Ashikaga Tadayoshi depicted in an Edo period print
Portrait traditionally identified as that of Ashikaga Takauji
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Tomb of Ashikaga Takauji at Tōji-in in Kyoto

Ashikaga Tadayoshi (足利 直義) was a general of the Northern and Southern Courts period (1337–92) of Japanese history and a close associate of his elder brother Takauji, the first Muromachi shōgun.

- Ashikaga Tadayoshi

Ashikaga Tadayoshi (足利 直義)

- Ashikaga Takauji

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The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

Nanboku-chō period

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The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:
Emperor Go-Daigo
Ashikaga Takauji

The Nanboku-chō period (南北朝時代, Nanboku-chō jidai, "North and South court period", also known as the Northern and Southern Courts period), spanning from 1336 to 1392, was a period that occurred during the formative years of the Muromachi (Ashikaga) shogunate of Japanese history.During the early period, there existed a Northern Imperial Court, established by Ashikaga Takauji in Kyoto, and a Southern Imperial Court, established by Emperor Go-Daigo in Yoshino.

Takauji was nominally shōgun but, having proved not to be up to the task of ruling the country, for more than ten years Ashikaga Tadayoshi governed in his stead.

Kanji that make up the word shogun

Shogun

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The title of the military dictators of Japan during most of the period spanning from 1185 to 1868.

The title of the military dictators of Japan during most of the period spanning from 1185 to 1868.

Kanji that make up the word shogun
Sakanoue no Tamuramaro (758–811) was one of the first shoguns of the early Heian period
Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first shogun (1192–1199) of the Kamakura shogunate
Ashikaga Takauji (1336/1338–1358) established the Ashikaga shogunate
Ukiyo-e of Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate
Shogun hearing a lawsuit at Fukiage (of Edo Castle) by Toyohara Chikanobu
Imperial Seal of Japan
Ashikaga Takauji (1336/1338–1358) established the Ashikaga shogunate

Around 1334–1336, Ashikaga Takauji helped Daigo regain his throne in the Kenmu Restoration.

However, Prince Moriyoshi was later put under house arrest and, in 1335, killed by Ashikaga Tadayoshi.

Kamakura

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City in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

City in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

A map of Kamakura with the approximate location of the most important historical sites. The darker color indicates flatland.
View over Kamakura's Sagami Bay coast from Hase-dera (Kamakura)
Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū and the dankazura during the Edo period
Portrait traditionally believed to be of Minamoto no Yoritomo, but now believed to be of Ashikaga Tadayoshi
The stele on the spot where Yoritomo's Ōkura Bakufu used to stand
The Hōjō family crest, ubiquitous in Kamakura
This field is the former site of Tōshō-ji, the Hōjō family temple. In 1333, the Hōjō clan committed mass suicide here.
The Kamakura-fu at the time of its maximum expansion
A 1685 illustration from the Shinpen Kamakurashi of the lot where the Kantō kubō mansion once stood. It was left empty in the hope that he may one day return.
The monument on the spot at Ryūkō-ji where Nichiren was saved from execution
The statue of Amida Buddha at Kōtoku-in
Visitors crowd the entrance way of Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū
Sasuke Inari Shrine's entrance
The parade during the Kamakura Festival
The Ōmachi-side of the Shakadō Pass
Hōjō Masako's yagura at Jufuku-ji. Her ashes are not actually there, as they were lost centuries ago.

In 1335, Hōjō Tokiyuki, son of last regent Takatoki, tried to re-establish the shogunate by force and defeated Kamakura's de facto ruler Ashikaga Tadayoshi in Musashi, in today's Kanagawa Prefecture.

He was in his turn defeated in Koshigoe by Ashikaga Takauji, who had come in force from Kyoto to help his brother.

Portrait of Kō no Moronao,

Kō no Moronao

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Japanese samurai of the Nanboku-chō period who was the first to hold the position of Shitsuji (Shōguns Deputy).

Japanese samurai of the Nanboku-chō period who was the first to hold the position of Shitsuji (Shōguns Deputy).

Portrait of Kō no Moronao,

He was appointed by Ashikaga Takauji, the first shōgun of the Ashikaga shogunate.

