Mikka Heishi War (Three days rebellion of the Taira clan in the Kamakura Period) (三日平氏の乱 (鎌倉時代))

Mikka Heishi War (Three-days rebellion of the Taira clan) is a rebellion caused by the remnants of the Taira clan in Ise and Iga Provinces at the beginning of the Kamakura period. In January 1204, Goro WAKANA of Ise-Heishi (Taira clan) raised a rebellion, which was referred to as Mikka Heishi War (Three-days rebellion of the Taira clan) due to the historical fact that Tomomasa HIRAGA of the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) army was sent to the area and quelled the rebellion in a three day period, from May 18 to 20 in 1204.


After the death of MINAMOTO no Yoritomo, the first shogun of the Kamakura bakufu, internal conflicts frequently occurred in the bakufu. As Nagamochi JO raised a rebellion in Heiankyo in January 1200 after the Kagetoki KAJIWARA Incident, the internal conflicts disturbed the peace of the capital. After the second shogun, MINAMOTO no Yoriie, was expelled from the bakufu following the Conspiracy of Yoshikazu HIKI in October 1203, MINAMOTO no Sanetomo, who was 12 years old then, was backed up to become the third shogun and Tokimasa HOJO took the helm of the bakufu. On October 3, the bakufu sent Tomomasa HIRAGA, who was an adopted son-in-law of Tokimasa, to Kyoto as the Kyoto shugo (military governor of Kyoto), and Tomomasa went to Kyoto leading Gokenin (shogunal retainers) who had territories in the western region of Japan.

Meanwhile, Ise and Iga Provinces were the base of Ise Heishi (Taira clan) destroyed in the Jisho-Juei War and the remnants survived to maintain latent powers even after Mikka Heishi War (Heian period), raised by the remnants in 1184, was quelled.


After biding their time for 20 years, the remnants of the Taira clan led by Goro WAKANA of Ise Heishi took advantage of the turmoil in the government, which was caused by the shogun's successor issue, and attacked the house of Tsunetoshi YAMANOUCHI SUDO serving as the shugo of Ise Province to raise a rebellion again in January 1204.

Tsunetoshi YAMANOUCHI SUDO did not recognize this attack as a rebellion of the Taira clan and Samurai-dokoro betto (the superior of the board of retainers), Yoshimori WADA, reported to the bakufu that the incident was caused by Yukitsuna SHINSHI, gunji (official of a county) of Inabe County, Ise Province, who was captured and sent to prison in March 1204. However, in the same month, March, descendants of TAIRA no Koremoto and a group including sons of TAIRA no Koremitsu respectively raised a rebellion in Iga and Ise and Tsunetoshi, serving as the shugo in both the provinces, traveled to quell the rebellions, but he was attacked without having any talks and ran away lamely. The rebels conquered Ise and Iga Provinces and fortified the roads passing through Suzuka-no-Seki Checkpoint, Mt. Happo (now Nenohira-toge Pass), etc.

After receiving reports of these rebellions, on April 18 and May 7, 1204, the bakufu ordered Tomomasa HIRAGA serving as the Kyoto shugo to lead Gokenin of Keiki (area around Kyoto) and go off to Ise and Iga Provinces.

There was a rumor that more than 1000 warriors had joined in the force of the rebels, and on April 29, a gijo (official meeting) was held in Gosho (Imperial Palace) of the Emperor Gotoba to designate Iga Province as Tomomasa's chigyo koku (provincial fiefdom) for justifying his punitive expedition. The next day, on April 30, 200 cavalry troops led by Tomomasa headed to the area. Although the rebellion started in Iga Province, the center of the rebellion lay in the northern area of Ise such as Asake-gun (county), Mie-gun, Suzuka-gun, Ano-gun and Kawawa-gun, and Taki-gun located in the center of the province. The punitive force left Kyoto and headed to the area on May 1. Since the rebels blocked Suzuka-no-Seki Checkpoint and the punitive force could not enter Ise Province from Omi Province, they arrived at Ise province via Mino Province on May 5. After making strategies, the punitive force started the battle on May 18 by attacking the house of Tomida in Asake-gun (Higashi Tomida-cho, Yokkaichi City), where the base of Motonori TOMIDA lay, and continued to battle for hours. Then, they defeated Motonori TOMIDA and his brother Morimitsu MATSUMOTO, as well as Hachiro Sadashige OKA of Ano-gun and his sons and relatives. The punitive force further proceeded to Taki-gun and fought with Saburo Sukefusa SHODA and his son, morofusa. Then, the force defeated the troops of TAIRA no Moritoki in Mt. Rokka and Goro WAKANA, who had raised the rebellion, in Seki-no-Ono (now, Kameoka City). On May 20, the rebellion was quelled in three days and then the remnants of Iga province were destroyed.

The bakufu examined achievement of each person and granted the rewards according to the achievement on June 16, and Tsunetoshi YAMANOUCHI SUDO was disqualified as the shugo of Iga and Ise. Tomomasa took over the position while maintaining his previous positions and the territories of the rebels were granted to him. Mitsukazu KATO also received reward grants.

After the battle

Tomomasa HIRAGA was added to Tenjobito (senior officer serving the Emperor) for the Retired Emperor Gotoba as a senior guard of his palace and served as the shugo of Kyoto and Ise as well as chigyo-kokushu of Iga (the lord of Iga) and enjoyed his unusually strong power for Gokenin. In August of the next year, 1205, Makishi Incident occurred from the quarrel between Tomomasa and Shigeyasu HATAKEYAMA, and Tokimasa HOJO, Tomomasa's father-in-law, was expelled from the bakufu. Tomomasa was killed by Michimoto YAMANOUCHI SUDO (son of Tsunetoshi YAMANOUCHI SUDO) who was sent by Yoshitoki HOJO (son of Tokimasa HOJO) taking the helm of the bakufu. After Tomomasa died, Tsunetoshi requested the bakufu to allow him to come back to the previous positions, but his request was not accepted.


Tomohiko OKANO adopted the fact that the ryoke (virtual proprietor of manor) of Mt. Rokka in Iga Province, where the base of the Taira clan lay, was TAIRA no Mitsumori (son of TAIRA no Yorimori) and Takao SUGIHASHI's theory that Munechika MAKI was Ike no zenni's brother, that is, Maki no Kata, who was Tomomasa's mother-in-law, was TAIRA no Yorimori's cousin. Based on these information, Okano points out the possibility that Tomomasa HIRAGA and the Ike family including TAIRA no Mitsumori attempted to get the remnants of the Taira clan to raise the rebellion for expanding their powers.

[Original Japanese]