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Lovable LosersThe Heike in Action and Memory$
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Mikael S. Adolphson and Anne Commons

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824846756

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824846756.001.0001

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date: 12 June 2021

Survival and Salvation in the Heike monogatari

Survival and Salvation in the Heike monogatari

Reassessing the Legacy of Kenreimon’in

(p.142) Chapter Eight Survival and Salvation in the Heike monogatari
Lovable Losers

Lori Meeks

University of Hawai'i Press

This essay focuses on the most influential woman at the time of the Ise Taira’s greatest power, Kenreimon’in (Taira no Tokuko, ca. 1155-1223), daughter of Taira no Kiyomori (1118-1181) and mother of Emperor Antoku (1178-1185; r. 1180-1183). Although criticized by modern observers for opting for nunhood rather than suicide following the battle of Dan no ura in 1185, Kenreimon’in was, the author argues, pursuing an acceptable course of action for women of her class in her time, and fulfilled a vital religious role in praying for the postmortem repose of her deceased relatives in an attempt to pacify their spirits.

Keywords:   Kenreimon’in, suicide, nunhood, chinkon, Dan no ura

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