As Yoichi closed his eyes, he prays in his heart, “Praise to bodhisattva Hachiman, god of Shimotsuke Province’s Nikko Gongen¹ in Utsunomiya. Oh, great god of the Nasu’s Yuizumi shrine, please allow me to shoot straight into the center of the fan. If I am disgraced by my shooting, I will not face my people again, as I will split my bow, and kill myself. Please, let this arrow not miss its mark, as I want to be able to return to my home country.”
Opening his eyes, he notices the wind blowing in his direction started to die down, while the fan appeared easier to aim at.
Taking his whistling arrow and nocking it on his bow, Yoichi draws the string back, and lets the arrow fly. While appearing small in frame, he is a very strong archer who can group 12 arrows while pulling a long bow. The screech from the whistling went on for a long time, as it echos off the waves. The arrow did not miss its mark, as it propels straight through the center of the circle just abit away from the outer edge. As the whistling arrow sailed into the sea, the fan rose skyward. It flutters around in the air for abit, then is tossed around once, then twice by a spring breeze. Finally, the fan crumbles into the sea.
As the setting sun shimmers, the crimson fan with the circle drawn on its center floats along the tops of white crested waves. The Taira members tapped along the side of their boat, amazed at how it is tossed around along the water, rising and falling among the waves of the sea.
At the shore the Minamoto army let out a shout as they tap their quivers. One can imagine they could not restrain being overjoyed after witnessing such a brilliant feat. Just then, on the boat a man in his 50s emerges. Wearing a black leather armor and holding a naginata with a white handle, he began to dance near where the fan is at.
Ise Saburo Yoshimori makes his way behind Yoichi on horseback.
“I bring new orders. Shoot him down.” As the order was stated, this time around Yoichi pulls out a medium length arrow, nocks it on his bow, draws the string back, and shoots the armored man through the bone in his neck. The man fell to the bottom of the boat. The Taira members stood without uttering a sound, while the Minamoto army once again struck their quivers while letting out a shout.
“Ah, he was shot down,” can be heard among the Taira members.
“So shameful,” remarked others, disgusted by the Minamoto’s actions.
1) This is a shrine, presently known as Nikkō Futa-Arasan Jinja (日光二荒山神社) , located in Nikkō City, Tochigi Prefecture.
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