This week, we arrive at the end of the Ashikaga. What were the final 100 years of Ashikaga “rule” like, and what can we take away from exploring their time as rulers of Japan?
Berry, Mary Elizabeth. The Culture of Civil War in Kyoto.
Sansom, George B. A History of Japan, 1334-1615.
Grossberg, Kenneth A. Japan’s Renaissance: The Politics of the Muromachi Bakufu.
The Cambridge History of Japan, vol 3: Medieval Japan.
A map of the major Sengoku Daimyo as of 1570. One of the major transitions of the late Ashikaga period was towards more centralized regional governments led by Sengoku warlords who presided over more centralized systems.
Ginkakuji, Ashikaga Yoshimasa’s retirement complex and personal buddhist temple. It is an example of wabi sabi aesthetics.
A map showing the territories of the Ouchi (red) and their march towards Kyoto in 1508. Though the Ouchi were successful in restoring Ashikaga Yoshitane to the post of shogun, in practice this reduced him to the position of puppet ruler.
The battle of Mikatagahara was a major defeat of Oda Nobunaga’s supporters (led by Tokugawa Ieyasu) by the Takeda. Defeats like this one convinced Ashikaga Yoshiaki to openly break with Nobunaga and attempt to defeat him on the battlefield. This did not work out for him.
Ashikaga Yoshiteru, the shogun who went down swinging. Despite his limited practical authority he was able to exercise substantial diplomatic influence in his time.
Ashikaga Yoshiaki, the final Ashikaga shogun, was deposed in 1573.
A 16th century wabi sabi tea bowl. Note the imperfections that prevent it from being perfectly round.