Japanese Name びわ
Romaji Name Biwa
Nicknames None
Series Heike Monogatari
Age Unknown
Weight Unknown
Height Unknown
Date of Birth Unknown
Blood Type Unknown

Biwa from “Heike Monogatari”: A mysterious and enigmatic character

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Biwa, also known as Asagi, is an unusual character in the Heike Monogatari anime. She has a complex and enigmatic personality that adds depth to the story. Initially driven by spite and resentment over her father’s death, Biwa can see into the future with her right eye. However, she chooses not to reveal what she sees, keeping the knowledge to herself. As the series progresses, her motivations evolve and she begins to understand that the future cannot be changed. Biwa becomes a silent observer, playing the role of heaven, watching events unfold without interference.


Biwa’s background is closely tied to her family’s artistic heritage. Her father was a skilled biwa player, while her mother was a shirabyōshi, a female entertainer. It was her father’s influence that led her to take the name “Biwa” after the instrument he played. She carries the biwa as a poignant memento of her late father and a symbol of her family’s legacy.


Biwa’s appearance is striking and distinctive. She has an unusual color in her right eye, a pale shade of blue known as asagi. This unique eye color is the source of her first name. Biwa’s overall appearance is captivating, befitting her role as a mysterious character. She is often seen dressed in traditional attire, further emphasizing her connection to the rich cultural heritage of the story.


Biwa’s most notable ability is her ability to see the future through her right eye. However, she deliberately withholds this knowledge from others. Initially motivated by spite, Biwa eventually realizes that changing the future is beyond her control. Despite this realization, she remains committed to ensuring that the history of the Taira clan is not forgotten. Biwa accomplishes this by recounting the Taira’s tragic fall through mournful songs she plays on her biwa. Her musical talent and storytelling skills lend a melancholy and haunting atmosphere to the tale.


Biwa’s origin lies within the intricate world of “Heike Monogatari”. As a character within the anime, she is an integral part of the story. Her connection to her family’s artistic lineage and her enigmatic abilities make her a compelling character. Biwa’s role as an observer and storyteller adds depth to the plot and provides a unique perspective on the events unfolding around her.

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Biwa – FAQ

What is Biwa?

The biwa is a musical instrument that resembles a lute or a short-necked fretted lute. It has a pear-shaped body and four or five strings. It is widely used in traditional Japanese music.

How is the biwa used in Heike Monogatari?

In Heike Monogatari, biwa is mainly used to accompany storytelling. The performers, known as biwa hōshi or biwa players, would play the instrument and sing or recite epic tales and narratives, including the stories of the Heike clan.

Who were the biwa hōshi?

The biwa hōshi were blind musicians who specialized in playing the biwa and performing narrative songs. They were an important part of the storytelling tradition in medieval Japan, and their performances often included dramatic gestures and vocal expressions to bring the stories to life.

What role did the biwa play in preserving the history of the Heike clan?

The Biwa, through the performances of the Biwa Hōshi, played an important role in preserving the history and legends of the Heike clan. The epic tales and stories sung by the biwa hōshi conveyed the triumphs, tragedies, and conflicts of the Heike clan and ensured that their stories were passed down through generations.

Are there different styles or types of biwa?

Yes, there are several styles or types of biwa that have evolved over time. The most popular styles are gaku-biwa, chikuzen-biwa, and satsuma-biwa. Each style has its own unique playing techniques, repertoire, and regional variations.

Can anyone learn to play the biwa?

Learning to play the biwa takes dedication and practice. Traditionally, the biwa was played primarily by the biwa hōshi, who underwent rigorous training from an early age. In modern times, however, the Biwa is taught in music schools and can be learned by anyone with a passion for the instrument and a willingness to put in the effort.