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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Yasutoki galloped back all alone and


other forces mustered in rapid succession. They are said to have totalled 190,000. Tokifusa, younger brother of Yasutoki, was adjutant-general, and the army moved by three routes, the Tokai-do, the Tosan-do, and the Hokuriku-do, all converging upon the Imperial capital. On the night of his departure from Kamakura, Yasutoki galloped back all alone and, hastening to his father's presence, said: "I have my orders for the disposition of the forces and for their destination. But if the Emperor in person commands the western army, I have no orders to guide me." Hojo Yoshitoki reflected for a time and then answered: "The sovereign cannot be opposed. If his Majesty be in personal command, then strip off your armour, cut your bow-strings, and assume the mien of low officials. But if the Emperor be not in command, then fight to the death. Should you be defeated I will never see your face again."


When they learned that a great army was advancing from the Kwanto, the courtiers in Kyoto lost heart at once. There was no talk of Go-Toba or of Juntoku taking the field. Defensive measures were alone thought of. The Imperialist forces moved out to Mino, Owari, and Etchu. Their plan was to shatter the Bakufu columns separately, or, if that might not be, to fall back and cover the capital. It was a most unequal contest. The Kyoto troops were a mere mob without intelligence or coherence. They broke everywhere under

the onset of the Kwanto veterans. At the river Uji, where their last stand was made, they fought gallantly and obstinately. But their efforts only deferred the result by a few hours. On the twenty-fifth day (July 6, 1221) after he had marched out of Kamakura, Yasutoki entered Kyoto. The Throne had no hesitation as to the course to be pursued in such circumstances. From the palace of the Shin-in a decree was issued restoring the official titles of the Hojo chief, and cancelling the edict for his destruction, while, through an envoy sent to meet him, he was informed that the campaign against the Bakufu had been the work of irresponsible subjects; that the sovereign did not sanction it, and that any request preferred by Kamakura would be favourably considered.

Yasutoki received these gracious overtures with a silent obeisance, and taking up his quarters at Rokuhara, proceeded to arrest the leaders of the anti-Bakufu enterprise; to execute or exile the courtiers that had participated in it, and to confiscate all their estates. In thus acting, Yasutoki obeyed instructions from his implacable father in Kamakura. He himself evinced a disposition to be merciful, especially in the case of the Court nobles. These he sent eastward to the Bakufu capital, which place, however, very few of them reached alive, their deaths being variously compassed on the way.

To the Imperial family no pity was shown. Even the baby Emperor* was dethroned, and his place given to Go-Horikawa (1221-1232), the eighty-sixth sovereign, then a boy of ten, son of Morisada, Go-Toba's elder brother. Go-Toba, himself was banished to the island of Oki, and Juntoku to Sado, while Tsuchimikado, who had essayed to check the movement against the Bakufu, might have remained in Kyoto had not the exile of his father and brother rendered the city intolerable. At his own request he was transferred, first, to Tosa, and then, to Awa. The three ex-Emperors died in exile. Go-Toba seems to have suffered specially from his reverse of fortunes. He lived in a thatched hut barely impervious to rain, and his lot is said to have been pitiful, even from the point of view of the lower orders.

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