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1.42 The lay priest Ryuen, Uramatsu Kihei Hidenao (kabuki name)
True name: Muramatsu Kihei Hidenao, behind a rack of kimonos
Katana mei: Kuninaga, length 2 shaku 8 sun
Wakizashi mei: Samuhiro, length 2 shaku 4 sun
Hidenao was living in Kanto when lord En’ya met his end, and he immediately began preparations to go to Banshu. At that time he was 62 years old. His son, Handayu, tried to dissuade him but finally gave in, and they set out for Akao together.
They had great respect for Oboshi, who advised them to put off dying for the cause at this time. The castle was then surrendered, and they signed a compact agreeing to head for the Kanto and plan vengeance.
Hidenao returned and took up residence in Kojimachi. On the night of the attack, when their hopes were realised, he carried his last words sewn into his skull cap:
Giving up this life
for the sake of his dear lord,
to the samurai
means the fulfilment of all
he has wished his life would bring.
And that is not all.
You may try to get away a hundred or a thousand times,
but do not forget these words:
In the light of duty, life is light.
Life doesn’t tell you
that you are never able
to lose even one.
You may try to run and hide,
but life, you cannot escape.
Uramatsu Kihei Hidenao
62 years old