Faces of War-Torn Japan: Characters from 'The Tale of the Heike'

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    Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861). 'Taira no Kiyomori Encountering the Ghost of Yoshihira at Nunobiki Falls,' Japan, Edo period (1615-1868), c. 1843 - 1847. Woodblock print; ink and color on paper. Gift of Victor S. K. Houston in honor of his wife, Pinao Bric

  • Exhib_slideshow_exh_heike_yoshitsune-benkei

    Utagawa Kunisada / Toyokuni III (1786–1865). 'Onzōshi Ushiwaka and Musashibō Benkei.' Woodblock print; ink and color on paper' Gift of Victor S. K. Houston in honor of his wife, Pinao Brickwood Houston, 1941 (11640.07)'

  • Exhib_slideshow_exh_heike_oniwaka

    Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858). 'Chapter Three: Oniwaka Fighting the Giant Carp From the series Illustrated Records from the Life of Yoshitsune (Yoshitsune ichidaiki zue).' Japan, Edo period (1615–1868), c. 1843–1847. Woodblock print; ink and color on

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January 09, 2014 - March 09, 2014
Honolulu Museum of Art


Exhibition Overview

The Tale of the Heike (Heike monogatari, c. late 14th century) is a Japanese literary account of the Genpei War, a civil war waged between the Taira and Minamoto clans from 1180 to 1185. The exhibition Faces of War-Torn Japan: Characters from The Tale of the Heike uses woodblock prints by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858), Utagawa Kunisada (1786–1865), and Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797–1861), as well as illustrated, mid-17th-century copies of the Heike text to highlight the protagonists of this epic work of literature: Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1159–1189), the heroic general of the Minamoto clan; his ferociously loyal companion, Musashibō Benkei (1155–1189); his daring mother, Tokiwa Gozen (1138–c.1180); and his arch enemy, Taira no Kiyomori (1118–1181).