Minamoto no Yoshinaka

1154 - Mar 4, 1184

Minamoto no Yoshinaka, Kiso no Yoshinaka, or Lord Kiso was a general of the late Heian period of Japanese history. A member of the Minamoto clan, Minamoto no Yoritomo was his cousin and rival during the Genpei War between the Minamoto and the Taira clans. Yoshinaka was born in Musashi province. His Dharma name was Tokuon'in Gisan Senkō.
Yoshinaka's father, Minamoto no Yoshikata, was killed by Minamoto no Yoshihira in 1155. Yoshihira sought to kill Yoshinaka also, but the latter escaped to Shinano Province.
He was raised by Nakahara Kanetō, father of Tomoe Gozen together with his milk brother Imai Kanehira, who would later become his best friend and most loyal retainer.
Yoshinaka later changed his name from Minamoto to Kiso, to reflect the Kiso Mountains where he was raised.
In 1181, Yoshinaka received Prince Mochihito's call to the members of the Minamoto clan to rise against the Taira. Yoshinaka entered the Genpei War raising an army and invading Echigo Province. He then defeated a Taira force sent to pacify the area.
In 1183 a Taira army captured Hiuchi.
In 1183, Yoshinaka was confronted by Minamoto no Yoritomo, whose army had entered Shinano.
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