Essay about The 47 Ronin Story

Words: 1494
Pages: 6

The 47 Ronin Story Paper (#1)

The 47 Ronin Story takes place in 1701, approximately 100 years after the Tokugawa Shogunate was formed. The story displays much of the changes going on in Japanese society and culture. From the declining importance of the Samurai, to the rising influence of the merchant class, and finally to the inevitable changing of values that are all exacerbated by the long peace imposed by the Tokugawa Shogunate. The changing of values were not just commonplace among the classes, it also reached into the high echelons of the court. The corruption of the court sparked the beginnings of a series of events that at it's conclusion would inspire a nation and ultimately define them. The seventeenth century was a long era
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Many of the samurai who frequented these places were already in debt and were funding their extravagance on credit. This lending of money proved to be a very profitable business for the merchants, and as interest rates skyrocketed to unprecedented heights, so did their stature in society in terms of wealth. Signs of the rising of the merchant class are also apparent in the story of Ono. Ono, who was once the treasurer of the Asano Clan and formerly a samurai, has stooped to the lowest class among japanese society by becoming a merchant by selling dried goods with the crest of Asano proudly displayed above his establishment. Another significant sign of the rising of the merchant class was the meeting Oishi planned in order to unify the ronin in the critical stages of their mission and to prevent disbandment of the remaining men. Oishi demanded the meeting to take place in a public restaurant that Mimura found in Fukugawa, and since the social gatherings of merchants were common, Oishi and his band disguised themselves as such, proving that merchants were everywhere. "After a few days of searching, Mimura found that Oishi's suggestion of a public restaurant as a meeting place was a good one. They could meet in the middle of the day like any other group of merchants and call themselves a social group." (P.190) The fact that Oishi and his band of ronin were not discovered, considering the increasing popularity of