Malerei von Kenkichi Sugimoto
The Genpei War ends in the Battle of Dannoura 1185. Yoshitsune sinks the entire Taira fleet into the sea.
Rise and fall of the samurai tribe Taira, nothing is preserved. Kiyomori Taira can win the battles, displace the noble Fujiwara family and even put pressure on the Tenno. But the eternal cycle of change does not stop. "Heike Monogatari," the classic masterpiece of the Middle Ages, is based on "reincarnation," "the eternal cycle of change," and "compassion to impermanence" as key themes. Readers of the version published in ancient Japanese fell into deep mourning with the Tairas who perished in Dannoura. In the old tale, the Tairas accepted their fate without resistance. They mourned with Kiyomori's wife, daughter, sons and grandchildren their downfall after a short period of prosperity. The author Eiji Yoshikawa now tries to overcome this passivity against strokes of fate in the modern version "Shin Heike Monogatari". In the New Tale of Taira, Kiyomori turns the rotten aristocratic society of the Heian era upside down. He fights powerfully, vividly and humanely. The underground samurai, the Tairas, climbed to the top of politics and crash into the abyss. However, the samurai tribe Taira is replaced by his archrival, Minamoto. Minamoto manages the revolution and ushers in the samurai government. But even Minamoto's fate follows the eternal cycle. The first shogun Yoritomo Minamoto has his younger brother Yoshitsune killed. The way of the samurai is to kill enemies and build power. The true hero Yoshitsune, on the other hand, realizes that war does not bring lasting peace. He renounces the force of arms, offers no military resistance to Yoritomo, the shogun, and dies. Eiji Yoshikawa concludes his new story of Taira with Yoshitsune's way of the samurai, renouncing arms for peace. He gives his answer to the Japanese after the destruction of World War II, what really brings peace and happiness. Let us not be impressed by the great wheel of change, we fight for peace and happiness. Yoshikawa's life's work is translated into German for the first time and unabridged.