A Chronology of Japanese History

Mythology
Yamato Period (300-550) & Asuka Period (550-710)
Nara Period (710-794)
Heian Period (794-1185)
Kamakura Period (1185-1333)
April 1185 After the defeat of the Taira at Dannoura, Yoritomo assumes control of the entire nation from his offices in Kamakura.
May 1185 Yoshitsune arrives in Kyoto with Munemori and other Taira captives. He is given rewards and court titles by Go-Shirakawa and this infuriates Yoritomo. Yoritomo declares that anyone accepting gifts or appointments from the Court are no longer considered loyal to the Minamoto and will be punished.
June 1185 Yoshitsune escorts the Taira prisoners to Kamakura but is stopped at Koshigue, a small village outside of Kamakura. The prisoners are taken and interrogated in Kamakura, but Yoshitsune is not allowed to enter the city. After interrogation the prisoners are sent back to Kyōto under Yoshitsune's guard, but Yoritomo changes his mind and sends troops to catch up with them and kill the prisoners. Yoshitsune continues to Kyōto.
Sepetember 1185 Yoritomo orders attack on Yukiie. Yukiie calls on Yoshitsune for assistance. Word reaches Kamakura (falsely) that Yoshitsune is planning to use this opportunity to revolt against Yoritomo, in alliance with Yukiie. Yoritomo orders Yoshitsune to attack Yukiie, but Yoshitsune declines saying he can not for reasons of health.
November 1185 Yoritomo sends a hundred men, led by a renegade monk (Tosabō Shōshun), to attack and kill Yoshitsune. The attackers are defeated and Tosabō is killed. Go-Shirakawa orders Yoshitsune and Yukiie to proceed to Kamakura and punish Yoritomo. Both leave Kyōto and head west to collect men and supplies. Yoritomo sends troops to Kyōto and forces Go-Shirakawa to cancel his previous order and issue an order for Yoritomo to punish Yoshitsune and Yukiie (both of which had now fled).
December 1185 Establishment of the Jitō system. Kamakura appointed Stewards (Jitō) and Constables (Shugo) are appointed in all provinces and on all land (private and public) to collect a "commissariat tax" (hyōrō-mai) ostensibly to be used to support the pursuit of rebels and threats to the nation - namely Yoshitsune and Yukiie - but in reality imposed to gain total control over the nation's land. (Since Japan has a land-based economy, he who controls the land controls the country.)
April 1186 After declining to accept the position several times, Fujiwara Kanezane becomes Regent at the insistence of Yoritomo. The levy of the commissariat rice tax is suspended.
June 1186 Yukiie is finally found, captured, and killed. Soon after, Shizuka, Yoshitsune's lover and companion, is captured and interrogated but she does not reveal Yoshitsune's whereabouts.
1187 Myōan Eisai returns to China in an attempt to make a pilgrimage through to India. He is refused travel permits so makes his way to Mt. T'ien-t'ai and studies for four years under a Ch'an master.
June 1189 Yoritomo finds that Yoshitsune is hiding in northern Mutsu province in Hiraizumi. He orders the local Fujiwara rulers to attack and this order is obeyed after the third insistence. Yoshitsune kills his wife and children and then commits seppuku to avoid capture. His head is sent back to Kamakura for verification that it was in fact him.
September and
October 1189
Yoritomo leads troops to conquer Mutsu and Dewa provinces in the north, the last non-Minamoto strongholds in the country and governed by the Fujiwara. The provinces easily fall to Kamakura control.
December 1189 Yoritomo returns to Kamakura and spends the next twelve months strengthening his control over the military class and the country's administration.
1190-1199 Kenkyū Era
December 1190 Yoritomo goes to Kyōto. He sets up his headquarters in Rokuhara, the headquarters of the Taira when Kiyomori ruled, and spends time discussing government and governmental appointments with Go-Shirakawa and others. He accepts several military titles, but no Court titles.
Early 1191 The Kumonjo (established in 1184) is converted into the Mandokoro with ōe Hiromoto remaining as its head. The Mandokoro, or Office of Administration, is organized with the Shikken (Regent) presiding over a Board of Councilors. This was the Bakufu's highest administrative organ.
1191 Eisai returns to Japan and introduces the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism (although his teachings still contained elements of Vinaya and both Tendai and Shingon Esoteric Buddhism).
