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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

March 22nd, 1185 - The Battle of Yashima

Conflict: Genpei War

Combatants: Minamoto clan vs. Taira clan

Location: Japan

Outcome: Minamoto victory

In 1160, Taira Kiyomori came to power and ruled over Japan as a virtual dictator. After twenty years, Minamoto Yoritomo brought his clan to war to depose Taira. In March of 1185, the Minamoto clan decisively defeated the Taira clan at the Battle of Yashima. The Taira clan would eventually be entirely destroyed by the Minamoto.

Battle of Yashima, Genpei War, 1185 by Utagawa Kunisada

Points of Interest:

  • The Taira clan were driven from Kyoto, the Japanese capital, in 1183 and effectively destroyed in the Battle of Dannoura.

  • Minamoto Yoritomo became the military dictator of Japan and was the first to hold the title of Shogun. He assassinated three of his relatives out of jealousy and blamed a rival clan in order to destroy it.



Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.

Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

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