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The establishment of the bakufu by Minamoto Yoritomo at the end of the 12th century can be seen as the beginning of a new era, in which independent government by the warrior class successfully opposed the political power of the citizen aristocracy. Modern scholarly interpretation, however, retreated from recognizing a major break with the establishment of the Kamakura regime and the establishment of feudal institutions. Full warrior superiority was not achieved during the Kamakura period. Instead, there was something approaching a dychy, with civil power in Kyoto and military power in Kamakura sharing the authority to rule the nation. The institutions of the Heian imperial-aristocratic system remained in place during the Kamakura period, replaced by new feudal institutions when the Kamakura passed.
Role Of The Emperor In Feudal Japan
During the Gempei War, Yoritomo established his headquarters in Kamakura and entrusted the suppression of the Taira to his younger brothers Noriyori and Yoshitsune. Meanwhile, he gathered followers of the great eastern warrior leaders and began to establish a new military government. For example, in 1180 Yoritomo created the Samurai-dokoro (Council of Servants), a disciplinary council, to oversee his growing military vassals. General administration was handled by a secretariat known as Kumonjo (later Mandokoro), which opened four years later. In addition, a judicial panel called Monchujo was created to deal with lawsuits and appeals. These institutions represent the emergence of the Yoritomo regime (term
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After the destruction of the Taira family at the Battle of Dannoura in 1185, Yoritomo was given the right to appoint his own vassals or
Although the Gempei War ended in 1185, a dispute between Yoritomo and his brother Yoshitsune resulted in a war that lasted until 1189, when Yoritomo finally destroyed the northern Fujiwara family, which had taken refuge with his rebellious brother in Mutsu Province (modern Aomori Prefecture). Three years later, Yoritomo went to Kyoto and was appointed shogun (abbreviation for
; “barbar-quelling generalissimo”), the highest honor that can be bestowed on a warrior. Although Kamakura kept the title briefly in the documents it issued to manage affairs and was not recognized by the term, eventually “shogun” emerged as a title associated with the head of an organization.
It was seized on limited administrative revenues from the Taira family and public estates in provinces granted to Yoritomo by the imperial court. But later
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It was still able to extend its influence over lands controlled by civilian provincial governors, as well as over the private estates, temples, and sanctuaries of the civilian aristocracy.
Yoritomo’s wife fell into the hands of the Hojo family, from which Masako came. In 1203, Masako’s father Hojo Tokimasa became regent (
) for shogun, an office held by nine successive members of the Hojō family until 1333. Taking advantage of the disputes among Yoritomo’s generals, Hōjō overthrew and overpowered his rivals, and after three generations the direct line of descent from Yoritomo disappeared. Although they held real power, the Hōjō family was of low social rank, and its leaders did not aspire to become shogun themselves. Hojo Yoshitoki, son of Tokimasa, son of the Kujo Yoritsune shogun, son of Fujiwara and distant relative of Yoritomo (
1205–24) presided over most state affairs. After that, the appointment and dismissal of the shogun is according to the wishes of the Hojo family. Shoguns were chosen exclusively from the Fujiwara or imperial houses, regardless of lineage.
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The growing political power of the army led to conflict with the aristocracy. Thus, Emperor Go-Toba, seeing a good opportunity to restore political power in the death of the Minamoto family, issued a mandate to the country to overthrow Yoshitoki in 1221. But few warriors responded to his call. Instead, the Hojo family a
The army that occupied Kyoto and Go-Toba was arrested and exiled to the island of Oki. This event is known as the Jōkyū Disturbance, named after the period of Jōkyū (1219–22). The
Now established a headquarters in Kyoto to supervise the court and supervise the legal and administrative affairs of the western provinces. Several thousand estates of civilian aristocrats and warriors who had joined the Go-Toba were confiscated and made vassals of Kamakura.