Spring 1192 Go-Shirakawa dies. Go-Toba remains as Emperor with no Cloistered Emperor.
August 1192 On Kanezane's insistence (which means Yoritomo's as well, of course) Go-Toba gives Yoritomo the title of Shōgun, which Go-Shirakawa had refused to give him while alive.
1193 Yoritomo continues to distrust Noriyori and has him assassinated.
1194 Yoritomo executes all the male members of the family of Yasuda Yoshisada (a very loyal Minamoto supporter) after accusations (false) from a third person.
1194 Enryakuji supporters gain an imperial ban on the continued teaching of Zen Buddhism in Kyōto. Eisai begins the long process of defending both himself and Zen.
March 1195 Yoritomo attends the re-dedication service of Tōdaiji in Nara and spends a few months in Kyōto.
November 1196 Minamoto Michichika leads revolt in Kyōto. Kanezane and his supporters are overthrown and Michichika's supporters are placed in power. His professed aim is to lead a return to Imperial rule and a diminution of Bakufu power but he real intent is just to remove all Fujiwara from offices and take them for himself and his supporters.
1198 Go-Toba abdicates and becomes Cloistered Emperor. Tsuchimikado, Go-Toba's infant son, becomes Titular Emperor. He had been chosen as Heir Apparent earlier in the year by Michichika without seeking the input of Kamakura. Yoritomo does nothing about this demonstration of independence by Michichika, but lets it be known that he will visit Kyōto in the near future (although he dies before he makes the trip).
1199-1201 Shōji Era
1199 Yoritomo dies after being thrown from a horse. Minamoto Yoriie, Yoritomo's eldest son and only seventeen years old, succeeds his father. However, Go-Toba doesn't give him the title of Shōgun until 1202 in order to stress the prerogative of the throne. (This didn't anger Kamakura because everyone there was already questioning Yoriie's ability to govern.)
1199 Eisai, after deciding that he is not strong enough to defeat the opposition of Enryakuji, abandons Kyōto and goes to Kamakura. Hōjō Masako (the widow of Yoritomo) appoints him as founder of Jufukuji, the first Zen center in the city.
1201-1204 Kennin Era
1202 Yoriie appointed Shōgun in ceremonies performed in Kamakura by imperial envoys.
1203 Yoriie is forced to abdicate after becoming gravely ill and having attempted to have Tokimasa assassinated. Minamoto Sanetomo, Yoriie's younger brother and eleven years old, becomes third Shōgun (and given the title). Hōjō Tokimasa becomes Shikken (Head of the Office of Administration) and hence regent over the Shōgun (a minor) and de facto head of the government. (It is interesting to note here that the Hōjō are of Taira lineage!)
1204-1206 Genkyū Era
1204 Taira family in Ise use the uncertain political climate in Kamakura as a chance to rise in revolt but the revolt is easily put down. Yoriie is assassinated in Izu province, where he had been living in exile, by Tokimasa's men.
1204 Saying the Nembutsu is prohibited on Mt. Hiei and followers of the Jōdo sect of Buddhism are banned from the mountain.
1205 Tokimasa conspires to kill Sanetomo but the plot is discovered by Masako. Tokimasa is forced to resign and lives in exile in Izu under guard. Hiraga, the Deputy Shōgun in Kyōto, was also part of the plot and killed by troops sent from Kamakura. Tokimasa's son, Yoshitoki, becomes Shikken and Regent.
1205 Construction of Kenninji in Kyōto is completed on lands earlier donated by Yoriie. Eisai is appointed founder.
1206-1207 Kenei Era
1206 Konoe Ieznae becomes Imperial Regent (until 1228)
1207-1211 Jōgen Era
1207 Hōnen Shōnin is stripped of his clerical status and exiled from Kyōto for his teachings of the Jōdo sect. As a layman he assumes the name Fujii Motohiko but still continues to attract disciples. (Other major sects resented his teaching that the only requirement for salvation was saying the Nembutsu and that temples, monasteries, rituals and even the priesthood were all unnecessary. In addition he taught that all were equal in Buddhism - high, low, men, and women.)
1210 Juntoku becomes Titular Emperor. Go-Toba remains as Cloistered Emperor.
1211-1213 Kenryaku Era
1211 Hōnen is released from exile.
1212 Hōnen dies.
1213-1219 Kempō Era
1213 A large plot is uncovered to overthrow Sanetomo and replace him with a son of Yoriie. The plot is overcome and many of the leaders are killed.
