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Tomoe Gozen, Minamoto Clan, The Gempei War, 1180-1185--single mounted Onna-musha figure

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Item Number: GMPM-05

Tomoe Gozen, Minamoto Clan, The Gempei War, 1180-1185--single mounted Onna-musha figure

THE GEMPEI WAR, 1180-1185

The Gempei War which took place between 1180 and 1185 was a national civil war between the Taira and Minamoto clans during the late Heian period of Japan. It resulted in the downfall of the Taira and the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate under Minamoto no Yoritomo, who appointed himself as Shogun in 1192, governing Japan as a military dictator from the eastern city of Kamakura.

The name Gempei or Genpei comes from the words Minamoto (Gen) and Taira (Hei, which was pronounced as pei).  These two families were fierce rivals, both were ancient families, descended from royalty.  The Heike or Taira had close ties with the court, and were well known as accomplished artists and men of letters as well as great warriors.  The Genji or Minamota were rustics, and each side derided the other for their chosen lifestyles.

Tomoe Gozen was an Onna-musha from the late Heian Period of Japanese history.  She served Minamoto no Yoshinaka during the Gempei War.  Her story in the Tale of The Heike influenced several generations of Samurai, and has been celebrated in many books, music, poems and films.

She commanded, under the leadership of Yoshinaka, 300 samurai.  Yoshinaka fought the Taira army under Yoritomo at the Battle of Awazu, on February 21st 1184.  Although Yoshinaka’s troops fought bravely, they were outnumbered and overwhelmed.  Tomoe Gozen’s 300 samurai, were outnumbered by 2,000 Taira warriors, but still Tomoe Gozen was said to have taken at least one head of the enemy, Honda no Morishige of Musashi.

With only a few of Yoshinaka’s soldiers standing and facing certain defeat and death, he told Tomoe Gozen to flee because he wanted to die with his foster brother Imai no Shiro Kanehira, and he said that he would be ashamed if he died with a woman.

Due to be released in DECEMBER 2023.