Minamoto Yuritomo

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By the middle of the 12th century the Hein era in Japanese history was winding to a close, as the central government in Kyoto declined. Powerful provincial clans each with an army of loyal retainers schooled in the military virtues of the samurai both families began to vie for ascendancy. Out of this flux, two powerful families emerged the Teri Heike and the Minamoto also known as the Gengi emerged as powerful rivals. Under there, Tari Kiyomori attained power over the Minamoto for a brief period. Minamoto and Tara clans both wanted to control the royal court.

It was Yoritomo who at the beginning of the 12th century founded the Kamakara Shoganate. The first of the great Bauk or (''tent governments'') had became the political systems of Japan until the second half of the century. This important historical event along with the equally famous story of Yoritomos tragic rivalry with his brother Yorshtuses combine to create one of the most celebrated stories in Japanese history.

The Minamoto and Tara waged a powerful war against one another after the death of the Tara's principal leader minamoto rose to power.

In the years immediately proceeding Tara Kiyomori's death. The Minamoto were once again in the process of rising to power. In 1179-1180 even as kiyormori lay on his deathbed the older two brothers and the leader of the minamoto were moving against him by this time Youritomo had won over Hogo Tokiasa the powerful head of the minamoto family to which he had sent a chilled to cement the relation ship by marring tokimasa daughter Mosaka. In the near future many battles will accord resulting in the Gimpi war (1180-1185) Youritomo will help his half brother and the rest of his relative destroy the Tari and establish the Kamakura Shogunate. Yoritomo solidified his support and in 1192 had been appointed shogun.

Yoritomo established his shogunate at a small costal village south of present day Tokyo were the Minamotos had long been a influence from the time of the first rising in 1180 youritomo sought to "legitimize" all of his actions to avoid being cast in the role of the rebel to the throne. Among the title, he received from the emperor after the victory over Tara and had been appointed shogun as said in the previous paragraph. The strength of Yoritomos leadership lay in the futile lord vassal relationship he established with his followers. I return for allegiance and military surface he provided his vassal with protection.

Yoritomos authority that was restricted chiefly top provinces of eastern Japan during the war with the tari was now made national in 1185 when he received permission from the throne to appoint his vessels as stewards to various private estates through out the country. They were either constables or protectors to each estate though many estates remained immune to this type of control or interference never the less the shogunate almost completely replaced the imperial court as the effective central government.

Probably the greatest shortcoming of youritomo was his failure to provide effective succession to the office of shogun. Fear full that they might challenge his position. Youritomao had "liquidated" several of his brothers and close relatives. When he himself died in 1199 at the age of 52 his two young sons who became the second and third shogun were unable to sustain power of the minamoto and proved to be poor leaders.