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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

And Yoritomo acceded by sending Hojo Tokisada



In pursuance of his policy of special benevolence towards religious institutions, Yoritomo exempted the manors of temples and shrines from the jurisdiction of high constables. Thus military men were not permitted to make an arrest within the enclosure of a fane, or to trespass in any way on its domains, these being tax-free.


Yoritomo did not confine himself to re-casting the system of provincial administration. He extended his reforms to the Court, also. Thrice within the short space of five years he had been proscribed as a rebel by Imperial decree once at the instance of the Taira; once at the instance of Yoshinaka, and once at the instance of Yoshitsune. In short, the Court, being entirely without military power of its own, was constrained to bow to any display of force from without. As a means of correcting this state of affairs, Hojo Tokimasa was despatched to the Imperial capital at the close of 1185, to officiate there as high constable and representative of the Bakufu. A strong force of troops was placed at his disposal, and efficient means of speedy communications between the east and the west were organized. Moreover, a new office, that of scrutator (nairari), was instituted, and to him were transferred some of the powers hitherto wielded by the regent (kwampaku). Fujiwara Kanezane was the first occupant

of this post. Further, a body of twelve councillors (giso), headed by Kanezane, were organized in the cloistered Emperor's Court (Inchu), and to this council was entrusted the duty of discussing and deciding all State affairs. These important steps were taken early in 1186.

Simultaneously, a number of Court officials, including all that had been connected with Yoshitsune and Yukiie, lost their posts, and, shortly afterwards, Kanezane, becoming regent (kwampaku) in place of Fujiwara Motomichi, co-operated with Oye no Hiromoto in effecting many important changes, the latter operating at Kamakura, the former at Kyoto. It may be noted here that Kanezane's descendants received the name of Kujo, those of Motomichi being called Konoe, and the custom of appointing the kwampaku alternately from these two families came into vogue from that time. All the above reforms having been effected during the year 1186, the Bakufu recalled Hojo Tokimasa and appointed Nakahara Chikayoshi to succeed him. But, as the latter was not a scion of a military family, the Court desired to have a Hojo appointed, and Yoritomo acceded by sending Hojo Tokisada.


Yoritomo maintained from first to last a reverential attitude towards the Throne and towards religion. It has already been shown how generously he legislated in the matter of estates belonging to temples and shrines, and we may add that his munificence in that respect was stimulated by a terrible earthquake which visited Kyoto in the autumn of 1185. While the city trembled under repeated shocks, the citizens told each other that this was the work of vengeful spirits of the Taira who, having fallen in the great sea-fight, were still without full rites of sepulture. The Kamakura chief seems to have accepted that view, for he not only gave substantial encouragement to the burning of incense and intoning of memorial Sutras, but he also desisted largely from his pursuit of the Taira survivors. Two years later (1187), he sent Oye no Hiromoto to the Imperial capital with authority and ample competence to repair the palaces there. The city was then infested with bandits, a not unnatural product of the warlike era. Chiba Tsunetane, specially despatched from Kamakura, dealt drastically with this nuisance, and good order was finally restored.

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