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The legend of the Heike clan that speaks of a tragedy that happened 800 years ago


The Heike clan, who lost the Battle of Yashima in Juei 3 (1180), is said to have met its end in the Battle of Dannoura, where leading clan members lost their lives in the sea together with Emperor Antoku.

Meanwhile, throughout the entire Miyoshi area, legend has it that Taira no Kunimori, the second son of Taira no Atsumori, the younger brother of Taira no Kiyomori, who lost his life at Yashima, secretly protected Emperor Antoku and crossed the Sanuki Mountains together with about 100 of his men, escaping to the Iya region.

This region has place names and historic sites associated with the folklore of the fleeing Heike warriors.

The Folklore Museum of the Heike Estate is located in the building that was the residence of the descendants of Daiki Horikawa, who was the personal doctor to Emperor Antoku. It displays documents and relics related to the Heike clan.
Daiki Horikawa used to accompany the entire clan into the mountains, where he sourced the medicinal plants that grown abundantly in the Iya region that he used in his role as doctor and Shinto priest to the clan.

The garden is dominated by an 800-year-old tall tree, while the interior of the residence, a wonderful example of an intact Edo period family home, has armor, samurai flags, old documents, and equipment that was used in daily life on display.

Source : Tokushima Tourism Association “AWA NAVI”

Hokosugi is a grand old tree, about 35 meters tall and about 800 years old, located in the garden of the residence of the former Kita clan.
 It is said that Taira no Kunimori, who met his demise here, made an offering of a halberd and planted the Japanese cedar tree while praying for the revival of the Heike clan.


Legend has it that Emperor Antoku and Taira no Kunimori’s party stopped by Jifukuji Temple in Ikawa-cho for a few days on their way to Iya, and then fled to Iya, leaving two red banners of the Taira clan.
The red banners are currently on show at Ikawa-cho Furusato Koryu Center, next to a replica of the white flag of the Minamoto clan.