The Taiheiki: A Chronicle of Medieval Japan


An epic saga of samurai warfare in medieval Japan

This celebrated literary classic has delighted generations of Japanese. In its pages, you will find a vivid contemporary description of the fourteenth-century intrigues and battles that led to the destruction of the Hojo family, the military overlords of the nation, and made it possible for the Emperor Go-Daigo (1288-1339), one of Japan's most remarkable sovereigns, to reassert the power of the throne. Go-Daigo's first hesitant ...

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An epic saga of samurai warfare in medieval Japan

This celebrated literary classic has delighted generations of Japanese. In its pages, you will find a vivid contemporary description of the fourteenth-century intrigues and battles that led to the destruction of the Hojo family, the military overlords of the nation, and made it possible for the Emperor Go-Daigo (1288-1339), one of Japan's most remarkable sovereigns, to reassert the power of the throne. Go-Daigo's first hesitant attempts to overthrow the Hojo, the early defeats suffered by his supporters, his dethronement and exile, the legendary exploits of his generals, the growing strength of his arms, and his ultimate return to the throne are all recounted in engrossing detail.

The anonymous authors of The Taiheiki diversify their narrative through skillful use of the rich treasure house of the Chinese dynastic histories, the verse of the Six Dynasties and T'ang, and the Confucian teachings underlying the strict warrior code of loyalty and filial piety. They write with a deep sense of the inevitability of karma—determined fate and the impermanence of man and his works—but the spirit of the age is reflected in their praise of valor and military prowess, their taste for descriptions of the trappings of war, and their frequent irreverent asides. Considered a part of the gunki monogatari, or war tales canon in Japan, The Taiheiki celebrates martial adventure and can be seen as a prose counterpart to the Homeric epics of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804835381
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/15/2004
  • Series: Tuttle Classics Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 452
  • Sales rank: 972,003
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Helen Craig McCullough was a well-known American Orientalist. She received her doctoral degree at the University of California and studied at Tokyo University on a Fulbright grant. She was the editor and translator of numerous works from the Japanese and Chinese classic tradition.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii
Introduction xv
The Reign of Go-Daigo Tenno and the Prosperity of the Military 3
The Abolition of the Barriers 6
The Nomination of a Consort and the Matter of Lady Sammi 8
The Princes 10
The Inner Princess Prays for a Safe Delivery; the Matter of Toshimoto's Feigned Seclusion 12
The Band of Roisterers and Gen'e's Discourses on Literature 14
Yorikazu Changes His Loyalty 18
Suketomo and Toshimoto Go Down to the Kanto; the Imperial Message 24
The Imperial Journeys to the Southern Capital and the Northern Peak 28
The Arrest of the Monks and Their Removal to Rokuhara; Tameakira's Poem 31
The Three Monks Go Down to the Kanto 33
Toshimoto no Ason Goes Back to the Kanto 38
The Opinion of Nagasaki Shinsaemon-no-jo and the Matter of Master Kumawaka 42
The Execution of Toshimoto and the Matter of Sukemitsu 51
Marvelous Things in the Realm 54
Morokata Climbs the Mountain; The Battle of Karasaki Beach 57
The Highnesses of the Jimyoin Go to Rokuhara 62
The Coming of the Supreme Highness Is Found to Be a Deceit, Wherefore the Heart of the Mountain Gate Changes; Also, the Matter of Chi Hsin 63
The Dream of the Supreme Highness and the Matter of Kusunoki 67
The Battle of Kasagi; How Suyama and Komiyama Attacked by Night 70
The Supreme Highness Flees from Kasagi 79
The Battle of Akasaka Castle 85
Sakurayama's Suicide 91
The Captives of Kasagi Are Put to Death or Sent into Exile; The Matter of Lord Fujifusa 93
The Verse of the Seven-Year-Old Prince 100
