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Festival -- ommatsuri, fall festival, Morioka, image 1.

Abstract

The front of another float from the festival parade in Morioka. The large figure portrayed on the float is probably a representation of Benkei, the legendary warrior - priest retainer of Yoshitsune. Yoshitsune is one of the great underdog heroes of Japanese history. He was the brilliant young general who engineered the victory of his elder brother, Yoritomo, leader of the Minamoto clan and founding shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate. Suspecting treachery after he became shogun, Yoritomo sent an army in pursuit Yoshitsune, who escaped northward under the protection of the leader of the so-called northern branch of the Fujiwara clan, based at Hiraizumi, in southern Iwate prefecture. However, informed by the son of the elder leader of the Fujiwara, Yoritomo's forces descended upon Hiraizumi to capture Yoshitsune. At Hiraizumi, Benkei -- who was at least eight feet tall and indestructible -- single-handedly held off Yoritomo's entire army, giving Yoshitsune and his family time to commit suicide and to be burned in their home, rather than suffer the shame of capture by the forces of Yoritomo. The story of Yoshitsune and Benkei is a great theme of Japanese literature and provided, e.g., the basis for the great Noh play, Ataka, and the very popular Kabuki play, Kanjincho, based on Ataka. Hiraizumi is perhaps one half hour or so south of Morioka by train.

Note

Materials may be used for educational, non-commercial purposes only, in accordance with Fair Use policies. Acknowledgement to be given to the IDEAS Project and to the photographer. Photographer retains copyright.

Administrative Notes

Materials may be used for educational, non-commercial purposes only, in accordance with Fair Use policies. Acknowledgement to be given to the IDEAS Project and to the photographer. Photographer retains copyright.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Earlham College
PID
coccc:22466
Extent
960 w x 711 h, 96 ppi