The Rebellions of the Hōgen and Heiji Eras


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 226

These screens created in the early 1600s illustrate a pair of bloody military conflicts related to a dispute over imperial succession that took place in the capital of Kyoto five hundred years earlier. The Hōgen Rebellion of 1156 and the Heiji Rebellion of 1159, depicted on the right and left screens, respectively, had far-reaching sociopolitical consequences, marking the close of the peaceful Heian period (794–1185) and the rise of the samurai class. All the action is set against a bird’s-eye view of the city’s verdant hills, rivers, shrines, and temples. Viewing the screens at a distance, one gains a sense of the geography of the city, major landmarks, as well as individual battles and large movements of fighters through the landscape, while up close, one can see in detail the atrocities of war in extraordinarily small, vivid vignettes scattered across the surface. Nobles in mansions, warriors in the streets, courtiers in ox-drawn carriages, and samurai on horseback alike are all caught in the chaos of war.

On view for rotations 1 and 2

#8930. The Battles of the Hōgen and Heiji Eras



  1. 8930. The Battles of the Hōgen and Heiji Eras
  2. 8853. The Battles of the Hōgen and Heiji Eras
  3. 8930. The Battles of the Hágen and Heiji Eras, Part 3
The Rebellions of the Hōgen and Heiji Eras, Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, gold, and gold leaf on paper, Japan

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