The Heiji Rebellion (平治の乱)

The Heiji Rebellion (Heiji no ran), which began on January 19, 1159 in Heian period, was a coup d'etat that occurred because of antagonism among the close vassals of the retired emperor.

Note: all subsequent years given are according to the Julian calendar, while except for a few dates also given according to the Western calendar, all months and days are given under the Japanese calendar--specifically, the long version of the (originally Chinese) Senmyoreki calendar.

Progress of the Rebellion

Shinzei's (that is, FUJIWARA no Michinori) administration

Emperor Goshirakawa, who had emerged victorious from the Hogen Rebellion that occurred in 1156, proclaimed the creation of a new government, called the "Hogen shinsei" (new government of Hogen), in the intercalary ninth month of 1156 as part of the switch to a new era name, Hogen. The lands of the entire realm belong to one man, the emperor.
There shall be no granting of private dominion over land apart from an imperial order.'
Forcefully proclaiming a renewed monarchic ideology with these words, the new government began land reform that was substantively concerned with the Shoen seirirei, their order to reform the shoen (private estate) system of land ownership. It was under the administration of Retired Emperor Toba that many of the shoen took shape throughout the country, and disputes quickly started to spring up all over the place concerning the carrying out of state business vis-à-vis the shoen. This Shoen seirirei (order to reform the shoen system) sought to end the chaos that had begun during Emperor Toba's time; it was intended to bring all the shoen and kokugaryo (public territories) under the Emperor's direct rule, and the new system it introduced is considered to have generated significant momentum towards the establishment of the Shoen koryosei (shoen and duchy system). The architect and driving force of these political reforms was Goshirakawa's right-hand man, FUJIWARA no Michinori (generally known as Shinzei).

In order to ensure his reforms would come to fruition, Shinzei created the Kirokusho (Records Office for Shoen Land Deeds). The Dainagon (chief councilor of state) Kiminori SANJO was appointed the highest lord of the Records Office, while the officials in fact responsible for running the office day to day, the controllers and so forth, included FUJIWARA no Korekata, appointed as Uchuben (Middle Controller of the Right), MINAMOTO no Masayori as Sashoben (third-ranked officer of the left), and FUJIWARA no Toshinori (Shinzei's own son and heir) as Ushoben (third-ranked officer of the right); under these officials, 21 Yoriudo (clerks) worked, inspecting the land deed documents submitted to the office from the shoen owners and judging disputed cases of ownership at the office (Shinzei's infamous comment that Goshirakawa was a 'foolish (unenlightened) ruler' was actually first mentioned by one of these Yoriudo, KIYOHARA no Yorinari, who repeated it years later to Kanezane KUJO). Additionally, Shinzei launched an effort to restore the Imperial Palace; restorations were completed in October, 1157. Immediately after the palace restoration, Shinzei produced a list of 30 new provisions of the new administration, and poured his efforts into tightening discipline both among government officials and in the provision and maintenance for political operations and events of the court. During this process Shinzei and the his family (the Fujiwara) each rose to remarkable prominence; FUJIWARA no Toshinori and Sadanori (sons of Shinzei and their mother was the daughter of TAKASHINA no Shigenaka) worked as Controllers with their father at running the Records Office, while FUJIWARA no Shigenori and Naganori (sons of Shinzei and their mother was FUJIWARA no Asako, who was also known as Emperor Goshirakawa's wet nurse) were awarded control over Totomi and Mino Provinces, respectively. Shinzei himself confiscated the lands owned by FUJIWARA no Yorinaga, who perished in the Hogen Rebellion, and nominally added these estates to the land already prescribed for the Emperor's use after he abdicated the throne, yet in reality devoted his undivided attention to making those lands into a buffer to guarantee his own financial footing.

