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’47 Ronin’ movie mangles Japanese literature classic

Want the real story of the 47 ronin? Try the 1941 Japanese film version instead.

Want the real story of the 47 ronin? Try the 1941 Japanese film version instead.

No, no, no, no. Hollywood has once again ruined a classic story, this time mangling the Japanese literature icon 47 Ronin. Not only did the movie feel the need to fabricate demons, dragons and witches, but also to add a white American actor, Keanu Reeves. 47 Ronin is a story of samurai in feudal Japan who avenge their lord and bring honor to his name at the cost of their own lives. A good research paper topic for your Asian studies, Japanese literature or film studies class might be to set the record straight on classic stories from literature.

The traditional story

The story of the 47 Ronin (also known as the Ako Incident) is based on actual events that took place in 1701 in Edo (Tokyo) at the estate of Shogun Tsunayoshi, the military leader of Japan. Read more