Meanwhile, the regent Hōjō Yasutoki, to strengthen the basis of his political power, transformed the council of leading servants into the Council of State (Hyōjō-shū). In 1232, the council produced a legal code known as the Jōei Formulary (Jōei Shikimoku). Its 51 articles set forth legal precedents in writing for the first time
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, the old legal and political system of the Nara and Heian civil aristocracy. In essence, it was a set of pragmatic laws laid down for the proper conduct of warriors in administering justice. In 1249, regent Hōjō Tokiyori established a judicial court called Hikitsuke-shū to ensure greater impartiality and promptness in legal decisions.
The establishment of the regent government coincided with the rise of the Mongols under Genghis Khan in Central Asia. Beginning in 1206, for almost half a century, they established an empire that stretched from the Korean peninsula in the east to Russia and Poland in the west. In 1260, Genghis Khan’s successor, Kublai Khan, became the Great Khan of China and established his capital at present-day Beijing (Beijing). In 1271, Kublai Khan assumed the Yuan dynastic title, and soon after, the Mongols began preparing to invade Japan. In the fall of 1274, a Mongol and Korean army of about 40,000 men set out from present-day South Korea. On his way down to Kyushu, he captured part of Hizen Province (part of present-day Saga Prefecture) and advanced as far as Chikuzen. The
Shoni appointed Sukeyoshi as military commander, and Kyushu’s military vassals were mobilized for defense. The Mongol army landed at Hakata Bay and forced the Japanese defenders to retreat to Dazaifu; but a typhoon suddenly struck, destroying more than 200 of the invaders’ ships, and the survivors returned to South Korea.
Took measures to better prepare for a new invasion. Coastal defenses were strengthened, and a stone wall stretching several miles around Hakata Bay was built to keep out the powerful Mongol cavalry. Distributed among Kyushu’s vassals, these public works took five years to complete and were costly. Meanwhile, the Mongols made plans for a second expedition. In 1281, two separate armies were formed: an eastern army of about 40,000 Mongol, North Chinese, and Korean troops from South Korea, and a second army of about 100,000 troops from South China under Mongol command. general Hung Ch’a-chiu. The two armies met at Hirado and in a combined attack breached the defenses at Hakata Bay. But again, a fierce typhoon destroyed almost the entire invasion fleet and forced Hung Ch’a-ch’iu to retreat quickly. The remnants of the invading army were captured by the Japanese; Less than a fifth of the 140,000 invaders are said to have escaped.
Feudalism In Medieval Japan
The defeat of the Mongol invasions was decisive in the history of Japan. The military expenditure on preparations, constant vigilance, and actual fighting undermined the economic stability of the Kamakura government and led to the bankruptcy of many states.
. Relations between Hojo and Kamakura vassals were strained to the breaking point. The invasions also led to another long period of isolation from China that would last until the 14th century. Moreover, the victory gave a great boost to national pride
Destroying the invading armies (“divine wind”) gave the Japanese the belief that they were a divinely protected nation. Emperor Jimmu (神武天皇, Jinmu-tnō) was the legendary first emperor of Japan according to the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki.
In Japanese mythology, she was a descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu through her granddaughter Ninigi, as well as the storm god Susanu. He launched a military expedition from Hyuga near the Seto Inland Sea, captured Yamato, and established it as his seat of power. In modern Japan, Emperor Jimmu’s accession to the throne is celebrated on February 11 as National Foundation Day.
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However, it is highly likely that a powerful dynasty existed near Miyazaki Prefecture during Kofun’s time.
The eighth-century scholar Omi no Mifune designated the rulers before Emperor Ojin as tnō (天皇, “heavy sovereign”), the Japanese pdant for the Chinese emperor tiān-di (天帝), and gave several of them their canonical names, including Jimmu. By this time these rulers were known as Sumera no mikoto/Ōkimi. This practice began during the reign of Empress Suiko and took root after the Taika Reforms with the influence of the Nakatomi clan.
Both the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki give Jimu’s name as Kamu-yamato Iware-biko no Mikoto (神倭伊波礼琵古命) or Kamu-yamato Iware-biko no Sumeramikoto (神日本磐余彦天).
His other titles included: Wakamiku no Mikoto (若御毛沼命), Kamu-yamato Iware-biko hohodemi no Mikoto (神日本磐余彦火火出見尊), and Hikohohodemi (彦燁火).
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