Daishogun (Command in Chief) (大将軍)

Daishogun (also Taishogun)

Daishogun in China
In ancient China, the Daishogun (Da jiang jun in Chinese) was a bureaucratic rank signifying the highest rank of all generals and was also called Jo-shogun (Sha jiang jun in Chinese).

Although the origin is unknown, the title was used in the warring period of the late Qin Dynasty by Yo CHIN, who betrayed Sheng CHEN and worked with Er ZHANG to put a soldier on the throne as King Zhao.

In the Former Han Dynasty, the post was initially used to fill emergency needs, with important government officials very often named as the ad hoc chief of the army to quell riots and wars such as the Xiongno invasion, starting with Han Xin in the Chu-Han Contention period.

The title became a permanent rank in the bureaucracy under Han Wudi (Han Dynasty), in his active external policy. A well-known Daishogun during the period is Wei Qing, who was highly successful in the campaigns against the Xiongnu tribes.

After Wudi's death, the strength of the maternal side of the imperial family grew and began to intervene in politics, where the leader of such forces was frequently given the title along with political power. This continued into the Later Han Dynasty, except during the reigns of the first three emperors (Guangwu, Ming Di, and Zhang or Han Dynasty), with clashes over political control between forces representing the maternal side of the Imperial family and the bureaucrats becoming a major factor in Later Han politics and eventually leading to the dynasty's downfall.

The title of Daishogun remained during the Three Kingdoms Period of Chinese history, but with declining power and it evolved into a post of honorary nature.

Daishogun in Japan
In Japan, the title Daishogun was used to designate the top commander to lead a "seitogun" (expeditionary force), when there were more than three generals. It was also used as a military title when a Court noble of Sanmi Rank (Third Rank) or higher.

It later became a word referring to military commanders in general and was used as an unofficial title rather than a bureaucratic rank in some instances during the Heian period to the early Kamakura period. There are also instances of the title being used to refer to a military leader of high rank, such as the reference in "Heike Monogatari" (The Tale of the Heike) by Naozane KUMAGAI of TAIRA no Atsumori of the Heike clan as Daishogun in the Genpei War. In the Jokyu War, the military leaders of the Kamakura shogunate forces attacking Kyoto were given titles such as Daishogun of Tozan-do Road and Daishogun of Hokuriku-do Road, and Akiie KITABATAKE was appointed Chinju taishogun (Chinju-fu shogun) in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts.

However, the titles shogun and daishogun were used more increasingly to refer to the head of the shogunate and were used is declining frequency, except in the case of "seii taishogun." A seito daishogun (the general temporarily appointed for overthrowing the shogunate in the Battle of Toba-Fushimi) was appointed during the late Edo period but it never grew in usage.

Daishogun in Onmyodo

In Onmyodo (way of Yin and Yang; occult divination system based on the Taoist theory of the five elements), the Daishogun is the second of the Hasshojin (Eight General Gods) and the western god in the Yin-Yang doctrine. It is also called Mao Tenno and Hohakushin (one of the eight gods).

[Original Japanese]