The Johei and Tengyo Wars (承平天慶の乱)

The Johei and Tengyo Wars' is the generic name given to the two wars that occurred almost at the same time during the mid-Heian period in Kanto and the Seto Inland Sea: TAIRA no Masakado's War and FUJIWARA no Sumitomo's War. The wars were given this name because they occurred during the Johei (Japan) and Tengyo (Japan) eras.

In this document, the years are based on the Julian calendar, while months and dates are based on the Japanese Senmyo calendar (derived from the Chinese lunisolar calendar).

TAIRA no Masakado expanded his influence in Kanto after succeeding in a family conflict. Soon after, Masakado intervened in a tense dispute involving the Zuryo (the Provincial Governors) and the local Fugo-so (the upper class) who were at war with the Kokuga (the provincial government office); the intervention was considered to be an act of rebellion against the Imperial Court. Masakado then conquered Kanto and tried to establish an independent state, calling himself Shinno (New Emperor), but, only two months later, he was attacked and killed by an army headed by TAIRA no Sadamori and FUJIWARA no Hidesato.

In the Seto Inland Sea, FUJIWARA no Sumitomo, who was responsible for combatting pirates, together with others who had been commissioned for the same purpose, set up an independent armed force against the Zuryo (provincial governors) of Kyoto. This led to an uprising. Sumitomo made several attacks as a conditional strike for merits against the Imperial Court in several places in Saigoku (the western part of Japan), but he was defeated and killed by the Imperial army which was able to concentrate its military power in Saigoku after putting an end to the war against TAIRA no Masakado.

The wars are commonly referred to as "The Johei and Tengyo Wars" since they occurred during the Johei (Japan) and Tengyo (Japan) eras, but, at the time, the actions of Masakado and Sumitomo were seen by the Imperial Court as mere private warfare, private conflicts between local ruling families. It was not until after 939, after Masakado and Sumitomo made a series of attacks against provincial governors, that their actions were recognized as acts of rebellion. It should be noted that the wars may be referred to as the "the Tengyo Wars", but they cannot simply be referred to as "the Johei Wars" as this may be a contradiction of historical fact.

TAIRA no Masakado's War

The TAIRA clan conflict.

With the name TAIRA, Prince Takamochi, great-grandchild of Emperor Kanmu, was demoted from nobility to subject and took a position in Kanto as the Assistant Governor of Kazusa Province because he could not foresee a future in the capital. After that, Takamochi, who had fallen from aristocratic society in Kyoto, tried to restore his status by suppressing anti-Zuryo (provincial governors) movements, which were frequently being staged by tax collectors of the upper class in the province, and thereby highlighting his military prowess to the Imperial Court. As Samurai, Takamochi's sons were placed in charge of security in Bando (old Kanto region) and acquired territories in various parts of northern Kanto, where they settled. However, at that time, the territories of the Samurai were acquired through annual contracts of undertaking management of a part of Kuden (field administered directly by a ruler) with the Kokuga (provincial government) and were therefore unstable, unlike in later years when the Samurai's status and rights were better established. Under this system, the Samurai had to maintain their military strength with the same economic conditions as the ordinary upper class citizens, over whom they exercised their authority, and, like ordinary upper class citizens, they were often exploited by the Zuryo (provincial governor).

A child of Takamochi, TAIRA no Yoshimasa (or Yoshimochi) who had territories in Sakura Domain, Shimousa Province and whose son Masakado served the Imperial Court in Kyoto as a mid-ranking official, also became a follower of FUJIWARA no Tadahira of the Fujiwara sekkan-ke (the family of regents) in order to improve his standing as a government official. Due to the early death of his father Yoshimasa, Masakado returned to his province to find that many of his father's territories had been usurped by his uncles TAIRA no Kunika and TAIRA no Yoshikane, so Masakado used Toyoda, Shimousa Province as a base for extending his power.

Around the year 931, it is said that the relationship between Masakado and his uncle Yoshikane deteriorated over a woman. The details of the dispute are not clear due to a missing part in the "Shomonki" (The Chronicle of Masakado), but the subject of the dispute is believed to be either the daughter of MINAMOTO no Mamoru, the former Daijo (an official of the Third Rank) of Hitachi Province or the daughter of Yoshikane. MINAMOTO no Mamoru had three daughters, who married Kunika, Yoshikane, and TAIRA no Yoshimasa respectively. There are two theories about the dispute: one theory is that Masakado wanted to marry one of MINAMOTO no Mamoru's daughters, but was denied; the other theory is that Masakado married the daughter of Yoshikane, but she had affairs with MINAMOTO no Mamoru's three sons (MINAMOTO no Tasuku, MINAMOTO no Takashi, and MINAMOTO no Shigeru).

