50. The moon and the helm of a boat (Daro no tsuki)

Kiyotsune was the 3rd son of Taira no Shigemori, and a grandson of Taira no Kiyomori who stood at the basis of the feud between the Taira and the Minamoto. Reportedly he had a tender soul and took all misfortunes close to his heart. In this episode from the Heike monogatari, Kiyotsune has been expelled from the city of Dazaifu on the southern island of Kyushu as he realizes that his case is hopeless. After having attempted to find consolation in playing his flute in the moonlight on the helm deck of his ship, he murmurs the sacred sutra in praise for Buddha, and throws himself into the sea. The final catastrophe in the war between the Heike (Taira) and the Genji (Minamoto) is the defeat of the Taira fleet in the battle of Dannoura in 1185. (Printed June 1887; contributing author Alexander Obraztsov.)