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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Tsunetoki resembled his grandfather in many respects


penalties were neither cruel nor ferocious. Death for the worst offences--among which theft is specially mentioned--confiscation of fief, and banishment, these exhaust the list. The only other punishment mentioned is that of branding on the face, inflicted on a commoner for the crime of forgery, a bushi's punishment in this case being banishment, or simply confiscation of his fief, if possessed of one.

"Bakufu vassals were strictly forbidden directly to solicit the Imperial Court for rank or office; they must be provided with a special recommendation from Kamakura. But once invested with Court rank, they might be promoted in grade without any further recommendation, while they were free to accept the position of hebiishi. Analogous restrictions were placed on the Kwanto clergy, who were to be summarily removed from their benefices if found appealing to Kyoto for promotion, the only exception being in favour of Zen-shu priests. In their case the erring brother guilty of such an offence got off comparatively lightly--'an influential member of the same sect will be directed to administer a gentle admonition.' The clergy within the Bakufu domains were to be kept strictly in hand; if they squandered the revenues of their incumbency and neglected the fabric and the established services therein, they were to be displaced. As regards the monasteries and priests outside the Bakufu domain, the case was entirely different; they were virtually independent,

and Kamakura interfered there only when instructed to do so by Imperial decree."*

*Murdoch's History of Japan.


It is not to be supposed that the Joei Shikimoku represents the whole outcome of Kamakura legislation. Many additions were made to the code during the fourteenth century, but they were all in the nature of amplifications or modifications. Kyoto also was busy with enactments in those times--busier, indeed, than Kamakura, but with smaller practical results.


Yasutoki died in 1242, having held the regency (shikken) for eighteen years. His two sons had preceded him to the grave, and therefore his grandson, Tsune-toki, became shikken. Tsunetoki resembled his grandfather in many respects, but, as he died in 1246, he had little opportunity of distinguishing himself. Nevertheless, during his brief tenure of power, he took a step which had momentous consequences. It will be remembered that after the murder of Minamoto Sanetomo by his nephew Kugyo, in 1219, some difficulty was experienced in persuading the Imperial Court to appoint a successor to the shogunate, and finally the choice fell upon Fujiwara Yoritsune, then a child of two, who was not actually nominated shogun until 1226. This noble, when (1244) in the twenty-seventh year of his age and the eighteenth of his shogunate, was induced by the regent, Tsunetoki, to resign, the alleged reason being portents in the sky, and a successor was found for him in his son, Yoritsugu.

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