The Shochu Incident (正中の変)

The "Shochu Incident" occurred in 1324 (late Kamakura period), where a plan to overthrow the Kamakura bakufu by Emperor Godaigo was discovered beforehand and the main perpetrators were executed.


Emperor Godaigo started direct governance in 1324 in the stead of his father, Emperor Gouda, and started policies such as re-establishing the Office for the Investigation of Estate Documents (Kiroku Shoen Kenkeijo). Up until his death, the Cloistered Emperor Gouda continued to order Emperor Godaigo to handover the throne to Crown Prince Kuniyoshi as the legitimate direct heir to the Daikakuji line. After the Cloistered Emperor's death, Crown Prince Kuniyoshi informally asked the Kamakura bakufu to force Emperor Godaigo to abdicate. The Jimyoin line also supported this movement on the condition that Emperor Kogon became Crown Prince after Imperial Prince Kuniyoshi ascended to the throne. Naturally, Emperor Godaigo strenuously rebelled against Imperial Prince Kuniyoshi, the Jimyoin line and the Kamakura bakufu which decided on such a succession. Emperor Godaigo planned to overthrow the Kamakura bakufu while the Rokuhara Tandai Minamikata, Koresada HOJO (the Hojo-Tokuso family) was heading for Kamakura, and Suketomo HINO, Toshimoto HINO and others traveled around the country trying to convince samurai and other influential people to help overthrow the bakufu. It is thought that the movement tried to take advantage of political unrest such as the akuto (people who rebelled against shoen owners and the government) that were active in the Kinki area, and the conflict between the Ando family and Ezo in Oshu around the middle of the 13th century.

On September 19, the Rokuhara Tandai uncovered the plan before it was executed and samurai who had participated in secret talks such as Yorikane TOKI, Kuninaga TAJIMI, and Shigenori ASUKE, were subdued. Toshimoto and some others were forgiven, but Suketomo was taken to Kamakura and then exiled to Sado Island, an aide, Nobufusa MADENOKOJI went to Kamakura to offer clarification and Emperor Godaigo was forgiven by the bakufu after an apology, but seven years later, in 1331, he led his second plan to overthrow the bakufu, the Genko no Ran (Genko Rebellion).

The first scroll of the classic, "Taiheiki" (Records of Great Peace), includes an account of the Shochu no Hen (Shochu Incident), depicting it as an overthrow plan disguised as "bureikou" (do as you please), and a story about Yorikazu TOKI, who was participating in the plan, leaking the rebellion plan to his wife who then betrayed them to the Rokuhara Tandai. It states that risso (monks following Rishu) of the Saidai-ji Temple (Nara City) branch also participated in the plan.

The participation of Kanemitsu IGA, who later became an official during the Kenmu Restoration, and the risso, Monkan, have also been suggested.

[Original Japanese]