47 Ronin (2013) Script

NARRATOR: Ancient feudal Japan, a land shrouded in mystery, forbidden to foreigners.

A group of magical islands home to witches and demons.

A nation of rival provinces whose lords were ruled by a shogun whose will is absolute.

Peace in the realm is kept by the samurai, master swordsmen tasked with protecting their lord and their province at all costs.

Should a samurai ever lose or fail his master, he suffers the greatest shame in all Japanese society.

He becomes a ronin.

And yet, to know the story of the 47 Ronin, is to know the story of all Japan.

It began with a boy.

No one knew where he came from or how he found his way to Ako.

Some said he was a changeling, no better than a beast.

Many believed he'd been raised by the Tengu, the demons of the forest who had taught him their dark powers and trained him in their lethal arts of killing.

The evil he had fled had left its mark upon him.

Oishi!

My Lord, it is a demon.

He's a child, just like you.

Help me pick him up, Oishi.

NARRATOR: Lord Asano, of the province Ako, saved him that day, seeing something in the boy that Oishi did not.

Lord Asano's daughter, Mike, saw it too.

Mika's father allowed the boy to live amongst them, against the advice of his samurai.

Look.

What do you see?

A branch?

No.

It's a deer.

Oh.

It took this path.

You keep it, Kai.

NARRATOR: The samurai believed his presence would bring misfortune to their land.

Mika only saw a gentle boy.

Although he lived as an outcast, Kai was determined to repay the love he received from Mike and her father, whatever the cost.

OISHI: Kai.

Well?

There is something wrong with the creature.

It's up there on the rise, but it will come down again to hunt.

It would be safer to set a trap and wait for it here.

It's up on the rise, Lord Asano.


(GROWLING)

(ROARING)

My Lord.

Kill it!

(NEIGHING)


(EXCLAIMS)


(SNARLING)


(ROARING)


(BELLOWING)


I would rather have been killed by that beast than saved by a half-breed.

(HORSES APPROACHING)

SAMURAI: Yasuno!

Ako owes you a great debt, Yasuno.

We can finally welcome the Shogun without fear.

For Ako!

ALL: For Ako!

Well done.

(HORSES RETREATING)


Get out.

Get out!


Does Lord Asano live?

Yes.

Mmm.

MIKA: Hosting the Shogun's tournament is a great honor for my father.

Everything must be perfect.

My Lady, Mika.

Lord Asano and the hunting party have returned.

They killed the beast.

(ALL MURMURING)

Father!

I was worried.

The hunt took longer than we hoped.

Yasuno showed great courage.

Is anyone badly hurt?

Who are you looking for?

Is everything prepared for the Shogun's arrival?

Yes, Father.

LORD ASANO: I want all of Ako to share in this honor of hosting our great commander.

MIKA: I have made special arrangements for the visiting lords, as well.

I've ordered stands put up all along the route.

Your mother would have been proud.

(WOOD STRIKING)

I was worried.

You always worry.

RIKU: He so wants your approval.

Chikara has been training every chance he gets.

My Lady, Kai has returned.


They told me you were hurt.

It's nothing, My Lady.

Your back.

Sit down.

Someone should have seen to this before.

Thank you.

I saw the shame in Yasuno's eyes when they were praising him.

Even when you try to help them, they hate you.

Your father's samurai have always treated me as well as can be expected.

And is that all you expect?

It's all I know.

It doesn't have to be, Kai.

This is no place for you, My Lady.

Are you sending me away?

Look at me and tell me you don't love me.

I will always love you.

But you have your place and I have mine.


Asano Takumi no Kami, ruler of Ako.

His Highness, Shogun Tokugawa, lord of provinces and master of all Japan thanks you for your welcome.

Lord Asano, my friend.

Ako is magnificent, as always.

We anticipate with pleasure tomorrows tournament.

LORD ASANO: Great Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi...

and hope the entertainment we have prepared meets your august approval.

Father.

What are you doing in my home?

Last week at the hunt I saw a fox.

I didn't realize at the time that it was a witch.

A witch?

I believe I saw the same creature again tonight.

