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But he now
discovered that Kyoto must be his headquarters so long as the War of
the Dynasties lasted, and he therefore established the Bakufu at
Muromachi in that city, modelling it on the lines of Yoritomo's
institution, but dispensing with a regent (shikkeri) and substituting
for him a second shitsuji. The first two shitsuji at Muromachi were
Ko Moronao, the great general, and Uesugi Tomosada, a connexion of
Takauji. Kamakura was not neglected, however. It became a secondary
basis, Takauji's eight-year-old son, Yoshiakira, being installed
there as governor-general (kwanryo) of the Kwanto under the
guardianship of Uesugi Noriaki as shitsuji, and the old
administrative machinery of the Hojo was revived in the main.
Takauji's brother, Tadayoshi, became chief of the general staff in
Kyoto, and "several Kamakura literati--descendants of Oye, Nakahara,
Miyoshi, and others--were brought up to fill positions on the various
boards, the services of some of the ablest priests of the time being
enlisted in the work of drafting laws and regulations."*

*Murdoch's History of Japan.

To these priests and literati was entrusted the task of compiling a
code based on the Joei Shikimoku of the Hojo regents, and there
resulted the Kemmu Shikimoku, promulgated in 1337.* This was not a
law, properly so called, but rather a body of precepts contained in
seventeen articles. They have much interest as embodying the ethics
of the time in political circles. "Economy must be universally
practised. Drinking parties and wanton frolics must be suppressed.
Crimes of violence and outrage must be quelled. The practice of
entering the private dwellings of the people and making inquisitions
into their affairs must be given up." Then follow two articles
dealing with the ownership of vacant plots and rebuilding of houses
and fireproof godowns in the devastated sections of the capital. The
subsequent paragraphs provide that men of special ability for
government work should be chosen for the office of shugo; that a stop
must be put to the practice of influential nobles and women of all
sorts and Buddhist ecclesiastics making interested recommendations
(to the sovereign); that persons holding public posts must be liable
to reprimand for negligence and idleness; that bribery must be firmly
put down; that presents made from all quarters to those attached to
the palace, whether of the inside or outside service, must be sent
back; that those who are to be in personal attendance on the rulers
must be selected for that duty; that ceremonial etiquette should be
the predominant principle; that men noted for probity and adherence
to high principle should be rewarded by more than ordinary
distinction; that the petitions and complaints of the poor and lowly
should be heard and redress granted; that the petitions of temples
and shrines should be dealt with on their merits, and that certain
fixed days should be appointed for the rendering of decisions and the
issue of government orders.**

*Kemmu was the Northern Court's name of the year-period 1334 to 1338:
see p. 398.

**The Kemmu Shikimoku by Mr. Consul-General Hall, in the
"Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan;" epitomized by
Murdoch.

THE JINNO SHOTOKI

Before proceeding with the history of this troubled era, it is
advisable to speak of a great political brochure which was compiled
by Kitabatake Chikafusa during the period (1340-1343) of his attempt
to harass the Ashikaga from the direction of Hitachi. This was a work
designed to establish the divine claim of the sovereign of the
Southern Court. Hence the title of the treatise, Correct Genealogy
(Shotoki) of the Divine Emperor (Jinno). The reader knows that when,
in the eighth century, Japan went to Chinese sources for
jurisprudential inspiration, she had to eliminate the Confucian and
Mencian doctrine that the sceptre may not be wielded by anyone whose
virtues do not qualify him for the task in the eyes of the nation.
This same doctrine permeated by construction the commentaries that
accompanied the articles of the Kemmu Shikimoku as quoted above, and
in that fact Chikafusa saw an opportunity of winning adherents for
the Southern Court by proclaiming its heaven-conferred rights.

"Great Yamato," Kitabatake wrote, "is a divine country. It is only
our land whose foundations were first laid by the divine ancestor. It
alone has been transmitted by the Sun goddess to a long line of her
descendants. There is nothing of this kind in foreign countries.
Therefore it is called the divine land. . . It is only our country
which from the time when the heaven and earth were first unfolded,
has preserved the succession to the throne intact in one single
family. Even when, as sometimes naturally happened, it descended to a
lateral branch, it was held according to just principles. This shows
that the oath of the gods (to preserve the succession) is ever
renewed in a way which distinguishes Japan from all other countries.
. . . It is the duty of every man born on the Imperial soil to yield
devoted loyalty to his sovereign, even to the sacrifice of his own
life. Let no one suppose for a moment that there is any credit due to
him for doing so. Nevertheless, in order to stimulate the zeal of
those who came after, and in loving memory of the dead, it is the
business of the ruler to grant rewards in such cases (to the
children). Those who are in an inferior position should not enter
into rivalry with them. Still more should those who have done no
specially meritorious service abstain from inordinate ambitions. I
have already touched on the principles of statesmanship. They are
based on justice and mercy, in the dispensing of which firm action is
requisite. Such is the clear instruction vouchsafed to us by the Sun
goddess."*

*Aston's Japanese Literature.

