THE MINAMOTO Minamoto clan crest CLAN

HISTORY & PICTURES | BEST WARRIOR OF ALL TIMES: MINAMOTO YOSHITSUNE | MINAMOTO BATTLES
MINAMOTO CONCUBINE |
MINAMOTO POETS | BEST DESCENDANTS

 

 

 

 

Minamoto Yoritomo  in battle
according to a 19th century painting.

Click here for Yoritomo's legacy
in portrait-painting.

Minamoto Yoshitsune's statue
at his monument in 2004.

Click here for Yoshitsune's famous concubine, Shizuka.

     

 

 

 

Monument of Minamoto Yoritomo
in Kamakura today
Minamoto Yoshitsune in
a 19th century painting
     

 

 

 

The last minutes of Minamoto Yorimasa's life; he was about to commit the suicide after losing his war against the Taira to install Prince Takakura as Emperor. According to legend, he wrote this poem right before he did it:

Like a fossil tree
On which never flowers grow
So truly am I.
Sadness has been all my life
Without any hope of fruit.

Yorimasa was a hero once; the best of his clan's archers, and the previous Emperor gave him the famous sword named 'The Lion King' ('shishio'), or at least so said the legend. One wrong step and all that was gone.

The tradition of honorable suicide ('seppuku' in Japanese) started from this one; Minamoto Yorimasa was the 'founder' of the act that later came to be inseparable from a samurai's code of honor.

Minamoto Yoshitomo -- father of Yoritomo and Yoshitsune -- is depicted in an ancient screen as forcing Emperor Nijo to enter the carriage in his attempt to seize power. He was fighting the Taira, not the Throne, yet having the person of the Emperor meant getting the entire realm. So the wars those days were over Imperial successions, every clan wanted their own candidate to be one. Yoshitomo's fault was losing the war; so he got executed and all his family were to follow.

 

 

grave of Minamoto Yorimasa

Grave of Minamoto Yorimasa in Seki

     

 

 

Minamoto Yoshitsune

 

Osaka, 2005:
Even a pine tree, that once hosted

Minamoto Yoshitsune
under its shade, got a monument of its own.
  Minamoto Yoshitsune according to his kid-fan in 2005.
From one generation to another, every Japanese has been taught to respect him as the ultimate paragon of everything good about being Japanese.
     

Minamoto Yoritomo

 

 

Minamoto Yoshihira

Minamoto Yoshihira (1141-1160), eldest son of Minamoto Yoshitomo's. He was reportedly even more headstrong than Yoshitsune, and ruder than Yoritomo -- if such things were indeed possible.

Minamoto Yoritomo in a kid's crayon gig, 2005: now this is the example of what a Japanese shouldn't have become. Yet here is the man who left some great legacy to Japan. Click here for Yoritomo's achievements.  
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