Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Date of Death


Ashikaga Yoshimitsu

3rd shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate

Date of Birth: 25-Sep-1358

Place of Birth: Kyoto, Kyōto Prefecture, Japan

Date of Death: 31-May-1408

Profession: samurai, Shogun

Nationality: Japan

Zodiac Sign: Libra

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About Ashikaga Yoshimitsu

  • Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (?? ??, September 25, 1358 – May 31, 1408) was the 3rd shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate, which was in power from 1368 to 1394 during the Muromachi period of Japan.
  • Yoshimitsu was Ashikaga Yoshiakira's third son but the oldest son to survive, his childhood name being Haruo (??).
  • Yoshimitsu was appointed shogun, a hereditary title as head of the military estate, in 1368 at the age of ten; at twenty he was admitted to the imperial court as Acting Grand Counselor (Gon Dainagon ????).
  • In 1379, Yoshimitsu reorganized the institutional framework of the Gozan Zen ??? establishment before, two years later, becoming the first person of the warrior class to host a reigning emperor at his private residence.
  • In 1392, he negotiated the end of the Nanboku-cho imperial schism that had plagued politics for over half a century.
  • Two years later he became Grand Chancellor of State (Dajo daijin ????), the highest-ranking member of the imperial court.
  • Retiring from that and all public offices in 1395, Yoshimitsu took the tonsure and moved into his Kitayama-dono (???) retirement villa which, among other things, boasted a pavilion two-thirds covered in gold leaf (Kinkaku shariden ?????).
  • There, he received envoys from the Ming and Joseon courts on at least six occasions and forged the terms of a Sino-Japanese trade agreement that endured for over a century.
  • In recognition for his diplomatic efforts (and overt displays of subservience), the Chinese sovereign pronounced Yoshimitsu "King of Japan" (Nihon kokuo ????).
  • In 1407, he set into motion a plan to become "Dajo tenno" (????), a title customarily applied to a retired emperor.
  • Although unrealized due to his sudden death the following year, this last venture was particularly audacious because Yoshimitsu never actually sat on the Japanese throne.
  • Late in his career, it appears Yoshimitsu sought to legitimize his transcendent authority through the idiom of Buddhist kingship, deploying ritual, symbols, and monumentalism to cast him as a universal monarch or dharma king, not unlike his counterparts in Southeast Asia.
  • His posthumous name was Rokuon'in (???).

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