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History of Japan



Shōhei (正平 ?) was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, lit. year name) of the Southern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Kōkoku and before Kentoku. This period spanned the years from December 1346 to July 1370.[1] The Southern Court emperors in Yoshino were Emperor Go-Murakami (後村上天皇 Go-Murakami-tennō ?) and Emperor Chōkei (長慶天皇 Chōkei-tennō ?). The emperors in Kyoto were Emperor Kōmyō (光明天皇 Kōmyō-tennō ?), Emperor Sukō (崇光天皇 Sukō-tennō ?) and Emperor Go-Kōgon (後光厳天皇 Go-Kōgon-tennō ?) in the north.[2]


Nanboku-chō overview

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

During the Meiji period, an Imperial decree dated March 3, 1911 established that the legitimate reigning monarchs of this period were the direct descendants of Emperor Go-Daigo through Emperor Go-Murakami, whose Southern Court (南朝 nanchō ?) had been established in exile in Yoshino, near Nara.[3]

Until the end of the Edo period, the militarily superior pretender-Emperors supported by the Ashikaga shogunate had been mistakenly incorporated in Imperial chronologies despite the undisputed fact that the Imperial Regalia were not in their possession.. [3]

This illegitimate Northern Court (北朝 hokuchō ?) had been established in Kyoto by Ashikaga Takauji. [3]

Events of the Shohei Era

  • 1346 (Shōhei 1): The kampaku Takatsukasa Morohira was relieved of his duties; and he was replaced by Nijō Yoshimoto.[4]
  • 1347 (Shōhei 2): Nijō Yoshimoto was demoted from his high office as Kampaku; and he was instead given the title and responsibilities of sadaijin.[4]
  • 1349 (Shōhei 4): Go-Murakami flees to A'no; Ashikaga Tadayoshi and Kō no Moronao quarrel; Ashikaga Motouji, son of Takauji, appointed Kamakura Kanrei[5]
  • 1350 (Shōhei 5): Yoshinori guarded Kyoto.[6]
  • 1350 (Shōhei 5): Tadayoshi, excluded from administration, turns priest;[5] Tadayoshi's adopted son, Ashikaga Tadafuyu is wrongly repudiated as a rebel.[7]
  • 1351 (Shōhei 6): Tadayoshi joins Southern Court, southern army takes Kyoto; truce, Takauji returns to Kyoto; Tadayoshi and Takauji reconciled; Kō no Moronao and Kō no Moroyasu are exiled.[5]
  • 13501352 ((Shōhei 5–Shōhei 7): Armed conflict, variously known as the Kannō disturbance or Kannō incident (観応擾乱 Kannō Jōran ?) or Kannō no juran, developed from antagonism between Shogun Ashikaga Takauji and his brother, Ashikaga Tadayoshi. Disagreement about the influence of Kō no Moronao diminished after death of Moronao. Tadayoshi was ordered to relocate to Kamakura. The brothers eventually reconciled before Tadayoshi's death in 1352.[8]
  • 1352 (Shōhei 7): The grandfather of the emperor is advanced from the rank of dainagon to nadaijin.[9]
  • 1353 (Shōhei 8): Kyoto occupied by southern forces under Yamana Tokiuji; and the capital was retaken by the Ashikaga.[5]
  • 1354 (Shōhei 9): Takauji flees with Go-Kōgon; Kitabatake Chikafusa dies.[5]
  • 1355 (Shōhei 10): Kyoto taken by southern army; Kyoto retaken again by the Ashikaga forces.[5]
  • 1356 (Shōhei 11): Minamoto no Michisuke was advanced from the court rank of dainagon to nadaijin.[10]
  • 1356 Shōhei 11): Ashikaga Yoshinori is raised to the second rank of the third class in the court hierarchy.[11]
  • 1357 Shōhei 12): Emperor Go-Murakami, who had captured former-Emperor Kōgon, former-Emperor Kōmyō and former-Emperor Sukō in 1352, released all three of them and permitted their return from Yoshino to Kyoto.[11]
  • 1358 (Shōhei 13): Death of Ashikaga Takauji;[12] Ashikaga Yoshiakira appointed shogun; dissention and defections in shogunate.[13]
  • 1361 (Shōhei 16): Snowfall was unusually heavy; and there was also a disastrous fire in Kyoto as well as a violent earthquake.[14]
  • 1361 (Shōhei 16): Eigen-ji, a Zen Buddhist temple located in modern day Shiga prefecture, was founded Sasaki Ujiyori; and its first Abbot was Jakushitsu Genko.[15]
  • 1362 (Shōhei 17): Hosokawa Kiyouji and Kusunoki Masanori attack Kyoto, Ashikaga Yoshiakira flees, but regains the capital in twenty days.[16]

Northern Court Equivalents


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Nengō" in Japan encyclopedia, p. 880; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File.
  2. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 310-327.
  3. ^ a b c Thomas, Julia Adeney. (2001). Reconfiguring modernity: concepts of nature in Japanese political ideology, p. 199 n57, citing Mehl, Margaret. (1997). History and the State in Nineteenth-Century Japan. p. 140-147.
  4. ^ a b Titsingh, p. 297.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Ackroyd, Joyce. (1982) Lessons from History: the Tokushi Yoron, p.329.
  6. ^ Titsingh, p. 299.
  7. ^ Historiographical Institute: "Ashikaga Tadafuyu's Call to Arms," Dai Nihon shi-ryō, VI, xiv, 43.
  8. ^ Nussbaum, p. 474.
  9. ^ Titsingh, p. 302.
  10. ^ Titsingh, p. 303; n.b., Minamoto no Michisuke ( 源通相 1326-1371 ?) of the Koga family (久我家 ?) will rise to become daijō daijin in 1366-1368.
  11. ^ a b Titsingh, p. 303.
  12. ^ Titsingh, p. 304.
  13. ^ Ackroyd, p.329.
  14. ^ Titsingh, p. 305.
  15. ^ Eigen-ji, Joint Council for Japanese Rinzai and Obaku Zen, "head temples;" Dumoulin, Heinrich. (2005). Zen Buddhism: A History, p. 205.
  16. ^ Ackroyd, p.329.


External links

Shōhei 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21th 22th 23th 24th 25th
Gregorian 1346 1347 1348 1349 1350 1351 1352 1353 1354 1355 1356 1357 1358 1359 1360 1361 1362 1363 1364 1365 1366 1367 1368 1369 1370
Preceded by
Era or nengō

1346 – 1370
Succeeded by


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