A homophone is a word, pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning. A homophone may differ in spelling; the two words may be spelled the same, such as rose and rose, or differently, such as carat, carrot, or to, too. The term "homophone" may apply to units longer or shorter than words, such as phrases, letters, or groups of letters which are pronounced the same as another phrase, letter, or group of letters. Any unit with this property is said to be "homophonous". Homophones that are spelled the same are both homographs and homonyms. Homophones that are spelled differently are called heterographs. "Homophone" derives from the Greek homo-, "same", phōnḗ, "voice, utterance". Homophones are used to create puns and to deceive the reader or to suggest multiple meanings; the last usage is common in creative literature. An example of this is seen in Dylan Thomas's radio play Under Milk Wood: "The shops in mourning" where mourning can be heard as mourning or morning. Another vivid example is Thomas Hood's use of "birth" and "berth" and "told" and "toll'd" in his poem "Faithless Sally Brown": His death, which happen'd in his berth, At forty-odd befell: They went and told the sexton, The sexton toll'd the bell.
In some accents, various sounds have merged in that they are no longer distinctive, thus words that differ only by those sounds in an accent that maintains the distinction are homophonous in the accent with the merger. Some examples from English are: pen in many southern American accents. Merry and Mary in most American accents; the pairs do, due and forward, foreword are homophonous in most American accents but not in most English accents. The pairs talk and court, caught are distinguished in rhotic accents such as Scottish English and most dialects of American English, but are homophones in many non-rhotic accents such as British Received Pronunciation. Wordplay is common in English because the multiplicity of linguistic influences offers considerable complication in spelling and meaning and pronunciation compared with other languages. Malapropisms, which create a similar comic effect, are near-homophones. See Eggcorn. Homophones of multiple words or phrases are known as "oronyms"; this term was coined by Gyles Brandreth and first published in his book The Joy of Lex, it was used in the BBC programme Never Mind the Full Stops, which featured Brandreth as a guest.
Examples of "oronyms" include: "ice cream" vs. "I scream" "euthanasia" vs. "Youth in Asia" "depend" vs. "deep end" "Gemini" vs. "Jim and I" vs. "Jem in eye" "the sky" vs. "this guy" "four candles" vs. "fork handles" "sand, there" vs. "sandwiches there" "philanderer" vs. "Flanders" "example" vs. "egg sample" "some others" vs. "some mothers" vs. "smothers" "minute" vs. "my newt" "vodka" vs. "Ford Ka" "foxhole" vs. "Vauxhall" "big hand" vs. "began" "real eyes" vs. "realize" vs. "real lies" "a dressed male" vs. "addressed mail" "them all" vs. "the mall" "Isle of Dogs" vs. "I love dogs."In his Appalachian comedy routine, American comedian Jeff Foxworthy uses oronyms which play on exaggerated "country" accents. Notable examples include: Initiate: "My wife ate two sandwiches, initiate a bag o' tater chips."Mayonnaise: "Mayonnaise a lot of people here tonight."Innuendo: "Hey dude I saw a bird fly innuendo."Moustache: "I Moustache you a question." There are sites, for example, this archived page, which have lists of homonyms or rather homophones and even'multinyms' which have as many as seven spellings.
There are differences in such lists due to dialect pronunciations and usage of old words. In English, there are 88 triples; the septet is: raise, rase, rehs, res, réisOther than the three common words, there are: rase – a verb meaning "to erase". If proper names are allowed a nonet is Ayr, Eyre, air, ere, e'er, are. There are a large number of homophones in Japanese, due to the use of Sino-Japanese vocabulary, where borrowed words and morphemes from Chinese are used in Japanese, but many sound differences, such as words' tones, are lost; these are to some extent disambiguated via Japanese pitch accent, or from context, but many of these words are or exclusively used in writing, where they are distinguished as they are written with different kanji. An extreme example is kikō, the pronunciation of at least 22 words, including: 機構, 紀行, 稀覯, 騎行, 貴校 (, 奇功, 貴公, 起稿, 奇行, 機巧, 寄港, 帰校, 気功 (breathing exercise/qigo
Sumo is a form of competitive full-contact wrestling where a rikishi attempts to force his opponent out of a circular ring or into touching the ground with any body part other than the soles of his feet. The sport originated in the only country where it is practiced professionally, it is considered a gendai budō, which refers to modern Japanese martial art, but the sport has a history spanning many centuries. Many ancient traditions have been preserved in sumo, today the sport includes many ritual elements, such as the use of salt purification, from Shinto. Life as a wrestler is regimented, with rules regulated by the Japan Sumo Association. Most sumo wrestlers are required to live in communal sumo training stables, known in Japanese as heya, where all aspects of their daily lives—from meals to their manner of dress—are dictated by strict tradition. From 2008 to 2017, a number of high-profile controversies and scandals have rocked the sumo world, with an associated effect on its reputation and ticket sales.
