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The Revenge of the 47 Samurai

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Asano is a feudal lord and when the Mikado's Ambassador comes to Tokyo, Asano is assigned to greet him. The meeting turns sour when it becomes clear that Ambassador expects a healthy bribe. After days of humiliation, Asano draws his knife and lunges at the Ambassador's head, but the Ambassador's Court Cap turns the blade. He turns and runs. Asano is subdued by the guards and the Council orders him to commit suicide by disemboweling himself. The Council then disinherits his heirs and takes Asano's lands. This becomes a big problem for Asano's 47 Samurai. Normally their allegiance would pass to Asano's heir, but without an heir they are masterless and lost. They fall to drink and the Ambassador's spies report their dishonor. He relaxes, but this is all part of an elaborate plan. As the snow falls, 47 Samurai rise up with sword in hand to avenge their master, Asano. After cutting down every guard who offers resistance, they find the Ambassador hiding behind a secret door in his castle. They offer him an honorable death but the Ambassador is speechless so they cut his head off. They lay the head at the tomb of their master and give the abbot money for a proper ceremony. The 47 Samurai are sentenced to death and each man disembowels himself. Their bodies are laid to rest near their master where they remain to this day. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I recommend reading the full story in the book, "Tales of Old Japan." I recall Speaker Newt Gingrich recommending reading the novel "The 47th Samurai" by Stephen Hunter, so I did. It is a rip roaring thriller of the modern day when the sword of the 47th Samurai is found. This is a very popular story in Japan. It stresses the importance of honor. The Samurai were not murderers, nor robbers. They assured the neighbors that they had nothing to fear from them. Even the trial court thought they had only honorable intentions at heart, and offered them an honorable death by disemboweling. As World War 2 ended and Japan surrendered, Prime Minister Tojo was given the opportunity of an honorable death by disemboweling. It is also a very painful and drawn-out death, so the Prime Minister decided to shoot himself in the heart... and missed. As he recovered from his wound it is said that he became a changed man... serene. Nevertheless, the fix was in. The Prime Minister took the blame for the war instead of the Emperor. He was a dead man anyway and after a slip-shod show trial, Prime Minister Tojo was hung by the neck on December 23rd, 1948. [4] [5]

Celsius is Born *

The astronomer who will define the Celsius temperature scale is named Anders Celsius. He is born this year in Uppsala, Sweden. Most of his work will involve astronomy but he will verify Issac Newton's contention that the Earth is flatter on the top and bottom and bloats out in the middle. He will also measure the brightness of stars using filters rather than depending on the judgement of the naked eye. And, of course, in 1742 he will propose a scientific scale for measuring temperature... the Celsius scale with 100 degrees measured between the freezing point of water and the boiling point of water. The Fahrenheit scale will be proposed in 1724 which has 180 degrees between freezing and boiling: that is, 32 degrees to 212 degrees but using 100 degrees between these two points will become advantageous in the modern metric system. [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Actually, Anders Celsius did not invent the exact Celsius system that we have today. His scale had 100 degrees between freezing and boiling water but the scale was backwards with zero degrees being the boiling point and 100 being freezing. Nevertheless, early thermometers using this scale flipped the numbers to the way the scale is used today. They called the scale centigrade and later named it Celsius to honor the Swedish astronomer. This is the temperature scale used by most of the world. There are still a few Fahrenheit hold-outs, the most notable being the Caribbean nation of Belize and that country just north of Belize called the United States of America. [7]

Cadillac Founds Detroit

Cadillac is actually a French explorer... not a fancy automobile. The word "Detroit" is a French word meaning "strait" as in "The Strait between Lake Erie and Lake Huron." Cadillac and several other French colonists establish Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit this year, named after a French politician who supported his promotion to lieutenant commander. In a few years, Cadillac will be named Governor of Louisiana, even before he steps one foot in the province. Obviously, Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana will be named after the same French politician. [8] [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
This was all part of New France, from Montreal down to New Orleans and President Thomas Jefferson tried to make the argument that Texas was actually part of French Territory when he negotiated the Louisiana Purchase. That argument didn't fly, though. One French explorer, Robert La Salle, did establish a Fort Saint Louis near present day Inez, Texas and claimed the region in the name of France but the colony didn't last long. When the Spaniards heard about it, they sent some soldiers over to kick them out but by the time they got there, there was almost nothing left of them. [11] [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1701, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Forty-seven Ronin - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 1 January 2016. “The story tells of a group of samurai who were left leaderless (becoming ronin) after their daimyo (feudal lord) Asano Naganori was compelled to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) for assaulting a court official named Kira Yoshinaka, whose title was Kōzuke no suke. The ronin avenged their master's honor by killing Kira, after waiting and planning for a year. In turn, the ronin were themselves obliged to commit seppuku for committing the crime of murder.”
  2. Hunter, Stephen. 47th Samurai, The. Simon & Schuster. 0743238095. ISBN 9780743238090. 
  3. Asano Naganori - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 1 January 2016. “In 1694, he suffered from a serious illness. He had no children, thus no heir at that time. When a daimyo died without a determined heir, his house would be abolished by the Shogunate, and his lands confiscated; his retainers would become rōnin. To prevent this, he adopted his younger brother Asano Nagahiro, titled Daigaku, who was accepted as his heir by the Shogunate.”
  4. Mitford, A. B. (1910). Tales of Old Japan. 
  5. Hideki Tojo - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 January 2016. “When American military police surrounded the house on September 11, 1945, they heard a muffled shot from inside. Major Paul Kraus and a group of military police burst in, followed by George Jones, a reporter for The New York Times. Tojo had shot himself in the chest with a pistol, but despite shooting directly through the mark, the bullets missed his heart and penetrated his stomach.”
  6. Anders Celsius - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 1 December 2015. “Anders Celsius (27 November 1701 – 25 April 1744) was a Swedish astronomer, physicist and mathematician. He was professor of astronomy at Uppsala University from 1730 to 1744, but traveled from 1732 to 1735 visiting notable observatories in Germany, Italy and France. He founded the Uppsala Astronomical Observatory in 1741, and in 1742 proposed the Celsius temperature scale which bears his name.”
  7. Fahrenheit - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 January 2016. “By the end of the 20th century, Fahrenheit was only used as the official temperature scale in the United States, the Bahamas, Belize, the Cayman Islands, and Palau as well as being the most common unofficial scale in many of the current and former US unincorporated territories.”
  8. Detroit - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 3 January 2016. “Detroit was founded on July 24, 1701, by the French explorer and adventurer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac and a party of settlers.”
  9. Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, Louisiana. stoppingpoints.com (2016). Retrieved on 3 January 2016. “Traveled on by Iberville, 1699 and named for the French Minister of Marine. Indians called it Okwa-ta, wide water.”
  10. Louis Phélypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 January 2016. “Louis Phélypeaux (1643–1727), marquis de Phélypeaux (1667), comte de Maurepas (1687), comte de Pontchartrain (1699), known as the chancellor de Pontchartrain, was a French politician. After serving as head of the Parlement of Brittany, he held office as Controller-General of Finances and as Navy Secretary and, from 1690, Secretary of State of the Maison du Roi.”
  11. French colonization of Texas - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 2 December 2015. “The French colonization of Texas began with Fort Saint Louis, established in 1685 near Arenosa Creek and Matagorda Bay by explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle. He intended to found the colony at the mouth of the Mississippi River, but inaccurate maps and navigational errors caused his ships to anchor instead 400 miles (640 km) to the west, off the coast of Texas. The colony survived until 1688. Present-day Inez, Texas, later developed there.”
  12. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 312-313. “First Fr. settlers in Texas” 

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