/shoh"geuh nit, -nayt'/, n.
1. the office or rule of a shogun.
2. a government controlled by shoguns.
[1870-75; SHOGUN + -ATE3]

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▪ Japanese history
Japanese  Bakufu,  or  Shōgunshoku,  

      government of the shogun, or hereditary military dictator, of Japan from AD 1192 to 1867. The term shogun appeared in various titles given to military commanders commissioned for the imperial government's 8th- and 9th-century campaigns against the Ezo (Emishi) tribes of northern Japan. The highest warrior rank, seii taishōgun (“barbarian-quelling generalissimo”), was first attained by Sakanoue Tamuramaro, and the title (abbreviated as shogun) was later applied to all shogunate leaders. Legally the shogunate was under the control of the emperor, and the shogun's authority was limited to control of the military forces of the country. But the increasingly feudal character of Japanese society created a situation in which control of the military became tantamount to control of the country, and the emperor remained in his palace in Kyōto chiefly as a symbol of sovereignty behind the shogun.

      The samurai leader Minamoto Yoritomo gained military hegemony over Japan in 1185; seven years later he assumed the title of shogun and established the first shogunate, or bakufu (literally, “tent government”), at his Kamakura headquarters. Eventually the Kamakura shogunate came to possess military, administrative, and judicial functions, although the imperial government remained the recognized legal authority. The shogunate appointed its own military governors, or shugo, as heads of each province and named stewards to supervise the individual estates into which the provinces had been divided, thus establishing an effective national network.

      After the collapse of the Kamakura shogunate in 1333, Ashikaga Takauji established a second line of shogunal succession that ruled much of Japan from 1338 until 1573. The Ashikaga shogunate's capital was the imperial city of Kyōto. But the increasingly independent shugo, virtual warlords, who by the 16th century were known as daimyo, eventually undermined the power of the Ashikaga shogunate.

      In 1600 Tokugawa Ieyasu gained hegemony over the daimyo and thus was able to establish in 1603 the third shogunate, headquartered in Edo (now Tokyo). The Edo shogunate was the most powerful central government Japan had yet seen; it controlled the emperor, the daimyo, and the religious establishments, administered Tokugawa lands, and handled Japanese foreign affairs.

      After 1862 the Tokugawa shogunate underwent drastic changes in its efforts to maintain control, but in 1867 the last shogun, Yoshinobu, was forced to yield the administration of civil and military affairs to the emperor. Still, the central administration that the Tokugawa shogunate had developed in Edo provided a foundation for the new Japanese imperial government of the late 19th century.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Shogunate — Sho*gun ate, n. The office or dignity of a Shogun. [Written also {Siogoonate}.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shogunate — 1871, a hybrid, from Japanese SHOGUN (Cf. shogun) + Latinate suffix ATE (Cf. ate) …   Etymology dictionary

  • shogunate — shogun ► NOUN ▪ (in feudal Japan) a hereditary commander in chief. DERIVATIVES shogunate noun. ORIGIN Japanese, from a Chinese word meaning general …   English terms dictionary

  • shogunate — noun see shogun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • shogunate — noun The administration of a Shogun Syn: bakufu …   Wiktionary

  • shogunate — n. rule by a hereditary military commander, rule by shogun …   English contemporary dictionary

  • shogunate — sho·gun·ate …   English syllables

  • shogunate — /ˈʃoʊgəneɪt/ (say shohguhnayt) noun the office or rule of a shogun. {shogun + ate3} …  

  • shogunate — noun a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.) • Syn: ↑dictatorship, ↑absolutism, ↑authoritarianism, ↑Caesarism, ↑despotism, ↑monocracy, ↑one man rule, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Tokugawa shogunate — Infobox Former Country native name = conventional long name = Edo Bakufu common name = Tokugawa Bakufu continent = Asia region = Japan |year start = 1603 |year end = 1868 symbol type = Mon symbol type article = Mon of the Tokugawa Shogunate |p1 …   Wikipedia

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