These have affected the sport's ability to attract recruits. Despite this setback, sumo's popularity and general attendance has rebounded due to having multiple yokozuna for the first time in a number of years and other high-profile wrestlers such as Endō and Ichinojō grabbing the public's attention. In addition to its use as a trial of strength in combat, sumo has been associated with Shinto ritual; some shrines carry out forms of ritual dance where a human is said to wrestle with a kami, a Shinto divine spirit. It was an important ritual at the imperial court, where representatives of each province were ordered to attend the contest at the court and fight; the contestants were required to pay for their travel themselves. The contest was known as sumai no sechie, or "sumai party". Over the rest of recorded Japanese history, sumo's popularity changed according to the whims of rulers and the need for its use as a training tool in periods of civil strife; the form of wrestling combat changed into one where the main aim in victory was to throw one's opponent.
The concept of pushing one's opponent out of a defined area came some time later. A ring, defined as something other than the area given to the wrestlers by spectators, is believed to have come into being in the 16th century as a result of a tournament organized by the principal warlord in Japan, Oda Nobunaga. At this point, wrestlers would wear loose loincloths rather than the much stiffer mawashi wrestling belts of today. During the Edo period, wrestlers would wear a fringed decorative apron called a keshō-mawashi during the match, whereas today these are worn only during pretournament rituals. Most of the rest of the current forms within the sport developed in the early Edo period. Professional sumo roots trace back to the Edo period in Japan as a form of sporting entertainment; the original wrestlers were samurai rōnin, who needed to find an alternative form of income. Current professional sumo tournaments began in the Tomioka Hachiman Shrine in 1684, were held in the Ekō-in in the Edo period.
Western Japan had its own sumo venues and tournaments in this period, with the most prominent center being in Osaka. Osaka sumo continued to the end of the Taishō period in 1926, when it merged with Tokyo sumo to form one organization. For a short period after this, four tournaments were held a year, two tournaments in locations in western Japan such as Nagoya and Fukuoka, two in the Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. From 1933 onward, tournaments were held exclusively in the Ryōgoku Kokugikan, until the American occupation forces appropriated it and the tournaments moved to Meiji Shrine until the 1950s. An alternate location, the Kuramae Kokugikan near Ryōgoku, was built for sumo. In this period, the Sumo Association began expanding to venues in western Japan again, reaching a total of six tournaments a year by 1958, with half of them in Kuramae. In 1984, the Ryōgoku Kokugikan was rebuilt and sumo tournaments in Tokyo have been held there since; the winner of a sumo bout is either the first wrestler to force his opponent to step out of the ring, or the first wrestler to force his opponent to touch the ground with any part of his body other than the bottom of his feet.
A number of other less common rules can be used to determine the winner. For example, a wrestler using an illegal technique automatically loses, as does one whose mawashi comes undone. A wrestler failing to show up for his bout automatically loses. Bouts consist of a single round and last only a few seconds, as one wrestler is ousted from the circle or thrown to the ground. However, they can last for several minutes; each match is preceded by an elaborate ceremonial ritual. Traditionally, sumo wrestlers are renowned for their great girth and body mass, a winning factor in sumo. No weight divisions are used in professional sumo. However, with superior technique, smaller wrestlers can defeat much larger opponents; the average weight of top division wrestlers has continued to increase, from 125 kilograms in 1969 to over 150 kilograms by 1991, was a record 166 kilograms as of January 2019. In some situations a review of the gyōji's decision may be needed; the judges outside the ring, who sit at eye level may convene a conference in the middle of the ring, called a "mono-ii".
