A report on Samurai and Ashikaga Takauji

Samurai in armor in the 1860s; hand-colored photograph by Felice Beato
Kofun period helmet, gilt copper, 5th century, Ise Province
Portrait traditionally identified as that of Ashikaga Takauji
In the noh drama Sanjō Kokaji, the 10th-century blacksmith Munechika, aided by a kitsune (fox spirit), forges the tachi (samurai sword) Ko-Gitsune Maru.
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The Gosannen War in the 11th century.
Tomb of Ashikaga Takauji at Tōji-in in Kyoto
Heiji rebellion in 1159.
Samurai on horseback, wearing ō-yoroi armor, carrying a bow (yumi) and arrows in an yebira quiver
Samurai ō-yoroi armor, Kamakura period. Tokyo National Museum.
Men and women engaged in battle (16th century illustration).
Samurai of the Shōni clan gather to defend against Kublai Khan's Mongolian army during the first Mongol Invasion of Japan, 1274
Samurai Takezaki Suenaga of the Hōjō clan (right) defeating the Mongolian invasion army (left) at the Battle of Torikai-Gata, 1274
Samurai boarding ships of the Second Mongolian invasion fleet, killing the Mongolian soldiers aboard, 1281.
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Himeji Castle, built from 1333 by the samurai Akamatsu Norimura of the Akamatsu clan.
A hatomune dou from the 16th century, the historic armor was once used by Kenshin Uesugi, one of the most powerful daimyōs of the Sengoku period.
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Battle of Nagashino (1575)
Korean and Chinese soldiers assault the Japanese-built fortress at Ulsan during the Japanese invasions of Korea, 1597
Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who would later command the invasion of Korea, leads a small group assaulting the castle on Mount Inaba. Print by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.
The Battle of Sekigahara, known as "Japan's decisive battle" (天下分け目の戦い, Tenka wakeme no tatakai'')
Samurai were the ruling class during the Tokugawa shogunate.
Kamei Koremi, a samurai and daimyō in the bakumatsu period
A studio photograph of a samurai, taken by Italian–British photographer Felice Beato, c. 1860
Iinuma Sadakichi, a Japanese samurai of the Aizu domain. He was the sole survivor of the famous group of young Byakkotai soldiers who committed suicide on Iimori Hill during the Battle of Aizu.
Samurai holding a severed head. After a battle, enemy's heads were collected and presented to the daimyo.
General Akashi Gidayu preparing to perform Seppuku after losing a battle for his master in 1582. He had just written his death poem.
Painting of Ōishi Yoshio performing seppuku, 1703
Edo-period screen depicting the Battle of Sekigahara. It began on 21 October 1600 with a total of 160,000 men facing each other.
Kōan Ogata, a samurai, physician and rangaku scholar in late Edo period Japan, noted for establishing an academy which later developed into Osaka University.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi with his wives and concubines.
Tomoe Gozen by Shitomi Kangetsu, ca. 18th century
Gyokusen-en, Japanese garden made by a Korean samurai Wakita Naokata and his descendants.
1890s photo showing a variety of armor and weapons typically used by samurai
Mounted samurai with horse armour (uma yoroi or bagai)
Kamakura samurai beheading (head collection)
Statue of samurai Kusunoki Masashige stationed outside Tokyo Imperial Palace.
Kasuga no Tsubone fighting robbers - Adachi Ginko (c.1880)
Hangaku Gozen by Yoshitoshi, ca. 1885
Japanese woman preparing for ritual suicide
Yuki no Kata defending Anotsu castle. 18th century
A samurai class woman.
Cross sections of Japanese sword lamination methods.
Diagram of the Katana sword.
Samurai with various armor and weapons, c. 1802-1814
Antique Japanese tachi
Antique Japanese katana
Antique Japanese wakizashi
Reenactors with Tanegashima at Himeji Castle Festival
Japanese arrow stand with a pair of Yumi bows.
The bow of the Kamakura period
The arrow of the Kamakura period
Ō-yoroi, Kamakura period, 13th-14th century, Kasuga Grand Shrine, National Treasure
Dō-maru with Black and White Lacing. Muromachi period, 15th century, Tokyo National Museum, Important Cultural Property
Toyotomi Hidetsugu's gusoku armour, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th-17th century, Suntory Museum of Art
Karuta tatami dō gusoku, Edo period. A lightweight portable folding (tatami) armour made from small square or rectangle armor plates called karuta. The karuta are usually connected to each other by chainmail and sewn to a cloth backing.
A re-creation of an armored samurai riding a horse, showing horse armour (uma yoroi or bagai).
Shell-shaped cask (Oitaragainari kawari kabuto), iron and papier-mâché for the shell, beginning of the Edo Period.
Face guard (Menpō). Edo period. Tokyo Fuji Art Museum.
Samurai in armor in the 1860s; hand-colored photograph by Felice Beato
Samurai Takezaki Suenaga of the Hōjō clan (right) assaults the Mongolian invasion army (left) at the Battle of Torikai-Gata, 1274
Kofun period helmet, gilt copper, 5th century, Ise Province
Battle of Yashima folding screens
Antique Japanese wakizashi

He was a male-line descendant of the samurai of the (Minamoto) Seiwa Genji line (meaning they were descendants of Emperor Seiwa) who had settled in the Ashikaga area of Shimotsuke Province, in present-day Tochigi Prefecture.

- Ashikaga Takauji

Musō Soseki (1275–1351) was a Zen monk who was advisor to both Emperor Go-Daigo and General Ashikaga Takauji (1304–58).

- Samurai
Samurai in armor in the 1860s; hand-colored photograph by Felice Beato

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Ashikaga shogunate

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The feudal military government of Japan during the Muromachi period from 1336 to 1573.

The feudal military government of Japan during the Muromachi period from 1336 to 1573.

Structure of the bakufu
Marker for the site of the Flower Palace, Kyoto

The Ashikaga shogunate was established when Ashikaga Takauji was appointed Shōgun after overthrowing the Kenmu Restoration shortly after having overthrown the Kamakura shogunate in support of Emperor Go-Daigo.

The Ashikaga clan governed Japan from the Imperial capital of Heian-kyō (Kyoto) as de facto military dictators along with the daimyō lords of the samurai class.

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

The term was originally used to refer to the general who commanded the army sent to fight the tribes of northern Japan, but after the twelfth century, the term was used to designate the leader of the samurai.

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

Portrait of Kusunoki Masashige by Kanō Sanraku

Kusunoki Masashige

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Portrait of Kusunoki Masashige by Kanō Sanraku
Equestrian statue of Kusunoki Masashige outside the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
The same statue from a different angle, close-up.
Equestrian statue of Kusunoki Masashige at the entrance to Kanshin-ji in Kawachinagano, Osaka Prefecture.

Kusunoki Masashige (楠木 正成) was a Japanese samurai of the Kamakura period remembered as the ideal of samurai loyalty.

Kusunoki was a leading figure of the Kenmu Restoration in 1333 and remained loyal to the unpopular Emperor Go-Daigo after Ashikaga Takauji began to reverse the restoration in the Nanboku-chō wars three years later.