Taira no Michimori (平通盛)

TAIRA no Michimori was a military commander who lived during the late Heian period. He was the heir of TAIRA no Norimori. TAIRA no Noritsune and TAIRA no Narimori were his younger brothers. His wife was Kozaisho. He was called Echizen sanmi.

TAIRA no Michimori's Life
Michimori's father, Norimori, was the younger brother of TAIRA no Kiyomori and, in line with the establishment of the government by the Taira clan, Norimori's family line also went up in the world. His father, Norimori, was called Kadowakichunagon and the heir, Michimori, also was conferred jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and appointed a kurodo (keeper of imperial archives) at a tender age, and after that he obtained repeated promotions smoothly.

The main revenue source of the Taira clan was control of chigyokoku (fiefdoms) and especially, Echizen Province was a large province and an important income source. The chigyokokushu (owner of fiefdom) of Echizen Province was TAIRA no Shigemori, Kiyomori's heir, and his nephew, Michimori, became the provincial governor and consolidated control. However, when Shigemori died in 1179, Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa dispossessed the Taira family of Echizen Province and Michimori was dismissed as the provincial governor. Kiyomori became angry with this decision, and his anger led to the coup d'état of December 1179. By this coup d'état, Michimori was reinstated as Echizen no Kami (Governor of Echizen).

Starting with Prince Mochihito's raising an army in June 1180, revolts against the Taira clan broke out in various places. The prime revolts among them were by MINAMOTO no Yoritomo, who raised an army in the Kanto area, and MINAMOTO no Yoshinaka, who raised an army in Shinano Province.

MINAMOTO no Yukiie, an uncle of Yoritomo and Yoshinaka, was involved in Prince Mochihito's raising an army, and was establishing his sphere of influence in Mino Province and Owari Province. In April 1181, an army to subjugate Yukiie, commanded by TAIRA no Shigehira, was dispatched, and Michimori joined this army. They defeated Yukiie in the Battle of Sunomata.

In Kaga Province and Noto Province in Hokuriku-do (the Hokuriku area) also, maneuvering of local Minamoto families commenced. Michimori, as Echizen-no-kami, was ordered to suppress such maneuvering together with his cousin, TAIRA no Tsunemasa.

In September 1181, rebels broke into Echizen Province and set fires in the Ono and Sakakita regions.
please check; trans1 unclear
Michimori's army was defeated in the Battle of Suizu, Echizen Province by an inhabitant of the country (Yukichika NENOI under MINAMOTO no Yoshinaka), and he was obliged to give up the provincial office and retreat to Tsuruga
Michimori asked for reinforcements and it was decided that Noritsune and TAIRA no Yukimori would be sent, but Michimori gave up Tsuruga-jo Castle, fled into the mountains, and returned to Kyoto in November. Hokuriku-do was invaded by Yoshinaka.

In April 1183, an army to subjugate Yoshinaka (according to the "Tale of the Heike" it consisted of a hundred thousand mounted warriors) was organized with TAIRA no Koremori as the commander-in-chief; Michimori also joined the army as a commander. The army to subjugate won a victory in the Battle of Hiuchi-jo Castle, Echizen Province. After May began, Koremori and the main force of seventy thousand mounted warriors entered Ecchu Province from Kaga Province in pursuit of Yoshinaka. Taking command of thirty thousand mounted warriors together with TAIRA no Tomomori, Michimori marched to suppress rebels in Noto Province. However, Koremori's main force was severely defeated in the Battle of Kurikara. Michimori also retreated from Noto Province. Yoshinaka chased the fleeing army of the Taira clan, and the Hokuriku-subjugating army was annihilated in the Battle of Shinohara.

The Family's flight from the Capital
In July 1183, it became difficult to maintain Kyoto and the Taira clan fled from there. Kyoto came under Yoshinaka's control. However, Yoshinaka failed to govern the Capital and gradually came to also be confronted by Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa. In November 1183, in order to attack the headquarters of the Taira clan in Yashima, Sanuki Province, Yoshinaka dispatched MINAMOTO no Yoshikiyo (Yada hogandai) to make preparations in the Mizushima region, Bicchu Province, for organizing a navy to cross the sea, but the troop, having TAIRA no Tomomori as its commander in chief and Norimori, Michimori, and Noritsune, father and sons, as lieutenant generals attacked; Yoshinaka's troop were annihilated and Yoshikiyo ASHIKAGA committed suicide. It was the first victory of a troop of the Taira clan in a long time.

Having further lost confidence and popularity, Yoshinaka tried to shut up Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa and take power coercibly, but in February 1184, he was annihilated by the troop of MINAMOTO no Noriyori and MINAMOTO no Yoshitsune dispatched by Yoritomo in Kamakura.

Meanwhile, the Taira clan had recovered its force to make its way into the Capital of Fukuhara, Settsu Province to aim at recapturing the Capital of Kyoto. On March 24, 1184, the troop of Noriyori and Yoshitsune departed from Kyoto to attack the Capital of Fukuhara. The Taira clan prepared for this attack by constructing a defensive encampment around the Capital of Fukuhara. Michimori and his younger brother, Noritsune, were placed in the camp in the hilly section of the city.

Michimori had a wife called Kozaisho. According to the "Tale of the Heike", before the decisive battle, Michimori called his wife to his place from the fleet of the Taira clan in the sea to mourn over their unwilling farewell, but sent her back to the boat after being reproved by his younger brother, Noritsune, known by his bravery, saying "If you think this way, you cannot be of service in the war."

On March 27, a battle with bows and arrows was commenced and fierce battles were repeated, but Yoshitsune made a surprise attack of charging downhill from the rear of Ichi-no-tani (There is a different view.), and the Taira clan was thrown into confusion and started flight toward the sea.

Michimori was slain in the vicinity of the Minatogawa region by Toshitsuna SASAKI. According to "The Tale of Heike," although Michimori attempted suicide when he found himself losing ground, he ended up being slain in a joint attack by Naritsuna KIMURA and Sukekage TAMAI. In this battle, his younger brothers Noritsune and Narimori were also killed.
(According to "Azuma Kagami;
with respect to Noritsune, there is a record of a rumor in another historical material that he survived this battle and that he died in the Battle of Dan-no-ura.)
He was 32 years old.

On April 2, the head of Michimori was exposed in the Capital of Kyoto together with the heads of other family members killed in the battles.

His wife, Kozaisho, mourned the death of her husband and followed Michimori by throwing herself into the sea on her way back to Yashima.

Official Career

* Date = Old calendar
January 16, appointed kurodo.
February 17, conferred jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade)

January 23, appointed Nakatsukasa-no-taifu (head of Nakatsukasasho (office responsible for all affairs in the imperial court))

October 2, assigned additional post of Hitachi-no-suke
December 30, conferred jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade)

October 21, assigned additional post of Sahyoe-no-suke (undersecretary of Sahyoefu).
Resigned as Nakatsukasa-no-taifu

March 15, conferred shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade)
May 13, appointed Noto-no-kami.
Sahyoe-no-suke, as it was

August, 4, conferred jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade)

January 19, conferred jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade) (given through Kenshunmonin)
March 29, conferred shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade)

January 20, appointed Echizen-no-kami

October 9, resigned as Echizen-no-kami (successor: FUJIWARA no Sueyoshi)
Reassigned as Noto-no-kami.

October 21, assigned additional post of Chugu-no-suke. November 18, reappointed Echizen-no-kami.

August 15, resigned as Echizen-no-kami

February 21, conferred Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank)
August 6, jomei (dismissed from an official post)

[Original Japanese]