The Matter of the First Prince and the Prince of the Myohoin 101
Chun Ming-chi Visits the Palace 103
The Grief of the Inner Princess 104
The Former Sovereign Goes into Exile 105
The Matter of Bingo no Saburo Takanori; the Fighting Between Wu and Yueh 107
The Enthronement of the Highness of the Jimyoin 127
Lord Nobufusa Serves Two Masters 128
The Extinction of the New Perpetual Lamp of the Central Hall 130
The Sagami Lay Monk Amuses Himself with Field Music; the Matter of the Dog Fights 131
How Tokimasa Shut Himself Up at Enoshima to Pray 133
The Prince of the Great Pagoda Flees to Kumano 135
The Dream of Lady Mimbukyo 150
Kusunoki Goes to the Tennoji; The Matter of Suda, Takahashi, and Utsunomiya 152
Masashige Beholds the forecast of the Tennoji 160
The Prince of the Great Pagoda Issues a Command to the Lay Monk Akamatsu Enshin 162
A Host from the Kanto Goes Up to the Capital 163
The Battle of Akasaka; How Hitomi and Homma Went before Others 166
The Battle of Yoshino Castle 175
The Battle of Chihaya Castle 181
Nitta Yoshisada Receives an Imperial Mandate 188
The Rising of Akamatsu 190
Doi and Tokuno Raise Their Banners 191
The Former Sovereign Goes to Funanoe 192
The Battle of Funanoe 198
The Battle of Maya, and the Battles of Sakabe and Segawa 201
The Battle of the Twelfth Day of the Third Month 205
The Highness of the Jimyoin Goes to Rokuhara 209
The Sacred Rituals in the Palaces of the Emperor and the Retired Emperor; The Battle of Yamazaki 214
The Soldier-Monks of the Enryakuji Invade the Capital 217
The Battle of the Third Day of the Fourth Month, and the Valor of Mega Magosaburo 221
The Supreme Highness Performs the Rites of the Golden Wheel; Lord Chigusa Fights in the Capital 228
The Fire at the Tani-no-do Temple 235
Lord Ashikaga Goes Up to the Capital 237
The Attack on Yamazaki and the Battle of Koganawate 240
Lord Ashikaga Crosses Beyond Oe Mountain 244
Lord Ashikaga Comes to Shinomura, Whereupon the Men of the Provinces Gallop to Join Him 246
Takauji Offers Up a Petition at Shinomura Hachiman Shrine 250
The Attack on Rokuhara 253
The Flight of the Supreme Highness and the Former Emperors 259
The Suicide of Nakatoki and His Warriors 266
The Fifth Prince Captures the Supreme Highness and the Former Emperors; the Minister Sukena Renounces the World 270
The Defeat of the Chihaya Attackers 271
Master Senjuo Flees from Okura Valley 273
The Revolt of Nitta Yoshisada; How a Goblin Summoned the Armies of Echigo 274
Miura Otawa Speaks of Warfare 281
The Battle of Kamakura 285
The Suicide of the Akahashi Governor of Sagami; Homma's Suicide 287
A Beach Appears at Inamura Cape 289
War Fires in Kamakura; the Bravery of Nagasaki and His Son 292
Daibutsu Sadanao and Kanazawa Sadamasa Die in Battle 295
Shinnin Dies by His Own Hand 296
The Suicide of Shioda and His Son 297
The Suicide of the Shiaku Lay Monk 298
The Suicide of the Ando Lay Monk; The Matter of Wang Ling of Han 299
Master Kameju Flees to Shinano; Sakon-no-taifu Escapes in Disguise to Oshu 301
The Last Battle of Nagasaki Jiro Takashige 305
Takatoki and His Kinsmen Kill Themselves at the Toshoji Temple 310
Godaiin Uemon Muneshige Deceives Sagami Taro 312
The Generals Send Couriers to Funanoe 315
The Emperor Visits Shosha Mountain; Nitta's Report 317
Masashige Comes to Hyogo; the Emperor Returns to the Capital 320
The Battle of Tsukushi 322
The Surrender of the Military Governor of Nagato 326
The Suicide of the Steward of Ushi-ga-hara in Echizen 328
The Suicide of the Protector of Etchu; the Matter of the Unquiet Spirits 330
The Punishment of the Besiegers of Mount Kongo; the Matter of Sakai Sadatoshi 334
The Court Governs Alone 340
The Building of the Great Palace Enclosure; the Matter of the Shrine of Sugawara no Michizane 346
The Rites for the Pacification of the State, and the Rewards Given to the Grand Marshals 363
The Extravagance of Lord Chigusa and the Monk Reformer Monkan; the Matter of the Most Holy Gedatsu 365
Hiroari Shoots a Strange Bird 371
The Matter of the Garden of Divine Waters 374
The Banishment of the Princely Minister of Military Affairs; the Matter of Lady Li 379
Character List 389
Index 393
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