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The GENPEI WAR (源平合戦, Genpei kassen, Genpei gassen) (1180–1185) was a conflict between the Taira
Taira
and Minamoto clans during the late- Heian period of Japan. It resulted in the fall of the Taira
Taira
clan and the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate under Minamoto no Yoritomo in 1192.

The name "Genpei" (sometimes romanised as Gempei) comes from alternate readings of the kanji "Minamoto" (源) and "Taira" (平). The conflict is also known in Japanese as the JISHō-JUEI WAR (治承寿永の乱, Jishō - Juei no ran), after the two eras between which it took place.

It followed a coup d\'état by the Taira
Taira
in 1179 and call to arms against them led by the Minamoto in 1180. The ensuing Battle of Uji took place just outside Kyoto
Kyoto
, starting a five-year-long war, concluding with a decisive Minamoto victory in the naval Battle of Dan-no-ura .

CONTENTS

* 1 Background * 2 Beginnings of the war * 3 Turning of the tide * 4 Final stages of the conflict * 5 Consequences of the Genpei War
War
* 6 Aftermath * 7 Battles

* 8 Major figures in the Genpei War
War

* 8.1 Minamoto Clan (also known as "Genji") * 8.2 Taira
Taira
Clan (also known as "Heike")

* 9 Genpei War
War
in literature * 10 Genpei War
War
in popular culture * 11 See also * 12 References * 13 External links

BACKGROUND

The Genpei War
War
was the culmination of a decades-long conflict between the two aforementioned clans over dominance of the Imperial court, and by extension, control of Japan. In the Hōgen Rebellion and in the Heiji Rebellion of earlier decades, the Minamoto attempted to regain control from the Taira
Taira
and failed. :255–259

In 1180, Taira
Taira
no Kiyomori put his grandson Antoku (then only 2 years of age) on the throne after the abdication of Emperor Takakura . Go-Shirakawa's son Prince Mochihito felt that he was being denied his rightful place on the throne and, with the help of Minamoto no Yorimasa , sent out a call to arms to the Minamoto clan and Buddhist monasteries in May. However, this plot ended with the deaths of Yorimasa and Mochihito.

In June 1180, Kiyomori moved the seat of imperial power to Fukuhara-kyō , "his immediate objective seems to have been to get the royal family under his close charge." :284

BEGINNINGS OF THE WAR

The Phoenix Hall of the Byōdō-in , where Yorimasa committed seppuku

The actions of Taira
Taira
no Kiyomori having deepened Minamoto hatred for the Taira
Taira
clan, a call for arms was sent up by Minamoto no Yorimasa and Prince Mochihito. Not knowing who was behind this rally, Kiyomori called for the arrest of Mochihito, who sought protection at the temple of Mii-dera . The Mii-dera monks were unable to ensure him sufficient protection, so he was forced to move along. He was then chased by Taira
Taira
forces to the Byōdō-in , just outside Kyoto. The war began thus, with a dramatic encounter on and around the bridge over the River Uji . This battle ended in Yorimasa's ritual suicide inside the Byōdō-in and Mochihito's capture and execution shortly afterwards. :277–281

It was at this point that Minamoto no Yoritomo took over leadership of the Minamoto clan and began traveling the country seeking to rendezvous with allies. Leaving Izu Province and heading for the Hakone Pass, he was defeated by the Taira
Taira
in the battle of Ishibashiyama . :289 However he successfully made it to the provinces of Kai and Kōzuke , where the Takeda and other friendly families helped repel the Taira
Taira
army. Meanwhile, Taira
Taira
no Kiyomori, seeking vengeance against the Mii-dera monks and others, besieged Nara and burnt much of the city to the ground.

