Through this chilling triptych, Kuniyoshi presents an episode from the quasi-historical Tale of Heike. Soon after the leaders of the Taira clan sank to a watery grave and the Minamoto clan claimed power in Japan, Yoshitsune of the Minamoto clan was forced to flee the wrath of his jealous brother, Yoritomo. As Yoshitsune’s fleet crossed Daimotsu bay, they found themselves caught in a violent storm. A great wave swelled under the boat, threatening to overtake them, and the vengeful Taira ghosts emerged from the clouds. Kuniyoshi captures the pinnacle of dread in this legend. While Musashibo Benkei has assumed his position at the rear of the ship, he has yet to dispel the frightening specters and calm the sea with his prayers. Here, salvation seems unlikely: jagged tendrils of surf crash upon the boat as its occupants frantically grasp the sail. Rising above the horizon, the ghosts of the Taira tower menacingly over the scene. The horns of the ghosts, the white lines on the waves, and the use of mica in the water indicate that this is a early edition of this exquisite print.