The historical samurai Yoshitsune (1159–1189 C.E.) was a son of Minamoto Yoshitomo (1123–1160).
When Minamoto was assassinated by a rival samurai, Taira Kiyomori, Minamoto’s wife and their children were found and brought to Kiyomori, who spared them. Yoritomo, the second eldest, was sent off to Izu, while Yoshitsune was sent to a temple on Kuramayama, north of Kyoto.
Little is know about Yoshitsune’s boyhood, but Japanese storytellers have assigned a series of fantastic adventures to him.
|the king of the Tengu demons|
He was said to have escaped into the woods to be instructed in all the martial arts by the king of the Tengu demons.
When Yoshitsune returned to the world of men, he single-handedly exterminated the entire Taira clan.
The factual battles, of course, were less romantic and more complicated, although Yoshitsune did avenge his father and become a famous samurai.
|The stories of Yoshitsune|
The stories of Yoshitsune, which are part history and part legend, are good examples of the folklore that can be spun from true stories of historical figures.