Title 元禄赤穂事件における「義」の観念について [学位論文 内容の要旨

元禄赤穂事件における「義」の観念について [学位論文
外国語要旨 )
小林, 加代子
Issue Date
Thesis or Dissertation
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外 国 語 要 旨
学位論文題目 A Consideration of the “Justice” Concept in the Genroku Ako Incident
This manuscript considers the Japanese people’s concept of “justice,” as seen through the events
surrounding the Genroku Ako Incident. The vendetta enacted by the “47 Ronins” involved in the incident is
perceived to be so ethically correct and “just” that these 47 samurais exist as models demonstrating the
morality of the Japanese people.
While the image of the 47 Ronins as “loyal/moral retainers” has been established in the
Chushingura early modern theatrical works, such as in Kanadehon Chushingura, whether the retainers were
to be deemed “moral” or “immoral” was widely debated by the Confucians of the time. However, the ethical
definition of this concept of “justice” has, to date, never been clarified.
This manuscript delves into the ideological background to this concept, in terms of the type of
corresponding value system recognized by the Japanese people. The objective of Chapter One is to
understand the basic concept of “justice,” considering examples of justice from early modern Bushido texts.
Chapter Two begins with the analysis of the representation of “justice” associated with the
Genroku Ako Incident. Chapter Three takes the concept of “justice” treated in Chapter Two, which is the
concept evoked by the 47 Ronins themselves, and examines the debate over “justice” in the Incident.
Chapter Four examines two plays, the Goban Taihei Ki and Kanadehon Chushingura, to highlight
the image of “moral retainers.” These literary portrayals clarify features of the value system that considers the
47 Ronins to be “just.” The two Chushingura works take the perspective of the samurai and of the general
public, yet create what is arguably a common value system. The 47 Ronins are recognized as “moral
retainers” who pursued a form of “justice” shared by the common citizens.
As the times changed, however, the ethical awareness of a “debt of gratitude” presumed in master–
servant relationships did not necessarily continue to be functional; yet, the 47 Ronins continued to be called
“moral retainers.”
Chapter Five considers Seika Mayama’s play Genroku Chushingura to clarify the background of
this paradox. In Mayama’s work, there is a scene that depicts the Kuranosuke Ooishi group scrutinizing the
47 Ronins’ ethics, which is contradictory to all of the Chushingura works that had, up to that point, not
inquired about right and wrong and considered their actions “justice.”
These chapters survey the changes in the image of the “moral retainers” acting in the Genroku Ako
Incident. Diverse research has been conducted to date on the Incident. It has, however, tended to separately
treat assessments of the historical facts of the Incident, assessments of the debate about the Loyal Retainers,
and assessments about the Chushingura theatrical works. This separate treatment is probably the reason that
the type of value system behind the corresponding concepts of “justice” has not been clarified.
For common people in the early modern era, “justice” was not the unambiguous notion evoked in
the traditional Bushido code. In trying to highlight changes in the image of the “moral retainers” and to
specify the definition of “justice” that is fundamental to those changes, one must pursue the complex
ideological background of the period, and the on-going transformations brought about by the period. This
manuscript elucidates one facet, through an analysis of the debate over the Loyal Retainers and of early
modern and modern Chushingura works, though further study is still necessitated.