Artist: Katsushika Hokui (葛飾北為)

Print: Attack of the Taira Ghosts at Daimotsu Bay
(Sesshū Daimotsu no ura Heike onryō arawaruru zu -

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Dates: 1847 - 1850,created
Dimensions: 29.25 in,14.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Hokui ga (北為画)
Publisher: Kazusaya Iwazō
(Marks 233 - seal not listed)
Censor's seal: Mera and Murata

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Amagasaki Museum - a different edition with a different publisher, Maruya Jinpachi; Google map - Osaka Bay - Daimotsu is right off of Amagasaki; Arizona State University - Maruya Jinpachi edition;

Physical description:

Daimotsu Bay is in the northeast part of Osaka Bay right off the area of Amagasaki. To see this location click on the Google map link above.


The drama of the lightning bolts adds greatly to the overall effects of this remarkable triptych.


The examples in the collections of Arizona State University and Amagasaki were published by Maruya Jinpachi, whereas the triptych in Boston has the same publisher at this one.


The warrior-monk Benkei (武蔵坊弁慶) stands at the prow of the ship with prayer beads raised in his right hand. Yoshitsune his master has directed him to quell the spirits of their dead enemies the vanquished Taira clan. Obviously, their malevolent forces have caused the storm. What other explanation could there be? But never fear, Benkei is here. Like Mighty Mouse he has "come to save the day." His invocation works and evil is dispelled.

Mighty Mouse may have had greater powers, but Benkei was no slouch. All you have to do is consider some of the miraculous stories surrounding his life. Or, we could simply examine the myths surrounding his birth.
According to various legends he was either the product of a rape by a Buddhist priest or his father was a supernatural creature. Either way his mother's pregnancy lasted 13 to 18 months. When he was born naturally he was larger than the normal baby with a full set of teeth, long hair and, of course, supernatural powers. Hence, among other feats Benkei, the warrior-monk could even quell spirits of the dead.