In February 935, the MINAMOTO brothers, Tasuku, Takashi, and Shigeru, camped in Nomoto, Hitachi Province in order to ambush Masakado, who was heading into battle. Masakado defeated the three MINAMOTO brothers, who fled but were finally killed after Masakado invaded the residence of MINAMOTO no Mamoru in Makabe, Hitachi Province, and burnt down the neighboring villages. Masakado also set fire to the residence of his uncle TAIRA no Kunika, in Ishida, Hitachi Province, killing him in the process.

Kunika's first son, TAIRA no Sadamori, who was serving in Kyoto as Samajo (Officer of the Third Rank of the Horse Office of the Left), returned to the province after his father's death. However, it is said that Sadamori preferred a promotion in government over revenge and a friendly relationship with Masakado.

MINAMOTO no Mamoru, on the other hand, whose three sons had been killed by Masakado, developed a deep grudge against Masakado and appealed to his son-in-law TAIRA no Yoshimasa for support. Yoshimasa gathered soldiers at his base in Mimori, Hitachi Province, then departed for Masakado's base in Toyoda. In response, Masakado also prepared for battle. On October 21, they battled in Kawawa, Nihari-no-sato, along the Kinu-gawa River. In the end, Masakado had a decisive victory and returned to Toyoda in triumph.

Yoshimasa appealed to his older brother TAIRA no Yoshikane for assistance, and Yoshikane accepted it.. Yoshikane, who had been Kazusa no suke (Assistant Governor of Kazusa Province) at the time and persuaded Sadamori to support him, deployed a large force before joining his brother Yoshimasa and Sadamori in Mimori in June 935. The allied forces entered Shimotsuke Province and moved toward the south in attack. Masakado headed for battle with 100 horsemen. At the border between Shimotsuke and Shimousa Provinces, the allied forces launched an attack on the first line of the Masakado army, but were met with unexpected force which led them to retreat, at which time they were rushed by the main unit of the army. The allied forces were completely defeated and fled to Kokufu in Shimotsuke Province. Masakado took seige on Kokufu (an ancient provincial capital), but allowed Yoshikane and the others to escape by leaving the west part of Kokufu open. Masakado ensured that the Kokuga (provincial government office) recognized his victory and went back to Toyoda.

In September of that year, the Imperial Court summoned MINAMOTO no Mamoru, Masakado and TAIRA no Maki in response to Mamoru's appeal. Masakado immediately went to Kyoto and was interrogated at the Kebiishicho (Office of the Police and Judicial Chief). The Imperial Court charged Masakado with a petty offendence and, in April of the following year (937), Masakado was pardoned and allowed to return to Togoku (the eastern part of Japan and particularly the Kanto region).

In August of that same year, Yoshikane gathered an army again and rushed to Kokai no Watashi on the border of Shimousa and Hitachi Provinces. Yoshikane displayed the statues of Prince Takamochi and Yoshimasa, the father of Masakado, at the head of his army and closed in on Masakado's army. Masakado's army retreated due to a loss of morale and, taking advantage of this opportunity, Yoshikane invaded Toyoda and set fire there. Masakado gathered his army and sought revenge against Yoshikane, but was decidedly defeated. Yoshikane's army invaded Toyoda again, where they engaged in ruthless looting and rioting and captured Masakado's wife and children. In September, Yoshikane gathered his army again, but Masakado ambushed and defeated them. Yoshikane escaped to Mt. Tsukuba.

In December of that year, after Masakado complained to his former lord, FUJIWARA no Tadahira, about the violence caused by Yoshikane, the Imperial Court issued official documents from Dajokan, the Great Council of State, to find and capture Yoshikane and his army. Masakado gathered an army and moved his headquarters from Toyoda to Ishii in order to protect his men from enemy attack. Led by a betrayer of Masakado, Yoshikane attacked Ishii at night but retreated by Masakados' struggle. After being defeated, Yoshikane lost his strength and died with much regret in June 939.

