A graphic novel version of the most dramatic example of bushido—the samurai code—in Japanese history.
In the eighteenth century, forty-seven samurai avenged the death of their master in a plot that would take over two years to complete. After succeeding in their mission, the masterless samurai—known as ronin—all committed ritual suicide. The story, which is a national legend, remains the most potent example of Japan’s deeply rooted cultural imperative of honor, persistence, loyalty, and sacrifice. The historical event has inspired many writers and artists over the years and numerous fictionalized versions and adaptations have emerged. In The 47 Ronin, Sean Michael Wilson has created a historically factual portrait, enhanced by evocative and often lyrical drawings by Akiko Shimojima. While there are other depictions of the story in manga form, this version stands out as being the most accurate and most compelling. Wilson and Shimojima have made the characters nuanced and relatable.
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“This is a tightly focused, perfectly pitched retelling of the story and a perfect entry point for anyone coming to the story for the first time. The Keanu Reeves version may have all the spectacle, but this version has all the heart.”—BleedingCool.com
“Like the great Chivalric tales of Europe, The 47 Ronin harks back to an earlier, simpler time and an idealized concept of honor. It displays a dedication to honor, comradeship, and nobility that few real people can live up to, yet deep inside our souls we yearn to be as worthy as those examples.”—Joe Gordon, Forbidden Planet International
“Despite being widely known in both Japan and abroad, the story of the assassination of a court official named Kira Yoshihisa by the 47 Ronin—and their subsequent suicide—has seldom been retold with accuracy since its occurrence in December 1702. . . . Readers interested in accurate Japanese history rather than Hollywood embellishment will enjoy this well-done retelling of the legendary event.”—The Japan Times
“A masterful retelling of one of the greatest stories in Japanese culture. An engrossing, engaging, emotional and unforgettable epic.”—Jonathan Ross, BBC television presenter
“Wilson uses exactly the right scenes to tell this famous story, creating a quick, engaging read.”—Library Journal
“Spare and understated, the script sticks close to historical events and elegantly recounts the legend’s central elements.”—School Library Journal