Type Surname (from location)
Scripts たいら(Japanese Hiragana)
Edit Status Status [show contributors]
Meaning & History
Meaning "peace". Together with the Fujiwara and Minamoto, this is one of the most prominent clans in Japanese history. It is listed in the Shinsen shojiroku. The name appears to have been taken from Taira no Miyako ("Capital of Peace"), an ancient name for the city of Kyoto, and was created in 825 by the ex-Emperor Kanmu when his son Takamune (804–867) became a commoner. Later emperors bestowed the name on some of their children, so the various branches of the clan were distinguished by the names of their parent-emperors. The Taira are also commonly called Heike or Heishi, from the Sino-Japanese pronunciation of taira plus the words for family or clan.