It is not to be supposed that these doctrines produced any
wide-spread influence on public opinion at the time of their
promulgation. In the first place they were not generally accessible;
for not until the year 1649 was Kitabatake's brochure printed. That
it remained in manuscript during three centuries after its
compilation is not attributable to technical difficulties. The art of
blockprinting came to Japan from China in very early times, and it is
on record that, in 770, the Empress Shotoku caused a million Buddhist
amulets to be printed. But the Jinno Shotoki did not fall on fruitful
soil. Either its teaching was superfluous or men were too much
engrossed with fighting to listen to academical disquisitions.
Chikafusa's work was destined to produce great and lasting effects in
future ages, but, for the moment, it accomplished little.

DISCORD IN THE CAMP OF THE ASHIKAGA

A prominent feature of the Ashikaga family's annals was continuity of
internecine strife. The Hojo's era had been conspicuously free from
any such blemish; the Ashikaga's was markedly disfigured by it, so
much so that by the debilitating effects of this discord the
supremacy of the sept was long deferred. The first outward
indications of the trouble were seen in 1348, when the able general,
Ko Moronao, instead of following up his victory over the Southern
Court after the death of Kusunoki Masatsura, turned suddenly
northward from Yamato and hastened back to Kyoto. His own safety
dictated that step. For during his absence from the capital on
campaign, a plot to effect his overthrow had matured under the
leadership of Ashikaga Tadayoshi and Uesugi Shigeyoshi.

The latter held the office of shitsuji, and was therefore Moronao's
comrade, while Tadayoshi, as already stated, had the title of
commander-in-chief of the general staff and virtually directed
administrative affairs, subject, of course, to Takauji's approval.
Moronao undoubtedly possessed high strategical ability, and being
assisted by his almost equally competent brother, Moroyasu, rendered
sterling military service to the Ashikaga cause. But the two brothers
were arrogant, dissipated, and passionate. It is recorded of Moronao
that he abducted the wife of Enya Takasada, and of Moroyasu that he
desecrated the grave of Sugawara in order to enclose its site within
his mansion, both outrages being condoned by the shogun, Takauji, In
truth, even in the days of Taira overlordship, Kyoto was never so
completely under the heel of the military as it was in early Ashikaga
times.

Rokuhara did not by any means arrogate such universal authority as
did Muromachi. The Court nobles in the middle of the fourteenth
century had no functions except those of a ceremonial nature and were
frankly despised by the haughty bushi. It is on record that Doki
Yorito, meeting the cortege of the retired Emperor Kogon, pretended
to mistake the escorts' cry of "In" (camera sovereign) for "inu"
(dog), and actually discharged an arrow at the Imperial vehicle.
Yorito suffered capital punishment, but the incident illustrates the
demeanour of the military class.

The two Ko brothers were conspicuously masterful and made many
enemies. But the proximate cause of the plot alluded to above was
jealousy on the part of Ashikaga Tadayoshi and Uesugi Shigeyoshi, who
resented the trust reposed by Takauji in Moronao and Moroyasu. The
conspirators underestimated Moronao's character. Reaching Kyoto by
forced marches from Yamato, he laid siege to Tadayoshi's mansion, and
presently Tadayoshi had to save himself by taking the tonsure, while
Shigeyoshi was exiled to Echizen, whither Moronao sent an assassin to
make away with him. The Ashikaga chief, whose trust in Moronao was
not at all shaken by these events, summoned from Kamakura his eldest
son, Yoshiakira, and entrusted to him the functions hitherto
discharged by his uncle, Tadayoshi, replacing him in Kamakura by a
younger son, Motouji.

Yoshiakira was not Takauji's eldest son; he was his eldest legitimate
son. An illegitimate son, four years older, had been left in Kamakura
as a priest, but was recognized as the possessor of such abilities
that, although his father refused to meet him, his uncle, Tadayoshi,
summoned him to Kyoto and procured for him the high office of tandai
of the west.



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