Episode 107 – The Lair of the Wolves

How does a nation ruled by warriors descend into over 100 years of civil war? Find out this week as we discuss the causes of the Onin War and the collapse of the authority of the Ashikaga shoguns.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Keene, Donald. Yoshimasa and the Silver Pavilion.

Sansom, George B. A History of Japan, Vol II: 1334-1615.

Varley, H. Paul. The Onin War. 

Images 

The shugo daimyo of the Ashikaga period. The power of the shugo daimyo undermined that of the shogun, pathing the way for the slow collapse of the Ashikaga. Courtesy of samurai archives.com.
The shugo daimyo of the Ashikaga period. The power of the shugo daimyo undermined that of the shogun, pathing the way for the slow collapse of the Ashikaga. Courtesy of samurai archives.com.
Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, shown here, was a savvy enough political operator to forge consensus where he lacked the strength to impose his will by force. His descendants would not be so gifted.
Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, shown here, was a savvy enough political operator to forge consensus where he lacked the strength to impose his will by force. His descendants would not be so gifted.
Ashikaga Yoshinori, the shogun whose assassination presaged the collapse of the bakufu in 1441.
Ashikaga Yoshinori, the shogun whose assassination presaged the collapse of the bakufu in 1441.
Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the shogun whose disinterest in government led to the implosion of the Ashikaga state.
Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the shogun whose disinterest in government led to the implosion of the Ashikaga state.
Ginkakuji, the retirement pavilion built by Ashikaga Yoshimasa in the hills east of Kyoto. Utterly irresponsible and uninterested in working to resolve the crises of his day, Yoshimasa looked on from here as his capitol burned.
Ginkakuji, the retirement pavilion built by Ashikaga Yoshimasa in the hills east of Kyoto. Utterly irresponsible and uninterested in working to resolve the crises of his day, Yoshimasa looked on from here as his capitol burned.
The Onin War, ostensibly a conflict over succession in the house of Ashikaga, was really a result of competition for power and prestige between two families of shugo daimyo. After this point, the fiction of Ashikaga power lost all its defenders.
The Onin War, ostensibly a conflict over succession in the house of Ashikaga, was really a result of competition for power and prestige between two families of shugo daimyo. After this point, the fiction of Ashikaga power lost all its defenders.
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