"The temple bell echoes the impermanence of all things. The colors of the flowers testify to the truth that those who flourish must decay. Pride lasts but a little while, like a dream on a spring night. Before long the might are cast down, and they are as dust before the wind."—From the beginning of The Heike Story
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. From a youth sunk in poverty, Kiyomori eventually rose to become the Emperor's Chief Councilor. Although he was a gentle, enlightened man, 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.
The Heike Story is a modern translation of a Japanese classic. Its exotic atmosphere, narrative power, pageantry, and poetry will enthrall readers and provide 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.