The Taira clan were a Japanese samurai clan that hailed from Kii Province, and were best known for their role in the Genpei War, taking over all of Japan but eventually losing it to the Kiso Minamoto branch, their mortal enemies.


The Taira clan were the controlling clan over Japan, with Kiyomori Taira presiding over the samurai government. The Taira were divided into the Fukuhara Taira and Yashima Taira branches. In 1156, they crushed opposition to Emperor Go-Shirakawa in the Hogon Disturbance, more of a civil war between the Fujiwara and Minamoto, whose clans were torn apart on the idea of supporting the emperor or overthrowing the Taira, while the Taira supported Go-Shirakawa as a whole clan. The Taira clan soon reached the extent of their power after crushing the Heiji Rebellion, another vain attempt to overthrow their might. They installed Norihito Takakura on the throne in 1168 although he was only seven, and the Minamoto began to distrust the Taira. In 1180, Mochihito Minamoto, the candidate to the throne, fought alongside the Minamoto to regain his rights to becoming Emperor. The Taira crushed them, beginning the Genpei War. They fought the Minamoto for power until 1185, when the Kiso Minamoto crushed Tomomori Taira at the Battle of Dan no Ura, ending the Taira. This led to the installation of the Kamakura Shogunate.



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