Ôboshi Yuranosuke - ex-chief retainer of Enya, leader of
the loyal league
Yazama J?tar? - ex-retainer of Enya
Teraoka Heiemon - ex-foot soldier of Enya
And forty three other r?nin . . .
K? no Moronao - lord of Musashi, enemy of the loyal league
Momonoi Wakasanosuke Yasuchika - younger brother of the lord of Harima
Yakushiji Jirozaemon - close friend of Moronao
Sagisaka Bannai - retainer of Moronao
Forty six men, dressed for battle and lead by Yuranosuke, travel clandestinely by fishing boat to the city of Kamakura and then make their way to Moronao's estate. Dividing into two groups, then men wait outside the front and rear gates and prepare for their attack. Meanwhile, Moronao, completely ignorant of the fate that awaits him and lax in his guard, has fallen asleep after a night of singing, dancing and carousing.
When the time is right, the two groups break in simultaneously and, using a strategy devised by Yuranosuke, successfully breach the protective shutters that surround Moronao's mansion, leaving the interior vulnerably to their attack. Although the avengers are few in number, they are courageous and determined to succeed in their mission.
Having heard the roar of battle, lords of the neighboring mansions send samurai up to the rooftops to find out what is happening. Yuranosuke responds immediately, detailing his league's purpose and motives, and assuring the onlookers that every precaution against fire is being taken. The neighboring samurai are heartened by league's loyalty to the late Enya and wish them luck in battle.
After two hours of fierce fighting, the battle is finally over and the neighborhood becomes quiet. Although Moronao escapes detection for some time, he is eventually found hiding in a wood shed by J?tar?. At first, in an effort to observe the proper decorum even at the moment of revenge, Yuranosuke humbly asks Moronao to offer his own head without resistance; in the end, however, Moronao does resist and Yuranosuke strikes a blow. The forty six men raise their voices in cheer and, using the very same dagger their lord plunged into his own abdomen, severe Moronao head from his body and offer it before Enya's memorial tablet.
As the group burns incense in memory of their lord and prepares to commit
seppuku, Wakasanosuke approaches and suggests that it would be more
prudent to first withdraw to Enya's family temple. Yuranosuke has only just
agreed to this when Yakushiji and Bannai suddenly leap out of hiding and attack.
Although the fighting is fierce, Rikiya fells them both to loud shouts of
praise from the rest of the men.