Ashikaga Yoshiharu

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Ashikaga Yoshiharu

Ashikaga Yoshiharu (足利 義晴?, April 2, 1511 – May 20, 1550) was the twelfth shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate who held the reins of supreme power from 1521 through 1546 during the late Muromachi period of Japan.[1] He was the son of the eleventh shogun Ashikaga Yoshizumi.[2]

  • May 1, 1521 (Daiei 1, 25th day of the 3rd month): After the tenth shogun Ashikaga Yoshitane and Hosokawa Takakuni struggled for power over the shogunate and Yoshitane withdrew to Awaji Island, the way was clear for Minamoto-no Yoshiharu to be installed as shogun.[3]
  • 1521 (Daiei 1, 6th month): Yoshiteru enters Kyoto.[1]
  • 1526 (Daiei 6, 12th month): Shogun Yoshiharu invited archers from neighboring provinces to come to the capital for an archery contest.[4]

Not having any political power and repeatedly being forced out of the capital of Kyoto, Yoshiharu eventually retired in 1546 over a political struggle between Miyoshi Nagayoshi and Hosokawa Harumoto making his son Ashikaga Yoshiteru the thirteenth shogun.

  • May 20, 1550 (Tenbun 19, 4th day of the 5th month): Yoshiharu died.[5]

Supported by Oda Nobunaga, his son Ashikaga Yoshiaki became the fifteenth shogun.

From a western perspective, Yoshiharu is significant, as he was shogun in 1542, when the first contact of Japan with the European West took place. A Portuguese ship, blown off its course to China, landed in Japan.

Events of Yoshiharu's bakufu

Significant events shape the period during which Yoshiharu was shogun:[6]

  • 1521 – Hosokawa Takakuni has Yoshiharu appointed shogun.[1]
  • 1526 – Kasai rebels, Miyoshi rebels: Go Nara succeeds.[1]
  • 1528 – Yoshiharu driven out by Miyoshi Nagamoto.[1]
  • 1533 – Ikkō rebellion.[1]
  • 1536 – Go-Nara enthroned.[1]
  • 1538 – Dissension in Koga Kubō's family.[1]
  • 1546 – Yoshiharu flees to Ōmi; his son, Yoshiteru, appointed shogun in exile.[1]

Eras of Yoshiharu's bakufu

The years in which Yoshiharu was shogun are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Ackroyd, Joyce. (1982). Lessons from History: The Tokushi Yoron, p. 332.
  2. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 370., p. 370, at Google Books
  3. Titsingh, p. 371., p. 371, at Google Books
  4. Titsingh, p. 373., p. 373, at Google Books
  5. Titsingh, p. 379., p. 379, at Google Books
  6. Ackroyd, p. 331.
  7. Titsingh, pp. 370-378., p. 370, at Google Books


Preceded by
Ashikaga Yoshitane
Muromachi Shogun
Succeeded by
Ashikaga Yoshiteru