Taira no Tadanori (平忠度)

TAIRA no Tadanori was a Japanese military commander in the Heian period. He was the sixth son of TAIRA no Tadamori. TAIRA no Kiyomori, TAIRA no Norimori, and TAIRA no Tsunemori were his brothers. His child was TAIRA no Tadayuki. Tradition has it that was born and raised in Kumano. He was Jushii (Junior Fourth Rank) in 1178. He was Hoki no kami (Governor of Hoki Province) in 1179. He was Shoshii (Senior Fourth Rank), Satsuma no kami (Governor of Satsuma Province) in 1180.


He was born as the sixth son of TAIRA no Tadamori, the chief of Ise-Heishi (Taira clan) in 1144. His mother was the daughter of FUJIWARA no Tametada. * Some think that his mother was the daughter of Takanari HARA. (According to the genealogy of Yoshimine). It is said that he was born and raised in Muro County of Ki Province, and his wife was the daughter of Tankai, Kumano betto (an official who administered the shrines at Kumano), and the sister of Tanzo.

He went into the Battle of Fujigawa to subdue MINAMOTO no Yoritomo and the battle of the Kurikara Pass to subdue MINAMOTO no Yoshinaka. He fought against Tadasumi OKABE of the Minamoto clan in the Battle of Ichinotani and died at the age of 41. He planned to blend into the Minamoto clan, but he had Ohaguro (black painted teeth), which most of the Minamoto clan did not have, so he was detected and killed. Tadasumi left behind a memorial tower at Seishin-ji Temple in Fukaya City, Saitama Prefecture to pray for Tadanori 's departed soul after the battle.

In Akashi City, Hyogo Prefecture, there is "Tadanori-zuka Mound" that is said to be Tadanori's grave, and its neighborhood used to be called Tadanori-cho in ancient times (present Tenmon-cho). There are also a small park called Tadanori Park.

In Komagabayashi, Nagata Ward, Kobe City, there is a burial mound containing his severed arm (TAIRA no Tadanori udezuka - a local cultural property of Kobe City), and there is also a dozuka (burial mound containing a severed torso) near by.

He was also a talented kajin (waka poet) and studied under FUJIWARA no Toshinari. There was a famous anecdote that he visited Toshinari's residence and left his poems on a scroll with Toshinari upon leaving the capital. His poems appeared in "Senzai waka shu" (Collection of a Thousand Years), but the compiler Toshinari hesitated to put the name of Tadanori who became choteki (enemy of the imperial court) on it, so his poems appeared anonymously. After "Shin chokusen wakashu" (New Imperial Anthology of Japanese Poetry), his poems were listed under the name as "Satsuma no kami, Tadanori."


Since his imina (personal name) was "Tadanori," Tadanori's title "Satsuma no kami" is used as a slang to mean riding without paying (as in a train or bus, pronounced tadanori in Japanese). In the Kyogen (farce played during a Noh cycle) "Satsuma no kami," there is depicted a priest who tried to get off the boat without paying the fare, so it has long been known as a kakekotoba (a pun used in Waka, what is now called dajare).

[Original Japanese]