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"Heiji no ran" (Civil war): The main character is not a samurai

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Japan's civil war Heiji no ran

In Japan, "Heiji no ran" is spoken mainly by samurai. However, in reality the samurai is not the main character.

Middle ages, Heian period - late stage -

Movement after "Hougen no ran"

Emperor Go-shirakawa who won the civil war "Hougen no ran" had little opposition. There, Michinori Fujiwara (Shinzei-nyudo) who had a credit in the battle is important and a position to be taken.

Shinzei will organize the manor and promote government reform. By this, he receives a rebellion from a noble lost profit.

However, Shinzei did not relax the reform. He was aiming for politics centered on the Emperor by using the power of the samurai forces.

This Shinzei will be the central figure that produces the internal conflict of the Emperor Go-shirakawa group. Emperor Go-shirakawa is the 4th year since the throne, and earnestly handed over the throne to Prince Morihito and became Joko.

A new conflict is born within the Go-shirakawa-in Gr

Nobuyori Fujiwara, like Shinzei, is a person who has been assigned an important position from Go-shirakawa-in, but gradually confronting Shinzei with discontent.

Shinzei was seen as possessing all of his power. In addition, he will confront with Tunemune Fujiwara, Korekata Fujiwara who are the aides of the Emperor Nijo.

The aide of Emperor Nijo said, "In the first place, the desire of Toba-in is politics centered on Emperor Nijo, who is not qualified as a foolish Go-shirakawa-in", begins to criticize. With this, the parent-child relationship between Emperor Nijo and Go-shirakawa-in begins to get worse.

Conflict within government spreads to samurai

A samurai who will stand against Nobuyori Fujiwara also starts to appear. Yoshitomo Minamoto-no also participated in it.

There are reasons for this. Shinzei was in a relative relationship with Kiyomori Taira-no, and he took off Kiyomori as an important position and removed other samurai.
It was dissatisfied with other samurai who patronized only Kiyomori.

At this point, the power of the political forces was about the same, which was not the dominance.

  • Go-shirakawa-in Gr (Shinzei)
  • Go-shirakawa-in Gr (Nobuyori Fujiwara)
  • Emperor Nijo Gr (Anti-Shinzei)
  • Heike clan (samurai) (neutral)

Kiyomori also had a relative relationship with Nobuyori Fujiwara and had a distance to the Shinzei Gr and the Anti-Shinzei Gr, as well as the Go-shirakawa-in Gr and the Emperor Gr. It would have been made to be able to go to the advantageous one anytime.

As a situation it was in a state of three-sides.


Finally the balance of power collapses

In 1159, three years after "Hougen no ran", Nobuyori Fujiwara and Yoshitomo Minamoto-no will be sentenced to defeat Shinsei. Kiyomori Taira-no who had become a powerful samurai at this time was absent from Kyoto because he was on a pilgrimage to Kumano. They used that military space.

This is the beginning of "Heiji no ran". Shinzei who has known it beforehand escape from Kyoto. However, Shinzei who knows that it will be caught by the pursuer committed suicide.


Nobuyori Fujiwara who succeeded as a coup d'état as the initial coup ensures the two people of Go-shirakawa-in, Emperor Nijo, and controls the administration.

At this point, the Emperor Nijo Gr did not do anything, but agreed with the coup. Because the opinion was the same in Anti-Shinzei.

The situation will further suddenly change

But the situation did not end like this. Emperor Nijo Gr will take this as a great opportunity and plan to purge Go-shirakawa-in Gr. They persuaded Kiyomori Taira-no who returned to Kyoto and put them on a side.

Nobuyori Fujiwara seems to have been unpopular. First of all, the Go-shirakawa-in who heard about the escape plan of Emperor Nijo escapes to the temple "Nina-ji" as soon as possible. Then Emperor Nijo escaped to Rokuhara.

In addition, leading aristocrats who should have been friends of Nobuyori Fujiwara will start to gather at Rokuhara one after another.

The game has now been decided. Nobuyori Fujiwara was killed, Yoshitomo Minamoto-no was killed while running away, Yoshitomo's son Yoritomo was exiled to Izu (now Shizuoka Prefecture), and another son, Yoshitsune was put in a temple.

In old Japan, there was a custom to put it in a temple and to be a monk when expelling enemies. This is because they were afraid that they would lose their own popularity if they killed the enemy.

In Japan at that time, becoming a monk also had meaning to be isolated from the general society.

By the way, Yoritomo and Yoshitsune are famous Japanese samurai who are active in the later years. It was unfortunate circumstances at this time.

