Taira no Tomoyasu was born in 1190. He was the son of Tomochika.
Taira no Tomoyasu served ex-Emperor Goshirakawa. He was called Iki-no-Hogan or Tsuzumi-Hogan because he was an accomplished beater of tsuzumi (small drum).
He was favored by the ex-Emperor. Yoshinaka Kiso, who captured Kyoto from the Tairas (1183), was so overbearing that the ex-Emperor sent Tomoyasu to Yoshinaka to admonish him. Yoshinaka only scoffed at the Imperial messenger. In indignation, Tomoyasu advised the ex-Emperor to fight Yoshinaka. When he was preparing for a battle with Yoshinaka, he was attacked by Yoshinaka forces and fled. He went to Kamakura and was favored by Shogun Yoriie for his wit but was disliked by Masako, the widow of Yoritomo. After Yoriie was deposed, he returned to Kyoto.