Swords, oaths, and prophetic visions

Elizabeth Oyler

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


Swords, Oaths, and Prophetic Visions investigates some of the most historically important political and social issues raised by the Genpei War (1180-1185). This epic civil conflict, which ushered in Japan's age of the warriors, is most famously articulated in the monumental narrative Heike monogatari (The Tale of the Heike). Elizabeth Oyler's ambitious work lays out the complex interconnections between the numerous variant texts of the Heike and the historical events they describe. But Oyler's innovative methodology also brings other texts and genres-the Gikeiki, the Soga monogatari, the Azuma kagami, and pieces from the kowakamai (ballad-dramas) repertoire-into her analysis. Rather than concentrating on individual texts, Oyler focuses on the inter-textual relationships within this larger body of narrative and drama and the collective role of these works in creating and disseminating stories about some of the Genpei War's most contentious events. In so doing, she works toward a new understanding of the underlying cultural problems of which these tales are symptomatic and which they attempt to address.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity of Hawai'i Press
Number of pages218
ISBN (Print)9780824829223
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


Dive into the research topics of 'Swords, oaths, and prophetic visions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this