Kamakura Kubo (鎌倉公方)

Kamakura kubo was an administrator post in Kamakura Government which was established as an outpost position for the ten provinces of the Kanto region by the Seii taishogun (literally, 'great general who subdues the barbarians) of Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) during the Muromachi period. The position was also referred to as the Kanto kubo.

Kamakura kubo is categorically a historical term which a Kamakura kubo used to call himself but was not used in general during that period. The one holding the post was generally referred to as "Kamakura Gonsho" or "Kamakura dono." Rather than being an official government position designated by the Shogun, a Kamakura kubo was no more than substitute position while the Shogun was absent from Kamakura.


The first person to take the post was Motouji ASHIKAGA in 1349 who went to Kamakura to take over the duties of Yoshiakira ASHIKAGA when Yoshiakira had to return to Kyoto in order to administer affairs of state instead of Naoyoshi ASHIKAGA who had entered into conflict with Takauji ASHIKAGA, his older brother (this conflict lead to the 'Kanno Disturbance'). As Kamakura kubo, Motouji controlled ten provinces in the Kanto region (later controlling Mutsu Province and Dewa Province as well) along with the Kantokanryo (estate officer of Kanto)as his assistant, but with each generation conflict became more serious with the bakufu in Kyoto. When the Eikyo War broke out, the Kamakura kubo entered into conflict with the Kantokanryo as well, and after losing the battle in 1439, the fourth Kamakura kubo Mochiuji ASHIKAGA was defeated and ordered to commit suicide leading to the post being temporarily discontinued. In 1447, the post was restored when Mochiuji's son Nariuji ASHIKAGA was allowed to take the post of Kamakura kubo by the bakufu. Nariuji later came into conflict with the bakufu, and in 1455 moved his headquarters to Koga Country in Shimousa Province and called himself the 'Koga kubo' (Kyotoku War).

Kamakura kubo in chronological order

Notes on the period of tenure by name in chronological order
The first Kamakura kubo: Motouji ASHIKAGA 1349-1367
The second Kamakura kubo: Ujimitsu ASHIKAGA 1367-1398
The third Kamakura kubo: Mitsukane ASHIKAGA 1398-1409
The fourth Kamakura kubo: Mochiuji ASHIKAGA 1409-1439
The fifth Kamakura kubo: Nariuji ASHIKAGA 1449-1455; moved to Furukawa, Shimousa Province in 1455 and became Koga kubo.

[Original Japanese]