The storyline is based on a play by Kikuchi Kan, the famous Japanese author. This is the first full-length feature film in Japan to use Technicolor.
Originally released as “Jigokumon”, the film is set against the 12th century feudal Japan (the Heiji Disturbance of 1159) and tells the story of a courageous samurai Endoh Moritoh, who is to be rewarded with anything he desires. When he expresses his desire to marry the lady of his life Lady Kesa, it is duly granted but only to his disappointment to find out the lady love as a married woman whose devotion for her husband is unshakable. In other words, this movie is set during a period immediately before the years described in The Tale of the Heike.
The character of Kiyomori, the head of the Taira clan is that of a fearless leader who continued to take his clan toward prosperity with considerable prudence. Being criticized for his arrogance in the book of The Tale of the Heike, the film portrays his characterization with similar attitude. The character of Kiyomori is an embodiment of power mixed with arrogance.