This is done if the judges decide that the decision over who won the bout needs to be rev
A red-light district or pleasure district is a part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, adult theaters, are found. Areas in many big cities around the world have acquired an international reputation as red-light districts; the term red-light district originates from the red lights. Red-light districts are mentioned in the 1882 minutes of a Woman's Christian Temperance Union meeting in the United States; the Oxford English Dictionary records the earliest known appearance of the term "red light district" in print as an 1894 article from the Sandusky Register, a newspaper in Sandusky, OhioAuthor Paul Wellman suggests that this and other terms associated with the American Old West originated in Dodge City, home to a well-known prostitution district during the 19th century, which included the Red Light House saloon. This has not been proven, but the Dodge City use was responsible for the term becoming pervasive. A widespread folk etymology claims that early railroad workers took red lanterns with them when they visited brothels so their crew could find them in the event of an emergency.
However, folklorist Barbara Mikkelson regards this as unfounded. One of the many terms used for a red-light district in Japanese is akasen meaning "red-line". Japanese police drew a red line on maps to indicate the boundaries of legal red-light districts. In Japanese, the term aosen meaning "blue-line" exists, indicating an illegal district. In the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries, the term "sporting district" became popular for legal red-light districts. Municipal governments defined such districts explicitly to contain and regulate prostitution; some red-light districts are places which are designated by authorities for legal and regulated prostitution. These red-light districts were formed by authorities to help regulate prostitution and other related activities, such that they were confined to a single area; some red-light districts are under video surveillance. This can help counter illegal forms of prostitution, in these areas that do allow regular prostitution to occur.
List of red-light districts Media related to Red-light districts at Wikimedia Commons
Woodcut is a relief printing technique in printmaking. An artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood—typically with gouges—leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts. Areas that the artist cuts away carry no ink, while characters or images at surface level carry the ink to produce the print; the block is cut along the wood grain. The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller, leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas. Multiple colors can be printed by keying the paper to a frame around the woodblocks; the art of carving the woodcut can be called "xylography", but this is used in English for images alone, although that and "xylographic" are used in connection with block books, which are small books containing text and images in the same block. They became popular in Europe during the latter half of the 15th century. A single-sheet woodcut is a woodcut presented as a single image or print, as opposed to a book illustration.
Since it's origins in China, the practice of woodcut has spread across the world from Europe, to other parts of Asia, to Latin America. In both Europe and the Far East, traditionally the artist only designed the woodcut, the block-carving was left to specialist craftsmen, called block-cutters, or Formschneider in Germany, some of whom became well-known in their own right. Among these, the best-known are the 16th-century Hieronymus Andreae, Hans Lützelburger and Jost de Negker, all of whom ran workshops and operated as printers and publishers; the formschneider in turn handed the block on to specialist printers. There were further specialists; this is why woodcuts are sometimes described by museums or books as "designed by" rather than "by" an artist. The division of labour had the advantage that a trained artist could adapt to the medium easily, without needing to learn the use of woodworking tools. There were various methods of transferring the artist's drawn design onto the block for the cutter to follow.
Either the drawing would be made directly onto the block, or a drawing on paper was glued to the block. Either way, the artist's drawing was destroyed during the cutting process. Other methods were used, including tracing. In both Europe and the Far East in the early 20th century, some artists began to do the whole process themselves. In Japan, this movement was called sōsaku-hanga, as opposed to shin-hanga, a movement that retained traditional methods. In the West, many artists used the easier technique of linocut instead. Compared to intaglio techniques like etching and engraving, only low pressure is required to print; as a relief method, it is only necessary to ink the block and bring it into firm and contact with the paper or cloth to achieve an acceptable print. In Europe, a variety of woods including boxwood and several nut and fruit woods like pear or cherry were used. There are three methods of printing to consider: Stamping: Used for many fabrics and most early European woodcuts; these were printed by putting the paper/fabric on a table or other flat surface with the block on top, pressing or hammering the back of the block.
Rubbing: Apparently the most common method for Far Eastern printing on paper at all times. Used for European woodcuts and block-books in the fifteenth century, widely for cloth. Used for many Western woodcuts from about 1910 to the present; the block goes face up with the paper or fabric on top. The back is rubbed with a "hard pad, a flat piece of wood, a burnisher, or a leather frotton". A traditional Japanese tool used for this is called a baren. In Japan, complex wooden mechanisms were used to help hold the woodblock still and to apply proper pressure in the printing process; this was helpful once multiple colors were introduced and had to be applied with precision atop previous ink layers. Printing in a press: presses only seem to have been used in Asia in recent times. Printing-presses were used from about 1480 for European prints and block-books, before that for woodcut book illustrations. Simple weighted presses may have been used in Europe before the print-press, but firm evidence is lacking.
