Resume of Taira no Masakado
Born: 10th century, AD, Japan
After being refused the office of Kebiishi (Police Chief) by the Emperor,
he settled in the Kanto region of Japan.
AD 935: Attacked and killed his uncle, Kunika.
AD 936: Attacked by and was victorious over Yoshikane, brother of Kunika.
AD 939: Conquered the 8 provinces of Eastern Japan
AD 939: Proclaims himself emperor.
AD 940: Defeated and beheaded by the Emperor's forces in Chiba.
AD 940: Head sent to the Emperor who was pleased to see it but did not
seem to want to keep it.
AD 940: Head finds its way to Shibasaki, a small fishing village on the
edge of the ocean and the future site of Edo and then Tokyo, where
it is buried in "Masakado Kubizuka" (Hill of Masakado's head). The Kubizuka,
which is located in the present day Otemachi section of Tokyo, was a hill
rising out of Tokyo Bay at the time. Through land reclaimation over the
centuries, the bay has receded some three kilometers to the south.
AD 940+: The people of Shibasaki respect Masakado for his defiance of central
authority and build a small shrine to him called Kanda Myojin. He becomes
the patron saint of the area.
Masakado shows his displeasure when, in later centuries his shrine falls
into neglect, the area is ravaged by plagues and natural disasters. He's
especially displeased when a buddist temple is built nearby and the Kubizuka
is not maintained.
AD 1603: Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu locates his capital in Edo (once Shibasaki,
now Tokyo). The Shogunate castle is located close to Masakado's head and
no doubt benefits from Masakado's protection. While not wishing to incur
the wrath of Masakado by disturbing his body, the Tokugawas felt somewhat
uncomfortable by having such a volatile and powerful spirit close by. So
Kanada Myojin shrine was relocated to its present location north of the
Kanda River in Ochanomizu.
Masakado is apparently appeased throughout the Edo period when his head
is well maintained by a local daimyo (feudal loard) and Kanda Myojin is
well patronized by the Edo government.
AD 1868: After the Meiji restoration, the area that was once Shibasaki
becomes Otemachi. The Meiji Emperor, no doubt seeing the benefits of Masakado's
protection, locates his palace where Edo castle was.
The Ministry of Finance locates in Otemachi and attempts to move Masakado
but he would not be moved.
AD 1923: After the great Kanto Earthquake, Masakado again shows his displeasure
of being neglected after a number of corporate presidents in the area commit
Today: Masakado is content.
BACK TO HOMEAuthor: Bryan MacKinnon,