1215 Eisai dies
1219-1222 Jōkyū Era
1219 Sanetomo is assassinated, thus bringing to an end the rule of Minamoto Shōguns. Fujiwara Yoritsune, the infant son of Michiie, then Minister of the Left, and a Minamoto descendant from Yoritomo's daughter, is brought from Kyōto, adopted into Masako's house, and installed as Titular Shōgun (although he is not granted the title for several years).
1221 Kanenari (later known as Chūkyō) becomes Titular Emperor. Go-Toba remains as Cloistered Emperor. This only lasts for seventy days and then Chūkyō is deposed.
June 1221 Go-Toba raises an army from Imperial shoen and certain monasteries and leads a rebellion against the Kamakura Shōgunate (known as the Jōkyū no Hen, Jōkyū Disturbance). The rebellion is put down within a month. Both Go-Toba and Juntoku are banished and Tsuchimikado and Emperor Kanenari are sent to distant provinces, but not put under arrest.
(As an aside, Go-Toba's main supporters were Tendai monks from Mt. Hiei, Shingon monks from Mt. Kōya, and Hossō monks from Kōfukuji in Nara. This was one of the main questions that seemed to bother Nichiren later - with all of the prayers and incantations offered by all of these monks, how was it that the imperial forces lost to the Shōganate? He decided, according to Kitagawa, that Go-Toba and Juntoku lost and died in excile because of their bad karma.)
July 1221 The position of Deputy Shōgun (Tandai) is established in Kyōto with offices maintained in Rokuhara. These offices were almost a duplicate of Bakufu offices in Kamakura and held complete control over Kyōto and all provinces west of, and including, Mikawa. The Tandai's power was so complete that the Bakufu issued orders in these areas only through the his offices and in his name. The Bakufu now held absolute power over the entire nation. Tradition soon developed that the Regent in Kamakura was always someone who had held the post of Tandai in Kyōto.
Late 1221 Go-Takakura chosen by the Bakufu and becomes Cloistered Emperor (until 1223). Go-Horikawa (son of Go-Takakura) becomes Titular Emperor. The Bakufu also made it clear that they must approve before an Imperial Regent is chosen.
1222-1224 Jōō Era
1222-1223 Bakufu carries out a complete land survey of all land in all provinces.
1223 Dōgen departs to China for a five year period of study of Sōtō Zen (Ts'ao-tung, in Chinese).
1224-1225 Gennin Era
1224 Shinran (a student of Hōnen's) founds the True Pure Land sect (Jōdo Shinshū) of Buddhism. (Actually, according to Kitagawa, Shinran never intended to establish a sect of his own. He refused to call anyone a disciple, but rather called them fellow believers. It was those that considered themselves his disciples that actually formed the sect by forming local fellowships.)
July 1224 Yoshitoki dies. Hōjō Yasutoki, his son, and Tokifusa, his brother, become co-Shikken (co-Regents). (In practice, though, Tokifusa preferred to let Yasutoki make the decisions).
1225-1227 Karoku Era
August 1225 Hōjō Masako dies. Of all the people who had helped Yoritomo shape the bakufu in its early days, none were more influential than Masako and ōe Hirimoto (who had died in July). Now that they were gone, Yasutoki could institute reforms in the system so that it matched the conditions and needs found in the country after the Jōkyō revolt.
January 1226 Yasutoki forms a Council of State (Hyōjōshū), and eleven member deliberative assemble which stood behind the Regent and advised the Shōgun on all matters of state. The Regent was bound by its decisions. (It soon replaced the Mandokoro and the Monchūjo)
January 1226 Fujiwara Mitora assumes the title of Shōgun, and the name Yoritsune, at the age of eight (although he is a complete puppet of the Hōjō Regent).
1226-1231 Japan is rocked by six years of drought, famine, smallpox and other diseases, storms, floods, and earthquakes.
1227-1229 Antei Era
1227 Dōgen Zenji returns to Japan and founds the Sōtō sect of Zen Buddhism. He stays at Kenninji in Kyōto.
1228 Kujō Michiie becomes Imperial Regent. (until 1231)
1229-1232 Kanki Era
1230 Yoritsune is married to a daughter of Minamoto Yoriie to give the impression of continuing Minamoto leadership.
1230 Angered by Dōgen's criticism, and rejection, of Tendai practices, Enryakuji forces him to leave Kyōto. He goes to Fukakusa, to the south of the city, and founds the Kōshōji monastery.
