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The Tales of the Heikeis one of the most influential works in Japanese literature and culture, remaining even today a crucial source for fiction, drama, and popular media. Originally written in the mid-thirteenth century, it features a cast of vivid characters and chronicles the epic Genpei war, a civil conflict that marked the end of the power of the Heike and changed the course of Japanese history. The Tales of the Heikefocuses on the lives of both the samurai warriors who fought for two powerful twelfth-century Japanese clans-the Heike (Taira) and the Genji (Minamoto)-and the women with whom they were intimately connected. The Tales of the Heikeprovides a dramatic window onto the emerging world of the medieval samurai and recounts in absorbing detail the chaos of the battlefield, the intrigue of the imperial court, and the gradual loss of a courtly tradition. The book is also highly religious and Buddhist in its orientation, taking up such issues as impermanence, karmic retribution, attachment, and renunciation, which dominated the Japanese imagination in the medieval period. In this new, abridged translation, Burton Watson offers a gripping rendering of the work's most memorable episodes. Particular to this translation are the introduction by Haruo Shirane, the woodblock illustrations, a glossary of characters, and an extended bibliography.
Table of Contents
|Preface and Acknowledgments||p. ix|
|The Bells of Gion Monastery||p. 9|
|Night Attack at Courtiers' Hall||p. 10|
|The Sea Bass||p. 14|
|Page-Boy Cuts||p. 15|
|Kiyomori's Flowering Fortunes||p. 15|
|The Admonition||p. 29|
|Signal Fires||p. 33|
|The Death of the Senior Counselor||p. 34|
|Yasuyori's Prayer||p. 35|
|The Pardon||p. 37|
|The Foot-Drumming||p. 40|
|The Death of Shunkan||p. 47|
|The Battle at the Bridge||p. 51|
|The Burning of Nara||p. 58|
|The Death of Kiyomori||p. 65|
|Tadanori Leaves the Capital||p. 75|
|The Flight from Fukuhara||p. 77|
|The Death of Lord Kiso||p. 83|
|The Old Horse||p. 89|
|The Attack from the Cliff||p. 93|
|The Death of Tadanori||p. 95|
|The Capture of Shigehira||p. 97|
|The Death of Atsumori||p. 98|
|Regarding the Precepts||p. 101|
|Koremori Becomes a Monk||p. 113|
|Koremori Drowns Himself||p. 117|
|The Death of Tsuginobu||p. 122|
|Nasu no Yoichi||p. 126|
|The Lost Bow||p. 130|
|The Cockfights and the Battle of Dan-no-ura||p. 133|
|Far-Flying Arrows||p. 137|
|The Drowning of the Former Emperor||p. 141|
|The Execution of Rokudai||p. 144|
|The Initiates' Book||p. 148|
|The Imperial Lady Becomes a Nun||p. 148|
|The Move to Ohara||p. 151|
|The Retired Emperor Visits Ohara||p. 153|
|The Six Paths of Existence||p. 160|
|The Death of the Imperial Lady||p. 165|
|Glossary of Characters||p. 171|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
Read an excerpt from The Tales of the Heike