There is also a story that Kiyomori Taira-no has intentionally left Kyoto out of order to monopolize the samurai forces with his own clan. I do not know about the truth.


If you add results to the figure at the beginning of "Heiji no ran", it will be as shown in the above figure, but in fact it was different.


Go-shirakawa-in, a leader of the Go-shirakawa-in Gr, is sited by Emperor Nijo. Actually, Go-shirakawa-in has been taking a neutral position without going to Rokuhara, but in the first place it is information from Emperor Nijo that I heard the escape plan of Emperor Nijo.
He uses the divisional work of the Emperor Nijo Gr.

Kiyomori Taira-no changed its position from neutrality to the Emperor Nijo Gr for the benefit of crushing Minamoto clan. A leading aristocrat who was seeing this situation will join the Emperor Nijo two times in a row.
This is the actual condition of "Heiji no ran".

When saying "Heiji no ran", it is noteworthy that the samurai 's Kiyomori knocked down the samurai' s Minamoto clan. However, the center of war is Joko vs emperor, aristocrat vs aristocrat.
Samurai is nothing but a supporting player.

Modern we are misunderstanding because we know that samurai will become the hero. At that time, although it is an existence that determines the victory or defeat of war, it is still a supplementary force.
There is a memory that seems to have misunderstood also in the school history textbook around here.

Do not you dislike the Emperor so much? It seems that there is an idea of ​​purposely thinning the existence of the emperor. Let's talk back.

Shirakawa-in will take full advantage here. Sinzei and Nobuyori Fujiwara are employees who got himself in an important position. Although he keeps his position, he uses the escape plan of the Emperor Nijo Gr, which is the enemy of his men.

"Be aware of early and take action without hesitation". This is consistent behavior of Go-shirakawa-in. In the future as well, he will do anything to protect his position.

Emperor Nijo could not become a winner

Normally, the winner, Emperor Nijo, should have power. But it did not become so.

From the result, Emperor Nijo will become a loser, and the Go-shirakawa-in will be the winner. This is where Go-shirakawa-in's abnormal talent was demonstrated.

In the first place, Kiyomori Taira-no did not lend the power to the Emperor Nijo Gr to confront the Go-shirakawa-in. He thought that the Heike clan would be able to monopolize the samurai forces if he defeated the Minamoto clan.

Go-shirakawa-in which it knew did not do revenge in the battle against Emperor Nijo. He will rather deepen the relationship with Kiyomori Taira-no.

From the perspective of Kiyomori Taira-no, it seems that the 17-year-old Emperor Nijo did not depend on it. He seemed to think that it would be more profitable to deepen his relationship with Go-shirakawa-in who had demonstrated his political power as Joko.

Go-shirakawa-in who has nearly lost his ally in "Heiji no ran" will further approach Kiyomori Taira-no. And he threatens with Kiyomori Taira-no's military force and abdicates Emperor Nijo.

Actually, at the time of the postwar processing of "Heiji no ran", Go-shirakawa-in has already destroyed the Emperor Nijo Gr. He ordered Kiyomori Taira-no to capture the emperor 's aides Tunemune Fujiwara, Koremori Fujiwara.

After that, they tortured them and sent them to Awa (current Tokushima prefecture) and Nagato (now Yamaguchi prefecture).

Go-shirakawa-in returns Shinzei's son to Kyoto to replace it.

Despite not doing anything with "Heiji no ran", Go-shirakawa-in eventually wiped Anti-Shinzei Gr irrespective of Joko Gr and Emperor Gr. Since the Emperor Nijo Gr is Anti-Shinzei Gr, it has already become a loser at this point.

In addition, Go-shirakawa-in and Kiyomori Taira-no use each other to strengthen their mutual power base.

The one that gained the most benefit was Kiyomori Taira-no

It was Go-shirakawa-in and Kiyomori Taira-no who won the winner. Since Go-shirakawa-in is originally in the center of power, only maintaining the current state, he has not gained much profit with "Heiji no ran".

The one who gained the most profit is Kiyomori Taira-no. He succeeded in monopolizing the interests of the samurai society by sweeping away Minamoto clan that is likely to be a competitor.

Moreover, in "Heiji no ran", there were several aristocratic forces collapsing each other, and there are no people who are likely to be rival other than Go-shirakawa-in.

Kiyomori Taira-no will advance not only to the samurai society but also to the aristocratic society so as to fill in the blank space. And we will dominate the whole of Japan.

It is exactly "profiting while others fight" that a person who is not a leading character gains the best profit as a result.

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