Throughout the twelfth century, two rival clans, the Minomoto and the Taira, struggled for supremacy in Imperial Japan. Each attempted a rebellion and, for a time, the Taira gained ascendancy. But their rule turned despotic and at last, during the Genpei War of 1179-1185, the Minomoto drove the Taira out of the capital and took control for themselves.
At the final battle of Dan-no-ura, the Taira-born child-emperor and his family all jumped into the Inland Sea to avoid capture and drowned. With them was lost the Imperial Sword, never to be seen again. The Minomoto leader took control, moved the capital, and became the first Shogun of Japan.
That much is history.
But wherefore come the tales of superhuman strength, the incredible insight, the clandestine knowledge of the Genpei War's heroes? There has been much speculation throughout the generations. Some have called the Minomoto's rise to power destiny, others call it a deal between humans and spirits - since even in death, the eternal Japanese warrior's spirit cannot be laid to rest. How much is truth, how much legend? One can never tell, for there are older, stranger tales as well... .