Having no idea what to do with hiimself, TAIRA no Sadamori left for Kyoto via Tosando Road in Feburary 938, but was chased by Masakado with his 100 horsemen who feared action from the Imperial Court; Sadamori escaped following a battle at Shinano-gawa River in Shinano Province, although many of his men were killed. Sadamori went to Kyoto and filed a complaint against Masakado, who was then summoned. In June, Sadamori returned to Togoku and handed over the summons to FUJIWARA no Korechika, Assistant Governor of Hitachi Provence, who then sent the summons to Masakado; but Masakado did not answer the call. Sadamori tried to escape to Mutsu Province, but was chased by Masakado and forced to continue wandering in Togoku.

Further conflicts
In February 939, Prince Okiyo and MINAMOTO no Tsunemoto (an ancestor of the Seiwa-Genji), who had been recently appointed as Zuryo (Provincial Governor) and Suke (Assistant Provincial Governor) of Musashi Province respectively, were involved in a conflict with MUSASHI no Takeshiba, the Gunji (Local Magistrate) of Adachi County. Masakado began mediation efforts and succeeded in reconcilation between Prince Okiyo and MUSASHI no Takeshiba, but Takeshiba and his army unexpectedly laid siege on Tsunemoto's camp, catching Tsunemoto by surprise and causing him to flee.

Tsunemoto arrived in Kyoto and filed a complaint about the rebellion staged by Masakado, Prince Okiyo and Takeshiba. The Daijo-daijin (Grand Minister of the state), who was also Masakado's employer, FUJIWARA no Tadahira, wanted to investigate the situation, so he issued a migyosho (a document of the Shogunate order) and dispatched an envoy to Togoku. Masakado, who was surprised to receive the migyosho, agreed to create and send an official document to Kyoto, which was certified by the Kokufu (Ancient Provincial Office) of five provinces in Kanto. Thereafter, the Imperial Court eliminated any suspicion against Masakado and the others, while Tsunemoto was punished for the crime of false accusation. Considering Masakado's fame and personal charm, the Imperial Court decided to confer on him a court rank and appointed him as an official.

At that time, Prince Okiyo, who had become Musashi gon no kami (Provisional Governor of Musashi Province), was on bad terms with the Zuryo (Provincial Governor), KUDARA no Sadatsura; and so he left the place of his assignment and became a follower of Masakado. FUJIWARA no Haruaki, a resident of Hitachi Province, was also a follower of Masakado. Haruaki also opposed the Zuryo and was wanted by the Kokuga because of crimes he had committed such as evasion of land tax, acts of violence and stealing Kanmotsu (tribute goods paid as taxes or tithes). Masakado was urged by FUJIWARA no Korechika to extradite Haruaki, but he ignored this request by giving him shelter instead.

The conflict escalated and, in November of that year, Masakado led an army of 1,000 warriors into battle. Korechika intercepted Masakado, but his army of 3,000 soldiers was defeated by Masakado's and he fled to Kokufu. When Masakado attacked Kokufu, Korechika surrendered and handed the Inji (royal seal) of Kokufu to Masakado. In Kokufu and the surrounding area, Masakado's army ruthlessly looted and rioted. The conflicts that Masakado had in the past were 'internal family conflicts', but now he was becoming a threat to the Imperial Court against his will.

He began to call himself Shinno (New Emperor). In December of that year, with advice from Prince Okiyo, Masakado advanced his army and occupied the provincial offices of Shimotsuke and Kouzuke, where he conducted unilateral jimoku (appointment ceremonies) and appointed Kokushis (provincial governors) for each province of Kanto. Masakado also called himself "Shinno" because of a vision of Miko (a shirine maiden) that encouraged him to do so. The Kokushi of each province, headed by the Zuryos, were intimidated by Masakado's power and fled, leaving Masakado with control of the whole Kanto region including Musashi Province and Sagami Province.

Masakado appointed the following Kokushi's in each province:

Shimotsuke no kami (Governer of Shimotsuke Province): TAIRA no Masayori. Kouzuke no kami (Governor of Kouzuke Province):TAJI no Tsuneakira. Hitachi no suke (Assistant Governor of Hitachi Province):FUJIWARA no Harumochi. Kazusa no suke (Assistant Governor of Kazusa Province):Prince Okiyo. Awa no kami (Governor of Awa Province):BUNYA no Yoshitachi. Sagami no kami (Governor of Sagami Province):TAIRA no Masafumi. Izu no kami (Governor of Izu Province):TAIRA no Masatake. Shimousa no kami (Governor of Shimousa):TAIRA no Masatame.