She was in human form among the nobles' concubines.

My Lord.

They say only demons have the power to see past a witch's disguise.

Are you a demon?

No.

Then I suggest you are simply bewitched by a beautiful girl.

ADJUTANT: Lord Asano, may we present Lord Kira Yoshinaka, master of Nagato, from the northern provinces.

Ako is as beautiful as I remember, Lord Asano.

We are honored by your visit, Lord Kira.

I look forward to the tournament.

I had no idea your concubine was so lovely, Lord Asano.

She's my daughter.

Oh.

Forgive me, My Lady.

May I ask that your daughter sit with us?

I should like to make up for my rudeness.

(MUSIC PLAYING)


(MUSIC STOPS)

(MEN CHANTING)

Father, who is that?

My fighter.

I'm sure your father's champion will be an even contest.

Yasuno.

(GASPING)

Yasuno. Yasuno!

Yasuno!

What's wrong with him?

Witchcraft Get your father.

There is no time.

If we have no fighter, Ako will be disgraced.

Only a samurai can fight.

Enough.

Your fighter?


ADJUTANT: Champions, prepare for combat!

Bring them steel!

(AUDIENCE MURMURING)

(SIGHS)


Stop!


You are not a samurai.

Kill it.

No!

No!

Forgive me, My Lord.

The fault is mine.

Strip him of his armor.

Beat him.


Stop!

I'm sorry.

MIKA: My Lord!

Not now!

Father, please!


Lord Asano's mind is unsettled.

It is time to take Ako.

It is what you hoped for, it is what we have planned for.

What are you afraid of, My Lord?

Show me your courage.

Give me your heart.

After this, there is no turning back.

You are bound to me, and I to you.

Rivers of blood and mountains of corpses will not stand in our way.

Nor the tears of widows.

Find your envy and hatred.

And I will give you all you desire.

(BLOWING)


Father.

MIKA: Father!

(MIKA SCREAMING IN DISTANCE)

Father!

Mika.

Father!

Mika.

Father!

(SCREAMING ECHOING)

Father!

Help!

(EXCLAIMS)

What is this?

Stand back!

My Lord!

Please!

Father!

SAMURAI: Everyone, go back to your posts!


The law is clear.

You have struck an unarmed guest and have shamed your home.

The penalty is death.

Because of your rank and the service you have done Ako, I will allow you to regain your honor and the honor of your house through seppuku, death by your own hand, so that you may show courage and dignity in death as you once showed in life.

The Shogun could have had me hanged like a criminal.

Instead, he has allowed me to take my life with honor.

You were bewitched, My Lord.

Your mind was poisoned.

If I accept my fate, no one will question the honor of our people or punish them for my crime.

Promise me you will protect Mika and Ako from our enemies.

My Lord.

I am ready, Oishi.

And when I die, I would be honored if you would act as my second, my friend.

Father!

(SOBBING)

Don't let them see you cry.


No.

YASUNO: We must have revenge.

HORIBE: Whatever the cost, it is our duty.

My Lord, what will you have us do?

If we fight now, we die.

And not just us.

Every farmer and villager in Ako will be killed.

We have to think of them first.

(SNIFFLING)

Poison, My Lady. It will end your pain.

We have not lost Ako yet.


Your Highness.


Lady Asano,

I am sorry for your father's death.

He accepted it with dignity.

Your Highness, as my father's only child, I ask that I may look after his lands until such time as I marry.

I have already considered this, My Lady.

So that there will be no feud between your clans, I decree that from this day, they will be one.

Sealed by the marriage bond between you and Lord Kira.

You are granted one year to mourn.

But you will remain a guest of Lord Kira's until you are married.

Oishi.

You are now ronin.

Masterless samurai.

I forbid you to seek vengeance for Lord Asano's death.

Lord Kira, I leave Ako with you.

From this moment on, you are banished from these lands.

Those who remain will be hunted down and executed.

You will never see him again, My Lady. Take a last look.


I don't trust Oishi.

He no longer has the protection of his rank.

Throw him in the pit.

Break his will.

(GROANS)


(DOOR OPENING)


Father!

Father.

