After the 8th century the system of public-land domain in Japan brokedown and various types of private landholdings consolidated into estates (shōen) came into being. These holdings organized under the authority of the civil nobility and religious establishments remained within the framework of the imperial government.
The Kamakura period
In Japanese, the term "Shōgun" meaning “barbarian-quelling generalissimo” or a military ruler was first used during the
Heian period. The title Shōgun was occasionally conferred on a general after a successful campaign.
In 1185, Minamoto Yoritomo (1147 - February 9, 1199), gained military control of Japan after his decisive victory over the
The term Kamikaze was later used for the suicide attacks by military aviators officialy known as Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (特別
攻撃隊 literally: "Special attack unit") abbreviated as Tokkō Tai (特攻隊) from the Empire of Japan. The Kamikaze attacks by
the Tokkō Tai against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II were designed to
destroy warships more effectively than was possible with conventional attacks.
The financial strain imposed by the defense efforts against the Mongol attacks, however, aggravated the internal
weaknesses in the regime. In 1331, Emperor Go-daigo Tennō tried to overthrow the shogunate and restore the monarchy. His
efforts led to civil war and divided the imperial family into two rival factions and subsequent collapse of the bakufu in
Ashikaga Takauji received the title of shogun in 1338 and established the Ashikaga shogunate. However, his successors
enjoyed even less control over Japan than had the Kamakura shōguns. Gradually, the country succumbed to civil war.
Between 1603 and 1868, the heads of government in Japan were the Shōguns, the hereditary military governors of Japan.
Though the Shōguns were nominally appointed by the emperor, they were the de facto rulers of Japan. Each Shōgun during
this period was a member of the Tokugawa clan.
The years of rule by the Tokugawa Shogunate, also known as the Tokugawa bakufu, are recognized as the Tokugawa period or
pre-modern period. Since they ruled from the Edo (now Tokyo) Castle they were also known as the Edo bakufu and the years
of Shogunate rule was likewise called the Edo period.
Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) was the founder and the first Shogun of the Tokugawa, which ruled from the Battle of
Sekigahara in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868, and was the last feudal Japanese military regime. The Tokugawa
Shogunate brought Japan the longest period of peace, constancy, and stability lasting well over 200 years.