Ashikaga Yoshikazu (足利義量)

Yoshikazu ASHIKAGA was the 5th Seii Taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians": period of office tenure: May 7, 1423 to March 23, 1425; Japanese lunar calendar dates) of the Muromachi government.

Yoshikazu ASHIKAGA was born on September 5, 1407 as the legitimate heir of Yoshimochi ASHIKAGA, the 4th shogun of the Muromachi government. On May 7, 1423, he was given the position of shogun from his father and was appointed as the fifth shogun of the Muromachi government at the age of 16.

However, he was constitutionally weak and contracted smallpox when he was a child. He was also a heavy drinker and is believed to have ruined his health by his drinking. When he was 15 years old, he was reproached by his father, Yoshimochi, for his heavy drinking. It is also reported that his retainers were forced to take an oath not to serve him any alcohol.

Since Yoshikazu's political power was narrowly restricted by the existence of his father, Yoshimochi, and powerful deputies, he had nothing to do but hold drinking parties every day. These conditions ruined his health, eventually leading to his premature death on March 23, 1425. He died before his father at the age of 19.

Yoshikazu had no heir, so after his death, his father, Yoshimochi, acted as the deputy shogun until he died in 1428.

Wooden statue
There is a wooden statue of Yoshikazu ASHIKAGA left in Kongosan Nioin Hokkebo Bannan-ji Temple in Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture.

Official record

On May 7, 1423, he was declared by the Emperor as the Seii Taishogun.

On February 21, 1424, Yoshikazu was promoted to the rank of Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade). He retained his official position of Ukone no chujo. On November 13, he was appointed as a councillor of the state. He retained his official position of Unkone no chujo and the deputy governor of Mimasaka Province.
(The date of his appointment as the deputy governor of Mimasaka Province is unknown.)

On Febroary 9, 1425, he was promoted to the rank of Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade). He died on March 26.

On March 31, 1457, he was posthumously awarded the rank of Juichii (Junior First Rank) and Sadaijin (Minister of the Left).

[Original Japanese]