Fighting continued the following year, 1181. Minamoto no Yukiie was defeated by a force led by Taira
Taira
no Shigehira at the Battle of Sunomatagawa . However, the " Taira
Taira
could not follow up their victory." :292

Taira
Taira
no Kiyomori died from illness in the spring of 1181, and around the same time Japan began to suffer from a famine which was to last through the following year. The Taira
Taira
moved to attack Minamoto no Yoshinaka , a cousin of Yoritomo, who had raised forces in the north but were unsuccessful. For nearly two years, the war ceased, only to resume in the spring of 1183. :287, 293

TURNING OF THE TIDE

In 1183, the Taira
Taira
loss at the Battle of Kurikara was so severe that they found themselves, several months later, under siege in Kyoto, with Yoshinaka approaching the city from the north and Yukiie from the east. Both Minamoto leaders had seen little or no opposition in marching to the capital and now forced the Taira
Taira
to flee the city, who first set fire to their Rokuhara. Taira
Taira
no Munemori , head of the clan since his father Kiyomori's death, led his army, along with the young Emperor Antoku and the Imperial regalia , to the west. The cloistered emperor Go-Shirakawa defected to Yoshinaka. Go-Shirakawa then issued a mandate for Yoshinaka to "join with Yukiiye in destroying Munemori and his army". :293–294

In 1183, Yoshinaka once again sought to gain control of the Minamoto clan by planning an attack on Yoritomo, while simultaneously pursuing the Taira
Taira
westward. The Taira
Taira
set up a temporary Court at Daaifu in Kyūshū
Kyūshū
, the southernmost of Japan's main islands. They were forced out soon afterwards by local revolts instigated by Go-Shirakawa, and moved their Court to Yashima . The Taira
Taira
were successful in beating off an attack by Yoshinaka's pursuing forces at the Battle of Mizushima . :295–296

Yoshinaka conspired with Yukiie to seize the capital and the Emperor, possibly even establishing a new Court in the north. However, Yukiie revealed these plans to the Emperor, who communicated them to Yoritomo. Betrayed by Yukiie, Yoshinaka took command of Kyoto
Kyoto
and, at the beginning of 1184, set fire to the Hōjūjidono , taking the Emperor into custody. Minamoto no Yoshitsune arrived soon afterwards with his brother Noriyori and a considerable force, driving Yoshinaka from the city. After fighting his cousins at the bridge over the Uji , Yoshinaka made his final stand at Awazu , in Ōmi Province . He was defeated by Yoshitsune, and killed while attempting to flee. :296–297

FINAL STAGES OF THE CONFLICT

As the united Minamoto forces left Kyoto, the Taira
Taira
began consolidating their position at a number of sites in and around the Inland Sea, which was their ancestral home territory. They received a number of missives from the Emperor offering that if they surrendered by the seventh day of the second month, the Minamoto could be persuaded to agree to a truce. This was a farce, as neither the Minamoto nor the Emperor had any intentions of waiting until the eighth day to attack. Nevertheless, this tactic offered the Emperor a chance to regain the Regalia and to distract the Taira
Taira
leadership. :297

The Minamoto army, led by Yoshitsune and Noriyori, made their first major assault at Ichi-no-Tani , one of the primary Taira
Taira
camps on Honshū. The camp was attacked from two directions by Yoshitsune and Noriyori, and the Taira
Taira
not killed or captured retreated to Yashima. However, the Minamoto were not prepared to assault Shikoku; a six-month pause thus ensued during which the Minamoto took the proper steps. Though on the retreat, the Taira
Taira
enjoyed the distinct advantages of being in friendly, home territories, and of being far more adept at naval combat than their rivals. :297–299

It was not until nearly a year after Ichi-no-Tani that the main Taira force at Yashima came under assault. Seeing Yoshitsune's bonfires in their rear, the Taira
Taira
had not expected a land-based attack and took to their ships. This was a deceptive play on the part of the Minamoto, however. The Taira
Taira
improvised imperial palace fell, and many escaped along with the Imperial regalia and the Emperor Antoku. :301–302

The Genpei War
War
came to an end one month later, following the battle of Dan-no-ura , one of the most famous and important battles in Japanese history. The Minamoto engaged the Taira
Taira
fleet in the Straits of Shimonoseki , a tiny body of water separating the islands of Honshū and Kyūshū. The tides played a powerful role in the development of the battle, granting the advantage first to the Taira, who were more experienced and abler sailors, and later to the Minamoto. The Minamoto advantage was considerably enhanced by the defection of Taguchi, a Shikoku
Shikoku
warrior who went over to the Minamoto side in the middle of the action. Many of the Taira
Taira
nobles perished, along with Emperor Antoku and the widow of Kiyomori. :302–303

