Taira no Tsunemasa was a powerful general graced with great talent for poetry and music. During the famous 12th-century wars between the Taira and Minamoto clans, Tsunemasa visited a shrine on the island of Chikubushima with his fellow generals. Under the silver light of the moon, they prayed for victory over the Minamoto. The priest there had heard of Tsunemasa’s musical skills and presented a lute for him to play. The general played so beautifully that Benten, the goddess of the shrine, appeared in the form of a white dragon and promised victory. Yoshitoshi depicts Tsunemasa alone, his glove cast to his side and his fingers curled around his instrument. Though no white dragon winds over his shoulder, the fabric that hangs from the pine bough alludes to her imminent arrival.