Outside of the capital, other clans both envied and resented the Fujiwara’s power. Some clan leaders began to raise their own private armies. The most powerful of these warrior clans were the Taira and Minamoto. They worked together just long enough to drive the Fujiwara from power.
Minamoto and Taira forces clashed at sea. On one of the Taira ships stood seven-year-old Antoku, the emperor of Japan. The imperial family watched in horror as the Minamoto approached their ship.
Antoku’s grandmother refused to allow the young emperor or the royal sword to be taken by their enemies. She told Antoku to say his prayers. Then, she held the boy and the sword in her arms and jumped overboard.