Taira/Heike and their supporters
Minamoto/Genji and their supporters
Overall structure of The Tale of Heike
- Chapters 1-5: Describes the sudden rise of the Taira clan and the beginnings of the uprising against them, primarily organized by Retired Emperor Go-Shirakawa. Central figures are Taira no Kiyomori and his son Shigemori.
- Chapters 6-8: Covers the many uprisings across the country by the Minamoto against the Taira resulting finally in the Taira fleeing the Capital. A major central figure is Kiso no Yoshinaka, who leads the attack and installs himself at the protector of Go-Shirakawa and the government he will appoint.
- Chapters 9-12: Describes the reigning in of Yoshinaka by Minamoto no Yoritomo then the complete destruction of the Taira clan at major battle locations such as Ichi-no-tani, Yashima, and Dan-no-ura. A major central figure is Minamoto no Yoshitsune, who makes the decisive difference at many of these battles. However, he falls from favor with his older brother Yoritomo.
- Initiate's Chapter: Describes Go-Shirakawa and the eventual death of Kenreimon'in, daughter of Kiyomori and the mother of the last Taira controlled emperor (Antoku).