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Far East Kingdoms



Hojo Regents (Shikken)
AD 1203 - 1333

The Hojo (or more correctly, Hōjō) clan took their name from their small estate in the Kanogawa Valley in Izu Province. Tokimasa was the first regent, and the earliest-known member of his clan, suggesting that they only gained any real power through his efforts. He was charged by the Japanese ruler Taira Kiyomori with the co-wardenship of the exiled Minamoto Yoritomo in 1160. The Hojo subsequently gained much power in Japan, maintaining tight control and destroying any signs of rebellion as soon as they appeared.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from External Link: Encyclopaedia Britannica.)

1203 - 1205


First of the Hojo regents. Died 1215.

1205 - 1224



The quarrels for supremacy between the shoguns and the imperial court reach an end in the Jokyu War (or Incident) when the imperial army is defeated in Kyoto, and the Hojo regent in Kamakura achieves complete control over Kamakura Japan.

1224 - 1242


1242 - 1246


1246 - 1256


Died 1263.

1256 - 1264


1264 - 1268


Died 1273.

1268 - 1284



The first Mongol invasion is defeated through bad weather conditions, with the outnumbered Japanese facing superior and much more modern forces. The defeat is an unexpected one for the otherwise near-universally victorious Mongols.

First Mongol invasion of Japan
This illustration of the first Mongol attempt to invade Japan shows the Mongol fleet being smashed to pieces by the 'divine wind' that saved the Japanese


The second Mongol invasion is again defeated through bad weather conditions. The Mongols suffer around seventy-five per cent casualties and a clear limit is set on their expansion in Asia. Japan praises the kamikaze, or 'divine wind', which has saved it twice from invasion.

1284 - 1301


Died 1311.

1301 - 1311


1311 - 1333



Emperor Go-Daigo overthrows the weakened Hojo regents under Takatoki, but the Ashikaga shoguns almost immediately split the country between the Northern and Southern courts.