The clan Minamoto (源) was one of the four clans which dominated the policy of the Japan during the era Heian, the three others being the Fujiwara, the Taira and the Tachibana. Genji (源氏) is the other name of the Minamoto clan, according to the alternative pronunciation of the Chinese characters for Minamoto ( gen ) and ji , or clan.
Origin and linesMinamoto was an honorary name given by emperors of Japan of the Period Heian (794 - 1185) to their sons and grandsons after having accepted them like royal subjects. According to the tradition, to facilitate the imperial succession and to prevent the competitions for the throne, the noneligible or isolated princes of the succession saw themselves offering a title and became prone of the emperor. the Minamoto , as their rivals the Will conceal , result from this tradition.
In 814, the Empereur Saga, which reigned of 809 with 823, granted in 814 the Kabane Minamoto No Ason to 33 of his/her 50 children, who could not inherit the throne. So they and their descendants ceased belonging to the imperial family, thus creating the line Saga Genji. Thereafter, the emperors Seiwa, Murakami, Uda and Daigo, inter alia, also gave this name to their sons, creating the various lines bearing their name followed by Genji .
It is it should be noted that one only Minamoto reinstated the imperial succession: Minamoto No Sadami, which became in 887 the Empereur Uda, and thus created a particular branch of the Minamoto clan.
The line Seiwa GenjiVarious Minamoto lines, most important is the line Seiwa Genji , descendant of Minamoto No Tsunemoto, a grandson of the 50e emperor, Seiwa. Tsunemoto accepted the patronym of Minamoto in 961, left for the province the Kantō, and founded one of the principal warlike dynasties there. Later, his/her son Minamoto No Mitsunaka formed an alliance with the Fujiwara, and thereafter Fujiwara often called upon Minamoto to restore the order in the capital, Heiankyō (later famous Kyōto).
The oldest son of Mitsunaka, Minamoto No Yorimitsu (948 - 1021), became protected from Fujiwara No Michinaga, and another as of its sons, Yorinobu (968 - 1048), put an end to the rebellion Taira No Tadatsune in 1032. The son of Yorinobu, Minamoto No Yoriyoshi (998 - 1075), and his grandson Minamoto No Toshiie (1039 - 1106), pacified the major part of the North-East of Japan between 1051 and 1087.
The fate of Seiwa Genji declined during the Rébellion of Hōgen (1156), when the Taira carried out almost all the line. During the Rebellion of Heiji, in 1160, the chief of the clan Seiwa Genji, Minamoto No Yoshitomo, died in the battle. Taira No Kiyomori took the control of Kyōto by being combined with the withdrawn emperors Shirakawa and Toba and by infiltrating the Kuge . It sent in exile Minamoto No Yoritomo, the third wire of Yoshitomo, just as his half-brother Minamoto No Noriyori. Minamoto No Yoshitsune, another half-brother of Yoritomo, was placed in a monastery, whereas all the other children heirs to the Minamoto clan were carried out.
In 1180, the old man Minamoto No Yorimasa and the prince Mochihito launched a call to the weapons against Taira, which started the Guerre of Gempei. After their death with the whole beginning of the war, Yoritomo, just as his/her half-brothers and his cousin Minamoto No Yoshinaka, answered the call and entered the fight against the domination of Taira. The war of Gempei lasted five years and led to the destruction of Taira. In 1192, it accepted the title of '' Seii Tai-shogun '' and installed the first Bakufu with Kamakura.
Thus, the line Seiwa Genji proved to be the strongest Minamoto line during the end of the era Heian, with the formation of the Shogunat de Kamakura. Moreover, it is line Seiwa Genji that the future clans came Ashikaga (which gave the Shoguns de Kamakura), Nitta, and Takeda.
Chiefs of the clan
- Minamoto No Mitsunaka (912 - 997), wire of Tsunemoto.
- Minamoto No Yorinobu (968 - 1048), 3rd wire of Mitsunaka.
- Minamoto No Yoshiie (1041 - 1108), back small son of Yorinobu.
- Minamoto No Tameyoshi (1096 - 1156), grandson of Yoshiie.
- Minamoto No Yorimasa (1106 - 1180)
- Minamoto No Yoritomo (1147 - 1199), grandson of Tameyoshi.
- Minamoto No Yoriie (1182 - 1204), wire of Yoritomo.
- Minamoto No Sanetomo (1192 - 1219), brother of Yoriie and last chief of Minamoto.
Other important members of the clan
- Minamoto No Yoshinaka (1154 - 1184), cousin of Yoritomo, which tried to take the control of the Minamoto clan during the war of Gempei, after being named Shogun by the emperor Go-Shirakawa.
- Minamoto No Yoshitsune (1159 - 1189), general having ordered the Minamoto armies lasting the War of Gempei. Ninth wire of Minamoto No Yoshitomo and half-brother of Minamoto No Yoritomo.
- Minamoto No Tametomo, wire of Minamoto No Tameyoshi, the first to have practiced the Seppuku
Minamoto in the literatureIn the Known as one of Genji, traditional from the Japanese literature, the protagonist Hikaru No Genji receives from his/her father the emperor Saga his name of Minamoto for political reasons, and, relegated to the civil life, made career as an imperial officer. In Shogun of Clavell, the hero fails on the grounds of Toranaga, chief of the clan of Minamoto.
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