A deceased Abbess of Mechelen in 1465 had "unum instrumentum ad imprintendum scripturas et ymagines... cum 14 aliis lapideis printis"—"an instrument for printing texts and pictures... with 14 stones for printing". This is too early to be a Gutenberg-type printing press in that location. Main articles Old master print for Europe, Woodblock printing in Japan for Japan, Lubok for Russia Woodcut originated in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and on paper; the earliest woodblock printed fragments to survive are from China, from the Han dynasty, are of silk printed with flowers in three colours. "In the 13th century the Chinese technique of blockprinting was transmitted to Europe." Paper arrived in Europe from China via al-Andalus later, was being manufactured in Italy by the end of the thirteenth century, in Burgundy and Germany by the end of the fourteenth. In Europe, woodcut is the oldest technique used for old master prints, developing about 1400, by using, on paper, existing techniques for printing.
One of the more ancient woodcuts on paper that can be seen today is The Fire Madonna, in the Cat
Torii Kiyonaga was a Japanese ukiyo-e artist of the Torii school. Sekiguchi Shinsuke, the son of an Edo bookseller, he took on Torii Kiyonaga as an art name. Although not biologically related to the Torii family, he became head of the group after the death of his adoptive father and teacher Torii Kiyomitsu; the master Kiyomitsu died in 1785. However, he delayed this for two years devoting time to his bijin-ga and realizing the immense responsibility that would fall on his shoulders once he took over the school. Thus, in 1787, he began organizing the production of kabuki signboards and the like, which the school held a near monopoly on, he began to train Kiyomitsu's grandson, Torii Kiyomine, to succeed him. Kiyonaga is considered one of the great masters of the full-color nishiki-e print and of bijin-ga, images of courtesans and other beautiful women. Like most ukiyo-e artists, however, he produced a number of prints and paintings depicting Kabuki actors and related subjects, many of them promotional materials for the theaters.
He produced a number of shunga, or erotic images. In the field of bijin-ga, only the works of Suzuki Harunobu and a handful of others are regarded comparable with those of Kiyonaga. Kiyonaga produced a great many bijin-ga prints in the 1780s, this is regarded as his high point; some scholars point out the beauty of his paintings as being exceptional given his commoner heritage and upbringing. Adopted into the Torii family, Kiyonaga's biological father was the owner of a number of tenements near a fish market. Meanwhile, contemporary artists of the samurai class, who would be expected to have a better innate sense of the aesthetics and details of aristocratic culture, produced images quite arguably inferior to those of Kiyonaga; the women in Kiyonaga's prints are described as seeming fuller and more mature than those of his predecessor Harunobu, whose prints depict women who seem younger and thinner. Though a difference of personal styles accounts for this it comes in part from Kiyonaga's use of larger sheets of paper.
A great proportion of Kiyonaga's work is in diptych or triptych form, making the work seem larger and more impressive overall. Just as Kiyonaga can be said to have replaced the earlier Harunobu as the most popular bijinga artist of his time, so Kiyonaga can be said to have been replaced by Utamaro, whose women are fuller and more mature than those of the former. Kiyonaga's Kabuki prints, depicting scenes on stage and the like, show a great attention to detail, seek to depict real Kabuki scenes, rather than idealized versions. There is something plain about much of his depictions, showing that those depicted are in fact actors and not the true idealized characters they represent; some scholars label his style as an important intermediary step leading to the bombastic, yet realistic, style of Sharaku. Kiyonaga’s works have been featured several times in commemorative postage stamps issued by the Japanese post office: 1958 Philatelic Week 1982 Philatelic Week 2003 Commemorative issue of the 250th anniversary of Kiyonaga’s birth Hickman, Money.
"Enduring Alliance: The Torii Line of Ukiyo-e Artists and Their Work for the Kabuki Theatre". Fenway Court, 1992. Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Lane, Richard.. Images from the Floating World, The Japanese Print. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192114471.
