Date: From 4.00 p.m., 2 January 2012
Cast: Uchino Masaaki, Tachi Hiroshi, Tokiwa Takako, Itaya Yuka, Manda Hisako, Tanaka Misato, Ichikawa Somegoro, Kaneko Noboru, Hashizume Isao, Emoto Akira, Yamada Jundai, Murata Takehiro, Nakamura Baijaku
Synopsis: In 1694, Nakayama Yasubei (Uchino Masaaki), who would later become Horibe Yasubei, lives comfortably in a tenement house while he works as an assistant instructor at an Edo martial arts training hall. One day, he receives notice of his uncle Sugano Rokurozaemon’s (Watabiki Katsuhiko) duel with Murakami Shozaemon (Mine Rantaro). He rushes over to be his second and slays their opponents. This incident soon creates a sensation in Edo as the ‘Takadanobaba Duel’. Horibe Yahe (Hashizume Isao) of the Ako domain’s Asano family, goes to great pains to make Yasubei the husband of his only daughter, Hori (Tokiwa Takako). In addition, Yasubei is even offered service as a retainer by the lord of the domain, Asano Takumi no Kami (Ichikawa Somegoro). He initially has no interest of being a retainer of the domain. However, he finds himself charmed by Asano’s personality and liberal family traditions, and decides to be a retainer. Yasubei also gains Asano’s patronage. On the other hand, Hori, who had been critical, is touched by his sense of honour and decides to marry him. Everything has been smooth sailing for Yasubei, but he soon gets caught up in a big turbulent event … … In 1701, Asano who had been appointed the imperial messenger, attempts to kill the high-ranking master of ceremonies, Kira Kozuke no Suke (Emoto Akira), in the corridor of the Edo Castle after suffering repeated indignities at his hand. As a result, Asano is made to commit ritual suicide on the same day and the house of the Ako Asanos is abolished in a harsh punishment. Receiving the news of the death, Asano’s chief retainer Oishi Kuranosuke (Tachi Hiroshi) moves to restore the family despite some decision that he keeps to himself. Meanwhile, Yasubei and the other retainers vow revenge in indignation over Kira’s escape from punishment. Oishi is entrusted with giving the all the commands and they bid their time for the raid. But Oishi shows no signs of making a move and the lordless samurai gradually start to get impatient and weary. As they struggle to make a living, the distress as retainers and discord with their families cause successive defections. The first anniversary of Asano’s death passes by. Feeling a sense of crisis, Yasubei presses Oishi on the raid. However, Oishi once again postpones it until the punishment for Asano’s younger brother is determined, and indulges in pleasures at geisha houses every night. When Yasubei learns about this, he goes to Kyoto alone, prepared to cut down Oishi, but … …
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