At his father's command, Oguna, the youngest prince of Yamato, sets out to kill Takeru Kawakami, the leader of Kumaso. However, upon arriving in Kumaso territory, he is injured by the stray arrow of a young local woman named Kajika who is hunting game. Eager to compensate for the terrible mistake, she escorts Oguna to her village to treat his wound. But as the two rapidly fall in love, the prince makes a disturbing discovery: Kajika is Takeru's younger sister!
Conflicted between his newfound love and family duty, Oguna seeks advice from the Phoenix, a legendary immortal bird that serves as Kumaso's guardian. Compelled to make a decision, will the Yamato prince betray his own for the woman he loves, or will he murder Kajika's brother as commissioned?
Inspired by the Yamato Takeru Japanese legend, Hi no Tori: Yamato-hen chronicles the tragic story of an ill-fated couple, showing how true love can conquer hate and adversity even among the greatest of uncertainties.
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
BackgroundHi no Tori: Yamato-hen, the second of the three 1980s anime adaptations of Osamu Tezuka's Hi no Tori, refers to the manga's third chapter, "Yamato-hen." The story is inspired by the 14th century Japanese legend of Yamato Takeru, prince of the Yamato dynasty.
While unfamiliar in the west, this legend has been described by anthropologist C. Scott Littleton as "Arthurian" due to some structural similarities with King Arthur's legend. Furthermore, despite the geographical distance, it appears that both Yamato Takeru and King Arthur originate from analogous time periods.