Medieval Japan Timeline

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1100 CE 1200 CE 1300 CE 1400 CE 1500 CE 1600 CE 1700 CE 1800 CE  
 
 
1147 CE - 1199 CE: Life of Minamoto no Yoritomo, clan leader of the Minamoto and first shogun of Japan.
 
 
1168 CE: Taira no Kiyomori significantly remodels the Itsukushima Shrine.
 
 
1180 CE - 1185 CE: The Genpei War in Japan between the Taira and Minamoto clans.
 
 
1183 CE - 1198 CE: Reign of Japan's Emperor Go-Toba.
 
1185 CE: Battle of Dannoura where the Minamoto defeat the rival Taira. The young emperor Antoku drowns.
 
 
1185 CE - 1333 CE: The Kamakura period in Japan.
 
 
1192 CE - 1333 CE: The Kamakura Shogunate rules Japan.
 
 
1192 CE - 1199 CE: Minamoto no Yoritomo is shogun in Japan.
 
 
1195 CE: The Todaiji temple at Nara, Japan, is restored by the Minamoto clan.
 
 
1202 CE - 1203 CE: Minamoto no Yorie is shogun of Japan.
 
 
1203 CE - 1219 CE: Minamoto no Sanetomo is shogun of Japan.
 
 
1203 CE - 1205 CE: Hojo Tokimasa acts as regent to Japan's shogun, the first of 16 such regents
 
1218 CE: The Tale of the Heike (Heike monogatari) is first published in Japan.
 
 
1219 CE: Hojo Masako and Hojo Tokimasa take over as regents for the Japanese shogun, thus permanently transferring power from the Minamoto to Hojo clans.
 
 
1221 CE: The Jokyu Disturbance - Japan's emperor Go-Toba launches a failed coup against the Kamakura Shogunate.
 
 
1225 CE: The position of vice-regent to the shogun (rensho) is created in Japan.
 
 
1232 CE: A new law code, the Joei Code (Joei shikimoku), is established in Japan.
 
 
1246 CE - 1259 CE: Reign of Japan's Emperor Go-Fukakusa.
 
 
1249 CE: A High Court, the Hikitsukeshu, is formed in Japan.
 
 
1249 CE - 1253 CE: The Kenchoji Zen Buddhism monastery is built in Kamakura, Japan.
 
 
1254 CE: The large gilded wood statue of Kannon is sculpted at Sanjusangendo, Heiankyo (Kyoto), Japan.
 
 
1259 CE - 1274 CE: Reign of Japan's Emperor Kameyama.
 
 
1274 CE: The first invasion of Japan by the Mongol ruler Kublai Khan fails.
 
 
1281 CE: The second invasion of Japan by the Mongol ruler/Yuan dynasty emperor Kublai Khan fails.
 
 
1283 CE: The Engakuji Zen Buddhist monastery is established at Kamakura, Japan by Hojo Tokimune.
 
 
1318 CE - 1339 CE: Go-Daigo reigns as emperor of Japan.
 
 
1327 CE - 1333 CE: Hojo Moritoki reigns as shogun in Japan, the last of the Kamakura Shogunate.
 
 
1333 CE - 1336 CE: The Kemmu Restoration when the Japanese emperor Go-Daigo uses rebel warlords to oust the Kamakura Shogunate.
 
 
1333 CE: The position of deputy shogun (kanrei) is created in Japan.
 
 
1333 CE: Nitta Yoshisada attacks and destroys Kamakura, capital of Japan's Kamakura Shogunate.
 
 
1333 CE - 1573 CE: The Muromachi period of medieval Japan.
 
 
1336 CE: Ashikaga Takauji captures Heiankyo (Kyoto).
 
 
1337 CE - 1392 CE: Japan has two competing emperors: the 'Northern and Southern Courts.
 
 
1338 CE: Ashikaga Takauji becomes the new shogun in Japan, it is the beginning of the Ashikaga (Muromachi) Shogunate.
 
 
1338 CE - 1573 CE: The Ashikaga (Muromachi) Shogunate rules Japan.
 
 
1338 CE - 1358 CE: Ashikaga Takauji rules as shogun in Japan.
 
 
1359 CE - 1368 CE: Ashikaga Yoshiakira rules as shogun in Japan.
 
 
1395 CE - 1423 CE: Ashikaga Yoshimochi rules as shogun in Japan.
 
 
1397 CE: The Kinkakuji or 'Golden Pavilion' is built in Heiankyo (Kyoto) by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.
 