Get away! Get away from me.

Chikara, help him up.

Where are my men?

They have all left Ako.

And Lady Asano?

Her time of mourning is almost over.

Lord Kira took her to his castle to begin preparing for their wedding.

Chikara, what of the half-breed?

Kira's men took him to the Dutch island and sold him into slavery.

We need three horses.

Now.

Riku.

You must make the whole world believe you've divorced me.

It is the only way to protect you from what I have to do.

No one but you and I can know that you are, and will always be,

the joy of my life.

I am the wife of a samurai.

Whatever your duty is, it is mine too.

Show them this and tell them to meet me at the black lake in a week.

Remember, the enemy will be watching.


FOREMAN: Hey, stranger.

What's your business here?

I'm looking for a half-breed.

FOREMAN: Good luck, samurai!

(MEN CHEERING)

(GROANING)


ALL: (CHANTING) Half-breed! Half-breed! Half-breed!

(LAUGHING)


Kai!

It's Oishi.

Kai!

It's me!

Kai! Lady Asano.

Mika.

She needs your help.

ALL: Half-breed! Half-breed! Half-breed!

Kai! Soon Kira will marry Mika.

We must stop him! Are you with me?


Now!

(MEN SHOUTING)

(GRUNTS)


Lady Asano is to be married in a week.

What do you care?

When Kira took her away, you were on your knees.

We would have all been killed. You too.

What use are you to her dead?

What use am I to you?

Either follow me or go back to what you were.

Don't turn your back on me, ronin.

(UNSHEATHING SWORD)

Follow you for what?

(SHEATHING SWORD)

Kira has 1,000 men under his command.

He's also protected by witchcraft.

When I told you that, you turned me away.

I was wrong.

I failed my lord.

I don't know who or what you are, but I need your help.

Clothes.

I'll come with you, but if you ever kneel before Kira again, I'll take your head.

Where did you learn to fight like that?

From demons.


(GRUNTING)

My Lord, forgive me.

The half-breed has escaped from the Dutch island.

They say a samurai helped him.

Oishi.

Find Oishi. I need him dead.

(SHOUTS)

Yasuno, it's Oishi!

(EXCLAIMS)

He's back!

RONIN 1: Everyone, Oishi's back!

RONIN 2: Oishi's back!

Father.

Well done, Chikara.

OISHI: Today we may be ronin, but now the time has come.

What I propose ends in death.

Even if we succeed, we will be hanged as criminals for defying the Shogun's orders.

I take a vow before you that I will not rest until justice is done, will not sleep until our master lies in peace, and will not pray unless it is to ask the heavens' forgiveness for sending Kira to hell!

(ALL CHEERING)

There are only two ways in.

The main gate here and this point beneath the west wall.

Both are heavily guarded.

Our best chance is to strike when Kira leaves the safety of his fortress.

He will travel to his ancestors' shrine to offer prayers.

We don't know yet when he will make the journey.

Isogai, you ride ahead to his temple town and see what you can find out.

Remember, even near holy sites there are brothels and plenty of loose-tongued officials who visit them.

Even if we know the route, we will need more men for an ambush.

Then we'll get them.

You and Chuzaemon and Okuda will gather as many of our former samurai as you can and meet us here at a farmhouse Horibe has found for us.

Forgive me, sir, but how can we succeed without good swords?

Take mine.

When we meet again, I'll have more waiting for you.

The rest of us will go to Uetsu.

The finest swordmakers in the land work there.

Why is the half-breed here?

I asked him to come.

We can't take him with us. He's not a samurai.

None of us are samurai anymore.


(TALKING INDISTINCTLY)

Who are you?

We are farmers from Shimobe, sir.

We have come to buy tools.

This is Lord Kira's village now.

These are not farmer's hands.


Take the swords, whatever you can salvage.

We'll need more.

Help him.

Eat, My Lady.

You think I care if you starve?

Soon my lord will be ruler of all Japan and you can take your life like your father did.

You killed my father.

Weren't you the one who broke his heart?

You betrayed him with your lust.

We can go to Hida. They will give us weapons.

You will find nothing in Hida.

