The Heike Story
The Heike Story is a modern translation of a Japanese classic. Kyoto in the twelfth century was a magnificent city, but crime, disorder, and lust were rampant. The people were abused by the nobility, while armed Buddhist monks terrorized court and commoner alike. In despair, the Emperor called upon the Heike and Genji clans to quell civil disturbances. Although the clans succeeded, they quarreled over the spoils of war and plunged the country into a century of warfare.
The Heike Story describes the rise to power of Kiyomori of the Heike clan during this turbulent time. Kiyomori was a youth born into poverty. He eventually rose to become the Emperor's Chief Councilor. He was a gentle, enlightened man but he left a trail of bloodshed and ruin in his wake. The strange twists of Kiyomori's fate are the core of this epic novel. Its exotic atmosphere, narrative power, pageantry, and poetry has enthralled readers and provides an entertaining introduction to an important source of Japanese culture. This new edition features a foreword by Dr. Davinder Bhowmik that introduces this celebrated author and book to modern readers.
About the Author:
Eiji Yoshikawa (1892-1962) was born in Kanagawa. Although he received little more than a primary education, in his lifetime, he authored some 80 novels and over 180 short stories. Among his best-selling novels are Mushashi, Way of the Samurai, and The Heike Story. Credited with greatly elevating popular fiction, Yoshikawa was the first writer of such work to be awarded the Order of Culture.
Davinder Bhowmik is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington, specializing in modern Japanese literature, Okinawan fiction, and the Japanese language.