Kamakura Essay

840 Words 4 Pages
In previous centuries Japan was ruled by the emperor and his imperial court, but during the late twelfth century the court began to lose their power to that of clans. Minamoto no Yoritomo, the leader of his clan and victor of the Genpei War, decided to locate his capital in Kamakura, while governing the sharing power of Japan with the Emperor Go-Toba, who gave him the title shogun, which resided in Kyoto. Thus, establishing the first warrior government with a new notion, as stated by Jeffrey P. Mass states in “Identity, Personal Names, and Kamakura Society”, that Minamoto-led bakufu embraced warriors from all clans.
Kamakura is stated by David Spafford, as taking its name from the ocean-side town of the same name in Sagami. (7) On the
…show more content…
Therefore, Karl Friday believed that “Yoritomo kept himself indispensable to both his men, and the court by making himself the exclusive intermediary between them...” as stated in his article, “They Were Soldiers Once.” (42) Consequently, “For the warriors of Kamakura, the most prestigious substitute (to their name) was normally that of the governor of a province.” (Mass 112) Japan’s imperial government was in disorder while Yoritomo’s claim enabled his network of samurai deputies to maintain judicial elements of government such as: policing, law making, and enforcement while the Emperor maintained legislation ran by the aristocrats. “The Kamakura regime was committed to upholding the property system of the past and made it one of its unique assets.” As stated by Cornelius J. Kiley in the article “Estate and Property.” …show more content…
The aristocrats of Kyoto were some of the best educated and skilled men of the imperial court. Improvements to agriculture and markets increased Kyoto’s commerce. In order to sustain its growing military, Kamakura had to rely on China trade routes. Goble states, “—Kamakura has a positive attitude towards the accumulation of wealth through trade and commerce.” (21) Due to the drain on Kamakura’s economy from fighting off the Mongols it was starving for new forms of revenue. Some forms of this new trade would later be connected that of the Japanese pirates. In conclusion, the sharing or distribution of governing powers has been viewed as the foundation of Japan’s early feudalism. Both Kamakura and Kyoto can be seen as having elements of feudalism. Interestingly enough much of this socio-political system was similar in many ways to that of Europeans two hundred years earlier. Unfortunately history shows us that, “The balances of power among the various blocs of warriors, court, and religious power tottered.” (Shapinsky

Related Documents