Essays and Articles

Japanese Historical Chronology - Muromachi Period

Friday, September 18, 2015

MUROMACHI PERIOD: AD 1333-1568

"After defeating the Hōjō family in 1333, Ashikaga Takauji (1305-58) started to reorganize the government from his headquarters in the Muromachi district of Kyoto. He was made shogun in 1338, and the Muromachi period is also known as the Ashikaga period. For much of the period Japan was in a state of civil war.

The first two Ashikaga shoguns were weak, and the government was more a coalition of shogun and provincial governors (shugo). The powerful third shogun, Yoshimitsu (reigned 1369-95), forced the shugo to live in Kyoto, but often their inferiors seized power in their absence. Under the eighth shogun, Yoshimasa (reigned 1449-74), Kyoto was destroyed in the ōnin war (1467-77), which led to the Period of Warring States (Sengoku jidai). Many provincial warlords, the sengoku daimyō, built castles and competed ruthlessly with each other until Oda Nobunaga (1534-82) began the process of reunification.

Cultural developments were led by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, who encouraged Nō and Kyōgen theatre and renga. The arts of Zen - ink painting, tea ceremony, garden design and flower arrangement, ikebana, - flourished but newer popular schools became influential. Europeans introduced Christianity in 1549, bringing yet more new ideas. Japan was developing a rich national culture which could be enjoyed by all".

Ref: Excerpt obtained from The British Museum


 


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