In September 826, the three provinces of Kazusa, Hitachi, and Kouzuke became Shinno-ningoku (provinces where the government posts were reserved as sinecures of imperial princes), where the imperial princes who governed were regarded as Taishu (Imperial Court appointed Governor-Generals, Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade), however, the Taishu stayed in the capital and did not go to the provinces, so suke (governors) were dispatched to these provinces in place of kami (directors) to act for the Taishu. It goes without saying that the 'Bando Kingdom' (the kingdom of an old Kanto region) was not required to follow the customs of the Imperial Court, so a Hitachi no kami and a Kazusa no kami should have been appointed, but, for some inexplicable reason, a suke was assigned to these provinces instead. It is not clear as to whether the Hitachi no suke, and the Kazusa no suke were under the customary control of the director general of these provinces, whether they were under the direct control of the New Emperor, or whether Masakado did not go aganst the system of the Imperial Court as described in the "Shomonki (The Chronicle of Masakado). However, he was inconsistent, as he assigned a suke in Kouzuke Province, rather than a kami.

Hunt and Kill
The Imperial Court was shocked when news of Masakado's rebellion reached Kyoto and, at the same time, there were also reports of FUJIWARA no Sumitomo's War in Saigoku (the western part of Japan). An immediate order was given to temples and shrines to pray for the subjugation of the rebellion and, on January 9, 940, MINAMOTO no Tsunemoto, who had been the one to secretly inform the Imperial Court of Masakado's rebellion, was bestowed the rank of Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade). On January 19, Sangi (Councillor) FUJIWARA no Tadafumi, who was assigned as Seito Taishogun (Great General who Subdues the Eastern Barbarians), left Kyoto with his army to hunt and kill.

In mid-January of that year, Masakado departed for Hitachi Province with 500 soldiers, in search of TAIRA no Sadamori and FUJIWARA no Tamenori, the son of Korechika. He could not find Sadamori, but he captured his wife and the wife of MINAMOTO no Tasuku. However, Masakado, taking pity on the wives who had been raped by soldiers, gave them kimonos and set them free. Masakado returned to his headquarters in Shimousa Province and ordered his men to go back to their provinces.

Shortly thereafter, he received a report that Sadamori had gathered 4,000 soldiers in cooperation with FUJIWARA no Hidesato, who was Oryoshi (Suppression and Control Agent) of Shimotsuke Province. Masakado, realizing that his position would become weaker over time, departed for battle on February 1 with less than 1,000 soldiers. Sadamori and Hidesato defeated the spearhead of Masakado's army, FUJIWARA no Harumochi, and chased the army through Kawaguchi, Shimousa Province. A battle ensued, but Masakado's army lost momentum and were forced to retreat.

Sadamori and Hidesato gathered more soldiers and, on Feburary 13, they invaded and set fire to Masakado's Ishii base. Masakado tried to gather his army, but he was at a disadvantage and could only gather 400 soldiers. Tamenori joined Sadamori and Hidesato and, on Februrary 14, the battle between the allied forces and Masakado's army began. Supported by the north wind, Masakado's army shifted the situation to their own advantage in a battle of bows and arrows; with the wind behind them, they defeated the allied forces of Sadamori, Hidesato, and Tamenori. However, as Masakado was making his triumphant return to camp, the wind suddenly changed direction; the south wind began to blow, giving the advantage to the allied forces as they launched a counter-attack. While Masakado was leading his army to continue the fight against the allied forces, an arrow came from nowhere and hit him on the forehead, killing him instantly.

After Masakado's death, the independent Kanto kingdom, which lasted for only 2 months, collapsed. Prince Okiyo, FUJIWARA no Haruaki, FUJIWARA no Harumochi and Masakado's younger brothers were all killed and the remainder of Masakado's army was wiped out. Masakado's severed head was brought to Kyoto, where it was exposed to the public. For killing Masakado, Hidesato and Sadamori were given the titles of Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) and Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade), respectively.

FUJIWARA no Sumitomo's War
During the Johei and Tengyo eras, pirates caused frequent damage in the area around the Seto Inland Sea. FUJIWARA no Sumitomo, who was ranked Jushichiinoge (Junior Seventh Rank, Lower Grade) and served as Governor of Iyo Province, was responsible for combatting pirates, but it is said that in approximately 936, he became the leader of a band of pirates based on Hiburi Island in Iyo Province, commanding a fleet of 1,000 boats.

