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Japanese Two Panel Screen: Battle Scene From Heike Wars

Tosa School painting depicting the descent over Hiyodorigoe cliff (modern day Kobe prefecture): General Yoshitsune was leader of the Genji troops, and was caught in a stalemate at Ichinotani. In order to escape stalemate, he secretly led a troop of 3,000 soldiers into the mountains above the Heike camps. The story goes that when they were deep in the mountains, the troops came across the path of an old hunter. Yoshitsune asked the old hunter if he thought horses could descend the Hiyodorigoe cliff. The hunter said certainly not. Yoshitsune then asked if the old hunter ever saw deer on Hiyodorigoe cliff. The hunter responded that he saw them all the time on the cliff. Yoshitsune then determined that if deer could traverse the cliff, so could his skilled war horses and soldiers. Yoshitsune then led his battalion down the cliff in a surprise attack on the Heike troops at the bottom of the mountain. It is said that on the way down, the cliff was so steep that the stirrups of soldiers from above hit the helmets of the soldiers below. The Genji set fire to the huts of the Heike, and the Heike troops fled to sea. Excellent detail, mineral pigments on gold leaf with gold dust.

17th century
69 1/4" h x 70" w x 3/4" d
175.9cm h x 177.8cm w x 1.9cm d
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