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Terasaka Kichiemon

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  • Died: 1747
  • Japanese: 寺坂吉右衛門 (Terasaka Kichiemon)

Terasaka Kichiemon was the lowest-ranked of the 47 Ronin,[1] and the only one to not commit suicide alongside his compatriots. An ashigaru in the service of Yoshida Chûzaemon, he was also the only one of the 47 ronin to not be a vassal of Asano Naganori of Akô.

There is much uncertainty, and many myths, surrounding Terasaka's actions during and after the 1703 attack on Kira Yoshinaka's mansion. According to some accounts, Terasaka fled the mansion during the raid.

After the 46 Akô ronin committed seppuku, Terasaka went on to live many more years. Various temples in Tokyo, Kyoto, and elsewhere are home to memorial monuments, graves of the hair or other remains of some of the ronin, or the like, said to have been established by Terasaka. He is believed to have served Itô Jûrôdayû (a man of some relation to Yoshida Chûzaemon) for some time, then to have become a caretaker for Sôkei-ji, a temple in the Azabu neighborhood of Edo, before entering the service of the Yamauchi clan.

Following his death in 1747, Terasaka was buried at Sôkei-ji.

References

  • Ono Masako, Tomita Chinatsu, Kanna Keiko, Taguchi Megumi, "Shiryô shôkai Kishi Akimasa bunko Satsuyû kikô," Shiryôhenshûshitsu kiyô 31 (2006), 235.
  1. Henry D. Smith, “The Trouble with Terasaka: The Forty-Seventh Ronin and the Chushingura Imagination,” Japan Review 16 (2004), 3.
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