Taira no Kagekiyo

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A painting of Kagekiyo by Edo period artist Yokoi Kinkoku. LACMA.
  • Died: 1185
  • Japanese: 景清 (Taira no Kagekiyo)

Taira no Kagekiyo was a prominent Taira clan warrior who fought against the Minamoto clan in the Genpei War of 1180-1185. He was the second son of Taira no Tadakiyo.

Kagekiyo is said to have been an excellent warrior and is particularly famed for a particular encounter with Mionoya Jûrô during the battle of Yashima.[1]

Kagekiyo is believed to have died at the 1185 battle of Dan-no-ura alongside many other Taira warriors. However, in Noh plays such as Kagekiyo, as well as bunraku and kabuki plays derived from them, he is said to have survived the war and to have gone into retirement (or into hiding) near Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya, where he is said to have had a child with a courtesan. Kagekiyo is also said to have suffered from blindness later in life.[2]

A small "Kagekiyo Shrine" (Kagekiyo-sha) stands near Atsuta today; people pray to the spirit of Kagekiyo to help heal their eye ailments or vision impairments.[3]


  1. Royall Tyler, Japanese Nô Dramas, Penguin Books (1992), 329-343.
  2. Gallery labels, Yokoi Kinkoku "Portrait of Kagekiyo," LACMA, 2012.
  3. Plaques on-site at Kagekiyo-sha, 402 Godocho, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 456-0043.[1]