Isaac Meyer

Historian, teacher, podcaster

Episode 148 – The Birth of the Samurai, Part 3

 

This week: the Taira family continue their rise to prominence, the Minamoto get stuck spinning their wheels for a few decades, and warrior violence makes its way to Kyoto.

All that, plus the hottest court gossip of the 1120s, this week.

 

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Sansom, George B. A History of Japan to 1334.

McCullough, Hellen, trans. The Tale of the Heike.

Turnbull, Stephen. Pirates of the Far East.

Turnbull, Stephen. Samurai: World of the Warrior.

Varley, H. Paul. Warriors of Japan: As Portrayed in the War Tales.

Images

280px-Taira_no_Tadamori

Taira no Tadamori, whose clever leadership propelled the Taira to a central position at court. This illustration, like most of the other character sketches we have, comes from the late Edo Period; the exploits of the Taira were popular grist for the mill of pop culture.

800px-Taira_no_Kiyomori,TenshiSekkanMiei

Taira no Kiyomori as a young man. Get used to that face; you’ll be seeing a lot of it.

latest

Minamoto no Yoshitomo, the renegade son of the Minamoto family head. Unlike most of his relatives, he backed the sitting Emperor Go-Shirakawa over the Retired Emperor Sutoku in the Hogen Rebellion.

220px-Emperor_Go-Shirakawa2

Emperor Go-Shirakawa, who was lucky enough to get the support of Taira no Kiyomori in his dispute with his imperial relatives.

Hōgen_no_ran

A screen showing the main (and only) battle of the Hogen Rebellion — Kiyomori’s suprise attack on Sutoku’s palace.

hogen-rebellion

A detail shot of the screen above, providing a closer view of the way the fighting is being depicted.

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Episode 147 – The Birth of the Samurai, Part 2

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Episode 149 – The Birth of the Samurai, Part 4

1 Comment

  1. Dan Bensky

    Another excellent series – but the title should be “Birth” not “Fall.”

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