Heike monogatari , English The Tale of the Heike , medieval Japanese epic , which is to the Japanese what the Iliad is to the Western world—a prolific source of later dramas, ballads, and tales. It stems from unwritten traditional tales and variant texts composed between and , which were gathered together c. Its poetic prose was intended to be chanted to the accompaniment of a biwa four-stringed lute. Several translations into English have been published.
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Heike monogatari , English The Tale of the Heike , medieval Japanese epic , which is to the Japanese what the Iliad is to the Western world—a prolific source of later dramas, ballads, and tales. It stems from unwritten traditional tales and variant texts composed between and , which were gathered together c. Its poetic prose was intended to be chanted to the accompaniment of a biwa four-stringed lute.
Several translations into English have been published. Based on the actual historical struggle between the Taira Heike and Minamoto Genji families, which convulsed Japan in civil war for some years, the Heike monogatari features the exploits of Minamoto Yoshitsune , the most popular hero of Japanese legend , and recounts many episodes of the heroism of aristocratic samurai warriors.
Its overall theme is the tragic downfall of the Taira family. It opens with the tolling of a temple bell that, proclaiming the impermanence of all things, reveals the truth that the mighty—even the tyrannical Taira Kiyomori , whose powers seem unlimited—will be brought low like dust before the wind.
The Taira suffer a series of defeats, culminating in a sea battle off Dannoura in which the seven-year-old emperor and many nobles are drowned. The work concludes with an account of the subsequent life of the empress mother, born a Taira. She dies in a remote convent to the tolling of a bell. Heike monogatari. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. See Article History. Britannica Quiz. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:.
Japan: Kamakura culture: the new Buddhism and its influence. After the middle Kamakura period, as Buddhist pessimism grew fainter, various kinds of instruction manuals and family injunctions were composed, while collections of essays such as…. The most famous, Heike monogatari The Tale of the Heike , was apparently first written at the court about , probably by a nobleman who drew his materials from the accounts recited by priests of the warfare between the Taira Heike and the Minamoto Genji families in the preceding….
The sudden decline and ultimate extinction of the proud Heike, whose members had held the highest offices of the imperial court, illustrates the Buddhist philosophy of the transitory nature of all things; it invites the readers to…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! Email address. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice.
Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. More About. Washburn University - The Heike Monogatari.
The medieval Japanese prose narrative Heike monogatari The Tale of the Heike follows now the victors, now the vanquished, in an account of a one of the great turning points in Japanese history. In my research my main interest is literary: in the narrative style of the Heike and its influence on later Japanese art and drama example. On this page you'll find a short explanation of the rivalry between the Taira and Minamoto clans. There are also links to pages here with more detailed information about the Heike intended for those reading it in the original or in translation , followed by notes on related material elsewhere , both in Japan and abroad.
Heike Monogatari - The Tales of the Heike
The Tale of the Heike is often likened to a Japanese Iliad. It has been translated into English at least five times, the first by Arthur Lindsay Sadler in — Tsuchida was published in Also translated by Helen McCullough in An abridged translation by Burton Watson was published in
'The Tale of the Heike' delivers a path for salvation
We keep your purchases safe with us as long as necessary. Here, the head of mighty Heike clan, Masakado, on black horse back fights against Iwanuma Hachiro of Minamoto force. On the right sheet, the famed archer Tawara Tota Hidesato is seen. The "Tales of the Heike" Heike Monogatari is a collection of episodic stories related to the rise and downfall of the Taira clan in twelfth century Kyoto.