This week, we let slip the dogs of war as Japan plunges into a new phase of conflict. Though Prince Mochihito will not make it out of 1180, the rebellion he starts will catch on in eastern Japan. Young Minamoto no Yoritomo, with some prodding from his new father-in-law/captor, will rise up to assume his birthright as leader of the Minamoto (but not without some controversy).
Adolphson, Michael. The Claws and Teeth of the Buddha.
Dalkey, Kara. Genpei.
A late Edo period depiction of the Battle of Uji Bridge, in which the forces of Prince Mochihito were defeated.
Minamoto no Yoshitsune battles Benkei atop Gojo bridge in Kyoto. This is also a late Edo rendering.
Minamoto no Yoshinaka, Yoritomo’s cousin and rival.
Tales of this time period were popular subjects of pop culture during the Edo period, and characters from the time were inserted in other stories as well. Here, Minamoto no Yoshinaka and his allies fight a group of tengu, long nosed winged mythical creatures.
Fujiwara no Michinori as depicted later in life. This illustration is from the late Edo period; artistic representations of this period were common, as it became something of a cultural touchstone later in Japanese history.
Minamoto warriors during the coup slaying their political opponents.
Go-Shirakawa and his heir escaping Kyoto. Without the imperial family, the position of the Minamoto would deteriorate rapidly, culminating in the suppression of their coup after only 17 days.
The final attack on the fortified Minamoto. Though the attempt to use fire to drive the Minamoto out would fail, Taira subterfuge would eventually win the day.