Thursday 22 June 2017

Sengakuji Temple-Home Of The 47 Samurai

Sengakuji Temple is a small temple near Sengakuji Station (Keikyu Line) and not that far from Shinagawa Station on the Yamanote Line in Tokyo.It is a little out of the way and not that well known but it holds the graves of the 47 Samurai, one of the most popular historical stories in Japan.Their story is well known by Japanese people and tells the tale of  how in December 1701, Lord Asano Takuminkami of Ako attached lord Kira Hozukenosuke at the Edo Castle because he felt that he had been treated arrogantly by Kira. He failed to kill him and was sentenced to commit  ritual suicide (seppuku) although Kira was not punished at all which was out of custom. Asano's family lost all power after his death and this left Asano's samurai without a job and a very strong desire to get revenge on Kira. On December 14, 1702 one year later they succeeded by killing Kira and carried his severed head to Sengakuji and for so doing were all sentenced  to commit seppuku which they dutifully did and their graves stand in one corner of Sengakuji. The temple itself is small and the entrance has a number of small souvenir shops but as you enter turn left and walk up the hill slightly and you will find the graves. There is not a lot of English signage but there is plenty of data around  about the history and you will find many different memorials to the events such as Kira's house that still exists and stands on the other side of Tokyo close to the Sumo stadium.

Two views of the graves in Sengakuji
If in the Tokyo and Ginza area  you can get to Sengakuji on the Yamanote Line to Shinagawa.
We stay regularly at the  the following hotel which has great service and very centrally located in Ginza.

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