Our revels, arsenic Shakespeare erstwhile wrote, present are ended. This is the last occurrence of The Heike Story, and it brings america some to the finale of the communicative and backmost astir again to the opening of it. With the past oversea conflict betwixt the Heike and the Genji, the warfare for the throne, astatine slightest this information of it, has travel to its conclusion, and what a unspeakable 1 it is. Even the Genji and cloistered emperor Go-Shirakawa admit that this is not however they anticipated things going – with the wide termination of the Heike clan arsenic they recognize that their origin is each but lost. Did it person to extremity this way?
That's the question Go-Shirakawa seems to beryllium asking himself erstwhile helium visits Tokuko, the best-known subsister of the oversea conflict astatine the end. In a faltering voice, helium tells her that each helium wanted was the Sacred Treasures returned, implying that helium ne'er sought the demolition of the Heike arsenic a whole. But is that truly just for him to say? Was helium genuinely truthful naïve arsenic to judge that each of his actions wouldn't effect successful the deaths of thousands, that his hands, the ones pulling the strings, would beryllium bloodless? Kiyomori, for each of his faults, astatine slightest ever acknowledged that what helium was waging was thing little than war. In the twilight of the story, Go-Shirakawa is trying to rewrite it truthful that he's not liable for the drowning of a child. But this, too, is portion of the problem; erstwhile helium asks Tokuko however she has recovered bid aft everything that has happened to her, her reply is 1 that he, arsenic idiosyncratic who has taken spiritual vows, ought to already know: she tells him that she prays and that she's thankful for each of the things she's experienced successful her life. Tokuko, successful the end, is simply a pistillate who became a nun for the close reasons; Go-Shirakawa is revealed arsenic a antheral who intelligibly didn't recognize oregon respect what helium was dedicating his beingness to until conscionable this last moment.
In immoderate ways, that's portion of the connection of this telling of the story. Go-Shirakawa, similar Kiyomori, was meddling successful things that helium had nary much accidental in, and successful the cloistered emperor's case, things helium had ostensibly renounced. It was their hubris, their overweening request to power their descendants and the mode of the world, that brought astir the tragedies of Shigemori and his family. In their inability to property gracefully oregon peacefully, their selfish thrust to support a powerfulness they nary longer had immoderate close to, they are liable for everything that happened. Yes, different radical followed their lead. But it was Go-Shirakawa and Kiyomori who enactment the pieces connected the committee and started the game, and by refusing to recognize what it was they were doing – playing with the lives of their clans – they became the authors of their ain demises, whether literal similar Kiyomori's oregon spiritual similar Go-Shirakawa's.
That makes it important that the anime adaptation chooses to extremity with the conception of the substance called The Book of the Initiate. Although included successful astir versions of the text, it's not thought to beryllium archetypal to the story, alternatively having been added successful the thirteenth period by biwahoshi - traveling biwa players. We could marque an educated conjecture that this is astatine slightest successful portion wherever the quality of Biwa comes from, the imaginable that this last section of Heike Monogatari that tells america what happened to Tokuko aft the warfare had ended and records her ascension to the Pure Land arsenic she remembers the Heike and prays for them. It's an epilogue, albeit 1 apt added aft the fact, 1 that reminds america that determination are amended options than warfare and gives america a overmuch much peaceful extremity for the 1 idiosyncratic who survived it all, adjacent if she didn't ever privation to. As she remembers her beingness with the cloistered emperor, she notes that she has lived galore lives successful one, an analogy for the cycles of decease and rebirth, and having finished with that, she's allowed to determination connected – a luxury that Go-Shirakawa is not yet permitted.
But this last occurrence besides reminds america that what was erstwhile peoples' lives is present a story. Stories, unless they are forgotten, unrecorded forever. That is what Biwa's extremity successful accompanying the Heike to the extremity is – to support Shigemori and his household alive. When her eyesight dwindles and fades distant aft the conflict ends, this means that she has completed the archetypal portion of her task. This whitethorn besides beryllium wherefore she yet seems to property to the aged pistillate we spot astatine assorted points passim the amusement – her enactment complete, she is unstuck from clip and allowed to determination again; and if she lone starts aging now, she volition person a agelong beingness to walk connected the communicative of the Heike.
It is fitting that the last scenes amusement america however it each goes from beingness to tale. Threads travel together, myths of an underwater palace go real, and we recognize that not everyone's stories are told erstwhile we spot that Sukemori seems to person survived. Life makes a bully communicative erstwhile we formal it up, and portion lives whitethorn end, communicative lives on.
As bells toll each hour, each clip we archer it, the communicative begins anew.
The Heike Story is presently streaming on Funimation.