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The Battle of Yashima

794 - 1185


Emperor Kammu moves the Imperial Court to Kyoto. The Heian Period begins


The shoen system is refined and expands; the strength of the warrior houses in the northern provinces steadily grows


The monk Saichô is sent by emperor Kammu to study Buddhism in China

806 - First year of Daidô

Emperor Kammu dies

810 - First year of Kônin


Saichô, the founder of the Tendai sect of Buddhism and the Enryaku-Ji temple on Mt. Hiei, dies

824 - First year of Tenchô

834 - First year of Shôwa


Kukai (b. 774), the founder of the Shingon school of Buddhism, dies


Miyoshi Kiyotsura is born

848 - First year of Kajô

851 - First year of Ninju

854 - First year of Saikô

857 - First year of Tennan


Fujiwara Yoshifusa (804-872) becomes the first Fujiwara regent (acting as a guardian to the child-emperor Seiwa)

859 - First year of Jôgan

877 - First year of Genkei


Emperor Seiwa dies; his six sons each create a different branch of the new Minamoto (Genji) family


  • Fujiwara Motosune (836-891) becomes regent to the Emperor Koko

  • The Kokinshu [Poems Ancient and Modern], a compilation of 1,111 poems, is completed and establishes tanka as the standard form of classical Japanese poetry

    885 - First year of Ninna

    889 - First year of Kampyô

    898 - First year of Shôtai

    901 - First year of Engi


    The Kokinshu (Poems Ancient and Modern), a compilation of 1,111 poems, is completed and establishes tanka as the standard form of classical Japanese poetry.


    Miyoshi Kiyotsura dies

    923 - First year of Enchô

    931 - First year of Shôhei


    Taira Masakado, a powerful landowner in the Kanto refused a government post, rebels. He goes on to declare himself the rightful emperor.


    A pirate fleet under Fujiwara Sumimoto preys on Inland Sea shipping until it is defeated by the Minamoto in 941.

    938 - First year of Tengyô


    Taira Masakado is defeated and killed at the Battle of Kojima (Shimosa) by Taira Sadamori and Fujiwara Hidesato.


    - Fujiwara Sumimoto is defeated by the Minamoto

    947 - First year of Tenryaku

    957 - First year of Tentoku

    961 - First year of Ôwa

    964 - First year of Kôhô

    968 - First year of Anna

    970 - First year of Tenroku

    973 - First year of Ten'en

    976 - First year of Jôgen

    978 - First year of Tengen

    983 - First year of Eikan

    985 - First year of Kanna

    987 - First year of Eien

    989 -First year of Eiso

    990 - First year of Shôryaku

    995 - First year of Chôtoku


    Fujiwara Michinaga (966-1027) becomes regent; under his leadership, the Fujiwara reach their height.

    999 - First year of Chôhô


    Sei Shonagon composes the Pillow Book (Makura no Shoshi) around this time.

    1004 - First year of Kankô

    1012 - First year of Chôwa

    1017 - First year of Kannin

    1021 - First year of Jian


    Murasaki Shikubu completes the Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari) around this time.

    1024 - First year of Manju


    Fujiwara Michinaga dies.

    1028 - First year of Chôgen


    Minamoto Yorinobu subdues the rebellious Taira Tadatsune

    1037 - First year of Chôryaku

    1040 - First year of Chôkyû

    1044 - First year of Kantoku

    1046 - First year of Eishô


    The Former Nine-Year War begins: Minamoto no Yoriyoshi and his son Minamoto Yoshiie lead government forces against the Abe family of Mutsu, whose remote clan had become nearly autonomous.

    1053 - First year of Tengi


  • Abe Yoritoki is killed in action.

  • Abe Sadato defeats Minamoto Yoriyoshi at the Battle of Kawasaki.

    1058 - First year of Kôhei


  • Abe Sadato is defeated by Minamoto Yoshiie at Kuriyagawa, ending the Former Nine-year war.

  • Mutsu Waki [The Story of Mutsu], an account of the war, is written.


