Structure of the bakufu
Portrait traditionally identified as that of Ashikaga Takauji
Marker for the site of the Flower Palace, Kyoto
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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.

- Ashikaga Takauji

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.

- Ashikaga shogunate

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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.

In 1336 Daigo was banished again, in favor of a new Emperor, leading to the creation of the new Ashikaga shogunate.

Emperor Go-Daigo

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The 96th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.

The 96th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.

Woodblock print triptych by Ogata Gekkō; Emperor Go-Daigo dreams of ghosts at his palace in Kasagiyama
Memorial Shinto shrine and mausoleum honoring Emperor Go-Daigo
Empress Kishi and Emperor Go-Daigo. From Taiheiki Emaki (c. 17th century), vol. 2, On the Lamentation of the Empress. Owned by Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore.
Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom

The Kenmu restoration was in turn overthrown by Ashikaga Takauji in 1336, ushering in the Ashikaga shogunate, and split the imperial family into two opposing factions between the Ashikaga backed Northern Court situated in Kyoto and the Southern Court based in Yoshino led by Go-Daigo and his later successors.

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.

The Kenmu Restoration was ultimately overthrown when Takauji became Shōgun and founded the Ashikaga Shogunate in 1336, beginning the "Northern and Southern Courts" period and the Muromachi period.

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.

Kamakura shogunate

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

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.

Hana-no-Gosho (Flower Palace) in Kyoto

Muromachi period

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Division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573.

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.

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.

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

Takauji, founder of the Ashikaga shogunate which, at least nominally, ruled Japan during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, at first established his residence at the same site in Kamakura where Yoritomo's Ōkura Bakufu had been (see above), but in 1336 he left Kamakura in charge of his son Yoshiakira and went west in pursuit of Nitta Yoshisada.

Southern Court

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The Southern Court (南朝) were a set of four emperors (Emperor Go-Daigo and his line) whose claims to sovereignty during the Nanboku-chō period spanning from 1336 through 1392 were usurped by the Northern Court.

The Southern Court (南朝) were a set of four emperors (Emperor Go-Daigo and his line) whose claims to sovereignty during the Nanboku-chō period spanning from 1336 through 1392 were usurped by the Northern Court.

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

After the destruction of the Kamakura shogunate in 1333, Kōgon lost his claim, but his brother, Emperor Kōmyō, and two of his sons were supported by the new Ashikaga shōguns as the rightful claimants to the throne.

The Northern Court established in Kyoto by Ashikaga Takauji is therefore considered illegitimate.

Japan

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Island country in East Asia.

Island country in East Asia.

Legendary Emperor Jimmu (神武天皇)
Samurai warriors battling Mongols during the Mongol invasions of Japan, depicted in the
Emperor Meiji (明治天皇); 1852–1912
Japan's imperial ambitions ended on September 2, 1945, with the country's surrender to the Allies.
The Japanese archipelago
Mount Fuji in Spring, view from Arakurayama Sengen Park
Autumn maple leaves at Kongōbu-ji on Mount Kōya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The National Diet Building
Japan is a member of both the G7 and the G20.
JMSDF class destroyer
The Tokyo Stock Exchange
A rice paddy in Aizu, Fukushima Prefecture
A plug-in hybrid car manufactured by Toyota. Japan is the third-largest maker of motor vehicles in the world.
The Japanese Experiment Module (Kibō) at the International Space Station
Japan Airlines, the flag carrier of Japan
The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant
The Greater Tokyo Area is ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world.
The torii of Itsukushima Shinto Shrine near Hiroshima
Kanji and hiragana signs
Students celebrating after the announcement of the results of the entrance examinations to the University of Tokyo
12th-century illustrated handscroll of The Tale of Genji, a National Treasure
Noh performance at a Shinto shrine
Young ladies celebrate Coming of Age Day (成人の日) in Harajuku, Tokyo
A plate of nigiri-zushi
Sumo wrestlers form around the referee during the ring-entering ceremony
Japanese samurai boarding a Mongol vessel during the Mongol invasions of Japan, depicted in the, 1293
Skyscrapers in Nakanoshima, Osaka; a major financial centre in Japan

Go-Daigo was defeated by Ashikaga Takauji in 1336, beginning the Muromachi period (1336–1573).

The succeeding Ashikaga shogunate failed to control the feudal warlords and a civil war began in 1467, opening the century-long Sengoku period ("Warring States").

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

Samurai

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Samurai (侍) were the hereditary military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan from the late 12th century until their abolition in 1876.

Samurai (侍) were the hereditary military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan from the late 12th century until their abolition in 1876.

Samurai in armor in the 1860s; hand-colored photograph by Felice Beato
Kofun period helmet, gilt copper, 5th century, Ise Province
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.
The Gosannen War in the 11th century.
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.
Kasagake
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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.
Matchlock
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

Various samurai clans struggled for power during the Kamakura and Ashikaga shogunates.

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