Ashikaga shogunate

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

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

- Ashikaga shogunate

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Ashikaga clan

Picture of the genealogy of the Ashikaga.

The Ashikaga clan (足利氏) was a prominent Japanese samurai clan which established the Muromachi shogunate and ruled Japan from roughly 1333 to 1573.

Nanboku-chō period

Period that occurred during the formative years of the Muromachi bakufu of Japanese history.

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

However, in reality the Northern line was under the power of the Ashikaga shogunate and had little real independence.

Sengoku period

Period in Japanese history of near-constant civil war and social upheaval from 1467–1615.

Japan in 1570
Japan in the late 16th century
Gun workman, Sakai, Osaka
Ōzutsu (Big Gun)

The Sengoku period was initiated by the Ōnin War in 1464 which collapsed the feudal system of Japan under the Ashikaga Shogunate.

Ōnin War

Civil war that lasted from 1467 to 1477, during the Muromachi period in Japan.

19th century-painting by Utagawa Yoshitora, depicting a battle of the war
Situation in 1467. Areas loyal to or allied with Hosokawa Katsumoto in pink, areas loyal to or allied with Yamana Sōzen in light green.
Painting depicting a battle during the Ōnin War
Marker at location of outbreak of the Ōnin War

A dispute between a high official, Hosokawa Katsumoto, and a regional lord, Yamana Sōzen, escalated into a nationwide civil war involving the Ashikaga shogunate and a number of daimyō in many regions of Japan.

Oda Nobunaga

Japanese daimyo and one of the leading figures of the Sengoku period.

Oda Nobunaga in a 16th-century portrait by Kanō Motohide (detail)
Oda Clan Mon (emblem)
A photocopy of a portrait of Nobunaga allegedly drawn by a missionary. Collection of Sanpoji Temple.
Kiyosu Castle (清州城)
Statue of Oda Nobunaga at Kiyosu Castle.
Ukiyo-e of Oda Nobunaga by Kuniyoshi Utagawa.
Oda Nobunaga's armour.
Battle of Nagashino in 1575
Map of locations
Honnō-ji temple main hall
An ukiyo-e by Yoshitoshi depicting Nobunaga fighting in the Honnō-ji Incident
Grave of Oda Nobunaga at Mount Kōya, Wakayama Prefecture.
Site of Nagoya Castle (那古野城跡).
Political situation in Japan circa 1582. Purple area was territory controlled by the Oda in 1560, grey area was territory Nobunaga controlled at the time of his death in 1582.
Oda Nobunaga's breech-loading swivel gun, 16th century. This gun is thought to have been cast in Portuguese Goa, India. Caliber: 95 mm, length: 2880 mm.
The Swallowtail butterfly mon of the Taira is called Ageha-chō (揚羽蝶) in Japanese.
Azuchi-jō-zu, a drawing of the Azuchi castle

Nobunaga emerged as the most powerful daimyo, overthrowing the nominally ruling shogun Ashikaga Yoshiaki and dissolving the Ashikaga Shogunate in 1573.

Kamakura shogunate

The feudal military government of Japan during the Kamakura period from 1185 to 1333.

This wooden Kongorikishi statue was created during the Kamakura shogunate during 14th-century Japan. It originally guarded the gate to Ebara-dera, a temple in Sakai, Osaka.
Minamoto no Yoritomo's goes to Kyoto at beginning of the Kamakura Shogunate
Grave of Minamoto no Yoritomo
Site of Hōjō Takatoki's death

The Kamakura shogunate was overthrown in the Kenmu Restoration under Emperor Go-Daigo in 1333, re-establishing Imperial rule until Ashikaga Takauji overthrew the Imperial government and founded the Ashikaga shogunate in 1336.


Daimyo (大名) were powerful Japanese magnates, feudal lords who, from the 10th century to the early Meiji period in the middle 19th century, ruled most of Japan from their vast, hereditary land holdings.

Map of the territories of the Sengoku daimyos around the first year of the Genki era (1570 AD).
Shiba Yoshimasa of Shiba clan, one of the Shugo-daimyo.
Kamei Koremi, a daimyō during the bakumatsu period.

The Ashikaga shogunate required the shugo-daimyo to reside in Kyoto, so they appointed relatives or retainers, called shugodai, to represent them in their home provinces.

Muromachi period

Division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573.

Hana-no-Gosho (Flower Palace) in Kyoto
Muromachi samurai (1538)
A ship of the Muromachi period (1538)
Muromachi-era illustration to a fictional narrative
Music scene during the Muromachi period (1538)
Nanban ships arriving for trade in Japan. 16th-century painting.
A Japanese votive altar, Nanban style. End of 16th century. Guimet Museum.
Ryōan-ji rock garden

The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate (Muromachi bakufu or Ashikaga bakufu), which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shōgun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kenmu Restoration (1333–1336) of imperial rule was brought to a close.

Hōjō clan

Family who controlled the hereditary title of shikken (regent) of the Kamakura shogunate between 1203 and 1333.

Resentment at Hōjō rule eventually culminated in the overthrow of the clan and the establishment of the Ashikaga shogunate.

Ashikaga Takauji

Portrait traditionally identified as that of Ashikaga Takauji
Tomb of Ashikaga Takauji at Tōji-in in Kyoto

Ashikaga Takauji (足利 尊氏) was the founder and first shōgun of the Ashikaga shogunate.