Ushiwaka's graceful blade bit into Benkei's massive frame, and she had yet to sheathe her sword before her opponent fell to the ground. The conclusion of their momentous battle was the signal fire for a tumultuous era. The bright moons casted a celebratory light upon the pair, for in three years' time, the despotic empire would fall and release the oppressed from their suffering.
See Ushiwaka & Benkei.
Minamoto no Yoshitsune (159 – June 15, 1189), who was called Ushiwaka in his youth, was a general of the Minamoto clan of Japan in the late Heian and early Kamakura period; he is considered one of the greatest and the most popular warriors of his era, and one of the most famous samurai fighters in the history of Japan. Musashibō Benkei (1155–1189), popularly called Benkei, was a Japanese warrior monk (sōhei), he is commonly depicted as a man of great strength and loyalty, and a popular subject of Japanese folklore.
Benkei had been told by a sword-smith that he could forge a magic sword from the tips and cutting edges of a thousand blades. Benkei is said to have posted himself at Gojō Bridge in Kyoto, where he disarmed every passing swordsman, eventually collecting 999 swords. On his 1000th duel, Benkei approached Ushiwaka. Benkei attacked him without delay, but the youth was too quick for him and managed to defeat him. Benkei was so impressed that he promised to serve and follow Ushiwaka.
Ukiyo-e, or ukiyo-ye ("pictures of the floating world"), is a genre of woodblock prints and paintings that flourished in Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries. Aimed at the prosperous merchant class in the urbanizing Edo period (1603–1867), depictions of beautiful women; kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica were amongst the popular themes. There are many artworks depicting Ushiwaka and Benkei, mostly their famous fight at the Gojo Bridge.
- Artwork by Puppeteer Lee.