What kind of European rulers do Fujiwara Michinaga, Taira Kiyomori, Minamoto Yoshitsune, and Minamoto Yoritomo resemble? Were these rulers of the East and West contemporaries?
Fujiwara Michinaga is similar in his activity to the wise ministers-churchmen: Suger under Louis VI in France, Stephen Langton under John Lackland in England, Francisco Jimenez under Isabella of Castile. (All these European rulers lived two to four centuries later than their Japanese counterpart.) Taira Kiyomori and his enemies – the Minamoto brothers – are like many European counts and dukes who tried to arbitrarily dispose of the royal crowns. These are the Shakespearean heroes Henry Percy (Hotspur), Richard Neville (Earl of Warwick, “the kingmaker”) and the Yorkie brothers – Edward IV and Richard III. Such are the Dukes of Burgundy and the Dukes of Armagnac in France, and in Castile, the Dukes of Medina Sidonia and the Masters of the Orders of St. Iago and Calatrava. (These European feudal lords also lived two to three centuries later than their Japanese counterparts.)
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