The rise of the Taira clan

In order to ensure he could continue to make progress with his political reforms, Shinzei befriended TAIRA no Kiyomori. The end result of the Hogen Rebellion was favorable to the Taira clan, with Kiyomori made governor of Harima Province and TAIRA no Yorimori governor of Aki Province, TAIRA no Norimori governor of Awaji Province, and TAIRA no Tsunemori assistant governor of Hitachi Province; the Taira's power and influence, what with a single set of brothers now controlling four provinces, could no longer be ignored. Moreover, the Taira's military strength was indispensable in supervising the shoen reforms as well as shoen officials and commoners, and controlling members of the clergy and evil monks alike, not to mention for keeping the peace in Kyoto, in ruins from the recent wars. It is said that the appointing of TAIRA no Motomori as governor of Yamato Province is an expression of the hopes placed in the Taira clan to achieve a balance of power. Yamato was riddled with territories under the control of Kofuku-ji Temple, and up until that point in time all attempts by the central government to conduct inspections (land surveys, etc.) of the province had run into stiff opposition from the clergy and from evil monks, and each and every attempt had failed. While Kiyomori, backed by his military might, did conduct a decisive inspection, he also engaged in softer diplomatic measures, as when he acknowledged that temples did have a certain degree of influence and therefore special privileges, and in this way managed to carry out a survey of the chigyo-koku (provincial fiefdom) in Yamato that were under state control. And through his position as second-in-command (Daini) of Dazaifu (an important outpost in Kyushu), Kiyomori also became a major participant in the Japanese trade with Song China, and thus increased the economic might of the Taira as well.
Shinzei arranged a marriage between his own son Narinori and Kiyomori's daughter (who later became the wife of Kanemasa KAZANIN), thereby showing society the strong partnership between his own family and the Taira clan,

The faction supporting direct imperial rule by Emperor Nijo strikes

At this point in time there was, however, one more political colossus that could not be ignored. This was the group (the faction in support of direct imperial rule by Emperor Nijo), centered around Bifukumonin (that is, FUJIWARA no Nariko), that planned to back then-crown prince Morihito (later Emperor Nijo). Bifukumonin had inherited from Cloistered Emperor Toba the most share of his shoen, making her a major landholder of the day and rendering Shinzei's ideas on shoen too threatening to ignore. Bifukumonin decided to demand of Shinzei what she had long desired: that her adopted son, Morihito, be raised to the imperial throne. Since Goshirakawa's own enthronement had occurred with the understanding that Morihito would succeed him to the throne, Shinzei dared not refuse Bifukumonin's request, and so in August, 1158, in what is known in the "Heihanki" as 'a Buddha's joint decision with another Buddha,' or in other words a negotiation between the two powerful figures, Shinzei and Bifukumonin, in which it was decided for Goshirakawa to abdicate in favor of Imperial Prince Morihito (who became Emperor Nijo). It was at this point that animosity was born between the faction supporting Goshirakawa's insei (cloister government) and the faction for direct Imperial rule by Emperor Nijo. The principal figures of the Nijo faction were FUJIWARA no Tsunemune (Emperor Nijo's uncle) and FUJIWARA no Korekata (Nijo's foster brother, meaning they were both essentially raised by the same wet nurse), one of the controllers at the Records Office, and with the continued financial backing and aid of Bifukumonin, they worked to limit Goshirakawa's political activities. But Goshirakawa himself had hastily been raised to the throne upon the sudden death of Emperor Konoe, so he was at a distinct disadvantage against the Nijo faction, and the only one he could rely upon was Shinzei. For Goshirakawa, cultivating close retainers that would support his insei (cloister government) was an urgent priority.