July 1230 Yasutoki announces an Act of Grace, a moratorium on payments of debt and similar obligations. Soon after, an Imperial order is issued fixing the price of rice.
Early 1231 An Imperial order is issued restricting expenditures and ordering the distribution of tax rice to the poor. The Bakufu issues orders to Jitō and Shugo to remit taxes in their provinces and undertake other measures of relief.
1232 Go-Horikawa abdicates. His two year old son, Shijō becomes Titular Emperor. Go-Horikawa becomes Cloistered Emperor (until 1234). Kujō Yorimichi becomes Imperial Regent (until 1235)
1232-1233 Jōei Era
August 1232 The Jōei Code (Jōei Shikimoku. Also called the Goseibai Shikimoku?) is issued by the Council of State. This is the first codification of feudal law in Japan and was a simple digest of fifty-one administrative principles and regulations to be used in the guidance of the samurai serving under the shōgunate.
Winter 1232-33 Because of severe hardships caused by several years of famine, a law is passed allowing the sales of human beings (not just slaves) in order to allow families to raise needed money.
1233-1234 Tempuku Era
1234-1235 Bunryaku Era
1235-1238 Katei Era
1235 Kujō Michiie becomes Imperial Regent again (until 1237).
1236 Monks from Mt. Hiei and Kōfukuji cause problems all year over issues of land rights. Many people are killed and much damage is done. The Bakufu does not succeed in subduing them until near the end of the year.
1237 Konoe Kanetsune becomes Imperial Regent (until 1242).
1238-1239 Ryakunin Era
April 1238 The Shōgun visits Kyōto. He receives numerous titles and stays for almost nine months.
1239-1240 Enō Era
1239 The law allowing the sales of human beings is rescinded and the release of persons already sold is ordered.
1240-1243 Ninji Era
February 1242 Shijō dies suddenly and a succession dispute breaks out over a son of Tsuchimikado and a son of Tsuchimikado's younger brother, Juntoku. The Bakufu's opinion is requested.
April 1242 The son of Tsuchimikado is chosen by the Bakufu and becomes Emperor Go-Saga. (Remember that Juntoku was exiled by Yasutoki's father and still disliked Kamakura) There is no Clositered Emperor.
1242 Yasutoki dies and his grandson, Hōjō Tsunetoki, becomes Shikken and Regent.
1243-1247 Kangen Era
1243 Dōgen and his suporters leave Kōshōji as they are increasingly opposed by other Buddhists in Kyōto (mainly, but not exclusively, Tendai). They move to the mountains of Echizen province where he eventually builds the Eiheiji monastery.
June 1244 Yoritsune is forced (under Imperial order, which is forced by Hōjō demands) to abdicate. He is replaces as Shōgun by his infant son, Yoritsugu. Yoritsugu is promptly married to a sister of Tsunetoki.
April 1246 Tsunetoki dies suddenly and his younger brother, Tokiyori, becomes Shikken and Regent. Several outbreaks develop between supporters of the disposed Shōgun Yoritsune and supporters of the new Regent Tokiyori.
September 1246 Yoritsune is sent, under guard to live in Kyōto and is established in Rokuhara.
1246 Go-Saga abdicates. Go-Fukakusa, his three year old son, becomes Titular Emperor and Go-Saga becomes Cloistered Emperor.
1247-1249 Hōji Era
1247 Miura Yasumura conspires against the Hōjō regency. After trying to settle it peacefully and seeing that the Miura were arming themselves, Tokiyori attacks and Yasumura's entire family is killed. From this time, the Hōjō had no rivals in the east.
1247 Dōgen travels to Kamakura at the invitation of Tokiyori. He is offered the abbacy of a new monastery being built there, but refuses and returns to Echizen.
1249-1256 Kenchō Era
1249 Tokiyori establishes a standing committee (the Hikitsuke-shū) which investigates all suits and appeals brought to the Council of State. It consited of five members of the Mandokoro under a rotating chairmanship of one of three members of the full Council.
Late 1251 A plot against the Bakufu is discovered and (correctly or not isn't known) attributed to the ex-Shōgun Yoritsune. Tokiyori uses this as an excuse to remove Yoritsugu from the Shōgunate.
