Battle of the Genji and Heike Forces

A 6-fold screen depicting of the Battle of Genji and Heike. In samurai armor, the Heike forces approach by ship from the left, while Genji forces rush to the shore on horseback and on foot—drawing the viewer’s attention to the center of the screens, where their confrontation will finally take place. The Heike forces can be identified by the red banners on their ships, while the Genji clan carries white banners. The most renowned battle in Japan took place in the twelfth century over control of the Heian (794-1185) capitol of Kyoto. This legendary tale was spread by itinerant monks who sang of the drama while playing the biwa, a stringed instrument much like a lute, as they travelled Japan. The details of the struggles for power between the Heike (also known as Taira) and Genji (also known as Minamoto) clans were recorded in what came to be known as the Heike Monogatari (Tale of Heike) over the following centuries. The Heike Monogatari is one of the most famous stories in all of Japan.

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Type: painting
Location: Japan
Continent: Asia
Keywords: battle, war, horse, samurai