Richie, Donald and Joseph L. Anderson. "Traditional Theater and the Film in Japan." Film Quarterly. 12.1 (1958): 2-9.
This article discusses the influence Japanese theatre had on the country's film industry. However, it singles out The Last Forty Seven Ronin as one of the rare films to have the Kabuki theatre influence. Although they come from the same story, Mizoguchi's film version is much more realisitic than the original Kabuki plays.
The fact that this article describes the influence of Kabuki theater on Mizoguchi's film shows that there was no intent to change the story to conform to the nationalistic feelings of World War II Japan. Even when it differs in its portrayal of reality, the film is much more a historical epic than a war propaganda effort. The realistic movements of the actors break away from traditional Kabuki theater and give a much more modern feel to Mizoguchi's picture.