Times & Places

Nanbokucho (1336-1392)

The Muromachi period (1333-1568) was established by Ashikaga Takauji, who set up his headquarters in the Muromachi section of Kyoto. Nanbokucho ("period of southern and northern courts") refers to the years from 1336 to 1392, when two legitimate lines claimed the imperial throne. The establishment of a northern and southern court directly followed an attempt by Emperor Go-Daigo to renew imperial power, which had been largely symbolic for many years, for himself. He ruled briefly after making an alliance with the Ashikaga family to defeat the Hōjō regents of the Kamakura. He was subsequently exiled by Takauji and established a southern court at Yoshino, south of Nara; and Emperor Kogon, backed by the real ruler Takauji, was established on the northern throne at Kyoto. The courts were reunited by the southern Emperor Go-Komatsu (r. 1392-1412), who returned to Kyoto.

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