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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Representative of a famous family in the Kwanto


*Kamakura

was always exposed to pressure from the north. It had long been proverbial that white the eight provinces of the Kwanto could defy the whole empire, 0-U (Oshu and Ushu-Mutsu and Dewa) could defy the eight provinces.

**In allusion to the fact that owing to the Emperor's presence in the camp of the Taira during the emeule, the Minamoto occupied the position of rebels.

On receipt of this memorial, Go-Shirakawa ordered that the manors held by the Taira in the Tokai-do and Tosan-do should all be restored to their original owners, the duty of adjudicating in each case being delegated to Yoritomo. How much of this admirably conceived document was inspired by political acumen we may not venture to judge, but it is proper to note that the principles enunciated in the memorial found expression in the practice of Yoritomo himself. He always extended clemency to a defeated enemy if he deemed the latter's submission to be sincere, and throughout his whole career he showed a strong respect for justice. The men of his time ultimately gave him credit for sincerity, and his memorial won universal approval and popularity.

POLITY OF THE KAMAKURA BAKUFU

Under the Dadka (A.D. 645) system, various administrative organs were created in accordance with Tang models, and a polity at once imposing and elaborate came into existence. But when the capital was overtaken

by an era of literary effeminacy and luxurious abandonment, the Imperial exchequer fell into such a state of exhaustion that administrative posts began to be treated as State assets and bought and sold like commercial chattels, the discharge of the functions connected with them becoming illusory, and the constant tendency being in the direction of multiplication of offices with a corresponding increase of red tape. Yoritomo and his councillors appreciated the evils of such a system and were careful not to imitate it at Kamakura. They took brevity and simplicity for guiding principles, and constructed a polity in marked contrast with that of Kyoto.

At the head of the whole stood the shogun, or commander-in-chief of the entire body of bushi, and then followed three sections. They were, first, the Samurai-dokoro, which term, according to its literal rendering, signified "samurai place" and may be appropriately designated "Central Staff Office." Established in 1180, its functions were to promote or degrade military men; to form a council of war; to direct police duties so far as they concerned bushi', to punish crime, and to select men for guards and escorts. The president (betto) obviously occupied a post of prime importance, as he practically controlled all the retainers (keniri) of the Minamoto clan and its allied houses. Its first occupant was Wada Yoshimori, representative of a famous family in the Kwanto, who had greatly distinguished himself in the Gen-Hei War. He held the post until the year 1213, when, taking up arms against Hojo Yoshitoki, he was defeated and killed. Thereafter, it being deemed inadvisable that the functions of such an important office should be delegated independently, they were made supplementary to those of the military regent (shikken), to be presently spoken of.


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