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A study on the historical transformation of stories related to Yoshitsune’s final days

  • JAPAN SPACE
  • 2023, (34), pp.101-127
  • Publisher : The Institute of Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Social Science > Area Studies
  • Received : November 11, 2023
  • Accepted : November 28, 2023
  • Published : December 31, 2023

Park Eun Hee 1

1가천대학교 아시아문화연구소

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the characteristics of the narrative related to Minamotono Yoshitsune. Yoshitsune, famous as a hoganbiiki, was active as a protagonist in various literary works from the Middle Ages. His death was also described and spread in various ways depending on the historical background. There is no specific description about his death, but his death was expanded and transformed over time in a way appropriate for each era. For example, in the case of 『Kikeiki』, Yoshitsune’s final days are decorated with hara-kiri and family suicide. Hara-kiri is a typical method of suicide among medieval warriors. It depicts Yoshitsune’s honorable death by adopting shara-kiri, which was not common at the time. The key to Yoshitsune’s final days in the early modern era is that he escaped to Hokkaido and survived. He did not die in the Battle of Koromogawa, but escaped to Hokkaido and became a god respected by the Ainu. As the political significance of Hokkaido grew, the story of Yoshitsune, who was respected by the Ainu, became more widespread. As the story progressed, Yoshitsune moved to China and became Genghis Khan. It was a lie, not a fact, but Japan, which invaded Manchuria, used this fact politically. Yoshitsune’s last days were recreated in various ways depending on the circumstances of the times.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.