Ashikaga Yoshinori

Ashikaga Yoshinori

Ashikaga Yoshinori (Jp. 足利 義教) (July 12, 1394 – July 12, 1441) was the 6th shogun ("rokudai shogun")JAANUS (Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System). [ "Kitayama bunka"(北山文化).] ] of the Ashikaga shogunate who reigned from 1429 to 1441 during the Muromachi period of Japan. Yoshinori was the son of the third shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). [,M1 "Annales des empereurs du japon," p. 331.] ]

hogunal succession

After the death of the fifth shogun Ashikaga Yoshikazu in 1425, the fourth shogun Ashikaga Yoshimochi resumed his role as head of the shogunate. Yoshimochi had no other sons, nor did he name a successor before he himself died in 1428. [see above] ]

Yoshinori became "Seii Taishogun" on the day of Yoshimochi's death. From amongst the handfull of possible Ashikaga candidates, his name was selected by the shogunal deputy ("Kanrei"), Hatakeyama Mitsuie, who drew lots in the sanctuary of Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine in Kyoto; and it was believed that Hachiman's influence had affected this auspicious choice. [Keene, Donald. (2003). [,M1 "Yoshimasa and the Silver Pavilion: The Creation of the Soul of Japan," pp. 16] -17.]

Significant events shape the period during which Yoshikazu was shogun:
* 1429 -- Yoshinori appointed shogun.Ackroyd, Joyce. (1982) "Lessons from History: The Tokushi Yoron, p. 330.]
* 1430 -- Southern army surrenders. [see above] ]
* 1432 -- Akamatsu Mitsusuke flees; Yoshinori receives rescript from China. [Ackroyd, p. 330; Keene, [,M1 p. 78] ]
* 1433 -- Ōtomo rebells; Hieizan monks rebel. [see above] ]
* 1434 -- Tosenbugyo established to regulate foreign affairs.Kinihara, Misako. [ "The Establishment of the Tosen-bugyō in the Reign of Ashikaga Yoshinori" (唐船奉行の成立 : 足利義教による飯尾貞連の登用),] "Tokyo Woman's Christian University: Essays and Studies". Abstract.]
* 1436 -- Yasaka Pagoda at Hokanji in Kyoto destroyed by fire. [ Yasaka Pagoda, Kyoto.] ]
* 1438 -- Ashikaga Mochiuji rebels -- Eikyō War. [see above] ]
* 1439 -- Mochiuji suicides; dissatisfaction with Yoshinori grows. [Ackroyd, p. 330; [ Mochiuji's suicide at Hokoku-ji] ]
* 1440 -- Yasaka Pagoda at Hokanji in Kyoto re-constructed by Yoshinori. [see above] ]
* 1441 -- Yoshinori grants Shimazu suzerainity over Ryukyu Islands; Akamatsu murders Yoshinori -- Kakitsu Incident; Yamana kills Akamatsu. [Ackroyd, p. 330; Okinawa Prefecture (2004). [ "This is Okinowa," p.3.] ]

Yoshinori strengthened the power of the shogunate after defeating Ashikaga Mochiuji in the Eikyo Rebellion of 1438. During the period, Chinese contacts were increased and Zen Buddhism gained influence, which had broad cultural consequenses. [see above}] For example, the "Hondo" or main temple at Ikkyu-ji is today the oldest standing T'ang style temple in Yamashiro (southern Kyoto Prefecture) and Yamato (Nara Prefecture) Provinces . It was built in 1434 and was dedicated by Yoshinori Ashikaga. [ [ Yoshinori & "Hondo", Shuon'an Ikkyuji (1334).] ]

Foreign relations

In 1432, trade and diplomatic relations between Japan and China were restored. Both had been discontinued by Yoshimochi. The Chinese emperor reached out to Japan by sending a letter to the shogunate via the kingdom of the Ryukyu Islands; and Yoshinori responded favorably. [Keene, [,M1 p. 78.] ]

