Yuminagashi 弓流し
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Lit. drifting bow. A pictorial subject depicting an incident at the Battle at Yashima *Yashima kassen 屋島合戦 in which the celebrated Minamoto 源 general *Yoshitsune 義経 (1159-89) temporarily lost his bow and risked his life to retrieve it. As recounted in HEIKE MONOGATARI 平家物語 (The Tale of The Heike) and GENPEI SEISUIKI 源平盛衰記 (The Rise and Fall of The Genji and The Heike), after shooting an arrow at a fan target held aloft in a challenge from a Heike 平家 boat (see *Ougi- no-mato 扇の的), a Genji 源氏 archer killed an old Taira 平 warrior dancing on board a ship. Angered the Taira regrouped and returned to shore to resume the battle at Yashima. Yoshitsune and followers rode out into the waves to counter the attack but Yoshitsune's bow was knocked loose. After many attempts, he finally retrieved it with his whip and returned to shore. Although his comrades at first criticized the dangerous act, Yoshitsune explained that he would be embarrassed if the enemy were to find that he used such a small bow. The incident is included in the *nou 能 play YASHIMA 屋島, and depicted in screen painting of the "Genpei battles" as well as in warrior prints *musha-e 武者絵 by *ukiyo-e 浮世絵 artists.


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