    Minamoto Yoshiie, on his return from Mutsu, establishes the Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine near later Kamakura

    1065 - First year of Jiryaku


    Go-Sanjo becomes Emperor and Cancellor Fujiwara Yorimichi retires, the last of the great Fujiwara minsters.

    1069 - First year of Enkyû


    Ga-Sanjo abdicates in favor of his son Sadahito (the Emperor Shirakawa) but continues to work for Imperial independance from the Fujiwara. While most likely not the creator of the Insei (rule through cloistered emperors) system as he is sometimes described, Go-Sanjo and his son Shirakawa greatly diminish the Fujiwara influence at court.

    1074 - First year of Jôhô

    Fujiwara Yorimichi (b.992) dies.

    1077 - First year of Shôryaku

    1081 - First year of Eihô

    The Enryakuji, Mii-dera, and Kofukuji temples enter into a violent three-way dispute.


    - Minamoto Yoriyoshi dies


    The Later Three Year War begins: Minamoto Yoshiie goes to war with the Kiyowara following a power struggle within that clan.

    1084 - First year of Ôtoku

    1087 - First year of Kanji

    - The Later Three Years War ends with Minamoto Yoshiie's capture of Kanazawa Castle; the Court refuses to reward Yoshiie's men, compelling him to reward them himself.

    1094 - First year of Kahô

    1096 - First year of Eichô

    1097 - First year of Jôtoku


    Minamoto Yoshiie is allowed to enter the Imperial court

    1099 - First year of Kôwa

    1104 - First year of Chôji

    1106 - First year of Kajô

    1108 - First year of Tennin

    Minamoto Yoshiie dies

    1110 - First year of Ten'ei


    Celebrated scholar and tutor to three emperors, Ôie Masafusa, dies

    1113 - First year of Eikyû

    1118 - First year of Gen'ei

    Taira Kiyomori is born

    1120 - First year of Hôan


    Minamoto Yoshitomo is born

    1124 - First year of Tenji

    1126 - First year of Daiji

    1131 - First year of Tenshô

    1132 - First year of Chôshô

    1135 - First year of Hôen


    The first Hôjß Regent, Hojo Tokimasa, is born

    1141 - First year of Eiji

    1142 - First year of Kô

    1144 - First year of Ten'yô

    1145 - First year of Kyûan


    February - Taira Kiyomori is appointed the governor of Aki.

  • Taira Kiyomori defies the monks of the Enryakuji outside Kyôto


    Minamoto Yoritomo is born

    1151 - First year of Ninpei


    February 15 Taira Tadanori dies and Kiyomori rises to power in the Taira family.

    1154 - First year of Kyûju

    1156 - First year of Hyôgen

  • The Rokuhara period (1156 - 1185) named after the Taira's headquarters in the Rokuhara district of Kyoto, begins

    August 10 - The Hôgen disturbance [Hôgen no Ran] occurs in Kyôto; Minamoto Tameyoshi and Tametomo are attacked in the Shirakawa-den by Minamoto Yoshitomo and Taira Kiyomori

    August 30 - Tameyoshi and Tametomo are defeated.


    Taira Kiyomori is named the Assistant Governor-General of the Daifuzu (a government office on Kyushu).

    1159 - First year of Heiji

    The Heiji Disturbance (Heiji no ran) occurs in Kyoto-Minamoto Yoshitomo takes Sanjo Palace and captures the former emperor, Go-Shirakawa. Taira Kiyomori leads a counterattack, defeating the Minamoto and killing Yoshitomo. Kiyomori spares Yoshitomo's children-the future Yoritomo and Yoshitsune.

    1160 - First year of Eiryaku

    Taira Kiyomori is named a court councilor (Senior Third Rank).

    1161 - First year of Ôhô

    1163 - First year of Chôkan

    1165 - First year of Eiman

    July Rokujô becomes Emperor following the abdication of Emperor Nijô.