April 1252 Go-Saga's son (and Emperor Fukakusa's elder brother) Prince Munetaka, is chosen to replace Yoritsugu and is installed as Shōgun.
1252 The Fujiwara house splits into five houses from which the post of Regent is filled in rotation.
1253 Nichiren founds the Lotus (Hokke) sect of Buddhism. (Almost always called the Nichiren Sect)
Dōgen dies. (no connection here, i think)
1256-1257 Kōgen Era
1256 Tokiyori retires on grounds of ill health and retires to a monastery (but he continues to rule until his death in 1263). His son Tokimune becomes Shikken. But, Tokimune is a minor (5 years old) so Hōjō Nagatoki, a member of the Council of State, is appointed as his guardian and Regent (until 1264).
1257-1259 Shōka Era
Severe natural disasters plague the Eastern provinces for two years. The Bakufu must shift its focus to problems of relief instead of government.
1259 Go-Saga forces Go-Fukakusa to abdicate so that another of his son's can be made emperor. Kameyama (age 10) becomes Titular Emperor. Go-Saga remains Cloistered Emperor (until his death in 1272).
1259-1260 Shōgen Era
1260-1261 Bunō
1260 The Shōgun, Munetaka, is married to a daughter of Konoe Kanetsune, a court noble and previous Imperial Regent.
1261-1264 Kōchō Era
1261 Nichiren is banished to a remote section of the Izu peninsula for his continued verbal attacks on the leaders of the bakufu and the other Buddhist sects. He is released in 1263.
1262 Shinran dies
1263 Hōjō Tokiyori dies. Nichiren returns to Kamakura and continues with his preachings against the bakufu and other Buddhist sects.
1264-1274 Bunei Era
1264 Hōjō Masamura replaces Nagatoki as guardian of Tokimune and Regent.
July 1266 The Shōgun, Munetaka, is suspected of plotting against the Regent and he is stripped of his office by the Council of State and sent to Kyōto. He is placed under house arrest in Rokuhara and Go-Saga is told to disown him, which he does. (However, several months later he was released, offered valuable estates, and Go-Saga was asked to accept him back in the family, which he did.)
August 1266 Imperial Prince Koreyasu (Munetaka's son) is sent to Kamakura and appointed Shōgun.
1268 Kubilai Khan sends envoys to Japan demanding that the Japanese become vassals of the Mongol state. The demand is refused and the envoys are sent back to China.
1268 Hōjō Tokimune becomes Shikken and Regent.
1271 Because of his repeated attacks on the leaders of the bakufu and on other religious institutions, Nichiren is exiled again, this time to Sado Island. He is released in 1274.
1272 Go-Saga dies. In his will he leaves the majority of his property and fortunes to Kameyama instead of Go-Fukakusa (his eldest son) as custom dictated. A vicious power struggle between supporters of Go-Fukakusa and Kameyama ensues. The Imperial line is divided into two branches each competing for the throne: the senior (Jimyōin) branch, represented by Go-Fukakusa, and the Junior (Daikakuji) branch, represented by Kameyama.
1274 Kameyama abdicates. His son (and therefore also of the Junior line), Go-Uda, becomes Titular Emperor. Kameyama becomes Cloistered Emperor even though Go Fukakusa is the senior retired emperor.
1274 Nichiren is released from exile on Sado Island and returns to Kamakura, where he continues his teachings as before. When it becomes clear that the bakufu is not going to take him seriously he leaves Kamakura and goes to Mt. Minobu were he lives the rest of his life in self-imposed exile.
November 1274 First invasion by Mongol, Chinese, and Koryo armies (Bunei War). They conquer Tsushima and Ikishima islands, and then land on Kyūshū near Hakata but are met by Japanese forces assembled by the Shōgunate. A fortuitous storm (hence, kamikaze) destroys the fleet and those that can flee back to Korea.
1275-1278 Kenji Era
1275 Musō Kokushi is born to a father from a Genji family and a mother from a Heike family.
May 1275 Khubilai Khan sends further envoys to Japan to demand its submission. The envoys are executed in October and defense preparations in Kyūshū continue for an expected second invasion.
1278-1288 Kōan Era
June/
August 1281
Second invasion by Mongol, Chinese, and Koryo armies (Koan War). Again they land on Kyūshū near Hakata and again are met by stiff Japanese resistance who had prepared well by building a protective wall along the coast. After a month of fighting, another fortuitous storm destroyed the Mongol fleet and the remainder of the attacking army fled to Korea.