Nobuyori arrives on the scene

In this climate, Goshirakawa selected FUJIWARA no Nobuyori, governor of Musashi Province, to promote and groom as a retainer. Nobuyori, after being made Ukon no gon no chujo (Provisional Middle Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards) in March, 1157, he embarked on a meteoric rise, being promoted to Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain) in October, and then in 1158 was named Sangi (councillor) and Kogo no miya gon no suke (Provisional Assistant Master of the Empress's Household) in February, then Chunagon (vice-councilor of state) in August, and finally Kebiishi no betto (Superintendent of the Imperial Police) in November. Nobuyori's branch of the Fujiwara clan had long controlled the provinces of Musashi and Hitachi through their fiefs there, and had a friendly relationship with MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo, who had strong ties to both provinces. In fact, it is suspected that the summer, in August, 1155, battle of Okura Warehouse in Musashi Province, in which MINAMOTO no Yoshihira (Yoshitomo's eldest son) destroyed his uncle MINAMOTO no Yoshikata, occurred with the approval and support of Nobuyori, the governor of Musashi. When Goshirakawa opened his Office of Retired Government (In no Cho) in August, 1158, he appointed Nobuyori the Commander of his Imperial Stables, in charge of all Goshirakawa's own horses. At that point Yoshitomo was Commander of the Imperial Stables of the Left, in charge of all the horses at the imperial palace, and the two of them only grew closer through their similar appointments. Having obtained the ultimate trump card, Yoshitomo's military might, Nobuyori was able to marry his younger sister to FUJIWARA no Motozane, an heir in the Fujiwara branch of regents and advisors. This branch of regents and advisors had suffered the confiscation of FUJIWARA no Tadazane's chigyo-koku (provincial fiefdom) as well as Yorinaga's territories due to the Hogen Rebellion, and worse yet the execution of MINAMOTO no Tameyoshi, a retainer on whose military strength they had increasingly come to rely to manage their shoen properties; as a result, their power had greatly waned, as evidenced by the disputes over ownership of their lands escalating all over the country. In order to bring the chaos under control, they needed a new source of military might, making their cooperation with Nobuyori, who had a secret alliance with Yoshitomo, something they dared not jeopardize. Goshirakawa's other close vassals included FUJIWARA no Narichika (FUJIWARA no Ienari's third son) and MINAMOTO no Moronaka, who joined the Insei (cloister government) faction and began making military preparations.

The anti-Shinzei faction emerges

By this point, four distinct groups had taken shape: Shinzei's branch of the Fujiwara clan, the Nijo faction, Goshirakawa's Insei faction, and the Taira clan. The "Heiji Monogatari" (The Tale of Heiji) claims that Nobuyori wished to be appointed Konoe no daisho (Major Captain of the Palace Guards), and that discord arose between them when Shinzei refused his request. But no trace of this version of events can be found in the "Gukansho" and indeed, given the fact that close retainers of the retired emperor did not normally have the authority to appoint Commanders, it is doubtful whether this episode really occurred. The backlash generated by the political initiatives Shinzei and his family were launching is considered to be the biggest cause of the outbreak of the Heiji Rebellion. The Nijo direct rule faction and the Goshirakawa Insei faction, despite being pitted in an increasingly harsh antagonism, had one goal in common, eliminating Shinzei, and so they searched for opportunities to strike him down. Kiyomori, on the other hand, had married one of his own daughters to Narinori, Shinzei's son, yet also married off another daughter (who would later become FUJIWARA no Takafusa's wife) to FUJIWARA no Nobuchika, Nobuyori's son and heir, and took other steps to avoid the conflict between the two factions and achieve a neutral position. In January, 1160, the anti-Shinzei faction took advantage of the sudden vacuum in military forces in the capital created by Kiyomori's departure on a pilgrimage to Kumano to launch a coup d'etat.

The attack on the Sanjo Palace

On January 26, 1160, the forces of FUJIWARA no Nobuyori and MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo carried out a raid on the Sanjo Palace, an old palace of the Retired Emperor Goshirakawa. After capturing and securing Retired Emperor Goshirakawa and Josaimonin (his biological sister), they torched Sanjo Palace and unleashed a relentless barrage of arrows against those who tried to flee. Ienaka OE and TAIRA no Yasutada, who were in charged of the palace defense, gave up their lives along with many lesser officials and ladies in waiting, but Shinzei and his family had already escaped. Nobuyori and Yoshitomo brought the retired emperor and his sister Josaimonin to the Ippon-goshodokoro (Ippon-gosho hall) inside the main imperial palace complex and kept them there under house arrest. The carriage in which the Retired Emperor was forced to ride was prepared by MINAMOTO no Moronaka, and he traveled escorted by MINAMOTO no Shigenari, MINAMOTO no Mitsumoto, and MINAMOTO no Suezane. Among these conspirators, MINAMOTO no Mitsumoto was the nephew of MINAMOTO no Mitsuyasu, who was a retainer of Bifukumonin, and this, coupled with the fact that the Kebiishi no betto (Superintendent of the Imperial Police), whose duty was to preserve the peace in Kyoto, was FUJIWARA no Korekata, also a Nijo faction member, indicates that the Nijo faction had at least tacitly agreed to and supported the coup. On the following day, 27, four of Shinzei's sons (Toshinori, Sadanori, Narinori, and Naganori) were arrested, and the conspirators decided to exile all four of them. Shinzei, who had fled to Tawara in Yamashiro Province, found himself unable to shake off MINAMOTO no Mitsuyasu's pursuit, so he ordered FUJIWARA no Morimitsu (also known as Saiko) and his other retainers to bury him in the earth, thereby committing suicide. Mitsuyasu cut off Shinzei's head and returned to Kyoto, where the head was processed down the main streets of the capital before being exposed on the city's prison gate.

