Firstly, Asano was a straightforward one who did not bribe Kira, equivalent to the highest judge on land. Daimyo did pay the bribe that is a grave offense (Kaempfer et. al. 23). As a judge, he was supposed to uphold…
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One would argue that if any punishment or the seppuku had to be committed; it should only have affected the alleged perpetrator; in this case Asano. Why kill him and his entire army?
What is worse, his lands and all properties were to be taken. This type of punishment was just too harsh. And to imagine that it came from Kira, the supreme judge at the time!. The ronins were to be made leaderless besides confiscating their property. Their entire generations were to be wiped off the surface of the land. Irrespective of the strict nature of the laws, it is unjustifiable to kill impose seppuku on Asano and his men. A lesser form of punishment should have been used instead. In fact, I view the actions of the 47 ronins as heroic. They were revolutionary and although they knew they would be punished for killing Kira and his officials, they showed courage and loyalty to Asano who had refused to accept the bribe. I find Seppuku punishment just too irrational.
The consequences of the actions of the ronins are that they proved they could be loyal to their master and that they could set an example even for future generations. This was a great sacrifice that would be very significant in marking neo-Confucianism. The Bakafu law and the Confucian classics most of the time complements each other in that they allow for revenge (Kaempfer et. al. 15). In this case, the revenge for Asano’s death is justified. He was a true Confucian. He was courageous enough to die for his master, an honorable act in Japanese history. He was a faithful servant. Through the revenge, they showed that they were real chuushingishi.
During this era, it was also fashionable to avenge the death of a relative, friend or a master. A likely consequence of the killings would be that different factions would be divided about the authenticity of the punishment. Obviously, there would be varying views. The Confucians would want to justify the actions of Asano and the 47
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