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Let’s Travel Historical Japan with Toukiden Kiwami (Part 2) – The First Two Shogunates

The post Let’s Travel Historical Japan with Toukiden Kiwami (Part 2) – The First Two Shogunates appeared first on The Scribbling Geek.

The First Two Shogunates: Kamakura and Ashikaga/ Muromachi

Japanese history is unusual, in the sense that for most parts the supreme leader wasn’t the Emperor, but military dictators known as Shoguns. These powerful de-facto rulers wielded absolute power across all the provinces and controlled even the Emperor. What’s most curious is that unlike modern regimes, shoguns mostly co-existed peacefully with their emperors. They are nominally appointed in official ceremonies. The title is also hereditary.

The first shogunate began in 1192 in Kamakura after the famous victory of the Minamoto Clan over the Taira Clan. This lasted for around 150 years, was full of strife, and ended in 1338 when General Ashikaga Takauji secured absolute power. In comparison, the Ashikaga Shogunate was relatively more resilient and managed to last till 1573. As the Ashikawa shoguns established their base of control in the Muromachi district of Kyoto, their era came to be known as the Muromachi era of Japanese History. This is versus the previous Kamakura era.

On a side note, if you’re interested in the history of the Minamoto Clan, you might like to check out games like Genji, Genpei Touma Den, etc.

And … here’s Part 1: The Age of Grace, if you have yet to visit that.

Toukiden Kiwami Travel Itinerary 2: The Age of Honor

Within the game, Toukiden Kiwami describes the Age of Honor as featuring the characteristics of the Kamakura and Muromachi shogunates. The battleground has a very rustic feel overall, with overgrown trees and shrubbery everywhere. Compared to the Age of Grace, there are also fewer period-distinctive structures, although one of Japan’s most recognizable landmarks makes a cameo.

Before All Else …

I’m proud to be your guide again!


The magnificent Kinkaku-ji, or Golden Pavilion. This World Heritage Site once belonged to a powerful statesman, before bought by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu as a retirement home. The current structure is a reconstruction. Sadly, the original was burned down in 1950.
Itsukushima shrine of Miyajima Island. Another Japanese World Heritage Sites, the current structure was constructed in the 16th century with designs based on one from 1168. I.E. Just before the Kamakura Era.
The symbolic Great Torii, or Shinto gate, of Miyajima Island. A UNESCO site together with Itsukushima shrine, this is one of the top three views of Japan. (When at high tide and floating on the water, that is)

Toukiden Kiwami – The Age of Honour

Our starting area. Do you not feel a deep sense of spirituality? From an age filled with valiant samurais and courageous generals?
A typical samurai’s house. This might not look like much, dear travellers, but in historical Japan, it was considered as luxury.
Before we continue our tour, your lodgings for this visit. Do ask for some paper screens if the nights get too windy for you.
Our Battle of Dan-no-Ura diorama! Victory in this decisive naval battle led to Minamoto no Yoritomo becoming the first Shogun, thereafter establishing the first of Japan’s shogunates.
I’m embarrassed to say this. I’m not too sure why such an elaborate shrine was built here. Maybe it’s to appease angry samurai spirits. We do get a lot of strange tortoises and crabs here.
Plenty of  spectacular mountainside scenery in this battleground, yes? Please mind your step when taking pictures.
Don’t forget to check out our many photo spots!
Ladies and gentlemen, our star attraction. The … original Golden Pavilion. It’s still in the midst of restoration, so bear with us during your selfie taking.
Incidentally, there are mythical stones everywhere in our area. Pray at them for a dash of good luck!
Also, our … original Golden Pavilion sometimes experiences interesting plant growth around it. These are most often seen during the evening.
Magical sunsets can be experienced at our fringe areas.
Lastly, be sure to say hello to our many guardians. Not only do they watch over your safety, they are useful sources of travel information.

Additional References

A Japanese Ni-O Guardian statue. Commonly associated with Nara, the most famous pair at Tōdai-ji were created during the early Kamakura Shogunate.
Historical painting of the Battle of Dan-no-Ura. As mentioned above, this naval battle was instrumental in the formation of Shogunates in Japanese history.

Up next, Japan’s tumultous Warring States Period! Experienced through Toukiden Kiwami’s Age of War!

If you’re thinking of visiting Kamakura, Kyoto, or other shogunate related locations in Japan, this site is easily the best guide.

Or read my previous travel the world posts to experience more places of the world.

The post Let’s Travel Historical Japan with Toukiden Kiwami (Part 2) – The First Two Shogunates appeared first on The Scribbling Geek.

This post first appeared on The Scribbling Geek, please read the originial post: here

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Let’s Travel Historical Japan with Toukiden Kiwami (Part 2) – The First Two Shogunates


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