A great warrior clan at the end of Japan's Heian Era. Briefly seized power in the mid 12th century under Taira Kiyomori but were then defeated by the Minamoto in the Gempei War (1180-1185). The heroes in the Tale of the Heike, "Heike" being an alternate name for the family, based on a Chinese reading of the characters for "Taira" and "House."

Tai"ra (?), n. Zool.

Same as Tayra.

 

© Webster 1913.

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