Taira no Naokata (平直方)

TAIRA no Naokata (dates of birth and death unknown) is a military commander in the mid Heian period. His father is TAIRA no Koretoki. He was based at Kamakura. He was also a military aristocracy staying in Kyoto as a retainer of the family which produced regents and chief advisers to the Emperor. He was a brave and strong man so that he was asked to become an envoy to search and kill the ringleader when the Revolt of TAIRA no Tadatsune occurred. He was also the father-in-law of MINAMOTO no Yoriyoshi. MINAMOTO no Yoriie and his brother MINAMOTO no Yoshitsuna were born between MINAMOTO no Yoriyoshi and Naokata's daughter. Kamakura is inseparable from the Japanese medieval history, which began when TAIRA no Naokata located himself in Kamakura.

Revolt of TAIRA no Tadatsune

When TAIRA no Tadatsune rose in the Revolt in the Kanto Provinces, the Imperial Court issued an Imperial order to TAIRA no Naokata, who was a military aristocracy staying in Kyoto, but had his homebase in Kanto region, to go on an expedition to conquest TAIRA no Tadatsune. TAIRA no Naokata gathered troops from three regions of the Tokai region, Higashiyama region and Hokuriku region along with the troops under his command and went on the expedition to conquest TAIRA no Tadatsune, but Naokata was not able to subjugate the revolt easily because the troops of Tadatsune already controlled Kanto region and the morale among his soldiers was very high. Naokata got the troops of Tadatsune cornered in a protracted war, but the Imperial Court judged the tactics of Naokata to be lenient. The Imperial Court appointed MINAMOTO no Yoshinobu of Kawachi Genji, who once had TAIRA no Tadatsune as his retainer, to Kai no Kami (Governor of the Kai Province) and ordered Yorinobu to put down the revolt. Tadatsune surrendered to MINAMOTO no Yoshinobu immediately because his troops were devastated in the protracted war with Naokata.

Record of offices and ranks held

Envoy to subjugate TAIRA no Tadatsune, Governor of the Noto Province, Assistant governor of the Kozuke Province, Assistance governor of the Kozuke Province, Kebiishi (official with judicial and police powers), Junior lieutenant of the Left Gate Guards and so forth.

Direct line

The Hojo clan which successively held the position of the regent of the Kamakura Shogunate said that Hoji clan was a descendant of TAIRA no Naokata. However, it lacks credibility.

According to "Heike Monogatari" (The Tale of the Heike), Naozane KUMAGAI who slew TAIRA no Atsumori and later became a priest regretting what he had done also said that he was a descendant of Naokata.

Sotomago (grandchild from a daughter married into another family)

MINAMOTO no Yoriie (Taro HACHIMAN), MINAMOTO no Yoshitsuna (Jiro KAMO), MINAMOTO no Yoshimitsu (Saburo SHINRA)

However, it is said that Yoshimitsu's mother is different from that of Yoshiie and Yoshitsuna.

FUJIWARA no Munetsuna (FUJIWARA no Nagara line of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan)

FUJIWARA no Tomonori (Kanjuji line of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan)


It can be said that TAIRA no Naokata is a person of merit who built a foundation for the Genji clan to flourish by giving Kamakura, his home ground, to the adopted son-in-law, MINAMOTO no Yoriie. However, his descendants were not treated favorably from the Genji clan..

MINAMOTO no Yoriyoshi

According to 'Mutsuwaki' (The Tale of Mutsu), Naokata gave his daughter to Yoriyoshi because Naokata was impressed by the military arts of Yoriyoshi, especially he was impressed by the skills shown in Yoriyoshi's archery and horsemanship and it is said that Naokata told Yoriyoshi that he wished to have the close relationship with him as the military clans for many years to come. It is said that Yoriyoshi also knew the military prowess of Naokata and married his daughter thinking that she would give birth children who would grow strong and brave men suitable to leaders of the Genji clan. They had a son, MINAMOTO no Yoshiie, who did not fall short of Yoriie's expectations and later became a great commander. The second son Yoshitsuna was also a brave and strong man although he never reached the level that Yoshiie reached.

[Original Japanese]