Kamakura Period


The Kamakura Period or Kamakura Jidai (1185-1333 CE) of medieval Japan began when Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147-1199 CE) defeated the Taira clan at the Battle of Dannoura in 1185 CE. The period is named after Kamakura, a coastal town 48 kilometres (30 miles) southwest of Tokyo which was used as the Minamoto clan's base. Yoritomo would establish himself as shogun or military dictator of Japan from 1192 CE, thus offering the first alternative to the power of the emperor and imperial court. The Kamakura period saw lasting developments in government, agriculture, and religion and managed to withstand the Mongol invasions of the late 13th century CE. The period came to an end with the fall of the Kamakura Shogunate in 1333 CE when a new clan took over as shoguns of Japan: the Ashikaga.

More about: Kamakura Period


  • 1180 - 1185
    The Genpei War in Japan between the Taira and Minamoto clans.
  • 1183 - 1198
    Reign of Japan's Emperor Go-Toba.
  • 1183 - 1198
    Emperor Go-Toba reigns in Japan.
  • 1185 - 1333
    The Kamakura period in Japan.
  • 1185
    Battle of Dannoura where the Minamoto defeat the rival Taira. The young emperor Antoku drowns.
  • 1191
    The Shinto Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine is moved from Yuinogo to Kamakura, Japan by Minamoto no Yoritomo.
  • 1192 - 1333
    The Kamakura Shogunate rules Japan.
  • 1192 - 1199
    Minamoto no Yoritomo is shogun in Japan.
  • 1195
    The Todaiji temple at Nara, Japan, is restored by the Minamoto clan.
  • 1202 - 1203
    Minamoto no Yorie is shogun of Japan.
  • 1203 - 1219
    Minamoto no Sanetomo is shogun of Japan.
  • 1203 - 1205
    Hojo Tokimasa acts as regent to Japan's shogun, the first of 16 such regents
  • c. 1218
    The Tale of the Heike (Heike monogatari) is first published in Japan.
  • 1219
    Hojo Masako and Hojo Tokimasa take over as regents for the Japanese shogun, thus permanently transferring power from the Minamoto to Hojo clans.
  • 1221
    The Jokyu Disturbance - Japan's emperor Go-Toba launches a failed coup against the Kamakura Shogunate.
  • 1225
    The position of vice-regent to the shogun (rensho) is created in Japan.
  • 1232
    A new law code, the Joei Code (Joei shikimoku), is established in Japan.
  • 1249
    A High Court, the Hikitsukeshu, is formed in Japan.
  • 1249 - 1253
    The Kenchoji Zen Buddhism monastery is built in Kamakura, Japan.
  • 1252
    The Kotokuin Temple with its massive bronze statue of Buddha is built at Kamakura, Japan.
  • 1274
    The first invasion of Japan by the Mongol ruler Kublai Khan fails.
  • 1281
    The second invasion of Japan by the Mongol ruler/Yuan dynasty emperor Kublai Khan fails.
  • 1283
    The Engakuji Zen Buddhist monastery is established at Kamakura, Japan by Hojo Tokimune.
  • 1318 - 1339
    Go-Daigo reigns as emperor of Japan.
  • 1327 - 1333
    Hojo Moritoki reigns as shogun in Japan, the last of the Kamakura Shogunate.
  • c. 1333
    Nitta Yoshisada attacks and destroys Kamakura, capital of Japan's Kamakura Shogunate.
  • 1333 - 1336
    The Kenmu Restoration when the Japanese emperor Go-Daigo uses rebel warlords to oust the Kamakura Shogunate.
  • 1338
    Ashikaga Takauji becomes the new shogun in Japan, it is the beginning of the Ashikaga (Muromachi) Shogunate.