logo

Video encyclopedia

Shōgun

Military ranks

The shōgun was the military dictator of Japan during the period from 1185 to 1868. The shōgunate was their administration or government. In most of this period, the shōguns were the de facto rulers of the country, although nominally they were appointed by the Emperor as a ceremonial formality. The shōguns held almost absolute power over territories through military means. Nevertheless, an unusual situation occurred in the Kamakura period (1199–1333) upon the death of the first shōgun, whereby the Hōjō clan's hereditary titles of shikken (1199–1256) and tokusō (1256–1333) monopolized the shogunate as dictatorial positions, collectively known as the Regent Rule (執権政治). The shōguns during this 134-year period met the same fate as the Emperor and were reduced to figurehead status until a coup in 1333, when the shōgun was restored to power in the name of the Emperor.

Relations