By January 31, when Shinzei committed suicide, Nobuyori, having secured the persons of both Emperor Nijo and Retired Emperor Goshirakawa inside the palace and seized political power, next convened a Rinji jimoku (special promotions session). At this session, MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo was made the governor of Harima while his son and heir, MINAMOTO no Yoritomo, was appointed Uhyoe no Gon no suke (provisional assistant captain of the Right Division of Middle Palace Guards). According to the "Heiji monogatari" Nobuyori did become Konoe no daisho (Major Captain of the Palace Guards), but no trace of this event is recorded in the "Gukansho."
FUJIWARA no Koremichi had the following cynical comment on this promotion session: 'If killing many people is the key to winning promotions in rank, why then was the well at Sanjo Palace not promoted?'
It appears that most noblemen bore Nobuyori ill will for his usurpation of political power, but given the circumstances--he had the backing of the Nijo direct rule faction as well as Yoshitomo's military forces--all the disaffected could do was search in secret for opportunities to show their displeasure. In the midst of these proceedings, MINAMOTO no Yoshihira, who had raised an army out in the eastern provinces and hastily made his way to the capital, strongly advocated that he prepare to kill or capture Kiyomori while he was still on his way back to the capital, but Nobuyori refused, declaring there was no need for such measures. From Nobuyori's perspective, Kiyomori remained a potential ally who might cooperate, given their marriage ties (Nobuyori's son and heir Nobuchika was married to Kiyomori's daughter).

Emperor Nijo pays a state visit to Rokuhara

Kiyomori was in Kii Province when he heard of the political disaster that had occurred in Kyoto. Stunned by the turn of events, Kiyomori considered slipping off to safety in Kyushu, but finally decided to march on the capital with the combined strength and cooperation of the warrior of Kii, Muneshige YUASA as well as Tankai of Kumano Betto (Chief), setting out for Kyoto on February 3. By the time he reached the capital, several retainers from Iga and Ise Provinces, including Kagetsuna ITO and Sadayasu TACHI, had joined their forces to his. Yoshitomo, on the other hand, had assembled only a handful of warriors, never expecting to fight a battle. The military balance of power in Kyoto having shifted so greatly, Nobuyori's predominance was also shaken. Kiminori SANJO, the Naidaijin (Minister of the Center), had been close with Shinzei, and was enraged at Nobuyori's tyranny, so he contacted Tsunemune and Korekata of the Nijo direct rule faction to plot his overthrow. To the Nijo faction, now that Shinzei had been eliminated, they no longer had any use for Nobuyori and others of the Goshirakawa Insei faction. A plan to spirit Emperor Nijo away by having him make a visit to Rokuhara was perfected thanks to Kiminori and Korekata, while FUJIWARA no Tadaaki (Shinzei's cousin and Korekata's brother-in-law, also known as Masaaki) paid a visit to the Imperial Palace bearing a secret order. Early in the morning of February 11, Kiyomori submitted a register of names to Nobuyori, tantamount to a pledge of allegiance, and also returned Nobuchika, who had come to him as a son-in-law, unharmed. It is said that although Nobuyori was delighted to have secured Kiyomori as an ally, Yoshitomo, who noticed that the retainers of Kiyomori (NANIWA no Tsunefusa, Sadafusa TACHI, TAIRA no Morinobu, and Kagetsuna ITO) sent to escort Nobuchika back were all renowned 'warriors worth a thousand,' meaning each one of them was rumored to be the match of a thousand regular soldiers, which caused him to feel misgivings (as recorded in the "Kojidan," Old Setsuwa Tales).

