Minamoto no Tametomo

Minamoto no Tametomo (源 為朝, 1139 – April 23, 1170), also known as Chinzei Hachirō Tametomo (鎮西 八郎 為朝), was a samurai who fought in the Hōgen Rebellion of 1156. He was the son of Minamoto no Tameyoshi, and brother to Yukiie and Yoshitomo.

Minamoto no Tametomo
Portrait of Minamoto no Tametomo, by Kuniyoshi Utagawa
Bornc. 1139
Died23 April 1170(1170-04-23) (aged 30–31)
Higo Province, Japan
Native name源 為朝
Other namesChinzei Hachirō Tametomo (鎮西 八郎 為朝);
StyleKyudo, Kenjutsu

Tametomo is known in the epic chronicles as a powerful archer and it is said that he once sunk an entire Taira ship with a single arrow by puncturing its hull below the waterline. It is also added in many legends that his left arm was about 4 inches longer than his right, enabling a longer draw of the arrow, and more powerful shots.[1] He fought in the Siege of Shirakawa-den, along with his father, against the forces of Taira no Kiyomori and Minamoto no Yoshitomo, his brother. The palace was set aflame,[2] and Tametomo was forced to flee.

After the Hōgen Rebellion, the Taira cut the sinews of Tametomo's left arm, limiting the use of his bow, and then he was banished to the island of Ōshima in the Izu Islands. Tametomo eventually killed himself by slicing his abdomen, or committing seppuku. He is quite possibly the first warrior to commit seppuku in the chronicles.[1]


  1. ^ a b Turnbull, Stephen (1977). The Samurai, A Military History. MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 35,37. ISBN 0026205408.
  2. ^ Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. Cassell & Co. p. 199. ISBN 1854095234.