Buddhism in Japan
Buddhism in Japan has been practiced since its official introduction in 552 CE according to the Nihon Shoki from Baekje, Korea, by Buddhist monks. Buddhism has had a major influence on the development of Japanese society and remains an influential aspect of the culture to this day. In modern times, Japan's popular schools of Buddhism are Pure Land Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism, Shingon Buddhism and Zen; as of 2008 34% of the Japanese identify as Buddhists and the number has been growing since the 1980s, in terms of membership in organized religion. However, in terms of practice, 75% practice some form of Buddhism. About 60% of the Japanese have a Butsudan in their homes; the arrival of Buddhism in China is a consequence of the first contacts between China and Central Asia, where Buddhism had spread from the Indian subcontinent. These contacts occurred with the opening of the Silk Road in the 2nd century BCE, following the travels of Zhang Qian between 138 and 126 BCE; these contacts culminated with the official introduction of Buddhism in China in 67 CE.
Historians agree that by the middle of the 1st century, the religion had penetrated to areas north of the Huai River in China. According to the Book of Liang, written in 635, five Buddhist monks from Gandhara traveled to Japan in 467. At the time, they referred to Japan as Fusang, the name of a mythological country to the extreme east beyond the sea: Fusang is located to the east of China, 20,000 li east of the state of Da Han. In former times, the people of Fusang knew nothing of the Buddhist religion, but in the second year of Da Ming of the Song Dynasty, five monks from Kipin travelled by ship to Fusang, they propagated Buddhist doctrine, circulated scriptures and drawings, advised the people to relinquish worldly attachments. As a result the customs of Fusang changed. Although there are records of Buddhist monks from China coming to Japan before the Asuka Period, the "official" introduction of Buddhism to Japan is dated to 552 in Nihon Shoki when King Seong of Baekje sent a mission to the Emperor Kinmei that included Buddhist monks or nuns together with an image of Buddha and a number of sutras to introduce Buddhism.
The powerful Soga clan played a key role in the early spread of Buddhism in the country. Initial uptake of the new faith was slow, Buddhism only started to spread some years when Empress Suiko encouraged the acceptance of Buddhism among all Japanese people. According to legend, in Japan in 552, there was an attempt to destroy a tooth relic, one of the first of Buddha’s to arrive in the country. On January 15, 593, Soga no Umako ordered relics of Buddha deposited inside the foundation stone under the pillar of a pagoda at Asuka-dera. In 607, in order to obtain copies of sutras, an imperial envoy was dispatched to Sui China; as time progressed and the number of Buddhist clergy increased, the offices of Sōjō and Sōzu were created. By 627, there were 46 Buddhist temples, 816 Buddhist priests, 569 Buddhist nuns in Japan; the initial period saw the six great Chinese schools, called Nanto Rokushū in Japanese were introduced to the Japanese archipelago: Ritsu Jōjitsu Kusha-shū Sanronshū Hossō Kegon These schools were centered around the ancient capitals of Asuka and Nara, where great temples such as the Asuka-dera and Tōdai-ji were erected respectively.
These were not exclusive schools, temples were apt to have scholars versed in several of the schools. It has been suggested that they can best be thought of as "study groups"; the Buddhism of these periods, known as the Asuka period and Nara period – was not a practical religion, being more the domain of learned priests whose official function was to pray for the peace and prosperity of the state and imperial house. This kind of Buddhism had little to offer to the illiterate and uneducated masses and led to the growth of "people’s priests" who were not ordained and had no formal Buddhist training, their practice was a combination of Buddhist and Daoist elements and the incorporation of shamanistic features of indigenous practices. Some of these figures became immensely popular and were a source of criticism towards the sophisticated academic and bureaucratic Buddhism of the capital; the Late Nara period saw the introduction of Tangmi to Japan from China by Kūkai and Saichō, who founded Shingon Buddhism and the Tendai school, respectively.
During the Heian period the capital was shifted from Nara to Kyoto. Monasteries became centers of powers establishing armies of Sōhei, warrior-monks. Shinto and Buddhism became the dominant religions, maintaining a balance until the Meiji-restoration; the Kamakura period was a period of crisis in which the control of the country moved from the imperial aristocracy to the samurai. In 1185 the Kamakura shogunate was established at Kamakura; this period saw the introduction of the two schools that had the greatest impact on the country: the schools of Pure Land Buddhism, promulgated by evangelists such as Genshin and articulated by monks such as Hōnen, which emphasize salvation through faith in Amitābha and remain the largest Buddhist sect in Japan.
