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History of Kamakura



Also known as the Kamakura period, the Kamakura history begins with the Minamoto Era in the 12th century when the Minamoto family was very powerful in Japan and this bore to a civil war between the Minamoto and the Taira military clans. Minamoto Yoritomo, also called Kamakura bakufu, won the fight and was proclaimed shogun by Emperor Go-Toba, with him the first military government was established in Kamakura, and the city was chosen as a permanent base for Yoritomo's power. The strategic location of Kamakura made of this city an important base for defense and attack and an economic centre, the area is surrounded by many hills and is near the ocean.

In 1185 the younger brother of Yoritomo, Yoshitsune, began to acquire much power in the Imperial Court and this was because he received money, the fact was not accepted by Yoritomo who decided to kill his brother, this is unforgiven in the Samurai's code of ethic and Yoritomo's behavior and acts are proves of that.

Yoritomo died in 1199 when a horse accident finished his days of glory and after his dead a disagreement between the Bakufu of Kamakura and the Imperial court in Kyoto begun, finally the quarrel got its end when Hojo regents in Kamakura took control in Japan. A new era was beginning then, the Hojo era. At the top of the Hojo clan was Masako Hojo, called Nun Shogun, and after her son Yoriie. In 1232, the Joei Shikimoku code was promulgated and any type of rebellion was destroyed inmediatly by the Hojo clan.

Hojo Tokimune was the Shogun who had to afront the two Mongol invasions at the command of Kublai Khan, Genghis Khan's grandson, one in 1274 where Mongolian had to leave japanese territory because of the weather, a storm almost destroyed all the ships, and the other one in 1281 when fortunately a typhoon forced the mongolian troops to leave the country, these two typhoons are called Divine Winds and the legend says Japan was protected by Kamikaze.

Despite of this, Kamakura's government had to afront a problematic situation due to economic affairs between the Kamakura's warriors and the Shogunate, and in 1933 emperor Go-Daigo took the power, this way the Kamakura Bakufu reached its end.






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