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Taira (平) is a Japanese surname.

In reference to Japanese history, Taira was an honorary surname bestowed by the emperors of the Heian Period to their sons. This Taira clan is often referred to as Heishi (平氏).

The first emperor to start granting the name Taira to his princes was the emperor Kammu. Afterwards, the emperors Nimmyo, Montoku, and Koko, also gave their sons the name Taira. The specific hereditary lines from these emperors is referred to by the emperor's name followed by Heishi. i.e. Kammu Heishi

The Kammu Heishi[?] line proved to be the most strong and dominant line during the late Heian period with Taira no Kiyomori eventually forming the first samurai dominated government in the history of Japan. The last of the Kammu Heishi line was eventually destroyed by the armies of Minamoto no Yoritomo at the Battle of Dannoura[?], the last battle of the Gempei War[?].

See also: Japanese name.

Taira[?] is also a village[?] in Toyama, Japan.

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