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Japanese Shoguns Facts

Sir Dig-a-lot | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

Japan’s most powerful Military Commander

“Let me tell you a story about military men who were more popular than the kings themselves. They were called the Japanese shoguns,” Sir Dig-a-Lot told Rohan.

“The word ‘shogun’ was a title given to Japan’s most powerful military commander, particularly in the Heian period. During the Heian period the shoguns became more powerful than the government officials and eventually took control of the government.

In the year 1192, when the emperor of Japan appointed Minamoto Yoritomo as a shogun, he set up his own capital in Kamakura which was different from the capital set up by the king. For over 700 years after this, the shoguns ruled the far east of Japan in succession.”

“The household of a shogun was called a ‘bakufu,’ which literally meant dwelling. But as the power of a shogun increased, he was more of a dictator. The more common term used for him was ‘shogunate.’

The shogunate system was started by Minamoto in the city of Kamakura. As opposed to the European system, the shogunate government rewarded the peasants for excelling in war or agriculture, and did not give them any land.”

“The Tokugawa clan had the final shoguns, who ruled from the year 1603 until 1868. Even the capital city shifted from Kamakura to Edo, which is modern day Tokyo. The Tokugawa dynasty was extremely strong and ruled for a long period.

The 15th Tokugawa ruler had to cede his power to the emperor and the shogunate rule came to an end. Today the term shogun is used for a retired prime minister who still advises the government. He is called a yami shogun or a shadow shogun.”

“I could’ve never imagined that military men had so much power over emperors!” said Rohan and Sir Dig A Lot tucked him in the bed.

For more such interesting history articles and videos, go to this page.