Ako City in Hyogo Prefecture is well known as the setting of the Chushingura. Here lies the Ako Oishi Jinja Shrine, which enshrines Oishi Kuranosuke, the 47 samurai serving under him, and his another loyal retainer Kayano Sanpei. Built in 1912, the shrine is located where the residences of Oishi Kuranosuke and Fujii Matazaemon once stood. The shrine enshrines three generations of the Asano family in the Ako Domain, Harima Province - Naganao, Nagatomo, and Naganori, and seven generations of military commanders, including Mori Ranmaru, a remote ancestor of the Mori family reigning as feudal lord after the Asano family disbanded, who died in battle during the Honno-ji Incident. The shrine attracts worshippers from all over Japan, and is thought to bring good fortune in the form of attainment of one’s cherished desires or wish fulfillment in connection with the Chushingura, which is the story of avenging the death of their lord.
The shrine was renovated in 2002 to commemorate the 300th year anniversary raid of the 47 lordless samurai of Ako Domain. The Museum of the Loyal Retainers on the shrine’s grounds has an extensive collection on display, including precious historical archives. There are many more attractions on the shrine’s grounds, including the Repository of the Loyal Retainers showcases precious artifacts, including the Saihai baton said to have been used by Kuranosuke in the raid, his cherished sword, the Bizen Osafune, and his calling whistle momento, the Wooden Statue Shrine of the Loyal Retainers features wooden statues of the 47 ronin, each carved individually by one of the leading sculptors of the day, and the Oishi Residence Nagayamon Gate and Garden where Kuranosuke is said to have received word of his lord’s death by ritual suicide. Every year on December 14 the Ako Gishi Festival is held to mark the day of the raid by the 47 ronin, and attracts flocks of people from far and wide.