Taira no Kiyomori's Spectral Vision

Utagawa Hiroshige Japanese

Not on view

The hubris embodied in the figure of Taira no Kiyomori (1118–1181) looms large in many medieval warrior tales. The death, conflict, and fiery destruction caused by his ambitions in the Hōgen and Heiji civil wars are ultimately resolved by his own horrifying death by fever during the Genpei War of 1180–85. Hiroshige depicted him as haunted, but uncowed, by his past deeds, surrounded by eerie skull forms in a snowy garden.

Taira no Kiyomori's Spectral Vision, Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, Tokyo (Edo) 1797–1858 Tokyo (Edo)), Triptych of woodblock-printed books (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper, Japan

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