    1166 - First year of Ninnan


    February 11 Taira Kiyomori is named Grand Minister of State (dajodaijin) and rules jointly with Go-Shirakawa.


    Taira Kiyomori orders the Itskushima Shrine rebuilt.

    1169 - First year of Kaô


    Minamoto Tametomo commits suicide.

    1171 - First year of Shôan

    1175 - First year of Angen

    1177 - First year of Jishô


    September Taira Shigemori dies.

    December Taira Kiyomori and Go-Shirakawa clash, and the latter is placed under house-arrest.


    The Gempei War

    March 21 Taira Kiyomori names his 2-year old grandson Antoku titular emperor after Takaura abdicates..

    May 5 Imperial Prince Mochihito issues a call to arms against the Taira. The Gempei War begins.

    June The seat of Imperial power is moved to Fukuhara, probably through pressure by Taira Kiyomori

    June 15 Prince Mochihito flees Kyoto.

    June 23 Minamoto Yorimasa and the warrior monks of Nara are defeated at the Uji bridge by Taira Tomomori and Shigehira.

    September Minamoto Yoritomo declares war on the Taira and raises troops in the Kanto. He attacks and kills Taira Kanetaka.

    September 14 Yoritomo is defeated at Ishibashiyama (Sagami) by Oba Kagechika.

    November The capital is moved back to Kyoto.

    November 9 Minamoto Yoritomo and the Takeda force the Taira to retreat at the Fujigawa (Suruga).

    November 23 The Oba family submits to Yoritomo.

    December Yoritomo defeats the Satake clan who had been unwilling to give their loyalty to his cause.

    December 19 Taira Tomomori burns down the Kofuku-ji.

    1181 - First year of Yôwa

    January The Nitta clan submits to Minamoto Yoritomo.

    March 20 Taira Kiyomori dies; he is succeded by Taira Munemori.

    April 25 Taira Tomomori defeats Minamoto Yukiie in a night engagement at Sunomata (Omi).

    September Minamoto Yoritmo suggests that Japan be divided into seperate spheres of influnce under Minamoto and Taira leadership; the Court is somewhat in favor of this idea, which the Taira ignore.

  • Minamoto (Kiso) Yoshinaka of Shinano joins the war against the Taira and marches into the Hokuriku region.

  • Poor harvests and famine force a general suspension of hostilities into 1183.

    1182 - First year of Juei

    October 9 Minamoto (Kiso) Yoshinaka defeats and kills Jo Nagashige of Echigo at the Battle of Yokotogawara.

    November 3 Taira Munemori is appointed palace Minister.


    May 10 Taira Koremori leads an army from Kyoto to destroy Kiso Yoshinaka.

    June 2 Kiso Yoshinaka routs the Taira at the Battle of Kurikawa and turns the tide of the war in the Minamoto's favor.

    August 25 Taira Munemori and the Emperor Antoku abandon Kyoto for Shikoku.

    August 28 Kiso Yoshinaka and Minamoto Yukiie escort Go-Shirakawa into Kyoto.

    November 17 Kiso Yoshinaka is defeated by the Taira at Mizushima.

    1184 - First year of Genryaku

    February 19 Minamoto Yoritomo and Kiso Yoshinaka go to war over control of the Minamoto; Yoshinaka is defeated at the Uji River.

    February 21 Yoshinaka is cornered and killed at the Battle of Awazu.

    March 18 Minamoto Yoshitsune defeats the Taira at the Battle of Ichinotani.

    April 15 Taira Koremori commits suicide.

    October Minamoto Noriyori begins a campaign into the western Honshu provinces.

    October 26 Noriyori defeats a Taira force at Fujito (Bizen).

    1185 - First year of Bunji

    March 22 Minamoto Yoshitsune attacks Yashima (Sanuki) and puts the Taira to flight.

    April 24 The Taira clan is utterly destroyed at the Battle of Dan no Ura. The Emperor Antoku dies in the course of the fighting, and Taira Munemori is captured and later executed. The Gempei War ends.

    August Minamoto Yukiie dies.