Stunning Antique Japanese 47 Ronin Samurai Revenge Sake Cup Set
This is a very beautifully decorated set of antique Japanese sake cups. The three pictures on the set of three cups are the story of the revenge of the 47 Ronin. Basically, the lord of Ako was ordered to kill himself for having drawn his sword in Edo Castle. The former samurai of the family, who were now ronin (unemployed samurais) vowed to revenge their lord. They ended up doing so by killing the man who triggered this incident and then committing ritual suicide to accompany their lord, having finished the vendetta. This story was celebrated even within the Edo period and continued to be so, and was made into TV series, movies, etc.
The three scenes in this set of cups are all from the actual attack. The first is a samurai drawing a sword in a house - the words on his lapel state his name (Oishi) and that he's one of the Ako ronins. The second cup is one of the ronins cutting down a guard, and the third is probably the lord fighting off the attackers - and he will die as a result.
This set of cups is from about the Meiji or perhaps early Taisho period, as it came with a bunch of cups that were dated at the same time from a framed fixture.
Size: The cups are fairly large at 3.5", 4.25", and 5"