Battle of Yahagi-gawa
The Battle of Yahagi-gawa took place in 1181. Retreating from the Battle of Sunomata-gawa, Minamoto no Yukiie attempted to make a stand by destroying the bridge over the Yahagi River and putting up a defensive shieldwall, he was forced to withdraw in the end, but the Taira pursuit was soon called off when their leader, fell ill
Battle of Sunomata-gawa
The Battle of Sunomata-gawa took place in Japan on 6 August 1181, in the present-day town of Sunomata, Gifu Prefecture. The battle started when Minamoto no Yukiie attempted a sneak attack against his enemies during the night, he found Taira no Tomomori and his army directly opposite from his, along the Sunomata River, near the borders of Owari and Mino provinces. The Minamoto warriors waded across, but their ambush failed when the Taira clan could distinguish dry friend from soaking, dripping wet foe in the pitch dark of night. Yukiie and a number of other surviving Minamoto were forced back across the river. After crossing the river, the Minamoto went to the Yahagi River in Mikawa Province, but the Taira chased after them. List of Japanese battles
Taira no Munemori
Taira no Munemori was heir to Taira no Kiyomori, one of the Taira clan's chief commanders in the Genpei War. As his father Taira no Kiyomori lay on his deathbed, Kiyomori declared, among his last wishes, that all affairs of the clan be placed in Munemori's hands, his favorite, eldest, Shigemori, had died, so Munemori was next in line. In 1183, the rival Minamoto clan gained power, with Minamoto no Yoshinaka and Minamoto no Yukiie besieging the capital city. Following the defection of Emperor Go-Shirakawa to the Minamoto side, Munemori led his forces in escaping the capital city to the west, along with the young Emperor Antoku. In September, the Taira established a temporary Court in Kyūshū and Yashima. Munemori took part in nearly every battle of the war, was captured at the Battle of Dan-no-ura, executed in 1185. Turnbull, Stephen.'The Samurai Sourcebook'. London: Cassell & Co
Taira no Tomomori
Taira no Tomomori was the son of Taira no Kiyomori, one of the Taira Clan's chief commanders in the Genpei War at the end of the Heian period of Japanese history. He was the victor at the Battle of Uji in 1180, at the Battle of Yahagigawa in 1181, after forcing the enemy Minamoto forces to retreat, Tomomori fell ill, so the pursuit was ended. Tomomori was again victorious over the Minamoto in a naval battle at Mizushima two years later; the Taira forces tied their ships together, to create a larger stable surface to fire arrows from, to engage in hand-to-hand combat. At the Battle of Dan-no-ura, when the Taira were decisively beaten by their rivals, Tomomori joined many of his fellow clan members in committing suicide, he tied an anchor to his feet and leapt into the sea. Tomomori has become a popular subject for kabuki plays
The Heian period is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after modern Kyōto, it is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism and other Chinese influences were at their height. The Heian period is considered the peak of the Japanese imperial court and noted for its art 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 had mothers from the Fujiwara family. Heian means "peace" in Japanese; the Heian period was preceded by the Nara period and began in 794 CE after the movement of the capital of Japan to Heian-kyō, by the 50th emperor, Emperor Kanmu Kanmu first tried to move the capital to Nagaoka-kyō, but a series of disasters befell the city, prompting the emperor to relocate the capital a second time, to Heian. A rebellion occurred in China in the last years of the 9th century, making the political situation unstable.
The Japanese missions to Tang China was suspended and the influx of Chinese exports halted, a fact which facilitated the independent growth of Japanese culture called kokufu bunka. Therefore, the Heian Period is considered a high point in Japanese culture that generations have always admired; the period is noted for the rise of the samurai class, which would take power and start the feudal period of Japan. Nominally, sovereignty lay in the emperor but in fact, power was wielded by the Fujiwara nobility. However, to protect their interests in the provinces, the Fujiwara, other noble families required guards and soldiers; the warrior class made steady political gains throughout the Heian period. As early as 939 CE, Taira no Masakado threatened the authority of the central government, leading an uprising in the eastern province of Hitachi, simultaneously, Fujiwara no Sumitomo rebelled in the west. Still, a true military takeover of the Japanese government was centuries away, when much of the strength of the government would lie within the private armies of the shogunate.
The entry of the warrior class into court influence was a result of the Hōgen Rebellion. At this time Taira no Kiyomori revived the Fujiwara practices by placing his grandson on the throne to rule Japan by regency, their clan, the Taira, would not be overthrown until after the Genpei War, which marked the start of the Kamakura shogunate. The Kamakura period began in 1185 when Minamoto no Yoritomo seized power from the emperors and established the shogunate in Kamakura; when Emperor Kanmu moved the capital to Heian-kyō, which remained the imperial capital for the next 1,000 years, he did so not only to strengthen imperial authority but to improve his seat of government geopolitically. Nara was abandoned after only 70 years in part due to the ascendancy of Dōkyō and the encroaching secular power of the Buddhist institutions there. Kyōto had good river access to the sea and could be reached by land routes from the eastern provinces; the early Heian period continued Nara culture. Kanmu endeavored to improve the Tang-style administrative system, in use.