CONSEQUENCES OF THE GENPEI WAR

The defeat of the Taira
Taira
armies mean the end of Taira
Taira
"dominance at the capital". In December 1185, Go-Shirakawa granted to Yoritomo the power to collect taxes, and "appoint stewards and constables in all provinces". Finally, in 1192, after Go-Shirakawa's death, Yoritomo was granted the imperial commission Sei-i Tai Shogun. This was the beginning of a feudal state in Japan, with real power now in Kamakura. However, Kyoto
Kyoto
remained the "seat of national ceremony and ritual." :304, 318, 331

AFTERMATH

The end of the Genpei War
War
and beginning of the Kamakura shogunate marked the rise of military (samurai) power and the suppression of the power of the emperor, who was compelled to preside without effective political or military power, until the Meiji Restoration over 650 years later.

In addition, this war and its aftermath established red and white, the colors of the Taira
Taira
and Minamoto standards, respectively, as Japan's national colors. Today, these colors can be seen on the flag of Japan , and also in banners and flags in sumo and other traditional activities.

BATTLES

Map of the battles of the Genpei War
War

* 1180 First Battle of Uji – regarded as the first battle in the Genpei Wars, the monks of the Byodoin
Byodoin
fight alongside Minamoto no Yorimasa . * 1180 Siege of Nara – the Taira
Taira
set fire to temples and monasteries, to cut supplies to their rivals. * 1180 Battle of Ishibashiyama Minamoto no Yoritomo 's first battle against the Taira. Minamoto Yoritomo loses the battle. * 1180 Battle of Fujikawa – the Taira
Taira
mistake a flock of waterfowl for a sneak attack by the Minamoto in the night, and retreat before any fighting occurs. * 1181 Battle of Sunomatagawa – the Taira
Taira
thwart a sneak attack in the night but retreat. * 1181 Battle of Yahagigawa – the Minamoto, retreating from Sunomata , attempt to make a stand. * 1183 Siege of Hiuchi – the Taira
Taira
attack a Minamoto fortress. * 1183 Battle of Kurikara – the tide of the war turns, in the Minamoto's favor. * 1183 Battle of Shinohara – Yoshinaka pursues the Taira
Taira
force from Kurikara * 1183 Battle of Mizushima – the Taira
Taira
intercept a Minamoto force, heading for Yashima . * 1183 Siege of Fukuryūji – the Minamoto attack a Taira
Taira
fortress. * 1183 Battle of Muroyama Minamoto no Yukiie tries and fails to recoup the loss of the battle of Mizushima. * 1184 Siege of Hōjūjidono – Yoshinaka sets fire to the Hojuji-dono and kidnaps Emperor Go-Shirakawa. * 1184 Second Battle of Uji – Yoshinaka is pursued out of the capital by Yoshitsune and Noriyori. * 1184 Battle of Awazu Minamoto no Yoshinaka is defeated and killed by Yoshitsune and Noriyori . * 1184 Battle of Ichi-no-Tani Minamoto no Yoshitsune attacks and drives the Taira
Taira
from one of their primary fortresses. * 1184 Battle of Kojima Taira
Taira
fleeing Ichi-no-Tani are attacked by Minamoto no Noriyori. * 1185 Battle of Yashima – the Minamoto assault their enemies' fortress, just off Shikoku
Shikoku
. * 1185 Battle of Dan-no-ura Minamoto no Yoshitsune decisively defeats Taira
Taira
forces in naval battle ending the war.

MAJOR FIGURES IN THE GENPEI WAR

MINAMOTO CLAN (ALSO KNOWN AS "GENJI")

Minamoto no Yoritomo, from an 1179 hanging scroll by Fujiwara no Takanobu

The Minamoto were one of the four great clans that dominated Japanese politics during the Heian period (794-1185). They were, however, decimated by the Taira
Taira
in the Heiji Rebellion of 1160. Minamoto no Yoshitomo had been the head of the clan at this time; upon his defeat at the hands of Taira
Taira
no Kiyomori, two of his sons were killed and the third, Minamoto no Yoritomo, was banished. Following the call to arms of Prince Mochihito and Minamoto no Yorimasa in 1180, the clan would gather together and rise to power again. The Genpei war would see the Minamoto clan defeat the Taira
Taira
and take command of the entire country.

* Minamoto no Noriyori (源範頼), general, younger brother of Yoritomo. * Minamoto no Yorimasa (源頼政), head of the clan at the beginning of the war. * Minamoto no Yoritomo (源頼朝), head of the clan upon Yorimasa's death. * Minamoto no Yoshitsune (源義経), younger brother of Yoritomo, chief general of the clan. * Minamoto no Yukiie (源行家), general, uncle to Yoritomo.

* Allies and vassals:

* Emperor Go-Shirakawa (後白河), cloistered (retired) emperor . * Prince Mochihito (以仁王), Imperial Prince. * Benkei (弁慶), sōhei (warrior monk), ally of Yoshitsune. * Hōjō Tokimasa (北条 時政), head of the Hōjō clan (北条), father-in-law of Yoritomo. * Kajiwara Kagetoki (梶原 景時), officially an ally of Yoshitsune, in fact a spy for Yoritomo. * Kumagai Naozane (熊谷 直実), samurai vassal of Yoritomo. * Sasaki Moritsuna (佐々木 盛綱), vassal of Noriyori who commanded the assault at the battle of Kojima. * Taguchi Shigeyoshi (田口 重能), Taira
Taira
general who turned to the Minamoto camp upon seeing the tide turn at the battle of Dan no Ura, thus ensuring Minamoto victory. * Nasu no Yoichi (那須与一), celebrated archer and Minamoto ally. * Yada Yoshiyasu (矢田 義康), vassal of Yoshinaka and commander of Minamoto forces at the battle of Mizushima.

* The sōhei (warrior-monks) of Mii-dera and other temples. Three in particular are mentioned in the Heike Monogatari for their part in the first battle of Uji:

* Ichirai Hoshi (一来 法師), who is famous for having jumped ahead of Jomyo Meishu and led the Mii-dera monks to battle. * Gochi-in no Tajima (五智院 但馬), called Tajima the arrow-cutter, and famous for deflecting the arrows of the Taira
Taira
with his naginata , upon the bridge over the Uji. * Tsutsui Jōmyō Meishū (筒井 浄妙 明秀), who fought to his last on the bridge over the Uji, taking over sixty arrows and still fighting.

* Partisans of Minamoto no Yoshinaka (源義仲), cousin of Yoritomo, who supported his rebellion:

* Imai Kanehira (今井 兼平), who joined Yoshinaka in his escape to Seta.

TAIRA CLAN (ALSO KNOWN AS "HEIKE")

Taira
Taira
no Kiyomori, by Kikuchi Yōsai

The Taira
Taira
clan was one of the four great clans which dominated Japanese politics during the Heian period (794–1185). As a result of the near-total destruction of their rival clan, the Minamoto, in the Heiji Rebellion of 1160, Taira
Taira
no Kiyomori, head of the clan, initiated the Genpei War
War
at the height of his power. The end of the war, however, brought destruction to the Taira
Taira
clan.

* Taira
Taira
no Atsumori (平敦盛), young samurai killed by Kumagai Naozane who, because of his youth and innocence, became quite famous in death. * Taira
Taira
no Kiyomori (平清盛), head of the clan at the beginning of the war. * Taira
Taira
no Koremori (平維盛), grandson of Kiyomori. * Taira
Taira
no Munemori (平宗盛), son and heir of Kiyomori; head of the clan for much of the war. * Taira
Taira
no Noritsune (平教経), a Taira
Taira
clan samurai * Taira
Taira
no Shigehira (平重衡), general, son of Kiyomori. * Taira
Taira
no Tadanori (平忠度), general, brother of Kiyomori. * Taira
Taira
no Tokiko (平時子), wife of Kiyomori who committed suicide at the battle of Dan-no-ura. * Taira
Taira
no Tomomori (平知盛), general, son of Kiyomori. * Taira
Taira
no Yukimori (平行盛), general, commander of the Taira forces at the battle of Kojima. * Taira
Taira
no Kagekiyo (平景清), a Taira
Taira
clan samurai, adopted from the Fujiwara family.

* Allies and vassals:

* Emperor Antoku (安徳), Emperor of Japan and grandson of Taira
Taira
no Kiyomori * Ōba Kagechika (大庭景親), vassal of the Taira. * Saitō Sanemori (斎藤実盛), former vassal of Minamoto no Yoshitomo, switched sides and became a vassal of Taira
Taira
no Munenori. * Senoo Kaneyasu (妹尾兼康), vassal of the Taira
Taira
who commanded at the Fukuryūji fortress. * Taguchi Shigeyoshi (田口重能), Taira
Taira
general who turned to the Minamoto camp upon seeing the tide turn at the battle of Dan no Ura, thus ensuring Minamoto victory. * The sōhei (warrior-monks) of Enryaku-ji (延暦寺), at least in theory, on account of their rivalry with the Mii-dera, which was allied with the Minamoto.

GENPEI WAR IN LITERATURE

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Many stories and works of art depict this conflict. The Tale of the Heike (Heike Monogatari, 平家物語) is one of the most famous, though many Kabuki
Kabuki
and bunraku plays reproduce events of the war as well. Ichinotani futaba gunki (Chronicle of the battle of Ichi-no-Tani) by Namiki Sōsuke may be one of the more famous of these.

"Shike " by Robert Shea features a somewhat fictionalised account of the wars, as seen from the perspectives of his two main characters, the Zinja Monk Jebu, and the Noblewoman Lady Shima Taniko. The names of the two rival clans have been changed, "Minamoto" to "Muratomo" and "Taira" to "Takashi".

Another fictionalized account of the conflict forms the central plot of Civil War
War
(also known as Turbulent Times), the ninth volume of Osamu Tezuka 's celebrated Phoenix series .

The Genpei War
War
is the backdrop for much of Katherine Patterson 's young adult novel, Of Nightingales That Weep .

GENPEI WAR IN POPULAR CULTURE

On September 27, 2011, The Creative Assembly released a DLC pack for Total War: Shogun 2 entitled "Rise of the Samurai", which allows players to play as members of the Taira, the Minamoto, or the Fujiwara families . Through a complex system of province building, diplomacy, research, and combat, players can decide the outcome of the Genpei War for themselves.

Cinemaware's Amiga title Lords of the rising sun features Genpei war. It was made in the beginning of nineties.

The conflict between the Genji and Heike gangs in 2007 Japanese Western film Sukiyaki Western Django mirror's that of the actual Genpei war, albeit "a few hundred years after."

SEE ALSO

* Kuroshima and Taijima , a set of islands off the coast of Wakayama used as a naval base during the war * Military history of Japan * Outline of war * Sukiyaki Western Django , a film inspired by the events

REFERENCES

* ^ In the name " Jishō - Juei War", the noun "Jishō" refers to the nengō ( Japanese era name ) after " Angen " and before " Yōwa ." In other words, the Jishō- Juei War
War
occurred during Jishō, which was a time period spanning the years from 1177 through 1181. * ^ In the name " Jishō - Juei War", the noun "Juei" refers to the nengō ( Japanese era name ) after " Yōwa " and before " Genryaku ." In other words, the Jishō- Juei War
War
occurred during Juei, which was a time period spanning the years from 1182 through 1184. * ^ In the name "Hōgen Rebellion", the noun "Hōgen" refers to the nengō ( Japanese era name ) after " Kyūju " and before " Heiji ." In other words, the Hōgen Rebellion occurred during Hōgen, which was a time period spanning the years from 1156 through 1159. * ^ In the name " Heiji Rebellion", the noun "Heiji" refers to the nengō ( Japanese era name ) after "Hōgen " and before " Eiryaku ." In other words, the Heiji Rebellion occurred during Heiji, which was a time period spanning the years from 1159 through 1160. * ^ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O Sansom, George (1958). A History of Japan to 1334. Stanford University Press. pp. 275, 278–281. ISBN 0804705232 . * ^ Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. Cassell & Co. p. 200. ISBN 1854095234 . * ^ Turnbull, Stephen (1977). The Samurai, A Military History. MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. pp. 48–50. ISBN 0026205408 . * ^ The Tales of the Heike. Translated by Burton Watson. Columbia University Press. 2006. p. 122,142–143. ISBN 9780231138031 .

EXTERNAL LINKS

* Genpei War
War
at Ancient History Encyclopedia * Genpei War
War
Map at Samurai Archives * Shogun 2 by Sega

AUTHORITY CONTROL

* NDL : 001098703

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War
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