11|Jokyu-no-ran (承久の乱) 1221


 The circle indicates the time we are discussing in this section.

After MinamotonoYoritomo (源頼朝) died, his son, Yoriie(頼家) succeeded in the Shogun position.  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 a 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 family of the wife of Yoriie (present Shogun) became powerful.  During the Heian and Kamakura period, the wife’s family was considered very important.  In order to suppress them,  Hojo Masako and her father, Tokimasa plotted against Shogun Yoriie and killed him.  After Yoriie’s death, Masako’s younger son Sanetomo(実朝) became the next Shogun. Now, Hojo Tokimasa’s young wife wanted her son-in-law to be the next Shogun.  Hojo-Tokimasa attempted to kill Sanetomo but failed.  Hojo Masako confined Tokimasa (her father).  Although the Shogun Sanetomo was Hojo Masako’s son,  she was very disappointed in him.  He was also very incompetent.  The Shogun Sanetomo was killed by Kugyo who was the son of the previous Shogun Yoriiee.  After all these incidents happened, Hojo Yoshitoki took control over the Kamakura Bakufu and brought a figurehead from the Fujiwara family (aristocrat from Kyoto). After all those turmoil, the Hojo family took control over the Kamakura Bakufu (government).

Meanwhile, in Kyoto, Emperor Gotoba had been planning to attack the Kamakura Bakufu.  He had built up the military power.  When Sanetomo was killed, Emperor Gotoba saw the chance to attack, he ordered local feudal lords to attack the Kamakura Bakufu but very few followed the Emperor.  Instead Hojo family captured Emperor Gotoba and he was exiled to Oki island. This is called Jokyo-no-Ran (or Jokyu-no Hen), at 1221.

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 a 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 KShirahaamakura Bakufu was still unstable.  Hojo Masako was the one who carried the Kamakura Bakufu to the stable regime.  She was one of the able but 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.  Compare to Hojo Masako’s Jufuku-Ji, Yoritomo’s Shiorahata-Jinja is quite humble.  Some say Kamakura is Hojo’s land.  Kamakura is about one hour from Tokyo by train.  Both Jufukuji temple and Shirahata shrine are walking distance from the Kamakura station.

11 Jufuku-JiJufuku-Ji (寿福寺) From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository


11 Yoritomo GraveShirahata Jinja ( 白幡神社)  From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository