THE TAIRA Taira clan crest CLAN

HISTORY & PIX | SLAIN HEROES | THE BEAUTY OF TAIRA ATSUMORI | THE LAST BATTLE | BEST DESCENDANTS

 

 

 

 

Taira Kiyomori didn't have to pay the consequences of his insensibly ruthless reign; only the rest of his clan did --
and what an expensive price it was.
He died conveniently before the clan
perished. Click here for Kiyomori's concubine.

 
Taira Munemori, the Chief of the clan,
uttering his last battle-cry; this is
supposed to be a picture of him
while facing his death
in Minamoto Yoritomo's hands,
according to a 19th century painter.
     

 

 

 

Taira Tadanori was an excellent poet in his days; even low-ranked soldiers knew his poems by heart. When the Minamoto warriors killed him in battle, they had no idea who the slain enemy was, until they found a piece of paper in his quiver with this written there:

Now the daylight dies,
And the shadow of a tree
Serves me for an inn.
For the host to welcome me
There is but a wayside flower.

So they knew it couldn't be anybody else but Taira Tadanori. His entire family were artists.

 
Taira Akira (Tomoakira) doing his last dance before Minamoto Yoshitsune killed him. That same day of Tomoakira's death, the Minamoto clan had killed Taira Michimori and his younger brother Narimori, Taira Tadanori (see the pic at your left), Taira Moromori, Taira Kiyosada, Taira Kiyofusa, and the well-known brothers, sons of Taira Tsunemori: Tsunemasa, Tsunetoshi, and Atsumori (click here for this one). These young men also happened to be Taira Tadanori's grandsons. Taira Tsunemasa was a great stringwhanger (on the traditional Japanese 'biwa'); his teenage brother Atsumori was a flutist. Minamoto clansmen would have recognized this family even if they didn't have any crest on their clothes or banners on their backs; just like the soldiers that identified Taira Tadanori through his poem, the slayer of Taira Atsumori did so via his flute. The instrument was called 'Saeda' ('Little Twig'). Somehow everybody knew this.
     

 

Taira Kiyomori in a modernized version
of his clan's tale (Heike Monogatari),
painted in 19th century.
Notice the dresses and hairdo that are
Tokugawan rather than Heian.

Click here for history and pictures of Japanese clothes since the year 660, and see the differences of each era's official dresses.

 

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Nina
Wilhelmina

 

 

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