Daichūshingura (大忠臣蔵) is a television dramatization of the events of the Forty-seven Ronin. The first episode aired on January 5, 1971, and the 52nd and final episode appeared on December 28 of the same year. The NET network broadcast it in the Tuesday evening 9:00–9:56 prime-time slot in Japan.
Ichikawa Chūsha VIII took the part of Kira Yoshinaka, but died after the filming of Episode 47; his brother Kodayū replaced him. Amada Toshiaki played his son, Uesugi Tsunanori, and Shūichi Ikeda appeared as the young grandson Uesugi Yoshinori. Uesugi clan karō Chisaka Hyōbu, the co-lead role, went to Tetsuro Tamba. Takarazuka Revue star Noboru Kōzuki played the fictional Oran, a Yagyū undercover agent. Also on the Kira side was Gorō Mutsumi.
Among the ronin and their allies were Tetsuya Watari as Horibe Yasubei, and Miyoko Akaza as his wife. Ichirō Arishima played her (his adoptive) father Yahei. Tarō Ishida appeared as Tominomori Sukeemon, Masakazu Tamura as the teen-aged Yatō Emonshichi, his brother Takahiro Tamura as Takada Gunbei (their brother Ryō Tamura also appeared in the series), and Shinsuke Mikimoto as Ōtaka Gengo. Comedian Frankie Sakai played Akabane Genzō and Yukio Ninagawa Hazama Jūjirō. Gō Wakabayashi portrayed Maehara Isuke, and Akiji Kobayashi was Terasaka Kichiemon, the "47th ronin."
Many actors appeared as guest stars in only a few episodes. Among them were many known to audiences outside Japan. These included superstar Kinnosuke Nakamura as Wakisaka Awaji-no-kami, Matsumoto Kōshirō, Shintaro Katsu (of Zatoichi fame), Takashi Shimura, Eiji Okada, Yukiyo Toake, Masakazu Tamura, shigeru Tsuyuguchi, Kinichi Hagimoto, Terumi Niki, Masaaki Sakai, and Shinji Maki.
The series has been rerun during the more than 35 years that have passed since it was first aired. It is available in several DVD sets.
This article incorporates material from 大忠臣蔵 (1971年 テレビドラマ) (Daichūshingura (1971 television drama)) in the Japanese Wikipedia, retrieved on March 16, 2008.