Illustrated Tale of the Heiji Civil War : Scroll of the Imperial Visit to Rokuhara

UnknownKamakura period, 13th century

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum

This scroll depicts events of the Heiji Civil War, which began in 1159 (Heiji 1) in the late Heian period (794–1192). This conflict between the forces of Taira no Kiyomori and Minamoto no Yoshitomo developed from a struggle for political power between Fujiwara no Michinori (Shinzei) and Fujiwara no Nobuyori.
Initially this scroll was part of a set, of which only three scrolls and around a dozen fragments remain. The two other extant scrolls are the Night Attack on the Sanjo Palace (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) and the Scroll of Shinzei (Seikado Bunko Art Museum). The scroll displayed here shows in four scenes Emperor Nijo, who was being confined by the Minamoto family, escaping the Imperial Palace disguised as a lady and being taken to Kiyomori’s residence in Rokuhara.
The pictures feature people with rich expressions, structures with uniformly straight lines, and soldiers in various groupings, including diamond-shaped formations. The incredible artistic skill displayed throughout the scroll indicates its creation by the best artists of the time.
In the written narrative, wavelike characters are a recurring aspect. This characteristic “shaking hand” calligraphy is thought to be that of Guzein Noriie (1194–1255) in his later years, which suggests the scroll was produced around the middle of the 13th century.

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  • Title: Illustrated Tale of the Heiji Civil War : Scroll of the Imperial Visit to Rokuhara
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: Kamakura period, 13th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w952.9 x h42.2 cm
  • Object Title: 平治物語絵巻 六波羅行幸巻
  • Object Notes(Japanese): 『平治物語』を絵巻としたもの。『平治物語』は、保元の乱(1156年)に戦功のあった源義朝と平清盛との勢力争いに、藤原信頼と藤原通憲(信西)との抗争がからんだ平治の乱(1159年)を叙述する。「六波羅行幸巻」は、内裏に幽閉された二条天皇が脱出を図り、清盛の六波羅邸に逃れる場面。天皇と中宮が乗る牛車の簾をはね上げて中をあらためる武士たち(第1段)、美福門院の御幸(第2段)、馳せ参じる公家衆(第3段)、事態を知って狼狽する信頼(第4段)を描く。人物の集団の大小・疎密、その配置の仕方など動きのある群像表現、きびきびした描線と美しい色彩によって、動乱の緊迫した状況をみごとに描き綴っている。 15世紀中ごろ、比叡山延暦寺の西塔(さいとう)に「保元絵」15巻とともに「平治絵」が秘蔵されていたことが知られ、現存のものはその残巻と見られる。「六波羅行幸巻」は、江戸時代には大名茶人として知られる松江藩主、松平不昧(まつだいらふまい)の所蔵となっていた。
  • Object Date: 鎌倉時代・13世紀
  • Medium(Japanese): 紙本着色
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: http://www.emuseum.jp/detail/100148
  • Medium: Color on paper