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Ako Gishi-sai Festival 2021

Honour the most well-known samurai heroes from the Edo period


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This festival is annually held at Sengaku-ji Temple in Minato-ku, Tokyo. It is honouring 47 glorious retainers in Akoh, popular characters of Japanes culture, often depicted in movies and dramas. The historical drama took place in 1703 when 47 vassal samurais avenged their Master’s death by eliminating his enemy. Since then, it has become a kind of a legend, passed through generations in a form of Joruri (a story or a ballad). It was featured in Kabuki, movies and TV series.

The graves of 47 vassals and his Master who took their own life by harakiri are located at Sengaku-ji Temple in Minato-ku. The Akoh Gishi Memorial Museum which was opened 300 years after the incident exhibits images of the vassals as well as various articles dedicated to this legend.

Every year on December 14th, large crowds of people visit the temple to pay respect to heroes and watch the Gishi Gyoretsu—a procession of volunteers dressed as the 47 masterless vassals marching through the streets. The entire neighbourhood gets flooded with people, and the mood of this event is very solemn and respectable.

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