After Minamoto－no－Yoritomo (源頼朝) died, his son, Yoriie(頼家)became second Shogun. But his mother, Hojo Masako（北条政子）－－Yoritomo’s wife－－thought her son was too incompetent．She was afraid that the Kamakura Bakufu (Kamakura government) may be taken over by other force. To prevent this to happen, she started the council system consisting of 13 people including herself, her father Hojo Tokimasa（北条時政）and her brother Hojo Yoshitoki（北条義時). Soon the second Shogun Yoriie’s wife’s family became powerful. During Heian and Kamakura period, wife’s family were considered very important. In order to suppress them, Hojo Masako and her father Tokimasa plotted against second Shogun Yoriie and killed him. After Yoriie’s death, Masako’s younger son Sanetomo(実朝) became next Shogun. Now, HojoTokimaHojo- sa’s young wife wanted her son-in-law to be a next Shogun. Hojo-Tokimasa attempted to kill Sanetomo, bud failed. Hojo Masako confined Tokimasa. Although third Shogun Sanetomo was Hojo Masako’son, she was very disappointed in him. He was also very incompetent. The third Shogun Sanetomo was killed by Kugyo who was the son of second Shogun. Now Hojo Yoshitoki took control over the Kamakura Bakufu and brought a figurehead from Fujiwara family (aristocrat from Kyoto). After all those turmoil, Hojo family took control over the Kamakura Bakufu (government).
Meanwhile, in Kyoto, the Emperor Gotoba had been planning to attack the Kamakura Bakufu. He had built up the military power. When Sanetomo was killed, he saw the chance to attack, the Emperor Gotoba ordered local feudal lords to attack Kamakura Bakufu but very few followed the Emperor. Instead Hojo family captured the Emperor Gotoba and he was exiled to Oki island. This is calledJokyo-no-Ran (or Jokyu-no Hen), at 1221.
The Emperor Gotoba was the one who really encouraged sword making and treated sword smiths highly. After the Jokyu-no-ran, the power of the Royal family decreased and the Kamakura Bakufu became powerful and stable regime. Hojo Masako was called “Ama (nun) Shogun”. From the time her husband, Minamoto-no-Yoritomo died until the end of Jokyu-no-ran, it was the period when the Kamakura Bakufu was still unstable. Hojo Masako was the one who carried the Kamakura Bakufu to the stable regime. She was one of the mean, tough, sharp politician.
Kamakura people (I am one of them) really like Hojo Masako . Minamoto-no-Yoritomo and Hojo-Masako are both buried in Kamakura City. Minamoto-no-Yoritomo is at Shirahata Shrine, Hojo Masako is at Jufukuji temple. Shirahata shrine for Minamoto-no-Yoritomo is a very humble shrine, it is just a tombstone, no building surrounding it. Whereas Jufukuji for Hojo Masako is a very elaborate temple. Kamakura was a land of the Hojo family, is still now.
Kamakura is about one hour from Tokyo by a train. Both Jufukuji temple and Shirahata shrine are walking distance from the Kamakura station.