Episode 151 – The Birth of the Samurai, Part 6

 

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).

 

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

McCullough, Helen. The Tale of the Heike.

Sansom, George. A History of Japan to 1334.

Adolphson, Michael. The Claws and Teeth of the Buddha.

Dalkey, Kara. Genpei.

Images

 

Episode 150 – The Birth of the Samurai, Part 5

We’re live, folks! Sorry for the delay. It’s time for the career of Taira no Kiyomori, the man whose talent and ambition was matched only by his temper and his ego.

 

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Sansom, George. A History of Japan to 1334

McCullough, Helen Craig, trans. The Tale of the Heike.

Black, Jeremy. War in the Early Modern Period.

Keene, Donald, trans. Essays in Idleness (Tsurezuregusa) 

Images

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A diorama of Fukuhara during its brief time as Japan’s capitol. Courtesy of the City of Hyogo tourism office.
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Prince Mochihito depicted escaping from Kyoto after his declaration of rebellion. This image (like most others I’ve been using) is from the Edo period, when stories of this time provided grist for the mill of popular entertainment presses.
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Another image of Prince Mochihito.

Episode 149 – The Birth of the Samurai, Part 4

 

This week: patricide, rebellions, and royal incest. Oh, also the increasing destabilization of the Heian government as ever more power falls into the hands of Taira no Kiyomori.

 

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

McCullough, Hellen. The Tale of the Heike.

Sansom, George. A History of Japan to 1334.

Totman, Conrad. A History of Japan.

Images

 

A detail shot of the screen above, providing a closer view of the way the fighting is being depicted.

Episode 148 – The Birth of the Samurai, Part 3

 

This week: the Taira family continue their rise to prominence, the Minamoto get stuck spinning their wheels for a few decades, and warrior violence makes its way to Kyoto.

All that, plus the hottest court gossip of the 1120s, this week.

 

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Sansom, George B. A History of Japan to 1334.

McCullough, Hellen, trans. The Tale of the Heike.

Turnbull, Stephen. Pirates of the Far East.

Turnbull, Stephen. Samurai: World of the Warrior.

Varley, H. Paul. Warriors of Japan: As Portrayed in the War Tales.

Images

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Taira no Tadamori, whose clever leadership propelled the Taira to a central position at court. This illustration, like most of the other character sketches we have, comes from the late Edo Period; the exploits of the Taira were popular grist for the mill of pop culture.
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Taira no Kiyomori as a young man. Get used to that face; you’ll be seeing a lot of it.
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Minamoto no Yoshitomo, the renegade son of the Minamoto family head. Unlike most of his relatives, he backed the sitting Emperor Go-Shirakawa over the Retired Emperor Sutoku in the Hogen Rebellion.
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Emperor Go-Shirakawa, who was lucky enough to get the support of Taira no Kiyomori in his dispute with his imperial relatives.
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A screen showing the main (and only) battle of the Hogen Rebellion — Kiyomori’s suprise attack on Sutoku’s palace.
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A detail shot of the screen above, providing a closer view of the way the fighting is being depicted.

Episode 147 – The Birth of the Samurai, Part 2

This week, Minamoto no Yoshiie establishes the power of the Seiwa Minamoto family, upsetting a careful balance of power. Also, he drops the hottest rhymes of 1063.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Sansom, George. A History of Japan to 1334

Turnbull, Stephen. The Samurai: A Military History.

“The Rise of the Warriors” in The Cambridge History of Japan, Vol II.

Images