Ashikaga Yoshiharu

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Ashikaga Yoshiharu

Ashikaga Yoshiharu (足利 義晴, April 2, 1511 – May 20, 1550) was the twelfth shōgun 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 shōgun Ashikaga Yoshizumi,[2] his childhood name was Kameomaru (亀王丸).

  • 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): Yoshiharu enters Kyoto.[1]
  • 1526 (Daiei 6, 12th month): Shōgun 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 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]

From a western perspective, Yoshiharu is significant, as he was shogun in 1543, when the first contact of Japan with the European West took place. A Portuguese ship, blown off its course to China, landed in Japan.


  • Father: Ashikaga Yoshizumi
  • Mother: Hino Akiko
  • Wife: Keijuin (1514–1565),
  • Concubines:
    • Oodate Tsuneoki's daughter
  • Children:
    • Ashikaga Yoshiaki by Keijuin
    • Ashikaga Yoshiteru by Keijuin
    • Ashikaga Shuko (d. 1565)
    • Shiratori Yoshihisa (d. 1547)
    • daughter married Takeda Yoshimune
    • daughter married Miyoshi Yoshitsugu
    • daughter married Karasume Kosen
    • Nun in Hyokoji temple

Events of Yoshiharu's bakufu[edit]

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

  • 1521 – Hosokawa Takakuni has Yoshiharu appointed shōgun.[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 shōgun in exile.[1]

Eras of Yoshiharu's bakufu[edit]

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


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 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


  • Ackroyd, Joyce. (1982) Lessons from History: The Tokushi Yoron. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press. ISBN 9780702214851; OCLC 7574544
  • Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Nihon Ōdai Ichiran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 585069
Preceded by
Ashikaga Yoshitane
Ashikaga Yoshiharu

Succeeded by
Ashikaga Yoshiteru