This is coming from one of my InS 10 students. The pictures were taken on the grounds of the Italian Embassy in Tokyo:
“The writing in Italian says: “On February 4th 1703 in this garden, 10 of the 47 ronins killed themselves. The R. (“Royal” because at the time there was still a monarchy in Italy) Ambassador Giacinto Avriti placed this memorial A.D. 1939. XVIII E.F. (Fascist Era – on the 18th year of Mussolini’s rule).”
The writing in Japanese, on the other hand, reads the names of the 10 ronins and a brief summary of the story.
The garden of the Italian Embassy is one of the most ancient in Tokyo. The territory was once home to the Shogun, Matsudaira Ōkinokami, before it was bought by the Italian government.
The trees within the garden allows us to date it all the way back to the XVII century.
During the Edo period, an interesting happening took place in the garden of Matsudaira’s residence: 10 of the 47 ronins killed themselves in 1703. This event is remembered in Japanese culture through the popular play, “Chūshingura“.
The killings took place where the pond now lays in the garden, as the ground was removed to create a small artificial hill where, in 1939, a commemorative stele of the event was erected by the Italian government.
Matsudaira’s property later passed to Prince Masayoshi Matsukata, a known politic of the Meiji period, who was Prime Minister twice.
A little after the events that took place in 1701 to 1702, such as the attack to a high shogunal official, Kira Kozukenosuke’s palace on December 15 1702, many theatrical plays began to circulate Japan. The plays narrated the past happenings, as theater at the time was a way of communicating events, usually dramatic, to the population.”