Battle of Ichinotani Folding Screen

/ Art Puzzles

Complete this puzzle to reveal a Japanese folding screen depicting the Battle of Ichinotani.

Dated to the Edo period (1615–1868), this six-panel folding screen tells the story of the turmoil that characterized the late 12th century in Japan. During this time, the Minamoto (or Genji) and the Taira (or Heike) fought for control of the country. The Battle of Ichinotani was fought in 1184 and was one of the most important battles during the civil war.

The panels are read from right to left and tell the story in a continuous narrative form, with golden clouds separating the scenes. Throughout the screen, the Minamoto warriors, who would eventually win the war, can be identified by their white banners, while the Taira clan carries red banners. The screen also shows a unique feature of samurai armor: horō. These large, balloon-like cloaks on the backs of some of the mounted warriors served as arrow catchers to protect the back of the warrior. This screen was originally one of a pair. The other screen (whereabouts unknown) showed the subsequent naval Battle of Yashima.

Tip: Want to play an easier or more difficult version of this puzzle? You can choose the number of pieces by visiting this website and clicking “play as” in the top righthand corner.

The Battle of Ichinotani, detail, Japan, Edo period (1615–1868), About 1787, folding screen, ink, color and gold foil on paper, Gift of the Asian Art Society, 2015.12