However, a recent study shows that the characteristics of the pirates that were restrained by Sumitomo and that of the armed group that he later led in the rebellion were not the same. The pirates that Sumitomo restrained through persuasion and martial arts were toneri (servants) of the Fugo-so (the upper class) from around the Seto Inland Sea, who had been laid off due to institutional reform by the Imperial Court with the aim of claiming vested interest in tax revenue that was sent to the capital. On the other hand, the armed group that Sumitomo led during the rebellion were mid-ranking government officials who were trained in martial arts and were settled in that area to maintain security. They had fallen out of aristocratic society in Kyoto because the early deaths of their parents had caused them to miss opportunitues for promotion, and they were trying to restore their status by making the Imperial Court recognize their military exploits as honourable deeds. Their status was almost equal to that of the early generation Samurai in Togoku. However, they were becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the fact that control of the provinces was being given to lower-ranking aristocrats who belonged to the higher Zuryo class, so that not only were their deeds not recognized, but they were also exploited by lower-ranking aristocrats who were appointed as Zuryo in local provinces.

It should be noted that FUJIWARA no Motona, the cousin of Sumitomo's father, served as Iyo no kami (Governor of Iyo Province) for 5 years from 932. Sumitomo is said to have established a relationship with the pirates, the toneri (servants) of the Fugo-so (the upper class), after being dispatched to the province to replace Motona and while he was delivering tax money to Kyoto.

In December 939, FUJIWARA no Fumimoto, Sumitomo's subordinate, was ordered to attack the lords of Echizen Province, FUJIWARA no Sanetaka and Koremoto SHIMADA, at Suki station in Settsu Province, where he captured Sanetaka and cut off his nose, kidnapped his wife and killed their children. When news of TAIRA no Masakado's rebellion in Togoku and the fact that he had named himself New Emperor was brought to Kyoto, the Imperial Court was stunned; they were also concerned that Masakado and Sumitomo had conspired together to attack the east and west countries concurrently. On January 16, 940, the Imperial Court appointed ONO no Yoshifuru and MINAMOTO no Tsunemoto as Tsuibushi (Pursuit and Apprehension Agent) and Suke (Assistant Director), respectively, and on January 30, the Court made a conciliatory gesture to Sumitomo by conferring on him Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and, for the time being, concentrated military power on Togoku. Although Sumitomo received this rank, he did not stop the piracy.

On February 5, Sumitomo attacked an arsenal in Awaji Province to gain weapons. At that time, arson attacks occurred frequently in various places around Kyoto and ONO no Yoshifuru reported that Sumitomo was on a boat heading towards Kyoto. The Imperial Court, afraid that Masakado would make an attack on Kyoto, posted soldiers at the 14 gates of the Imperial Palace and, to tighten security, they sent FUJIWARA no Yoshiyuki to the gate of Yamashiro Province in Yamazaki on February 22, but Yamazaki was burned down in an anonymous arson attack on February 26. Sumitomo was connected with a series of these incidents because 藤原三辰, the former Yamashiro no jo (an official of Yamashiro Province), was the senior commander of Sumitomo's army, and also because, ever since his attack on FUJIWARA no Sanetaka as mentioned above, his influence had become prevalent amongst not only pirates of the Seto Inland Sea, but also armed discontented elements, or 'robbers', based in the area between Heian-Kyo (the ancient capital in present-day Kyoto) and Settsu Province. Therefore, Sumitomo must have seemed a serious threat to Kyoto.

On February 25, news was brought to Kyoto that Masakado had been killed in battle. Perhaps because he had been disturbed by this news, Sumitomo returned on his boat to Hiburi Island. After this, in June, a civil letter from Dazaifu (a local government office in Kyushu) and official documents from Goryeo were delivered without incident, and in July, the Sadaijin (Minister of the left), FUJIWARA no Nakahira, dispatched an envoy to Wu-yueh.

However, the fall of Masakado in Togoku made it possible for the Imperial Court to concentrate its military power in Saigoku where it became active in containing Sumitomo. In May, the expedition to contain Masakado in the east returned to Kyoto, and in June, an order was issued to track down and kill FUJIWARA no Fumimoto, who had been identified as the person who attacked FUJIWARA no Sanetaka. Sumitomo had two alternatives, one was to hand over Fumimoto and obey the Imperial Court, which had gained in strength against him after the defeat of Masakado, and the other was to continue to be treated as an enemy of the Imperial Court.

