Ashikaga Yoshinori

From SamuraiWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

Ashikaga Yoshinori was the sixth Ashikaga shogun. He succeeded Ashikaga Yoshimochi as shogun in 1428. Sanjô Tadako, daughter of Sanjô Kinmasa, was his primary wife.[1]

In 1433, Yoshinori sent the first tribute mission to China in several decades (since 1410), and soon afterward received investiture as "King of Japan" in return.

Yoshinori seems to have been easily displeased; or, at least, there are a number of notable examples of prominent figures earning his ire. Hon'ami Kiyonobu served as his sword appraiser for a time before falling from favor and being imprisoned; while in prison he met Nisshin shônin, a monk who had also been imprisoned by Yoshinori (for attempting to warn the shogun against misgovernment) and whose temple, Honpô-ji, had been burned down at the shogun's orders.[2] Yoshinori similarly exiled Noh pioneer Zeami to Sado Island in 1434, banned his son Kanze Motomasa from performing before the emperor, and patronized Zeami's nephew On'ami instead.[3]

Yoshinori's reign represented the height of the performance of ceremonies known as orei sanga, in which samurai, court nobles, monks, and others were obliged to pay respects to the shogun and present gifts to him.[4]

Yoshinori is said to have formally granted Shimazu Tadakuni suzerainty over the Ryûkyû Islands in 1441. Though no documentary evidence of this event survives from earlier than the late 16th century, from the late 16th century onwards the Shimazu frequently cited their authority over Ryûkyû as stretching back to this date, if not to "antiquity."

Yoshinori was assassinated later that year by Akamatsu Mitsusuke. He was succeeded by his son Ashikaga Yoshikatsu.

Preceded by:
Ashikaga Yoshimochi
Muromachi Shogun
Succeeded by:
Ashikaga Yoshikatsu


  1. Sakurai Eiji 桜井英治, Zôyo no rekishigaku 贈与の歴史学, Tokyo: Chuo Koron Shinsha (2011), 191.
  2. Honpô-ji Official Website.; "Myôryû-ji." Accessed 14 March 2012.; Plaques onsite at Myôryû-ji in Kamakura.
  3. Andrew Tsubaki, "The Performing Arts of Sixteenth-Century Japan: A Prelude to Kabuki," Educational Theatre Journal 29:3 (1977), 299-309.
  4. Usami Kosumo 宇佐美こすも, “Chūsei kuge nikki ni okeru ‘ken’ ‘tachi’ hyōki” 「中世公家日記における『剣』『太刀』表記」, Nihon rekishi 日本歴史 824 (Jan 2017), 141.