Yorimasa Minamoto was a samurai warrior in the Heian period (794-1185).
He worked in an important political position as an elder in the government run by
the Heishi Clan. Yorimasa excelled in the composition of waka (Japanese poetry)
and was also a reliable politician. He was deeply trusted by Kiyomori Taira, the head
of the Heishi Clan in those days, and exercised his talent as a politician at one of the
top positions (Jusanmi) as an aristocrat in his later life. Years passed, and when the
Heishi clan’s political power became autocratic, Yorimasa incited a riot in 1180 with
the intent of installing the Imperial Prince Mochihito as the national leader. However,
his attempt to defeat the Heishi Clan failed and, in the end, Yorimasa committed
suicide in the precinct of Byodoin Temple.
Every year on May 26th, Byodoin Temple holds the memorial service for Yorimasa
on his passing day and this year counts as the 840th year.
To commemorate Yorimasa’s merit, Byodoin Temple will exhibit valuable historical
materials and articles relating to his life, mainly for the first time, showing him to have
been both a highly respected military figure and a man of culture.
The exhibition offers an extensive overview of Yorimasa’s character and life. A legend
that he defeated an imaginary scary beast, “Nue,” with his bow skill proves his ability as
a samurai warrior while it is well known that his excellent poetry-writing skills helped
him to be promoted in the court. This is a great opportunity to overview the history
and folklore of Japan including the Battle between Genji (Minamoto Clan) and
Heishi (Taira Clan) and another battle which occurred at Uji River.
Exhibition period: May 25th (Sat.) – September 27th (Fri.), 2019
*Open every day during the exhibition period. Some of the exhibited items will be replaced during the exhibition period.
Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Byodoin Museum “Hoshokan”)
Admission: Additional admission fee for Byodoin Temple will be required.
Adults: 600 yen, Junior High and High School Students: 400 yen, Elementary School Students: 300 yen
Hosted by: Byodoin Temple
Venue: Byodoin Museum “Hoshokan” (116 Uji Renge, Uji City, Kyoto)
Related event: The 840th Memorial Service for Yorimasa’s Passing
From 11:00, May 26th (Sun.)
源頼政像〔公家像〕 江戸時代中期 平等院浄土院蔵
伝源頼政執持兜 室町時代前期 平等院浄土院蔵
伝源頼政念持仏･片袖阿弥陀如来立像 江戸時代初頭 平等院最勝院蔵
宇治川の蛍狩(『都名所図会』巻5) 安永9(1780)年 個人蔵
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Past Special Exhibitions