According to "Mansai Jugo Nikki" (満済准后日記), the system of the "Tosen-bugyō" (唐船奉行) was established in 1434 to mediate oversee trade. The functions of the "Tosen-bugyō" included: (1) defending trading ships in Japanese waters, (2) procuring export goods, (3) mediating among the Muromachi shogunate and shipping interests, and (4) to manage record-keeping. It is significant that the Muromachi shogunate was the first to appoint the executive officers of the samurai class to high positions in its diplomatic bureaucracy. After Yoshinori's time, the "totosen" (渡唐船) (the fleet of the ships from Japan to Ming China) consisted of the ships belonging principally to three different kinds of owners: the Muromachi shogun, temples, and the shugo daimyo. [see above] ]


Yoshinori was notrious for his oppressive measures and unpredictable dictatorial whims. [Kitagawa, Joseph M. [ "Some Reflections on Japanese Religion and Its Relationship to the Imperial System,] "Japanese Journal of Religious Studies." 1990/17:2-3, p. 24.] Yoshinori is assassinated at age 48 by Akamatsu Mitsusuke; and shortly thereafter, it is determined that his 8-year-old son, Yoshikatsu, will become the new Shogun. [Titsingh, p. 340; Screech, Timon. (2006). [,M1 "Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779-1822," p. 234 n.10] -- "Yoshinori (b.1394 - d.1441) = 48yrs. and Yoshikatsu (b.1434 - d.1443) = 8yrs. In this period, [,M1 "children were considered one year old at birth and became two the following New Year's Day; and all people advanced a year that day, not on their actual birthday."] "]

Although the Ashikaga line continued through this seventh shogun, the power of the shoguns gradually eroded and the shogunate fell into decline. [Keene, [,M1 p. 4.] ] The mere fact of that assassination and treason had become a reality had served to undercut the previous military ethic of loyalty. [Blum, Mark "et al." (2005). [ "Rennyo and the Roots of Modern Japanese Buddhism," p. 17.] ]

Eras of Yoshinori's "bakufu"

The years in which Yoshinori was shogan are more specifically identified by more than one era name or "nengō". [Titsingh, [,M1 p. 331] -340.]
*"Eikyō" (1429-1441)
*"Kakitsu" (1441-1444)



* Ackroyd, Joyce. (1982) "Lessons from History: The Tokushi Yoron." Brisbane: University of Queensland Press. 10-ISBN 0-702-21485-X; 13-ISBN 978-0-702-21485-1 (cloth)
* Blum, Mark Laurence and Shinʼya Yasutomi. (2005). [ "Rennyo and the Roots of Modern Japanese Buddhism."] New York: Oxford University Press, USA. 10-ISBN 0-195-13275-0; 13-ISBN 978-0-195-13275-5 (cloth)
* Keene, Donald. (2003). "Yoshimasa and the Silver Pavilion: The Creation of the Soul of Japan." New York: Columbia University Press. 10-ISBN 0-231-13056-2; 13-ISBN 978-0-231-13056-1 (cloth) -- 10-ISBN 0-231-13057-0; 13-ISBN 978-0-231-13057-8 (paper)
* Kinihara, Misako. [ "The Establishment of the Tosenbugyo in the Reign of Ashikaga Yoshinori" (唐船奉行の成立 : 足利義教による飯尾貞連の登用),] "Tokyo Woman's Christian University: Essays and Studies". Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 27-53.
*Titsingh, Isaac, ed. (1834), [Siyun-sai Rin-siyo/Hayashi Gahō, 1652] , "Nipon o daï itsi ran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon." Paris: Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. [ --"Two copies of this rare book have now been made available online: (1) from the library of the University of Michigan, digitized January 30, 2007; and (2) from the library of Stanford University, digitized June 23, 2006." Click here to read the original text in French.]

ee also

* East Asian age reckoning

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