we are loyal to our own clans not to the fujiwara clan.
We will take down the fujiwara clan!!!
Minamoto and Taira clans
you have driven us from our power
The fujiwara clan leader
In the 800's the emperors power began to fade. The Fujiwara rose to power by having their daughters or sisters marry princes of the imperial family.
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 warriors they trained were fiercely loyal to their own clans, not to the Fujiwara or the emperor.
say your prayers Antoku
The most powerful of the warrior clans were the Taira and the Minamoto. They worked together just long enough to drive the Fujiwara from power. Then they turned against each other.
I am the most powerful man in Japan!!
The violence eventually reached the capital. In 1159 Minamoto forces stormed into kyoto and attacked the emperor's residence. The palace was burned and many court officials were slain.
In 1185, 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 Minamonto approached their ship. Capture seemed certain, but Antoku's grandmother refused to allow the young emperor or the royal sword be taken by the enemies. Then she held the boy and the sword and jumped overboard. The emperor and the sacred sword sank below the waves, lost forever.
The winner of the final battle was Minamoto Yoritomo. He became the most powerful man in Japan. Yoritomo wanted-and got-the title of shogun, or supreme military commander. It was an old title, but Yoritomo gave it a new meaning and importance.