We’ll be taking things back to the Heian Period this week for the story of the great rebel Taira no Masakado. His rebellion, however, is only half the story — after he dies, things get very interesting indeed…
Listen to the episode
The First Samurai.
Rabinovitch, Judith N.
Shomonki: The Story of Masakado’s Rebellion.
Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)
Taira no Masakado dressed for battle, as depicted in an Edo Period print.
Taira no Masakado. In life he was a powerful warlord of the Kanto, but his reach exceeded his grasp and his rebellion was crushed.
The head of Taira no Masakado was taken to Heian (Kyoto) to be displayed; however, according to some stories it wasn’t content to stay there…
Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Specter, a print by the Edo period artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Supposedly Takiyasha was possessed of supernatural powers and used them against Ooya no Mitsukuni, an inspector sent by the government after the end of the rebellion to ensure that none had survived.
Kubizuka, the monument to the head of Taira no Masakado. It’s located in Otemachi in Tokyo.
Kanda Myojin Shrine, in which Taira no Masakado is enshrined today.