1282 Nichiren dies
1284 Tokimune dies. His son, Hōjō Sadatoki, (fourteen years old) becomes Shikken and Regent. One of his first tasks is to attempt to fulfill samurai demands for compensation for their expenses, and rewards for their successes, during the Mongol invasions. But, since all of the bakufu's resources had been expended in Japan's defense, there was virtually nothing to distribute. This breeds serious unhappiness with the bakufu.
1286 Claimants against the bakufu and the court for compensation or reward stemming from the Mongol invasions are forbidden from appealing directly to Kamakura or Rokuhara.
October 1287 Go-Uda abdicates. Go-Fukakusa becomes Cloistered Emperor. Fushimi, son of Go-Fukakusa and of the Senior Line, becomes Titular Emperor. (His isn't formally installed, though, until March 1288.)
1288-1293 Shōō Era
August 1289 Hisa-akira, a son of Go-Fukakusa, is named Shōgun and moved to Kamakura.
February 1290 Go-Fukakusa takes the tonsure and Fushimi becomes Cloistered Emperor as well as Titular Emperor.
1290 Retired Emperor Kameyama is implicated in an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Fushimi, although he denied involvement. The Hōjō impose a compromise on the two competing lines of the Imperial family. The Senior and Junior lines now alternate succession to the throne.
1293-1299 Einin Era
1294 The bakufu decrees that no further claims for reward or compensation stemming from the 1274 and the 1281 Mongul invasions will be granted.
1294 Khublai Khan dies and Japan finally is allowed to relax its defenses.
1297 In recognition of its continually mounting financial difficulties, the bakufu decrees another Act of Grace (Tokusei) which, among the many sever provisions, sets a maximum rate of interest and demands a partial cancellation of debts. Money lenders and merchants are hurt but eventually find ways to work around the laws. Eventually the Act proved unworkable and was amended within a year. (Thus leaving the warrior class indebted, impoverished, and even more unhappy.)
July 1298 Fushimi abdicates and becomes Cloistered Emperor. Go-Fushimi, his son and again of the Senior line, becomes Titular Emperor.
1299-1302 Shōan Era
1301 Sadatoki resigns office and enters the religious life. His cousin, Hōjō Morotoki, becomes Titular Regent. Sadatoki's son, Takatoki, is too young to take office. (Sadatoki still rules from behind the scenes until his death in 1311.)
January 1301 Go-Fushimi retires and Go-Nijō (of the Junior line and son of Go-Uda) becomes Titular Emperor. Go-Uda replaces Fushimi as Cloistered Emperor.
1302-1303 Kengen Era
1303-1306 Kagen Era
1306-1308 Tokuji Era
August 1308 Hanazono (of the Senior line and another son of Fushimi) becomes Titular Emperor when Go-Nijō dies. Fushimi once again becomes Cloistered Emperor. Prince Morikuni becomes Shōgun, the last as it turns out.
1308-1311 Enkyō Era
1311-1312 ōchō Era
1312-1317 Shōwa Era
1316 Takatoki is installed as Shikken and Regent. (But by this time it is obvious to all that the power of the Hōjō family has passed. In fact, in later years, Takatoki's sanity is questioned. Numerous people all around the country look for an excuse to overthrow the Hōjō.)
1317-1319 Bumpō Era
1317 The bakufu imposes a compormise settlement on the imperial family (the Bunpō Wadan) stating that when Go-Daigo (who was now Crown Prince) succeeds Hanazono, the next Crown Prince must be named from the Senior line, thus forcing the emperor to come from altering lines.
April 1318 Go-Daigo (of the Junior line and son of Go-Uda) becomes Titular Emperor. Hanazono becomes Cloistered Emperor. Go-Daigo makes it clear that he intends to rule as long as he is able and does not intend to abdicate and make way for an infant of the Senior line. He indicates that he intends to make reforms and stop the alternation between junior and senior lines.
1319-1321 Genō Era
1321 The Office of Ex-Emperors is abolished and many Imperial land holdings are taken over and given to the public treasury. Go-Daigo's father, Go-Uda-In, resigns from the office of Cloistered Emperor to demonstrate his approval of the policy.
1321-1324 Genkō Era
1324 Bakufu agents in Rokuhara uncover a plot against the Shōgunate. The plot is broken up and people are arrested, but no severe punishments are handed down. Go-Daigo pleads that he knew nothing of the plot and this is accepted.