The night of the February 11, after Korekata came to Goshirakawa and informed him of the plan to rescue Emperor Nijo and take him away from Nobuyori, Goshirakawa immediately made his escape to Ninna-ji Temple (according to the "Gukansho"). As February 11 faded into 12, at around the hour of the Ox (about 2 AM), a fire was set in Omiya Nijo Palace, and taking advantage of the soldiers' distraction, Tadaaki hid Emperor Nijo in a carriage restricted to ladies and drove away, soon entering Kiyomori's mansion at Rokuhara (this being Emperor Nijo's aforementioned Imperial visit to Rokuhara). And according to the "Heiji monogatari," as they left the palace grounds some of the guardsmen found them suspicious and searched the carriage, but mistook the seventeen-year-old Emperor for a lady in waiting. Korekata's younger brother, FUJIWARA no Nariyori, spread the news of the Emperor's successful escape around, which led the retired emperor, his empress, the nobles of the court, and various high ministers and stewards all to assemble at Rokuhara. Even FUJIWARA no Tadamichi and his son Motozane, both of the elite Fujiwara branch that produced regents and advisors and with whom Nobuyori had been close, joined the counter-rebellion at Rokuhara, meaning that Kiyomori had achieved, in a stroke, total legitimacy for his army, and soon his forces received an imperial order to hunt down and destroy Nobuyori and Yoshitomo.
The early morning of February 12

Members of the Goshirakawa Insei faction were greatly stunned to learn of the escape of the Emperor and Retired Emperor, and Yoshitomo is said to have lambasted Nobuyori as 'the biggest fool in all Japan.'
Nobuyori and Narichika joined Yoshitomo in taking up arms and marching out to battle, but MINAMOTO no Moronaka, in order to save his own life, took one of the three Imperial Regalia of Japan, the sacred Mirror, and fled.

The progress of the battle

The warriors fighting on Yoshitomo's side included MINAMOTO no Shigenari, MINAMOTO no Mitsumoto, and MINAMOTO no Hidezane, all of whom had taken part in the raid on the Sanjo Palace, and MINAMOTO no Mitsuyasu and others who had tracked down and captured Shinzei, as well as Yoshitomo's sons Yoshihira, Tomonaga, and Yoritomo and his uncle MINAMOTO no Yoshitaka and Yoshinobu HIRAGA and others of the Shinano branch of the Minamoto clan, and his army took shape around his retainers, including Masaie KAMATA, Sanemoto GOTO, and Hideyoshi SASAKI; yet from the Kanto, the source of Yoshitomo's power, only a handful, including Yoshizumi MIURA, Hidetsune KAZUSANOSUKE (TAIRA no Hidetsune), and some warriors of the Yamanouchi-Sudo clan were present to fight with him. Yoshizumi MIURA was Yoshihira's uncle while Hidetsune KAZUSANOSUKE was the heir of the Kazusa clan, who backed Yoshitomo, having adopted him as their liege lord, and the Yamanouchi-Sudo clan had been vassals of the Minamoto for many generations, meaning that all of these warriors had close personal relationships with Yoshitomo. Whereas the mobilization during the Hogen Rebellion had been public, sanctioned by the state, this time the order to muster had to be given in the utmost secrecy due to the coup, and so Yoshitomo was only able to assemble what soldiers he had immediately around him; it is conjectured that his army, in the end, numbered very few indeed.

