The Genpei War or the Gempei Battle , ( Japanese 源 平 合 戦 , Genpei no kassen also 治 承 ・ 寿 永 の 乱 , Jishō-Juei no Ran ) lasted from 1180 to 1185 and was a clash in the struggle for rule in Japan . Participants were the respected samurai families of the Minamoto ( 源 , also 源氏 , Gen ji ) and Taira ( 平 , also 平 家 , Hei ke ). The name Genpei War comes from the Sino-Japanese reading of the two family names and can therefore be translated as Minamoto Taira War . The alternative name Jishō-Juei no Ran ("Jishō-Juei unrest") names the beginning and end era over which the war extended: Jishō (1177-1181) and Juei (1182-1184).
Towards the end of the Heian period , the Taira and Minamoto families carried out police and military duties in the broadest sense for the government in Heiankyō . However, this government was already divided and weakened by the middle of the 12th century, it was divided into the incumbent emperors and their rulers, who came from the Fujiwara family, and the opposing governments of the abdicated emperors ( Insei ). This unstable situation led to a shift in power to the military. The conflict began in 1156. The abdicated Emperor Sutoku and the ruling Emperor Go-Shirakawa had significant differences that led to a military conflict. In this conflict, the Taira under Taira no Kiyomori supported the incumbent emperor and won. The Minamoto were on the losing side, their chief Minamoto no Tameyoshi was executed. This development sidelined the Minamoto. Dissatisfied with this situation, they conspired against Taira no Kiyomori, lost again and in 1160 Minamoto no Yoshitomo , their leader, was killed. The Taira had taken power in Japan, both through contacts at court and through military force. Kiyomori put his grandson Antoku on the throne and became regent. His coercive measures led in 1180 to another conspiracy under Minamoto no Yorimasa and Prince Mochihito , which he militarily defeated in the First Battle of Uji . This battle is considered the first of the Genpei War.
Far from the courtyard, Minamoto no Yoritomo waited for his time. He had survived the vengeance of the Taira as a child in 1160 and was now fighting.
The five-year conflict began in the Kantō plain , in which Yoritomo marched from the Izu province . In 1183 Yoritomo had succeeded in occupying the Kanto plain and central and western Japan. The taira had their backs to the sea on the Japanese inland sea. Yoritomo's relative Yoshinaka occupied Heiankyō. Yoritomo feared this successful general and sent an army against him under his brother Minamoto no Yoshitsune . Yoshitsune destroyed Yoshinaka and his troops. As Yoritomo's new general, he marched against the Taira, drove them into the sea and defeated them in the sea battle of Dan-no-ura (1185). Japan belonged to the Minamoto.
Battles of the Genpei War
- 23 June 1180: First battle of Uji : Considered the first battle of the Genpei War, the monks of the Byōdō-in fight on the side of Minamoto no Yorimasa.
- 1180 Siege of Nara : The Taira set fire to temples and monasteries to cut off supplies for their enemies.
- 1180 Battle of Ishibashiyama : Minamoto no Yoritomos first battle against the Taira.
- 1180 Battle of Fujigawa : The Taira hold a flock of waterfowl for a nighttime surprise attack by the Minamoto and withdraw before a fight breaks out.
- 1181 Battle of Sunomata : The Taira prevent a surprise attack at night.
- 1181 Battle of Yahagigawa : The Minamoto retreating from Sunomata in Gifu Prefecture confront the enemy.
- 1183 Siege of Hiuchi : The Taira attack a Minamoto fortress.
- 1183 Battle of Kurikara : The luck of the war turns in favor of the Minamoto.
- 1183 Battle of Shinowara
- 1183 Battle of Mizushima : The Taira intercept a force of Minamoto after Yashima in the Kanagawa Prefecture draws.
- 1183 Siege of Fukuryuji : The Minamoto attack a Taira fortress.
- 1183 Battle of Muroyama
- 1184 Battle of Hojujiden : Minamoto no Yoshinaka , who celebrates in Kyoto , is attacked by sympathizers of the Taira
- 1184 Second Battle of Uji : In response to Minamoto no Yoshinaka's inappropriate behavior, his cousin Minamoto no Yoshitsune is obliged to attack him.
- 1184 Battle of Awazu : Minamoto no Yoshinaka is defeated and killed by Yoshitsune and Noriyori .
- 1184 Battle of Ichi-no-Tani : The Minamoto successfully attack one of the main Taira fortresses.
- 1184 Battle of Kojima : The Minamoto chase the fleeing Taira from Ichi-no-Tani to Yashima. Fighting ensues.
- 1185 Battle of Yashima : The Minamoto attack the fortress of their enemies in front of Shikoku .
- April 25, 1185: Naval Battle of Dan-no-ura : This decisive naval battle ends the war.
After five years of war, Japan was firmly in the hands of the Minamoto. Although they had initially only marched against the rule of Taira no Kiyomori, they now had the entire country under their control. From this state of occupation, the Kamakura shogunate developed . This maintained a military occupation throughout its existence and called its government apparatus in memory of the camps the tent government ( Bakufu ).
The genpei war in the media
The Genpei War is an important piece of Japanese history; it has roughly the same status as the settlement of the West in the USA . The fighting is a template for many modern samurai films and manga . But the well-known Heike Monogatari was already concerned with the war in Japan's past . The title means stories from the Heike and tells of the rise and fall of the family. Several pieces by Nō and Kabuki address the adventures of Minamoto no Yoshitsune .
- Wolfgang Schwentker : The Samurai. 3rd revised edition. Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-47988-5 ( Beck'sche series. C.-H.-Beck-Wissen 2188).
- Richard Storry, Werner Forman : The Way of the Samurai. Orbis Publishing, London 1978 ( Echoes of the ancient World ), (German: Die Samurai. Ritter des fernen Ostens. Atlantis-Verlag, Luzern et al. 1986, ISBN 3-7611-0683-1 ( Atlantis. Alte Kulturen )).
- Nobuko Albery: The House of Kanze. Simon and Schuster, New York NY 1985, ISBN 0-671-60520-8 (German: Das Haus Kanzē. Droemer Knaur, Munich 1988, ISBN 3-426-19204-7 ).
- Heike Monogatari ; Tokyo: Hobunkan, 1933 (Japanese)
- Kostas: Get to know Yomi. heavymetalonthisday.com, December 6, 2018, accessed December 20, 2018 .