Kanadehon Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) (Daijo, Sandanme, Yodanme)

Kanadehon Chushingura  (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) (Daijo, Sandanme, Yodanme)

Product Description

Performed in 1977, 190 mins. Comes with English commentary, subtitles and liner notes. Region Code : All, NTSC. Kanadehon Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) popularly known as simply Chushingura is one of Japan's best known revenge stories and was first performed in 1748. The play is based on a true story that occured between 1701 and 1703, although to avoid shogunate censorship the play is set in the Muromachi period (1333-1568). The play is comprised of 11 acts, and is performed over four seperate DVDs which would make up a full day performance. The story is based around the daimyo Enya Hangan who is goaded into drawing his sword and striking a senior lord, Ko no Morono, a capital offence in the shogun's palace. Hangan is ordered to commit seppuku or ritual suicide. This ceremony is performed with solemnity and with his dying words tells his chief retainer, Oboshi Yuranosuke, that he wishes to be avenged upon Morono. Forty seven of Hangan's masterless samurai (ronin) plan their revenge. Yuranosuke, appears to live a life of debauchery in Kyoto's Gion pleasure quarters, a ploy to leave the enemy off guard. In the depths of winter they storm Morono's Edo mansion and kill him. The ronin carry the head of Moreno to their lord's grave at Sengaku-ji temple in Edo, where they themselves commit seppuku. This 2 DVD set features Act I (Tsurugaoka Kabuto Arame- The Helmet Selection at Hachiman Shrine) Act III (Shinmotsu, Matsu no ma Ninjo- The Pine Room in the Shogun's Palace) and disc 2, Act IV (Enya Hangan Seppuku- Shiro Akewatashi- the Hand-over of the Castle). In the famous opening sequence, a curtain is pulled open slowly accompanied by forty seven beats of the ki, as the ronin are revealed in front of Hachiman shrine in Kamakura, slumped as lifeless puppets. As the gidayu narrator says the name he comes to life. Indeed Chushingura was originally written for Bunraku (puppet theatre). Act IV ends with the ronin planning their revenge on Morono.