Kiyomori, in order to avoid turning the imperial palace into a battlefield, launched a strategy to lure his enemies to Rokuhara, and his eldest son and heir, TAIRA no Shigemori, as well as Kiyomori's younger brother, Yorimori, also fought in the battle. The "Heiji monogatari" describes a scene in which Shigemori and Yoshihira fought in single combat at the Taikenmon gate, Yoshihira driving Shigemori back seven times in an area of the palace between the tachibana on the right and the cherry tree on the left, and meanwhile, Yorimori was staging a fighting withdrawal, but when he came under danger of being overrun by his foes he furiously struck all around him with 'Nukimaru,' his famous and ancient sword; needless to say, this episode is considered to be a literary embellishment to create a stirring climactic scene. At this point, MINAMOTO no Mitsuyasu and Mitsumoto, who were charged with guarding the Yomeimon gate, abandoned their posts at the gate and switched sides, but after all, Mitsuyasu was a retainer to Bifukumonin and thus politically a member of the Nijo direct rule faction, and had merely temporarily collaborated with Yoshitomo to strike down Shinzei, and had not entered a permanent alliance with him. The Taira army began to withdraw, as planned, and although Yoshitomo prepared himself to die and charged after them towards Rokuhara, his force was soundly defeated at the Rokujo-gawara riverbed and forced to retreat. The "Heiji monogatari" claims Yoshitomo had been unable to get and keep MINAMOTO no Yorimasa as an ally, but in fact Yorimasa was a retainer of Bifukumonin and had been from the start, meaning he had never truly been a follower of Yoshitomo. When Yoshitomo's army came under the joint attack of the Taira forces as well as Yorimasa's army, Toshimichi YAMANOUCHI-SUDO and Kageshige KATAGIRI, among others, fought a delaying action to the death, and taking full advantage of the time they had bought him, Yoshitomo slipped away from the battlefield.

The annihilation of the Goshirakawa Insei faction

FUJIWARA no Nobuyori and Narichika fled to Ninna-ji Temple to wait upon Cloistered Imperial Prince Kakusho. When he was hauled before Kiyomori, Nobuyori did try to justify his actions, but given that he was the ringleader in the death of Shinzei and the assault on Sanjo Palace, and had taken up arms and fought in the battle right up until the very moment of defeat, he was judged an enemy of war and executed. Narichika, owing to the fact that he was the brother of Shigemori's wife, was specially granted clemency. Moronaka, who had fled, returned and brought the Sacred Mirror back to Rokuhara as a gift, yet his punishment remained severe; he was exiled to Shimotsuke Province.

Yoshitomo was planning to escape to safety in the Kanto, but along the way got separated from Yoritomo and lost Yorinaga and Yoshitaka as well, until at last, on February 15, just as he arrived at the residence of Tadamune OSADA, he and his companion Masaie KANATA were slain. The heads of Yoshitomo and Masaie were put on display at the prison gate in Kyoto on February 24, 1160. Yoshihira was captured by TACHIBANA no Toshitsuna, a retainer of Tsunefusa NANBA, on March 4, and executed at the Rokujo gawara riverbed on March 7. On March 25, Yoritomo also was captured, by TAIRA no Munekiyo, a retainer of TAIRA no Yorimori, and just when his execution seemed certain, Kiyomori's stepmother Ike no zenni intervened, successfully pleading for his life to be spared. As a tentative explanation for why she intervened, Yoritomo had served Empress Dowager Josaimonin as a Kurodo (Chamberlain), and it is considered possible that he worked directly for Ike no zenni, who belonged a family of Atsuta Daiguji, that was a vassal of Empress Dowager Taikenmonin (the mother of both retired emperor Goshirakawa and Josaimonin, meaning her family had also served their lady's daughter, Josaimonin), while serving there. Orders to eliminate MINAMOTO no Shigenari and Hidezane, who had acted in tandem with Yoshitomo, followed in due course, and with their deaths, the Goshirakawa Insei faction had effectively been destroyed.