Most importantly, Moronao was bitterly opposed to Takauji's younger brother Tadayoshi and his policies.

Kenmu Restoration

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Three-year period of Imperial rule in Japanese history between the Kamakura period and the Muromachi period from 1333 to 1336.

Three-year period of Imperial rule in Japanese history between the Kamakura period and the Muromachi period from 1333 to 1336.

Emperor Go-Daigo
A portrait of Ashikaga Takauji bearing his son Yoshiakira's cipher
Prince Morinaga's statue at Kamakura-gū in Kamakura

Go-Daigo launched a second uprising, and with the assistance of the defected Kamakura general Ashikaga Takauji, defeated the Kamakura Shogunate at the siege of Kamakura in 1333.

In an obvious reply to this move, Ashikaga Takauji's younger brother Tadayoshi without an order from the Emperor escorted another of his sons, eleven-year-old Nariyoshi (a.k.a. Narinaga) to Kamakura, where he installed him as Governor of the Kōzuke Province with himself as a deputy and de facto ruler.

Nitta Yoshisada

Nitta Yoshisada

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Samurai lord of the Nanboku-chō period Japan.

Samurai lord of the Nanboku-chō period Japan.

Nitta Yoshisada
Nitta Yoshisada offering his sword to Ryūjin

Long an enemy of Ashikaga Takauji, Nitta Yoshisada is often blamed for the split between the Northern and Southern Courts, as he fought against the Ashikaga and for the emperor, Emperor Go-Daigo.

During the following few years, Nitta Yoshisada's rivalry with Ashikaga Takauji and his brother Ashikaga Tadayoshi came to a head, with an imperial commission to destroy the two brothers issued in 1335.

Kō no Moroyasu (by Utagawa Sadahide)

Kō no Moroyasu

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Kō no Moroyasu (by Utagawa Sadahide)

Kō no Moroyasu (高 師泰) was one of the leading generals of Shōgun Ashikaga Takauji during the Nanboku-chō period, along with his brother Moronao and his cousin Morofuyu.

After a number of skirmishes, Moroyasu's army, despite being reinforced by men under Ashikaga Tadayoshi, was defeated, and withdrew into the Hakone Mountains.

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

Kannō

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Japanese era name (年号, nengō, lit. year name) of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Jōwa and before Bunna.

Japanese era name (年号, nengō, lit. year name) of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Jōwa and before Bunna.

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

This illegitimate Northern Court (北朝) had been established in Kyoto by Ashikaga Takauji.

1350–1352 (Kannō 2–3): Armed conflict, variously known as the Kannō disturbance or Kannō incident (観応擾乱) or Kannō no juran, developed from antagonism between Shōgun Ashikaga Takauji and his brother, Ashikaga Tadayoshi. Disagreement about the influence of Kō no Moronao diminished after death of Moronao. Tadayoshi was ordered to relocate to Kamakura. The brothers eventually reconciled before Tadayoshi's death in 1352.

Hōjō Tokiyuki

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Samurai of the Hōjō clan who fought both for and against the Imperial Court.

Samurai of the Hōjō clan who fought both for and against the Imperial Court.

He re-entered Kamakura in 1335, forcing Ashikaga Tadayoshi to flee before he was forced to flee himself by Tadayoshi's elder brother and future shōgun Ashikaga Takauji.

Battle of Minatogawa

Battle of Minatogawa

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Battle of the Nanboku-chō Wars fought near the Minato River in Settsu Province (present day Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture) on 5 July 1336.

Battle of the Nanboku-chō Wars fought near the Minato River in Settsu Province (present day Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture) on 5 July 1336.

Battle of Minatogawa
Troops disposition at Minatogawa

The Imperial forces loyal to Emperor Go-Daigo led by Kusunoki Masashige and Nitta Yoshisada attempted to intercept the Ashikaga forces led by Ashikaga Takauji in Settsu.

The main land force led by Ashikaga Tadayoshi attacked the Imperials from the west to tie down Masashige, with Shoni Yorihisa launching a side attack from the south and Shiba Takatsune circling from the north to attack from behind.