 
1401 CE: Japan joins the tribute system of China's Ming Dynasty.
 
 
1407 CE: The five-story Buddhist pagoda is added to the Shinto Itsukushima Shrine.
 
1420 CE - 1506 CE: Life of the celebrated Zen priest and artist Sesshu (real name Toyo)
 
 
1429 CE - 1441 CE: Ashikaga Yoshinori rules as shogun in Japan.
 
 
1449 CE - 1474 CE: Ashikaga Yoshimasa rules as shogun in Japan.
 
1460 CE - 1483 CE: Ginkakuji Temple (Silver Pavilion) is built in Heiankyo (Kytoto) Japan by Ashikaga Yoshimasa.
 
 
1467 CE - 1477 CE: The Onin War between rival warlords rages in Japan.
 
 
1467 CE - 1568 CE: The Sengoku Period or Warring States Period in Japan.
 
 
1473 CE: Ryoanji in Heiankyo (Kyoto) becomes a Zen Buddhism temple.
 
 
1474 CE - 1489 CE: Ashikaga Yoshihisa rules as shogun in Japan.
 
 
1494 CE - 1508 CE: Ashikaga Yoshizumi rules as shogun in Japan.
 
 
1508 CE - 1521 CE: Ashikaga Yoshitane rules in his second spell as shogun of Japan.
 
 
1521 CE - 1546 CE: Ashikaga Yoshiharu rules as shogun in Japan.
 
1543 CE: The first European contact is made with Japan when three Portuguese traders have their ship blown onto the shores of southern Kyushu.
 
 
1546 CE - 1565 CE: Ashikaga Yoshiteru rules as shogun in Japan.
 
 
1549 CE: Oda Nobunaga adds a specialist corps of 500 musketeers to his army.
 
 
1560 CE: Oda Nobunaga defeats the warlord of Mikawa, Imagawa Yoshimoto, at the Battle of Okehazama.
 
 
1568 CE - 1582 CE: Oda Nobunaga seizes Heiankyo (Kyoto) and is the dominant military leader in central Japan.
 
 
1568 CE - 1600 CE: The Azuchi-Momoyama Period in Japan.
 
 
1568 CE: Ashikaga Yoshihide rules as shogun in Japan.
 
 
1568 CE - 1588 CE: Ashikaga Yoshiaki rules as shogun in Japan (but is exiled by Oda Nobunaga from 1573 CE).
 
1571 CE: Oda Nobunaga attacks the Buddhist Enryakuji monastic complex near Kyoto.
 
 
1573 CE: Oda Nobunaga exiles the last Ashikaga shogun, Yoshiaki.
 
 
1575 CE: Oda Nobunaga wins the Battle of Nagashino.
 
1576 CE: Oda Nobunaga instigates a 'sword hunt' to confiscate all weapons from the Japanese peasantry.
 
1579 CE: Oda Nobunaga establishes a new headquarters at Azuchi castle.
 
1582 CE - 1598 CE: Toyotomi Hideyoshi is the military leader of Japan.
 
1582 CE - 1598 CE: Oda Nobunaga and his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi conduct an extensive land ownership survey across Japan.
 
 
1586 CE: Toyotomi Hideyoshi builds the huge Osaka castle.
 
 
1588 CE: Toyotomi Hideyoshi prohibits commoners from carrying weapons, including swords.
 
 
1588 CE: Toyotomi Hideyoshi rules that only full-rank samurai may carry two swords.
 
 
1591 CE: Samurai are no longer permitted to farm their own land making them dependent on their lords for income.
 
 
1591 CE: Toyotomi Hideyoshi redefines the class system of Japan.
 
 
1591 CE: Toyotomi Hideyoshi builds the massive Odoi ("Great rampart") fortification wall around Heiankyo (Kyoto).
 
 
1592 CE: Toyotomi Hideyoshi sends an army to invade Korea. It is not successful.
 
 
1594 CE: Toyotomi Hideyoshi builds the Fushimi Castle outside Heiankyo (Kyoto).
 
 
1597 CE: Toyotomi Hideyoshi passes his second edict to remove Christian missionaries from Japan and executes 26 Christians in Nagasaki.
 
 
1597 CE: Toyotomi Hideyoshi sends a second army to invade Korea. It is not successful.
 
1598 CE: Death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the military leader of Japan.
 
 
1600 CE: Tokugawa Ieyasu wins the Battle of Skeigahara against those generals who supported Toyotomi Hideyoshi's son. End of the Azuchi-Momoyama Period.
 
 
1603 CE - 1868 CE: The Tokugawa Shogunate rules Japan.
 
 
1603 CE - 1605 CE: Tokugawa Ieyasu rules as shogun in Japan.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1100 CE 1200 CE 1300 CE 1400 CE 1500 CE 1600 CE 1700 CE 1800 CE

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