1324-1326 Shōchū Era
1325 On the advice of Musō Soseki, an official envoy is sent to China, the first in nearly five centuries.
1326 Go-Daigo names his son (of the Junior line) as heir-apparent. This was contrary to the bakufu's demand that he name a son of Go-Fushimi (of the Senior line). Go-Daigo and his supporters recognize that the system of alternating Emperors had to stop and the decision of legitimacy had to be settled. To do this, they realized that the Hōjō regency had to overthrown.
1326-1329 Karyaku Era
1329-1331 Gentoku Era
May 1331 Kamakura sends thousands of troops to Kyōto after a confidant of Go-Daigo informs the Bakufu that he is privy to many conspiracies against the Hōjō. These troops are led by Nikaido.
September 1331 Emperor Go-Daigo revolts against the Bakufu. He flees the capital (with the Imperial Regalia) and takes refuge first at Tōdaiji and then in a monastery on Mount Kasagi.
September 1331 Kamakura orders the installation of Prince Kazuhito, son of Go-Fushimi and of the Senior line, as Emperor Kōgon. (The accenssion ceremony takes place, but the enthronement is postponed for a year in the hopes that the official Imperial Regalia can be recovered.)
October 1331 Go-Daigo is captured by bakufu troops and sent back to Kyōto. He is forced to relinquish the Imperial Regalia to Kōgon.
November 1331 Bakufu forces defeat Kusunoki Masashige of Kawachi Province, the only warrior willing to openly support Go-Daigo's revolt. Kusunoki escapes to build another force of supporters. Prince Morinaga, Go-Daigo's son, also escapes and goes to Yoshino.
1331-1334 Genkō Era
1332 As Hōjō domination was about to fall, as an indication of how their power had grown, in 1199 when Yoritomo had died, the Hōjō house had direct control over 2 of the 36 shugo appointments (5.6%). In 1286 they controlled 26 out of 52 (50%), and in 1332, just before their fall, they controlled 30 out of 57 (52.6%).
April 1332 After refusing to abdicate and enter a monastery, Go-Daigo is exiled to Oki Island off the east coast of Japan. Kōgon, of the senior line, is enthroned as Emperor. All Imperial lands are taken over by the government. (Later, even the kuge, the court aristocracy, lost their lands and lived a meager life at the mercy of shōgunate handouts.)
Summer/Fall 1332 Kusunoki continues with military raids on bakufu forces. Morinaga continues with a political call to arms to all warrior clans to resist and overthrow the Hōjō. This forces bakufu to send the majority of their troops to stop these efforts. However, by employing more troops against Kusunoki and Morinaga, other warrior families find they have the opportunity to revolt when bakufu troops are pulled out of their provinces. Defeat of bakufu forces, and, therefore, signs of the vulnerability of the Hōjō, brings more and more people to the Imperial cause.
March 1333 Bakufu forces make a major attempt to regain control of the country. While regaining some territory, they fail to capture Kusunoki or Morinaga. These failures further encourage the loyalists and bring even more supporters to the cause.
Spring 1333 Go-Daigo escapes exile and resumes his revolt, this time at the head of a large uprising which included many powerful military leaders unhappy with Hōjō rule. He sets up a temporary court in Hōki Province.
June 1333 Ashikaga Takauji sent by Kamakura to defeat Go-Daigo and his supporters in Kyōto and Hōki Province.
June/
July 1333
Takauji deserts to Go-Daigo's side and captures Kyōto. Nitta Yoshisada leads an army of dissatisfied warrior families and defeats the Hōjō in Kamakura.
July 1333 Go-Daigo returns to Kyōto and reestablishes himself in the palace. Kōgon is deposed but treated generously. Go-Daigo reaffirms his intention of implementing reforms.
September 1333 Go-Daigo awards provinces and governorships to the most senior warriors who supported his cause. He delays and, in general, blunders the task of rewarding the lesser warriors and this seriously dampens their loyalty to him.
Late 1333 On Go-Daigo's orders, Kitabatake Akiiye escorts Prince Norinaga (Go-Daigo's six year old son) to the north and installs him as Governor-General of the entire northern region, comprising Dewa and Mutsu Provinces. Kitabatake serves as Deputy.
1334-1336 Kemmu Restoration and Kemmu Era. Go-Daigo attempts to reestablish direct imperial rule under an imperial government in Kyōto.
