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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Who quelled the insurrection of Masakado


Then

there were:

The Yamato Genji descended from Yorichika

" Suruga " " " Mitsumasa

" Shinano " " " Mitsunaka

" Uda " of Omi, called also the Sasaki family

" Saga " of Settsu " " " Watanabe

" Hizen " of Hizen " " " Matsuura

The Taira family became famous from the time of Sadamori, who quelled the insurrection of Masakado. Of this clan, there were these branches:

The Daijo-uji of Hitachi, so called because for generations they held the office of daijo in Hitachi.

The Ise-Heishi of Ise, descended from Korehira, son of Sadamori.

" Shiro-uji of Mutsu, Dewa, Shinano, and Echigo, descended from Shigemori and Koremochi

" Nishina-uji " " " " " " " "

" Iwaki-uji " " " " " " " "

" Miura-no-suke of Musashi, Kazusa, and Shimosa, descendants of Taira no Yoshibumi

" Chiba-no-suke " " " " "

" Chichibu-uji

" " " " "

Soma family, who succeeded to the domains of Masakado.

*"Gen" is the alternative pronunciation of "Minamoto" as "Hei" is of "Taira." The two great families who occupy such a large space in the pages of Japanese history are spoken of together as "Gen-Pei," and independently as "Genji" and "Heishi," or "Minamoto" and

The Fujiwara also had many provincial representatives, descended mainly from Hidesato, (called also Tawara Toda), who distinguished himself in the Masakado crisis. There were the Sano-uji of Shimotsuke, Mutsu, and Dewa; and there were the Kondo, the Muto, the Koyama, and the Yuki, all in different parts of the Kwanto. In fact, the empire outside the capital was practically divided between the Minamoto, the Taira, and the Fujiwara families, so that anything like a feud could scarcely fail to have wide ramifications.

The eleventh century may be said to have been the beginning of such tumults. Not long after the affair of Taira Tadatsune, there occurred the much larger campaign known as Zen-kunen no Sodo, or the "Prior Nine Years' Commotion." The scene of this struggle was the vast province of Mutsu in the extreme north of the main island. For several generations the Abe family had exercised sway there, and its representative in the middle of the eleventh century extended his rule over six districts and defied the authority of the provincial governors. The Court deputed Minamoto Yoriyoshi to restore order. The Abe magnate was killed by a stray arrow at an early stage of the campaign, but his son, Sadato, made a splendid resistance.

In December, 1057, Yoriyoshi, at the head of eighteen hundred men, led a desperate assault on the castle of Kawasaki, garrisoned by Sadato with four thousand picked soldiers. The attack was delivered during a heavy snow-storm, and in its sequel the Minamoto general found his force reduced to six men. Among these six, however, was his eldest son, Yoshiiye, one of the most skilful bowmen Japan ever produced. Yoshiiye's mother was a Taira. When she became enceinte her husband dreamed that the sacred sword of the war deity, Hachiman, had been given to him, and the boy came to be called Hachiman Taro. This name grew to be a terror to the enemy, and it was mainly through his prowess that his father and their scanty remnant of troops escaped over roads where the snow lay several feet deep.


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