Kira's men will have taken over this entire region.

There is another way.

You will find swords in the Sea of Trees.

The Tengu Forest

That is just a myth.

I've seen them.


How do you know about the Tengu Forest?

I was raised there before I fled to Ako.

Those scars on your head.

Are they the ones who marked you?

Yes.

And taught you to fight?

To kill.

They have many strange and magical ways to protect themselves and their beliefs.

They wanted to show me that this life has nothing to offer but death.

They wanted me to be like them and renounce the world.

I vowed never to use the magical powers they taught me.

Although I was still a child, I knew my place was among other men.

And do you think that these Tengu would give us weapons?

They will test our will.

(INDISTINCT TALKING)

ISOGAI: My wife just won't stop nagging me.

She wants me to find her the best view of Lord Kim's procession.

Procession? What procession?

Nobody knows when Kira will leave his fortress, not even his own guards.

He will hurry back before anyone is awake.

What is your name?

Yuki.

Where do you come from, Yuki?

TENGU LORD: You've come back.

Are we lost?

No. They know we're here.

(WHOOSHING)

HARA: What is that noise?

KAI: Ghosts.

Spirits of the old and infirm who are left hereto die.

Unwanted children, too.


Only you.

I'm coming with you.

No.

Do as he says.

Stay here.


Whatever happens in there, whatever you see, don't draw your weapon.

(VOICES WHISPERING)

Wait here.

How do we know the half-breed hasn't led him into a trap?

Oishi trusts him.

Of course, he has no choice. We need weapons.

If he doesn't come back soon,

I'm going after him.


So the terrified boy returns as a man.

I have come for your help.

We are in need of swords.

Then take it.

These swords were forged to defend us against the hatred of men.

Men who persecuted us for our beliefs.

The same men who despise you for being different.

And now you're here to help them.

They are good men.

Their cause is just.

TENGU LORD: Many come for our steel, but none return.

You told him not to draw his sword.

If he does, he and all his men will die.

Was it worth it? What you found in the outside world?

The love of a woman you can never have?

Yes.

Let me tell you of love, Kai.

The love of one night that brought you into this world.

An English sailor and a peasant girl.

Your loving mother abandoned you to die in these woods.

A monster, a half-breed child.

Yet we found you, accepted you, trained you.

We taught you many things.

But you fled and you turned your back on those gifts.

Gifts of death.

No matter what you do, Mika will never be yours in this life.

Then I will go to my death and pray I find her in the next.

YASUNO: Sir?

What are you doing here?

I told you to stay.

No! Yasuno!

TENGU LORD: Draw your sword.

Save them.

Draw your sword.

Save them.

Draw your sword.

Save your men!

No more talk.

Will you give me what I ask?

Take the blade, Kai.

If you can reach it before me.

Save your men. Help them.

Draw your sword, Oishi.

Save them.

Chikara!

A gift not forgotten.

KAI: You passed their test.

Your men are safe.

You've got your swords.

BASHO: What's so special about these swords?

What do they do?

It depends.

On what?

Who uses them.

What about a tall, strong, brave man like me?

They cut.

(MEN LAUGHING)

I think mine is broken.


Your sword.

You keep it, Hazama. I told you we'd bring others.

I have the information you requested.

Lord Kira leaves for his ancestors' shrine tonight.

Well done.

Come, Isogai. Gather the men.

Father.

I want to go with you.

No.

Horibe, stay with him.


I ride to my ancestors' shrine to offer thanks for our wedding.

Is there anything you wish me to pray for?

My Lord will not like my answer.

You may look down on me, My Lady, but our children and their children will be of one blood.


OISHI: Take care, Hazama.


(GAGGING)

Sorry.

(SHOUTS)

(SCREAMING)

It's a trap! Go! Go!

RONIN 1: Get back! Get back!

RONIN 2: Get out!

Yasuno!

Yasuno!

(GRUNTING)

KAI: Oishi, help me! It's Basho.

Hazama!

- No! Oishi!

(YELLS)


It belonged to Oishi, My Lord.

Your half-breed is dead.

So are dozens of your father's men.

All killed trying to save you.

