Glossary (Phrase list) >> Characters in the Kamakura period

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Historical persons in the Kamakura period


 Yoritomo Minamoto 源頼朝 

(1147 - 1199)

        Statue at Genjiyama Park, Kamakura

  He is one of the most famous Bushi-warriors 武士 in the Japanese history, known as the founder and the 1st Shogun of the Kamakura Bakufu (鎌倉幕府 Shogunate).  As his family name of "源" shows, he came from the Genji family 源氏.


  In the Japanese history, it was the first time the political center was placed in the eastern province and the government was run by Shogun 将軍, the leader of the Bushi warriors.  He achieved those exploits.


Read more about Yoritomo


 Masako Hojo 北条政子 

(1157 - 1225)

       Statue at Hirugakojima Park, Izu

  She is a daughter of Tokimasa Hojo 北条時政 and the Shogun Yoritomo's wife.


  She became a nun when Yoritomo died, but also took charge of government as a guardian of the 2nd and 3rd Shogun.  Both of them were sons of Masako and Yoritomo.


Read more about Masako


  Yoshitsune Minamoto 源義経 

(1159 -1189)

    Statue at Mimosusogawa Park, Yamaguchi

  He is a younger brother of the Shogun Yoritomo.


  He was just a baby named Ushiwaka-maru 牛若丸 at the time Yoritomo was placed under the house-arrest in Izu.

  Ushiwaka-maru had been entrusted to Kuramadera temple 鞍馬寺 in Kyoto suburb until he ran away from the temple at the age of 15.


Read more about Yoshitsune


  People involved in struggles 

(after 1199)

  In the Kamakura period after the death of the 1st Shogun Yoritomo, various things including infrastructure were developed under the Hojo's regency, but it was also the time of internal battles between the comrades who worked together for Yotitomo.


 Hojo clan 北条一族 

  Masako's father's home.  Interestingly, the Hojyos was a family of the Heishi.

  They destroyed rival families one after another after Yoritomo's death and increased power as the regent.  Since Tokimasa, Masako's father, became the 1st Regent in 1203, the Hojo family inherited that position in 16 generations until the Kamakura Shogunate was turned down in 1333.  The control power of the Kamakura shogunate was actually held by the Hojo clan during that period.


Read more about the struggles


Related page: "Samurai & Bushi " -Glossary-

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