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In the eighteenth century, forty-seven samurai avenged the death of their master in a plot that would take over two years to complete. After succeeding in their mission, the masterless samurai–known as ronin–all committed ritual suicide. The story, which is a national legend, remains the most potent example of Japan’s deeply rooted cultural imperative of honor, persistence, loyalty, and sacrifice.
The historical event has inspired many writers and artists over the years and numerous fictionalized versions and adaptations have emerged. In The 47 Ronin, Sean Michael Wilson has created a historically factual portrait, enhanced by evocative and often lyrical drawings by Akiko Shimojima. While there are other depictions of the story in manga form, this version stands out as being the most accurate and most compelling.
“Like the great Chivalric tales of Europe, The 47 Ronin harks back to an earlier, simpler time and an idealized concept of honor. It displays a dedication to honor, comradeship, and nobility that few real people can live up to, yet deep inside our souls we yearn to be as worthy as those examples.”–Joe Gordon, Forbidden Planet International
“A masterful retelling of one of the greatest stories in Japanese culture. An engrossing, engaging, emotional and unforgettable epic.”–Jonathan Ross, BBC television presenter