Kuniyoshi captures the final stand of the Kusunoki heroes with a fierce and gruesome impact in this scene that certainly feels like a nightmare. Drawn from the Taiheiki (Chronicle of the Great Peace), the 1348 battle at Shijo Nawate marked the last attempt of the Southern Court to overthrow the Northern court. Though wildly outnumbered, the Southern warriors fought to the bitter end. Kuniyoshi focuses on three brothers of the Kusunoki clan: Wada Genshu takes the lead, followed by his younger brother Wada Shinbei Masatomo, and finally, their leader Kusunoki Masatsura. As the leader of the Southern forces leans against a slain horse and uses a human body for cover, the horror of the battle becomes palpable. Blue creeps across the heroes faces, evoking the ghosts that stalk the legends of ukiyo-e. While Kuniyoshi focuses on the doomed struggle of the heroes in the foreground, the crumpled pair of fallen soldiers in the middle of the left sheet lends a depth to the tonal background.