-Roka ). The mistake was,
firstly, to excavate dead bodies and to try and cut them.
Secondry he neglected his work and he became unfriendly
towards his colleagues. Thirdly he gathered people and said, " I
am poor. " ( Temoto-Funyoi) and then he gave a sumptuous
feast. Because of these three mistakes, he was blamed and com-
manded to close the gate for a hundred days. Kazuemon said, " It
is because there were people who said bad things. So I want to
confront a coward. " But he was not allowed to. So he went to
Edo in person.
1701 ( Genroku 14), 14th of March, there was a big distance in
Ako because people knew about the accident that had happend
on the corridor. Then Kazuemon carried the family armour
(Yoroibitsu) and a spear under his arm and rushed to Ako castle
and he said, " I want to join in and to stay in the castle, but Oishi-
Kuranosuke persuaded Kazuemon not to and Kazuemon gave up
and did not come into the castle. Kazuemon was still in Edo and
heard about the situation in Ako from Isogai. Therefore it was
Okano-Jidayu, Kazuemon's real father, who carried the armour
(Yoroibitsu) and ran and visited over Takatoritouge mountain pass.
In November, 1701 (Genroku 14), Kuranosuke went to Edo for
the first time. Isogai and other people did their best and met
Kuranosuke again in front of Reikoin's grave at Sengakuji temple
on 14th, and there Kazuemon was allowed to come back and join
Gimei (to promise to reveage). He was stationed at Uramontai
(at the back gate ), and fought desperately during the raid
(Uchiiri). Hara-Soemon described the Uchiiri's situation in " Play-
by-Play Report of Uchiiri." " It was Fuwa-Kazuemon who did the
best. Kazuemon was cut a little because he fought with many
messengers, but he piled on his clothes so he didn't get wounded.
But his Kote and Kimono were cut. The blades were like " Sasara "
(which is used as a musical instrument and made of bamboo).
The blades were quite long. I gather, and he could beat four or
five people. Kazuemon was the best fighter in the raid. Later,
Kazuemon was looked after on Okinokami's premises and he died
A famouse story in Kodan( the story telling of war chronicles) and
movies is that while Kazuemon was watching the play( the situation
where Asano injured Kira). He got angry when he heard the player's
lines ( who played the role of Kira). He hit the player because it was
not the true story of Chushingura. This is also a tree story.

The photos used here come from the "Ako-Gishi-Meimeiden" and
"Oishi Shrine and Ako Castle" published by Oishi Jinja Shrine.

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