Taira no Masamori (平正盛)

TAIRA no Masamori (date of birth unknown - perhaps 1121) was a warlord in the late Heian era.
Hokumen no bushi (the Imperial Palace Guards for the north side) for the Retired Emperor
His father was TAIRA no Masahira from the Ise-Heishi (branch of the Taira clan from Ise Province). It is not known who his mother was. His sons were TAIRA no Tadanori, TAIRA no Sadamasa, TAIRA no Tadamasa, TAIRA no Tokimori, Norinobu, and his daughters married MINAMOTO no Yoshitada, FUJIWARA no Akitoki, and FUJIWARA no Kiyotaka.


When Masamori succeeded as head of the family, the Taira family was not very strong, and served MINAMOTO no Yoshiie, under the Kawachi-Genji (branch of the Minamoto clan descended from the Seiwa-Genji). Then, marrying off his daughter to MINAMOTO no Yoshitada, who was a son of MINAMOTO no Yoshiie, Masamori came to be in a position to exert influence over the Kawachi-Genji clan, as the father-in-law of Yoshitada. As Masamori contributed his domain in Iga Province to the Retired Emperor Shirakawa, and was appointed to important posts, such as kebiishi (a police and judicial chief), and Tsuibushi (envoys to purse and capture), whereby he assumed responsibilities for subduing and apprehending local bandits across the various Provinces, etc.

Yoshiie got the order to subduing MINAMOTO no Yoshichika, who had incited an uprising; however, because Yoshiie died before carrying out the task, his successor, Yoshitada was given the same order in place of Yoshiie. However, because Yoshitada was reluctant to kill Yoshichika, as they were brothers, Masamori was given the mission of quelling uprising in his place, which he is said to have accomplished in 1108. He was appointed as governor of Tajima Province in recognition of his achievement. He subsequently served as the governor of Tango Province and Bizen Province. However, it is not sure whether he actually succeeded to putting down the uprising of Yoshichika. Even after this incident, a person by the name of Yoshichika appears a number of times in historical records. FUJIWARA no Munetada questioned in his diary, "Chuyuki," whether Masamori, who was not considered to be exceptionally skilled in the art of war, had actually killed Yoshichika, who was renowned for his bravery.

TAIRA no Rokudai, who appears in the "Tale of the Heike," is said to take his name from being a sixth generation descendant of Masamori. The Taira family expanded its power dramatically, culminating in the heyday of the Taira family during the period of TAIRA no Tadamori, who was Masamori's son. It is said that it was Masamori's generation of the Taira family who secured the base upon which later generations flourished, and Masamori is considered to be the individual who laid the foundation.

Official Career

Jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade), kebiishi, director of Inaba Province, director of Iyo Province, director of Bizen Province, Uma no gon no kami (Provisional Captain of the Right Division of Bureau of Horses), director of Sanuki Province, director of Tajima Province, director of Tango Province

[Original Japanese]