Perhaps now you understand the price of your love.

I promised my lord I would not harm a hair on your head.

But what you do to yourself is not my concern.

Good night.


BASHO: Kai.

I have a confession to make.

When I was a boy, I used to wait in the woods outside your hut, and when you came out, I'd throw stones at you, then hide.

I knew it was you.

I could see your belly sticking out from behind the trees.

(GRUNTING)

I'm sorry, Kai.

You're a good man.


I should have acted the day Lord Asano died.

Our anger should have been sudden and swift.

Then even if we'd failed,

it would have been with honor.

You are samurai.

We still have swords and the advantage of surprise.

Kira thinks we're ghosts.

We can use that, turn it to our advantage.

He'll never expect us.

We can still do what we came for.


Eat.

- Your arm? YASUNO: Fine.

KAI: Go get your father.

(SLOW MUSIC PLAYING)

YASUNO: Stay where you are!

What is this?

We are not some village troupe to be held up by bandits.

Lord Kira himself has hired us to perform at his wedding.

I have the letters and passes to prove it.

There is no need.

We saw you perform in Ako.

You are Lord Asano's men.

We need your help.

YASUNO: Kai.

Forgive me for not thanking you for defeating the beast and saving my life.

A samurai does not take credit for victories of others.

This belonged to Basho.

A samurai wears two swords.

OISHI: When a crime goes unpunished, the world is unbalanced.

When a wrong is unavenged, the heavens look down on us in shame.

We too must die for this circle of vengeance to be closed.

We will leave this record of our courage so the world will know who we were and what we did.

Tonight we will regain our honor and avenge our lord.

None of us knows how long he shall five or when his time will come.

But soon all that will be left of our brief lives is the pride our children feel when they speak our names.

Kai.


We end this now.

Now we are 47.

What do you see?

The omens are good.

Soon you will travel far.

In every town and village, people shall bow before you.

GUARD: Halt!


(SNIFFS)

Let them through.


MAN: Five minutes!


Lord Kira, we are proud to present to you our performance as a gift for your wedding.

(DRUMS BEATING)

(AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING IN AWE)

(GASPS)

(SLOW MUSIC PLAYING)


(GRUNTS)


(AUDIENCE GASPING)


(BOTH GRUNTING)


RONIN: Don't hurt the princess!

MIKA: Kai!


Get them!


Stay there!


I knew you'd come for me.

Nothing will ever keep me away from you.


Nothing, half-breed?

Even death?

I know what you are.

You have no idea.

I'm not afraid of you.

You should be.


(SNARLING)


Come on.


(YELLING)

Know now the depth of my lord's courage.

(SCREAMING)


(ROARING)


(GASPING)

In the name of Lord Asano of Ako!


For Lord Asano!


Chikara.


Rest now, My Lord.

You are avenged.

SHOGUN TSUNAYOSHI: Oishi, I gave you a command forbidding you to take revenge.

Forgive me, Your Highness, but a man may not live under the same heaven as the murderer of his lord.

All I ask is respect for my men.

They are brave, My Lord.

The bravest I know.

I beg you to let them die with the dignity they deserve.

For the crime of disobedience, you should all be executed as common criminals.

But you and your men followed the old ways of Bushido to honor your lord and to avenge treachery.

I see only samurai before me.

I grant you a samurai's death, to be buried alongside your lord with honor.

Thank you, Your Highness.

Lady Asano is like her father.

She will make Ako great again.

Yes.

I know.


My father told me this world was only a preparation for the next,

that all we can ask is that we leave it having loved and being loved.

I will search for you through 1,000 worlds and 10,000 lifetimes until I find you.

I will wait for you in all of them.


Wait!

Chikara, son of Oishi, step out.

Oishi, I will not deny our country your bloodline.

Your son shall live to serve Ako as you and your samurai have done.


(GRUNTS)

KAI: I will search for you through 1,000 worlds and 10,000 lifetimes until I find you.


NARRATOR: The memory of the 47 Ronin who put duty and justice before their fear of death has lived down through the centuries as one of the greatest examples of honor and loyalty in Japanese culture.