Known as the ritsuryō, this system attempted to recreate the Tang imperium in Japan, despite the "tremendous differences in the levels of development between the two countries". Despite the decline of the Taika–Taihō reforms, imperial government was vigorous during the early Heian period. Kanmu's avoidance of drastic reform decreased the intensity of political struggles, he became recognized as one of Japan's most forceful emperors. Although Kanmu had abandoned universal conscription in 792, he still waged major military offensives to subjugate the Emishi, possible descendants of the displaced Jōmon, living in northern and eastern Japan. After making temporary gains in 794, in 797, Kanmu appointed a new commander, Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, under the title Sei-i Taishōgun. By 801, the shōgun had defeated the Emishi and had extended the imperial domains to the eastern end of Honshū. Imperial control over the provinces was tenuous at best, however. In the ninth and tenth centuries, much authority was lost to the great families, who disregarded the Chinese-style land and tax systems imposed by the government in Kyoto.
Stability came to Japan, but though succession was ensured for the imperial family through heredity, power again concentrated in the hands of one noble family, the Fujiwara which helped Japan develop more. Following Kanmu's death in 806 and a succession struggle among his sons, two new offices were established in an effort to adjust the Taika–Taihō administrative structure. Through the new Emperor's Private Office, the emperor could issue administrative edicts more directly and with more self-assurance than before; the new Metropolitan Police Board replaced the ceremonial imperial guard units. While these two offices strengthened the emperor's position temporarily, soon they and other Chinese-style structures were bypassed in the developing state. In 838 the end of the imperial-sanctioned missions to Tang China, which had begun in 630, marked the effective end of Chinese influence. Tang China was in a state of decline, Chinese Buddhists were persecuted, undermining Japanese respect for Chinese institutions.
Japan began to turn inward. As the Soga clan had taken control of the throne in the sixth century, the Fujiwara by the ninth century had intermarried with the imperial family, one of their members was the first head of the Emperor's Private O
Minamoto no Yoshitomo
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. With the outbreak of the Hōgen Rebellion in 1156, the members of the Minamoto and Taira samurai clans were beckoned into the conflict. Yoshitomo sided along with Taira no Kiyomori in support of the Emperor Go-Shirakawa and Fujiwara no Tadamichi, while his father Minamoto no Tameyoshi sided with the retired Emperor Sutoku and Fujiwara no Yorinaga. Yoshitomo, defeating his father and the forces of Sutoku and Yorinaga, became head of the Minamoto and established himself as a political power in the capital of Kyoto. However, despite his attempts to have his father pardoned, Tameyoshi was executed; the outcome of the Hōgen rebellion established the Minamoto and Taira as the two strongest political rivals in the country. Three years in 1159, Yoshitomo and Fujiwara no Nobuyori placed Go-Shirakawa under house arrest and killed his retainer, the scholar Fujiwara no Michinori, in what is called the Heiji Rebellion.
Taira no Kiyomori, in support of Go-Shirakawa, defeated Yoshitomo. While escaping from Kyoto, Yoshitomo was forced to kill his son Tomonaga. Yoshitomo was betrayed and killed in his bath. Three of his sons, Minamoto no Yoshitsune and Minamoto no Noriyori, were spared and exiled by Kiyomori; however and Nobuyori were executed. His grave in Aichi Prefecture is surrounded on all sides by wooden swords, as by legend his last words were "If only I had a bokuto..." Yoshitomo fathered nine sons in total. His two sons and Tomonaga, lost their lives following the Minamoto Clan's defeat in the Heiji Rebellion. At the time of the outbreak of the Genpei War in 1180, Minamoto no Yoritomo was his eldest surviving son, his six remaining sons in order from eldest to youngest were Yoshikado, Noriyori, Zenjo and Yoshitsune. Father: Minamoto no Tameyoshi Mother: daughter of Fujiwara no Tadakiyo Wife: Yura Gozen, "Urahime", daughter of Fujiwara no Suenori. 3rd son: Minamoto no Yoritomo 4th son: Minamoto no Yoshikado 5th son: Minamoto no Mareyoshi Concubine: Tokiwa Gozen 7th son: Ano Zenjō 8th son: Minamoto no Gien 9th son: Minamoto no Yoshitsune Concubine: daughter of Miura Yoshiaki 1st son: Minamoto no Yoshihira Concubine: sister of Hatano Yoshimichi 2nd son: Minamoto no Tomonaga Concubine: a prostitute from Ideda-jiku, Tōtōmi Province 6th son: Minamoto no Noriyori Concubine: a cook of Aohaka Chōja Siege of Shirakawa-den Siege of Sanjō Palace Turnbull, Stephen.
The Samurai Sourcebook. London: Cassell & Co. page 60