Ashikaga shogunate

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The Ashikaga shogunate (足利幕府 Ashikaga bakufu?, 1336–1573), also known as the Muromachi shogunate (室町幕府 Muromachi bakufu?), was a Japanese feudal military regime, ruled by the shoguns of the Ashikaga clan.

This period is also known as the Muromachi period and gets its name from Muromachi Street of Kyoto where the third shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu established his residence. This residence is nicknamed "Hana no Gosho" (花の御所) or "Flower Palace" (constructed in 1379) because of the abundance of flowers in its landscaping.

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Beginning

During the preceding Kamakura period (1185–1333), the Hōjō clan enjoyed absolute power in the governing of Japan. This monopoly of power, as well as the lack of a reward of lands after the defeat of Mongol invasion, led to simmering resentment among Hōjō vassals. Finally, in 1333, the Emperor Go-Daigo ordered local governing vassals to oppose Hōjō rule, in favor of Imperial restoration, in the Kemmu Restoration.

To counter this revolt, the Kamakura bakufu ordered Ashikaga Takauji to quash the uprising. For reasons that are unclear, possibly because Ashikaga was the de facto leader of the powerless Minamoto clan, while the Hōjō clan were from the Taira clan the Minamoto had previously defeated, Ashikaga turned against the Kamakura bakufu, and fought on behalf of the Imperial court.

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