Senkakuji is a small Sōtō Zen Buddhist temple in Minato-ku district in Tokyo not far from Shinagawa station.  It is famous for the graves of the 47 Ronin one of Japan’s most well-known stories and the most famous story of the Samurai code of “Bushido” – courage, loyalty and honor.
The story of the 47 ronin began with an attack by Lord Asano on Lord Kira at Edo caste in 1701.  Asano had been repeatedly provoked by Kira, but against the rules of Edo at the time, finally had enough and attacked Kira.  Asano was sentenced to commit seppuku (ritual suicide), while Kira escaped with no punishment at all, despite having goaded Asano to attack him.

All of Asano’s lands and properties were taken from his family and his samurai became masterless and now known as ronin.  The ronin were also known as Akoroshi, the masterless samurai from Ako.

The ronin felt the injustice of the entire event and plotted carefully over almost 2 years to avenge their master, even though they knew by doing so they would have to lose their lives.   Led by Oishi Kuranosuke, on December 14, 1702, they finally succeeded in avenging their master by killing lord Kita in his home. Afterwards, they carried Kira’s head to Sengakuji, and were later also sentenced to commit seppuku.

The graves of Asano Takumi no Kami Naganori and the Forty-seven Ronin are buried at Sengakuji Temple and allegedly this is also the place where the Ronin committed ritual suicide after avenging their master’s death.

There is a festival on December 14th each year to commemorate the events and the 47 Ronin story is subject of many plays and movies including recent one with Keanu Reeves commemorates this event at Sengakuji Temple and attracts thousands of visitors.

Sengakuji Temple link

Entry in free and there is an english pamphlet available at the gate for 300 yen

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