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Antique Nobori Banner, The Last Battle of The Heike

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Textiles: Pre 1920: Item # 684794

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Antique Nobori Banner, The Last Battle of The Heike
Japanese nobori banner, hand dyed on cotton. The design painted on this nobori is the famous scene of Yoshitsune (Minamoto family, the Genji) jumping in the air after escaping the attack of Taira no Noritsune (Taira family, the Heike) in the ocean of Dannoura (Dan-no-Ura).

The battle of Dannoura was the last battle of the Genpei War (1180-1185) which was fought between two powerful clans, the Genji (Minamoto clan) and the Heike (Taira clan), to take control of Japan. The victory of the Minamoto clan at the end concluded the decades old fuel between the two clans; almost all the members of the Heike family (including the children) died in this war. Tokiko, a widow of Kiyomori (the head of the Heike clan), held her six year old grandson, Emperor Antoku, and answered his question of where they were going - there is a world of Amida down in the ocean and they were taking a trip. Then, she threw herself into the ocean with him. Her daughter, the mother of the Emperor (daughter of Kiyomori and Tokiko), followed them into the water but was captured by the Minamoto samurai. She later became a nun and died at the age of thirty-six.

The tale of the Heike was recited by traveling monks and later dramatized in plays, ukiyo-e, books, movies and so on. Over eight hundred years later, it can still shed tears in our eyes.

This nobori was probably made from 1920 to 1940. The dimensions: 27 1/2" x 199". The handles are not included in our measurements for all nobori. The length of the design area (from the bottom of ocean to the tip of helmet) is 97 1/2" to 98 1/2" long.



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