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Ashikaga Yoshiakira

Ashikaga Yoshiakira (足利 義詮 ?, July 4, 1330—December 28, 1367) was the 2nd shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate who reigned from 1358 to 1367 during the Muromachi period of Japan. Yoshiakira was the son of the founder and first shogun of the Muromachi shogunate, Ashikaga Takauji.

He spent his childhood in Kamakura as a hostage of the Hōjō clan. His father Takauji joined forces with the banished Emperor Go-Daigo. The Kamakura shogunate was overthrown; and Go-Daigo began the process which will come to be known as the Kemmu Restoration.[1]

Yoshiakira was dispatched to Kamakura to maintain peace in the eastern provinces.[2]

In 1349, an internal disturbance of the government caused Yoshiakira to be called back to Kyoto, where he found himself named as Takauji's heir.[3] Yoshiakira succeeded his father Takauji as Seii Taishogun after his death in 1358.[4]

Significant events shape the period during which Yoshiakira was shogun:

  • 1358 -- Takauji dies; Yoshiakira appointed shogun; dissention and defections in shogunate.[5]
  • 1362 -- Hosokawa Kiyouji and Kusunoki Masanori attack Kyoto, Yoshiakira flees, but regains the capital in twenty days.[5]
  • 1365 -- Emperor Go-Daigo's son, Prince Kaneyoshi (also known as Kanenaga) gains control of Kyushu.[5]
  • 1367 -- Kantō Kubō Ashikaga Motouji dies;[5] Yoshiakira falls ill and cedes his position to his son.[6]

Some months after his death, he was succeeded by his son Ashikaga Yoshimitsu as the third shogun in 1368. His tomb is in Tōji-in, Kyoto[7], where his father's also is.

Eras of Yoshiakira's bakufu

The years in which Yoshiakira was shogun are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[8]

Nanboku-chō southern court
  • Eras as reckoned by legitimate Court (as determined by Meiji rescript):
Nanboku-chō northern Court
  • Eras as reckoned by pretender Court (as determined by Meiji rescript):


  1. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 290-294.
  2. ^ Titsingh, p. 303.
  3. ^ Sansom, George. (1961). A History of Japan, 1334-1615, p. 81.
  4. ^ Titsingh, p. 304.
  5. ^ a b c d Ackroyd, Joyce. (1982) Lessons from History: The Tokushi Yoron, p.329.
  6. ^ Titsingh, p. 307.
  7. ^ Titsingh, p. 308.
  8. ^ Titsingh, p. 304-308.


Preceded by:
Ashikaga Takauji
Muromachi Shogun:
Ashikaga Yoshiakira

Succeeded by:
Ashikaga Yoshimitsu


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