Tsunemune and Korekata's fall from grace

A session granting awards was held on February 15, just after the battle ended; at this session, Yorimori was made governor of Owari Province, Shigemori of Iyo Province, Munemori of Totomi Province, Norimori of Ecchu Province, and Tsunemori of Iga Province, meaning that following the battle, the Taira's control over chigyo-koku (provincial fiefdom) increased from five provinces to seven. The same day, Emperor Nijo paid a state visit to Bifukumonin at Hachijoden Palace, with Kiyomori serving as his escort. The following year, in February, 1160, Emperor Nijo welcomed FUJIWARA no Masaruko, the former empress of Emperor Konoe, into his court, and worked at stabilizing his own power and influence. Tsunemune and Korekata, members of the Nijo direct rule faction who held the true power, increased their pressure on retired emperor Goshirakawa to fall into line. On February 21, Goshirakawa went on an imperial visit to FUJIWARA no Akinaga's residence in the Horikawa area of Hachijo (Eighth Avenue), but as he was sightseeing from a box set up alongside the Hachijo thoroughfare, he suffered harassment in the form of some trees that were sent crashing down from outside the box to obstruct his view. Goshirakawa flew into a rage and ordered Kiyomori to arrest Tsunemune and Korekata, so on April 5, one of Kiyomori's retainers, MINAMOTO no Tamenaga, captured the two of them, dragged them before Goshirakawa and had them tortured. There was an established precedent exempting members of the nobility from torture, so their fate helps to show just how deeply Goshirakawa must have hated them. The reason for Tsunemune and Korekata's downfall is thought to be the fruits of the investigation into their guilt for colluding in the death of Shinzei.

On April 7, Shinzei's son was allowed to return to the capital, while by contrast, on April 26, Tsunemune was exiled to Awa Province and Korekata to Nagato Province. That same day, the destinations to which Moronaka, Yoritomo, and MINAMOTO no Mareyoshi (Yoritomo's younger brother by the same mother) were to be exiled were announced. In July, MINAMOTO no Mitsuyasu and his son Mitsumune, who had taken Shinzei's head, were exiled to Satsuma Province on suspicion of plotting against the government, and were killed on the fourteenth day. All those who had participated in Shinzei's overthrow and demise, regardless of whether they belonged to the Goshirakawa Insei faction or the Nijo direct rule faction, had now been annihilated.

The aftermath of the rebellion

The conflict between Retired Emperor Goshirakawa and Emperor Nijo, which had resulted in the mutual destruction of many of their most capable courtiers, now entered a lull, and indeed, the government became something of a duumvirate between the two of them (as written in the "Gukansho," 'Now the Retired Emperor and the Emperor spoke in harmony, and were of one mind'), but as for Kiyomori, who had made the single greatest contribution to the current half-victory for each of them, he continued to act prudently, not joining either faction. The Taira family took charge of several important offices, including the posts of Innocho Betto (chief administrator of the Retired Emperor's Office), Samaryo (Left Division of Bureau of Horses), and Kuraryo (Bureau of Palace Storehouses), thereby greatly increasing their political influence over the government. And the power of the Taira clan was even greater still when one factors in the economic base they had to draw upon over and above the ample resources of the immediate family, the chigyo-koku (provincial fiefdom) they controlled indirectly through their retainers, including TAIRA no Iesada's appointment as governor of Chikugo Province, FUJIWARA no Yoshimori as governor of both Iki and Aki, and MINAMOTO no Tamenaga as governor of Iyo Province. Moreover, the ranks of the nobility involved in military affairs had been greatly thinned by the recent wars and rebellions, which allowed the Taira clan to achieve a monopoly over the vital roles of preserving the peace in Kyoto, suppressing revolts in the provinces, and protecting and managing the shoen (private estates), and they also held de facto power as the sole police authorities throughout the country. With the weight of the Taira's great economic and military might behind him, Kiyomori firmly established the (high) position of the warrior clans at court; in 1160 he was named Sangi (councillor), marking the first time a warrior had been raised to such a high and lordly (Giseikan) rank at court. Before long his branch of the Taira clan produced great numbers of high-ranking noblemen and courtiers, and the political power of the Taira took definite form.

Literary works on the Heiji Rebellion
The "Heiji monogatari" is a literary work that takes the Heiji Rebellion as its topic. This work is a war chronicle totaling three volumes, whose author or authors remain unknown; an emaki (hand scroll) called 'Heiji monogatari emaki,' which takes the Heiji monogatari itself as its subject, was also created.

[Original Japanese]