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1.8 Yukukawa sampei Munenori (kabuki name)
True name: unknown, warding off a lantern with his sword.
Age: unknown
Katana mei: unknown
Wakizashi mei: unknown
A lord is a boat afloat,
his retainers water.
Water is what makes the boat
float, but donít forget
it can also make the boat
sink beneath the waves.
There are lords and there are lords.
But donít forget retainers.

Takasada loved his retainers as he did his children. His retainers loved him as children love their parents. So the faithful band never forgot their lordís pain for a moment. They endured hunger and thirst and worked to the limits of their endurance, single-mindedly, to achieve what they set out to do.

As a ronin, Sampei stayed with an aunt in a samurai dwelling in the Shiba area. He was a very presentable man and a talented warrior, but he was also good with figures, and his aunt suggested he might find service with another family. He told her however, he had other plans and accepted no other suggestions, but would leave before sunup and return at dusk each day.

One day Sampei prepared a meal of fish and wine, then turned to his aunt and uncle and thanked them for all their kindness and care, and told them he had been successful in his applications and was going on a trip.

They drank a number of parting cups together. Then he gave them all the articles of his personal property he was not taking with him and, as night fell, departed. That was the night of the assault on the Kono mansion, an exploit in which he performed valiantly. Showing all the arts of his training, he killed many of the enemy. Like all the other members of the band, he achieved what he had set out to do.

As they made their way to Sengakuji, with what triumphant joy he passed the gate of his aunt and uncle!

Last poem:

The long awaited
journey on the path of death
is not known to me,
so I set out before you
an utter stranger to the road