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The "On" of Samurai in Taiheiki <Articles>
This paper is an extension of my research done on the samurai image in Heike Monogatari (The Tale of the Heike) by focusing on the words "Na", "Kou", "Tyu", "Zyou" used in describing samurai in Heike Monogatari. It aims to clarify one aspect of Samurai imagery in Taiheiki (Chronicle of Great Peace) which is also a feature of the genre Gunki Monogatari (war tales) set in the middle ages of Japan.
In the historical epic Taiheiki, one of the elements that characterize the narrative about the samurai is multiple appearance of the word "On". In order to explore the aspect of samurai's "On" in Taiheiki, I will contrast it against the "On" of the samurai in the preceding Gunki Monogatari "Heike Monogatari· ". To conclude, it is found that in Heike Monogatari, the word "On" is mostly used in didactic context. However, in Taiheiki, in war scenario which is closely connected to life and death of samurai. irrespective of lord-vassal relationship, and even in peer relationship and relationship with enemy also, "On" is emphasized as a living concept which is an important factor affecting samurai activities. In Taiheiki, there is lively depiction of samurai who have strong awareness of "On" and have repaid the "On" by putting their life at risk.
Annual Review of Hiroshima Society for Science of Arts
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Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences