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The emblem (mon) of the Taira clan
|Parent house||Imperial House of Japan|
|Founding year||c. 825|
|Cadet branches|| Hōjō |
Taira clan(平氏Hei-shi) was a major Japanese clan of samurai.
Samurai (侍) were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan.
In reference to Japanese history, along with Minamoto, Taira was a hereditary clan name bestowed by the emperors of the Heian period to certain ex-members of the imperial family when they became subjects. The Taira clan is often referred to as Heishi(平氏, "Taira clan") or Heike( 平家 , "House of Taira"), using the character's Chinese reading hei.
The history of Japan covers Japan and its relation to the world. It is characterized by isolationist, semi-open and expansionist periods.
Minamoto (源) was one of the surnames bestowed by the Emperors of Japan upon members of the imperial family who were excluded from the line of succession and demoted into the ranks of the nobility from 1192 to 1333. The practice was most prevalent during the Heian period, although its last occurrence was during the Sengoku period. The Taira were another such offshoot of the imperial dynasty, making both clans distant relatives. The Minamoto clan is also called the Genji (源氏), using the on'yomi reading for Minamoto.
The Heian period is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height. The Heian period is also considered the peak of the Japanese imperial court and noted for its art, especially poetry and literature. Although the Imperial House of Japan had power on the surface, the real power was in the hands of the Fujiwara clan, a powerful aristocratic family who had intermarried with the imperial family. Many emperors actually had mothers from the Fujiwara family. Heian (平安) means "peace" in Japanese.
Offshoots of the imperial dynasty, some grandsons of Emperor Kanmu were first given the name Taira in 825 or later. Afterwards, descendants of Emperor Ninmyō, Emperor Montoku, and Emperor Kōkō were also given the surname. The specific hereditary lines from these emperors are referred to by the emperor's posthumous name followed by Heishi, e.g. Kanmu Heishi.
Emperor Kammu was the 50th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Kammu reigned from 781 to 806.
Emperor Ninmyō was the 54th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Ninmyō's reign lasted from 833 to 850.
Emperor Montoku was the 55th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.
The Taira were one of the four important clans that dominated Japanese politics during the Heian period (794–1185) – the others were the Fujiwara clan, the Tachibana clan and the Minamoto clan.
Fujiwara clan, descending from the Nakatomi clan and through them Ame-no-Koyane-no-Mikoto, was a powerful family of regents in Japan.
Tachibana clan was the earliest, most influential house in Imperial Japan. Later on, it is one of the four most powerful kuge families in Japan's Nara and early Heian periods. Members of the Tachibana family often held high court posts within the Daijō-kan, most frequently Sadaijin. Like the other major families at court, they also constantly sought to increase and secure their power by marrying into the imperial family. However, as the Fujiwara clan gained power over the course of the 9th and 10th centuries, the Tachibana were eclipsed and eventually became scattered across the country. Though serving in high government posts outside the capital, they were thus denied the degree of power and influence within the court at Kyoto (Heian-kyō) which they once enjoyed.
The Kanmu Heishi line, founded in 889 by Taira no Takamochi (a great-grandson of the 50th Kanmu tennō, reigned 781–806), proved to be the strongest and most dominant line during the late Heian period with Taira no Kiyomori eventually forming the first samurai-dominated government in the history of Japan. A great-grandson of Heishi Takamochi, Taira no Korihira, moved to Ise Province (now part of Mie Prefecture) and established a major daimyō dynasty.
Taira no Kiyomori was a military leader of the late Heian period of Japan. He established the first samurai-dominated administrative government in the history of Japan.
Ise Province was a province of Japan in the area of Japan that is today includes most of modern Mie Prefecture. Ise bordered on Iga, Kii, Mino, Ōmi, Owari, Shima, and Yamato Provinces. Its abbreviated form name was Seishū (勢州).
Mie Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu. Mie Prefecture has a population of 1,808,549 (2016) and has a geographic area of 5,777 km2. Mie Prefecture borders Gifu Prefecture to the north, Shiga Prefecture and Kyoto Prefecture to the northwest, Nara Prefecture to the west, Wakayama Prefecture to the southwest, and Aichi Prefecture to the east.
Masamori's son, Taira no Tadamori, became a loyal supporter of the abdicated Emperor Shirakawa, which enabled the Taira fortunes to grow. Taira no Kiyomori, son and heir of Tadamori, rose to the position of daijō daijin (great minister of state) following his victories in the Hōgen Disturbance (1156) and the Heiji Rebellion (1160). Kiyomori managed to enthrone his infant grandson as Emperor Antoku in 1180, an act which led to the Genpei War (1180–85), the Taira-Minamoto War. Kiyomori's sons, the last of the head family of the Kammu Heishi line, were eventually defeated by the 6 armies of Minamoto no Yoritomo at the Battle of Dan-no-ura, the last battle of the Genpei War.This story is told in the early Japanese epic, The Tale of the Heike (Heike Monogatari).
Taira no Tadamori was a Taira clan samurai, son of Masamori and father of Taira no Kiyomori, and member of the Kebiishi. Tadamori was also governor of the provinces of Harima, Ise, Bizen, and Tajima.
Emperor Shirakawa was the 72nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.
Emperor Antoku was the 81st emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1180 through 1185.
This Kammu Heishi had many branch families, including the Hōjō, Chiba, Miura, Tajiri and Hatakeyama.
Another Kammu Heishi: Takamune-ō (804–867), the eldest son of Kazurahara-Shinnō (786–853) and a grandson of Emperor Kammu, received the kabane of Taira no Ason in 825. Thus there were two Kammu Heishi families, one descended from Takamune and the other from his nephew, Takamochi (son of Prince Takami).
The Oda clan in the time of Oda Nobunaga (1534–1582) claimed descent from the Taira, by Taira no Chikazane, a grandson of Taira no Shigemori (1138–1179).
Minamoto no Yoritomo was the founder and the first shōgun of the Kamakura shogunate of Japan. He ruled from 1192 until 1199. His Buddhist name was Bukōshōgendaizenmon (武皇嘯原大禅門).
The Hōgen rebellion was a short civil war fought in order to resolve a dispute about Japanese Imperial succession. The dispute was also about the degree of control exercised by the Fujiwara clan who had become hereditary Imperial regents during the Heian period.
The Heiji rebellion was a short civil war between rival subjects of the cloistered Emperor Go-Shirakawa of Japan in 1160 fought in order to resolve a dispute about political power. It was preceded by the Hōgen Rebellion in 1156. Heiji no ran is seen as a direct outcome of the earlier armed dispute; but unlike Hōgen no ran, which was a dispute between members of the same clan, this was rather a struggle for power between two rival clans. It is also seen as a precursor of a broader civil war.
Minamoto no Yoshitomo was the head of the Minamoto clan and a general of the late Heian period of Japanese history. His son Minamoto no Yoritomo became shōgun and founded the Kamakura shogunate, the first shogunate in the history of Japan.
The Genpei War (1180–1185) was a national civil war between the Taira and Minamoto clans during the late-Heian period of Japan. It resulted in the downfall of the Taira and the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate under Minamoto no Yoritomo in 1192.
The Tale of the Heike is an epic account compiled prior to 1330 of the struggle between the Taira clan and Minamoto clan for control of Japan at the end of the 12th century in the Genpei War (1180–1185). Heike (平家) refers to the Taira (平), hei being an alternate reading of the first kanji. Note that in the title of the Genpei War, "hei" is in this combination read as "pei" and the "gen" (源) is the first kanji used in the Minamoto clan's name. The Tale of the Heike is often likened to a Japanese Iliad.
Taira no Tomomori (1152–1185) was the son of Taira no Kiyomori, and one of the Taira Clan's chief commanders in the Genpei War at the end of the Heian period of Japanese history.
Taira no Shigehira (1158–1185) was one of the sons of Taira no Kiyomori, and one of the Taira Clan's chief commanders during the Heian period of the 12th century of Japan. Following the Battle of Uji in 1180, Shigehira ordered the burning of Nara.
The Chiba clan was a branch family of the Taira clan descended from Chiba no Suke, son of Taira no Tadatsune. The Chiba governed in Shimōsa Province, and the clan was based in present-day Chiba City. The clan additionally, for a period, the area that includes the Ise Grand Shrine. After the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate, the head of the Chiba clan became the hereditary shugo governor of Shimōsa Province.
Taira no Koremori was one of the Taira clan's commanders in the Genpei War of the late Heian period of Japanese history.
Taira no Munemori was heir to Taira no Kiyomori, and one of the Taira clan's chief commanders in the Genpei War.
Fukuhara-kyō was the seat of Japan's Imperial Court, and therefore the capital of the country, for roughly six months in 1180. It was also the center of Taira no Kiyomori's power and the site of his retirement palace.
Hasebe Nobutsura (year of birth unknown - Kempo-6 was a military commander between the end of Heian period and the beginning of Kamakura period. He was the son of Tametsura who was an officer for managing horses, Uma-no-jo
Taira no Kiyomori (平清盛) is a 2012 Japanese historical television series. It is the 51st NHK taiga drama.