Early 1334 Without imperial order, Ashikaga Tadayoshi (Takauji's brother) escorts Prince Narinaga (Go-Daigo's eleven year old son) to Kamakura and installs him as Governor of the province of Kōtsuke, with Tadayoshi as Deputy.
1334 Go-Daigo appoints many courtiers as provincial governors and announces intention to grant title of Shōgun to his son, Prince Morinaga.
September 1334 Takauji has Morinaga and several of his followers arrested and taken to Kamakura for a plot to attack him.
March 1335 Remnants of the Hojō revolt in Kamakura. While they are put down, Takauji puts his troops on alert in Kyōto.
August 1335 Hōjō Tokiyuki, the son of the late Regent Takatoki, attacks and takes Kamakura, driving out Prince Narinaga and Tadayoshi. As he flees Tadayoshi has Prince Morinaga killed.
August 1335 Takauji asks Go-Daigo to grant him the titles of Shōgun and Constable-General so that he can surpress the rebels. This is denied but, claiming familial duty he leaves Kyōto anyhow and goes to his brother's aid.
September 1335 Takauji defeats (and kills) Tokiyuki in Kamakura and puts down the Hōjō rebellion. Go-Daigo congratulates him on his success and summons him back to Kyōto for planned celebrations. Takauji refuses, saying he feels threatened in the capital, and begins to set up a palace in Kamakura.
November 17, 1335 Tadayoshi, in the name of Takauji, calls on all warriors to come to their assistance to destroy Niita Yoshisada. Go-Daigo appoints his son, Takanaga, as Shōgun and sends him with Nitta Yoshisada towards Kamakura to put down Takauki and Tadayoshi.
December 1335 Imperial loyalists are defeated by forces supporting Takauji. Fighting continues as Takauji, Tadayoshi, and their supporters drive towards Kyōto.
February 22, 1336 Anticipating defeat, Go-Daigo flees to Enryakuji.
February 23, 1336 Takauji's forces defeat the Imperial suporters and take Kyōto. Thus ends Go-Daigo's attempt to restore Imperial rule.
February/March 1336 Loyalist troops defeat Takauji supporters and, again, retake Kyōto.
March 16, 1336 Go-Daigo returns to Kyōto as Takauji flees to Kyūshū.
Late March, 1336 A deal is arranged between Takauji and ex-Emperor Kōgon (of the Senior, Jimyōin, line) so that Takauji can now say that he is fighting to support Kōmyō's claim to the throne. Kōmyō gives him a commission to "chastise the rebel Nitta Yoshisada."
1336-1340 Engen Era
May 15, 1336 Takauji and his troops start the return trip towards Kyōto in order to retake the capital
July 5, 1336 In the famous battle of Minatogawa, Takauji forces defeat the loyalist army.
July 6, 1336 Nitta retreats to Kyōto and convinces Go-Daigo to flee, again, to Hieizan with the imperial regalia.
July 13, 1336 Takauji retakes Kyōto.
August-October 1336 Continual fighting in and around the capital between loyalist troops and supporters of Takauji
September 20, 1336 Kōmyō-In accends to the throne and is declared the Emperor. Thus begins the conflict between the two Courts. (But, Kōmyō isn't enthroned until the end of 1337)
October 5, 1336 Takauji defeats Nitta and tells Go-Daigo that to this point he had only been fighting to surpress Nitta and his clan. He invites Go-Daigo to return to Kyōto to resume control of the country.
November 13, 1336 Go-Daigo returns to Kyōto and moves into Kazan-In palace. He is immediately arrested and forced to turn the regalia over to Kōmyō-In.
November 17, 1336 Go-Daigo's son Narinaga is named as the Crown Prince by Takauji, thus naming a member of the Junior line as the next in line to be Emperor.
Late 1336 Ashikaga Takauji assumes title of Go-Dainagon (Acting Grand Counsellor) and begins as ruler of the country.
January 1337 Go-Daigo escapes confinement ad he and his court followers flee to Yoshino. He becomes the Southern Dynasty while Kōmyō remains in Kyōto as the Northern Dynasty.
Muromachi Period (1338-1573)
Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1568-1600)
Edo Period (1603-1868)
Meiji Period (1868-1912)
Taishō Period (1912-1926)
Shōwa Period (1926-1989)
Heisei Period (1989-Present)


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