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Ashikaga Yoshitane

Ashikaga Yoshitane (足利 義稙?, September 9, 1466 – May 23, 1523), also known as Ashikaga Yoshiki (足利 義材), was the 10th shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate who headed the shogunate first from 1490 to 1493[1] and then again from 1508 to 1521 during the Muromachi period of Japan.[2]

Yoshitane was the son of Ashikaga Yoshimi and grandson of the sixth shogun Ashikaga Yoshinori. In his early life, he was named Yoshiki (sometimes translated as Yoshimura), and then Yoshitada[3] — including the period of when he is first installed as shogun; however, he changed his name to Yoshitane in 1501 in a period when he was temporarily exiled, and it is by this name that he is generally known today.[4]

The 9th shogun Ashikaga Yoshihisa died in 1489 on a battlefield of southern Omi province. Yoshihisa left no heir; and Yoshitane became Seii Taishogun a year later.[5]

Events of Yoshitane's bakufu[]

Significant events which shaped the period during which Yoshitane was shogun:[3]

  • 1490—Yoshitane appointed shogun.[3]
  • 1491 – Hōjō Sōun gains control of Izu.[3]
  • 1493 – Hatakeyama Yoshitoyo forces Yoshitane to abdicate.[3]
  • 1500 – Emperor Go-Kashiwabara accedes.[3]
  • 1508 – Ōuchi Yoshioki restores Yoshitane.[3]
  • 1520—Dissension over Hosokawa succession; Takakuni becomes Kanryō; Yoshitane opposes Takakuni and the Kanryō is driven out.[3]
  • 1521 – Emperor Go-Kashiwabara .[3]

In 1493, Yoshitane lost in a power struggle against Hosokawa Masamoto and was formally replaced by the eleventh shogun, Ashikaga Yoshizumi.[6]

In 1508, with the support of Ōuchi Yoshioki, Yoshitane regained the position of Seii Taishogun from Yoshizumi.[7]

Eventually, after a further power struggle with the Hosokawa clan and Hosokawa Takakuni, Yoshitane was forced to withdraw to Awaji Island. He died in Awa province, on the island of Shikoku.[8]

Hosokawa Takakuni arranged for the replacement of Yoshitane with the twelfth shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiharu.[8]

Yoshitane's heirs and successors[]

Shogun Yoshitane adopted the son of a cousin, Yoshizumi; and he designate Yoshitsuna as his heir and as his anticipated successor as shogun.[9] However, when Yoshitane died prematurely, he was not succeeded by who he had chosen; rather, his father's newly designated heir was accepted by the shogunate as Shogun Yoshizumi.[10]

In other words, after the death of his son, Shogun Yoshimasa adopted the son of his brother, Yoshimi. After the death of his adopted son, Yoshimasa adopted the son of another brother, Masatomo. Shogun Yoshimasa was succeeded by Shogun Yoshihisa (Yoshimasa's natural son), then by Shogun Yoshitane (Yoshimasa's first adopted son), and then by Shogun Yoshizumi (Yoshimasa's second adopted son). Yoshizumi's progeny would become shoguns in due course.[10]

Eventually, the great-grandson of Yoshitane would be installed as a puppet shogun for a brief period; but external power struggles would unseat him, and the Ashikaga dynasty of shoguns would end.[10]

Eras of Yoshitane's bakufu[]

The years in which Yoshitane was shogun are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[11]

  • Entoku (1489–1492)
  • Meiō (1492–1501)
  • Bunki (1501–1504)
  • Eishō (1504–1521)
  • Daiei (1521–1528)


  1. Titsigh, Issac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 361–362., p. 361, at Google Books
  2. Titsingh, pp. 367–371., p. 367, at Google Books
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Ackroyd, Joyce. (1982). Lessons from History: The Tokushi Yoron, p. 331. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ackroyd331" defined multiple times with different content
  4. Titsingh, p. 364., p. 364, at Google Books
  5. Titsingh, p. 361., p. 361, at Google Books
  6. Titsingh, p. 362., p. 362, at Google Books
  7. Titsingh, p. 366–367., p. 366, at Google Books
  8. 8.0 8.1 Titsingh, p. 370., p. 370, at Google Books
  9. Ackroyd, p. 385 n104; excerpt, "Some apparent contradictions exist in various versions of the pedigree owing to adoptions and name-changes. Yoshitsuna (sometimes also read Yoshikore) changed his name and was adopted by Yoshitane. Some pedigrees show Yoshitsuna as Yoshizumi's son, and Yoshifuyu as Yoshizumi's son."
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Ackroyd, p. 298.
  11. Titsingh, pp. 352–372., p. 352, at Google Books


Preceded by
Ashikaga Yoshihisa
Muromachi Shogun
Succeeded by
Ashikaga Yoshizumi
Preceded by
Ashikaga Yoshizumi
Muromachi Shogun
Succeeded by
Ashikaga Yoshiharu

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