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KODAMA PARTY in "The Tale of the Heike" (1)

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A party of ten riders, members of the Kodama League by the look of them, gave chase with loud yells, holding aloft a banner with a battle-fan emblem.


This passage is quoted from "The Death of Tomoakira" in the chapter nine of "The Tale of the Heike."
The battle-fan, used by commanders to issue orders, was the KODAMA clan emblem, and so the author thought that ten riders were members of the Kodama League.
In passing, the following is before and behind this passage.

Deserted by his men, Middle Counselor Tomomori, the Commander-in-Chief at Ikuta-no-mori, fled toward the water's edge to board a rescue vessel, alone save for two companions - his son, the Musashi Governor Tomoakira, and a samurai, Kenmotsu Taro Yorikata.
A party of ten riders, members of the Kodama League by the look of them, gave chase with loud yells, holding aloft a banner with a battle-fan emblem.
Yorikata, who was a crack archer, sent off a whistling shot that thudded into the neckbone of the foremost rider, the standard bearer, and toppled him from his horse upside down.
A warrior who appeared to be the enemy captain tried to ride alongside Tomomori to grapple with him, but Tomoakira got between them, rode up alongside the foe, gripped him with all his strength, crashed with him to the ground, held him down, and cut off his head.
As Tomoakira straightened, the warrior's page fell upon him and cut off his head.
Yorikata leaped down onto the page and killed him. Then Yorikata shot all his arrows, drew his sword, and fought, killing many enemies before he was brought down by an arrow to the left knee.
He died in battle where he sat.

The story that men of Heike died in violent battle is written in these passages, and many men of KODAMA PARTY were killed at the same time.

(Sentences colored blue were translated by Helen Craig McCullough.)

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