Asano Takuminokami Naganori
1667-1701. The third lord of Ako, a relatively small domain. In 1701, Naganori was ordered to be in charge of entertaining the imperial envoys, but he caused an incident in the Corridor of the Pines in the Shogun’s palace by suddenly attacking his entertainment instructor Kira Kozukenosuke Yoshinaka with a sword on the fourth day of a banquet on March 14 (old calendar), which was the highlight of the celebration. Because of this incident, Naganori was ordered to commit seppuku on the same day, and the Asano household was stripped of its title, domain, and assets. However, Kira was not reprimanded. The so-called Ako Gishi’s Revenge was launched by the surviving retainers in protest of this treatment.
- Association with Minato City
Lord Ako buried in Sengaku Temple after his mortifying seppuku
There are many unanswered questions surrounding why Asano Takuminokami Naganori attacked his instructor with a sword, and there have been various theories since the incident occurred. At any rate, the punishment imposed by the Shogunate was unprecedentedly severe, and Naganori was held at the mansion of Tamura Ukyodayu Tateaki without sufficient investigation and ordered to commit seppuku on the same day, which he did after writing a death poem His remains were transported to Sengaku Temple by his surviving retainer and buried there.
March 14, 1701, which, translated into the new calendar, is April 21 of that year. The incident took place in late spring when the petals of late flowering cherry blossoms where wafting in the wind.
There is a monument along Hibiya Street in 4-chome Shimbashi that marks the place where Asano Takuminokami met his death, but it was erected in 1940 by volunteers of the neighborhood association (the town’s name then was Tamuracho) to commemorate 2,600 years, and it is engraved on the side with these words, “In commemoration of the 240th anniversary of the seppuku” Furthermore, the Tamura family mansion during the Genroku period was about 50 meters east of the monument.
Concise Japanese Biographic Dictionary (Sanseido)
Chushingura towa nanika (Saiichi Maruya / Kodansha)
Nihonshi no Kosetsu to Jissetsu (Taro Wakamori / Kawade Bunko)
Chushingura no nazo (Hideki Ozaki / Kodansha Bunko)
The monument of the site of Asano Takuminokami’s death (near 4-31 Shimbashi)
Sengaku Temple (2-11-1 Takanawa)
Kanadehon Chushingura (Kana Example Chushingura) (Izumo Takeda / Hakusuisha)
Yoko kara mita Ako Gishi (Ako Gishi Views Sideways) (Engyo Mitamura / Chuko Bunko)
Zusetsu Chushingura (Illustrated Chushingura) (Matsunosuke Nishiyama, supervising editor / Kawade Shobo Shinsha)
Ako Roshi, Parts 1 & 2 (Ako’s Masterless Men, Parts 1 & 2) (Jiro Osaragi / Kobunsha)