Samurai were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan. In Japanese, they are referred to as bushi or buke. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was a verb meaning'to wait upon','accompany persons' in the upper ranks of society, this is true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean'those who serve in close attendance to the nobility', the Japanese term saburai being the nominal form of the verb." According to Wilson, an early reference to the word samurai appears in the Kokin Wakashū, the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century. By the end of the 12th century, samurai became entirely synonymous with bushi, the word was associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class; the samurai were associated with a clan and their lord, were trained as officers in military tactics and grand strategy. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of Japan's population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.
Following the Battle of Hakusukinoe against Tang China and Silla in 663 AD which led to a retreat from Korean affairs, Japan underwent widespread reform. One of the most important was that of the Taika Reform, issued by Prince Naka-no-Ōe in 646 AD; this edict allowed the Japanese aristocracy to adopt the Tang dynasty political structure, culture and philosophy. As part of the Taihō Code of 702 AD, the Yōrō Code, the population was required to report for the census, a precursor for national conscription. With an understanding of how the population was distributed, Emperor Monmu introduced a law whereby 1 in 3–4 adult males were drafted into the national military; these soldiers were required to supply their own weapons, in return were exempted from duties and taxes. This was one of the first attempts by the Imperial government to form an organized army modeled after the Chinese system, it was called "Gundan-Sei" by historians and is believed to have been short-lived. The Taihō Code classified most of the Imperial bureaucrats into 12 ranks, each divided into two sub-ranks, 1st rank being the highest adviser to the Emperor.
Those of 6th rank and below were dealt with day-to-day affairs. Although these "samurai" were civilian public servants, the modern word is believed to have derived from this term. Military men, would not be referred to as "samurai" for many more centuries. In the early Heian period, during the late 8th and early 9th centuries, Emperor Kanmu sought to consolidate and expand his rule in northern Honshū, sent military campaigns against the Emishi, who resisted the governance of the Kyoto-based imperial court. Emperor Kanmu introduced the title of sei'i-taishōgun, or shōgun, began to rely on the powerful regional clans to conquer the Emishi. Skilled in mounted combat and archery, these clan warriors became the Emperor's preferred tool for putting down rebellions. Though this is the first known use of the title shōgun, it was a temporary title and was not imbued with political power until the 13th century. At this time, the Imperial Court officials considered them to be a military section under the control of the Imperial Court.
Emperor Kanmu disbanded his army. From this time, the emperor's power declined. While the emperor was still the ruler, powerful clans around Kyoto assumed positions as ministers, their relatives bought positions as magistrates. To amass wealth and repay their debts, magistrates imposed heavy taxes, resulting in many farmers becoming landless. Through protective agreements and political marriages, the aristocrats accumulated political power surpassing the traditional aristocracy; some clans were formed by farmers who had taken up arms to protect themselves from the Imperial magistrates sent to govern their lands and collect taxes. These clans formed alliances to protect themselves against more powerful clans, by the mid-Heian period, they had adopted characteristic Japanese armor and weapons; the Emperor and non-warrior nobility employed these warrior nobles. In time they amassed enough manpower and political backing, in the form of alliances with one another, to establish the first samurai-dominated government.
As the power of these regional clans grew, their chief was a distant relative of the Emperor and a lesser member of either the Fujiwara, Minamoto, or Taira clans. Though sent to provincial areas for fixed four-year terms as magistrates, the toryo declined to return to the capital when their terms ended, their sons inherited their positions and continued to lead the clans in putting down rebellions throughout Japan during the middle- and later-Heian period; because of their rising military and economic power, the warriors became a new force in the politics of the Imperial court. Their involvement in the Hōgen Rebellion in the late Heian period consolidated their power, which pitted the rivalry of Minamoto and Taira clans against each other in the Heiji Rebellion of 1160; the victor, Taira no Kiyomori, became an imperial advisor and was the first warrior to attain such a position. He seized control of the central government, establishing the first samurai-dominated government and relegating the Emperor to figurehead status.
However, the Taira clan was still conservative when compared to its eventual successor, the Minamoto, instead of expanding or stre