Taira no Kiyomori stopping the descent of the sun

The magical episode illustrated here has all the extravagance and drama of the kabuki theatre.

Taira (Sokoku) no Kiyomori (1118-81) was born into the imperial Taira clan. In the 12th century when the Taira clan defeated the Minamoto clan, Taira no Kiyomori, in an uncommon act of mercy, spared the lives of the Minamoto children, who later brought about the downfall of the Taira. According to legend, Kiyomori had promised to complete the building of a shrine in Miyajima by a specific day. Although a multitude of craftsmen worked ceaselessly, the sun began to set before the work was finished. Kiyomori climbed onto the roof and kept beckoning back the sun with his fan until the work was completed.

Taira no Kiyomori stopping the descent of the sun Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI
Japanese 1839-92
Taira no Kiyomori stopping the descent of the sun
from the A mirror of famous generals of Japan series
c. 1876 Tokyo, Japan

colour woodblock
34.2 x 21.0 cm (image)
Purchased, 1992 (AS15-1992)

Taira no Kiyomori stopping the descent of the sun

Get the Flash Player to see this content.