In August, Sumitomo organized some troops and headed towards the Iyo and Sanuki Provinces with 400 boats. He burnt down over 100 battleships from the Bizen and Bingo Provinces. Sumitomo also attacked Nagato Province, and stole Kanmotsu (tribute goods paid as taxes or tithes). In October, soldiers of Dazaifu and Tsuibushi fought against Sumitomo, but were defeated. In November, Sumitomo burnt down the Jyusenshi(mint)of Suo Province. In December, he attacked Hata county in Tosa Province.

In February 941, the senior commander of Sumitomo's army, FUJIWARA no Tsunetoshi, defected and joined the Imperial army, which then attacked Sumitomo's base on Hiburi Island. Sumitomo's army escaped to the west, where they attacked and occupied Dazaifu. FUJIWARA no Suminori, the younger brother of Sumitomo, invaded Yanagawa, but was defeated in Kamachi by the army of TACHIBANA no Kimiyori, the Dazai gon no sochi (Provisional Governor-General of Dazaifu). In May, the Imperial army headed by ONO no Yoshifuru arrived in Kyushu. Yoshifuru attacked by land, while OKURA no Haruzane attacked by sea. Sumitomo burnt down Dazaifu and ambushed the Imperial army led by OKURA no Haruzane in Hakata Bay. After a fierce battle, Sumitomo's army suffered a crushing defeat with more than 800 ships deprived by the Imperial army. Sumitomo fled to Iyo Province on a small boat. In June of that year, while hiding in Iyo Province, Sumitomo was captured by TACHIBANA no Toyasu, a Keigoshi (protection envoy), and later died in prison.

The legend of the Mt. Hiei conspiracy
One day, TAIRA no Masakado and FUJIWARA no Sumitomo, who had both been mid-ranking government officials in their youth, cimbed Mt. Hiei together and looked down on Heian-kyo (present-day Kyoto). According to a well-known legend, Masakado and Sumitomo conspired to rebel at around the same time in order to take over the capital of Kyoto, then Masakado, a descendant of Emperor Kanmu, would become the Emperor, and Sumitomo, a member of FUJIWARA family, would become the Kanpaku (Chief Adviser to the Emperor). There is a rock at the top of Mt. Hiei called 'Masakado Iwa' that was named after this legend and there is even a traditional belief that has been handed down that Masakado's chagrined face has appeared on the rock.

The diaries of the Kugyo (High Court nobles) at the time refer to the two rebellions of Masakado and Sumitomo as a consipiracy, so it seems that the conspiracy theory was widely believed in those days.

In fact, there is no real evidence of such a conspiracy, but there is a strong probability that Masakado and Sumitomo were pushed to military action while trying to improve their social status. The rebellions just happened to occur at around the same time; while Masakado led one uprising in Togoku, Sumitomo led the other in Saigoku.

However, FUJIWARA no Hisanori, the Kouzuke no suke (Assistant Governor of Kozuke Province), who fled after Masakado attacked and deprived him of the seal of Kokushi (Provincial Governor), was the uncle of Sumitomo (the younger brother of Sumitomo's father). Some people believe that the incident caused by Masakado, as previously described, may have had some psychological effect on Sumitomo, as the relative of Hisanori.


From these wars, the first generations of Samurai emerged, establishing the true lineage of Samurai thereafter.

People suspected that the wars of Masakado and Sumitomo which occurred around the same time were a conspiracy, and it scared them.

Although the Samurai concept was in its infancy, first to third generation Samurai were significantly involved in both sides of the wars. The Samurai that fought with the rebels aimed to gain formal recognition for their profession and improve the living conditions for the samurai families that were responsible for maintaining security, while the Samurai who fought against the rebels were also fighting for recognition and better conditions. There was a great increase in the number of Samurai working with the Imperial army; the Samurai that sided with the rebels were outnumbered, thus putting an end to the conflict. After that, only the descendants of Johei Tengyo Kunkosha (people who were distinguished in service during the Johei and Tengyo Wars) were regarded as Samurai, as members of a legitimate family of martial arts professionals.

In addition, during the Kamakura period, military governments strongly promoted Masakado as a pioneer of military government in Togoku, an attitude which can be seen in the commissioning of a painting by MINAMOTO no Sanetomo called 'Masakado Kassen-e' (Masakado's Picture of War), and also at Kanda-Myojin Shrine, which was designated as 'Edo Sochinju' by the Edo bakufu (the feudal government of the Edo period).

[Original Japanese]