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Shogun


A shogun (将軍 shōgun?, [ɕoːɡu͍ɴ]) was the military dictator of Japan during the period from 1185 to 1868 (with exceptions). In most of this period, the shoguns were the de facto rulers of the country; although nominally they were appointed by the Emperor as a ceremonial formality. The Shogun held almost absolute power over territories through military means. Nevertheless, an unusual situation occurred in the Kamakura period (1199–1333) upon the death of the first shogun, whereby the Hōjō clan's hereditary titles of shikken (1199-1256) and tokusō (1256–1333) monopolized the shogunate as dictatorial positions, collectively known as the Regent Rule (執権政治?). The shogun during this 134-year period met the same fate as the Emperor and was reduced to a figurehead until a coup in 1333, when the Shogun was restored to power in the name of the Emperor.

The modern rank of shogun is roughly equivalent to a generalissimo. Shogun is the short form of Sei-i Taishōgun (?, "Commander-in-Chief of the Expeditionary Force Against the Barbarians"), the individual governing the country at various times in the history of Japan, ending when Tokugawa Yoshinobu relinquished the office to Emperor Meiji in 1867.



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  • Hurst, C. Cameron, III; Smith, Henry (November 1981). "Review of Learning from Shogun: Japanese History and Western Fantasy, by Henry Smith". The Journal of Asian Studies. 41 (1): 158–159. doi:10.2307/2055644. JSTOR 2055644. 
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  • Sinsengumi, Bakumatuisin (2003). 仙台藩主. Bakusin (in Japanese). 
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  • Wakabayashi, Bob Tadashi (Winter 1991). "In Name Only: Imperial Sovereignty in Early Modern Japan". Journal of Japanese Studies. 17 (1): 25–57. doi:10.2307/132906. JSTOR 132906. 
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