This wonderful book is a bit of historical fiction that is based on one of the most famous examples of samurai honor and bravery. In 1702, Naganori Asano-Takuminokami was on a ceremonial visit to Shogun Tsunayoshi, but when he was insulted by a greedy and conceited courtier, Lord Asano struck him with his sword, violating the law, and resulting in his own order to commit ceremonial suicide. With the Asano estates forfeit to the Shogunate, all of his samurai were made masterless samurai or ronin.
Determined to regain their honor through killing the courtier for his role in their master's death, 47 of the ronin bided their time, and struck back at their hated enemy. Though the Shogun was impressed by their devotion to Bushido, as indeed was the entire nation, he had no choice by to give them the most lenient sentence that he could, by allowing them to commit ceremonial suicide. And with that, the 47 ronin passed from this life into legend.
This is a very moving book, and is much better than I had expected. The author does an excellent job of painting Japan as it then existed, and really brings the characters to life. I really enjoyed this great book, this stirring tale of honor, and highly recommend it to you.