Episode 511 – Tipping the Balance

This week: the rise of the Minamoto clan, the destruction of the Taira clan, and the birth of a new kind of political arrangement in the form of Japan’s first shogunate.


Friday, Karl F. “Dawn of the Samurai” and Andrew Edmund Goble, “Kamakura Shogunate and the Beginnings of Warrior Power,” in Japan Emerging: Premodern History to 1850.

Takeuchi, Rizo, “The Rise of the Warriors” in The Cambridge History of Japan, Vol II: Heian Japan

Mass, Jeffery P. “The Kamakura Bakufu” in The Cambridge History of Japan, Vol III: Medieval Japan


An Edo period image of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, alongside his retainer Musashibo Benkei. 
Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine, the family shrine of the Minamoto. It was here that the Minamoto line ended when Sanetomo was assassinated in 1219.
This image depicts a series of battles from the Genpei War (rather than one single scene). Moving from right to left, it chronicles a series of Minamoto triumphs which turned the war decisively in their favor.
Minamoto no Sanetomo, the last of the Minamoto Shoguns. This illustration is from a copy of the Hyakunin Isshu, and the text above is a poem by Sanetomo.