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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

And the result was that Kameyama triumphed


Dying

in 1272, Go-Saga left a will with injunctions that it should be opened in fifty days. It contained provisions destined to have disastrous consequences. One clause entrusted to the Bakufu the duty of deciding whether the administrative power should be placed in the hands of the cloistered Emperor, Go-Fukakusa, or in those of the reigning sovereign, Kameyama. Another provided that a very large property, known as the Chokodo estates, should be inherited by the monarch thus deposed from authority; while a comparatively small bequest went to the depository of power. In framing this curious instrument, Go-Saga doubtless designed to gild the pill of permanent exclusion from the seats of power, believing confidently that the Imperial succession would be secured to Kameyama and his direct descendants. This anticipation proved correct. The Bakufu had recourse to a Court lady to determine the trend of the deceased sovereign's wishes, and the result was that Kameyama triumphed.

In the normal order of things the cloistered Emperor Go-Fukakusa would have succeeded to the administrative place occupied by Go-Saga, and a large body of courtiers, whose chances of promotion and emolument depended upon that arrangement, bitterly resented the innovation. The palace became divided into two parties, the Naiho (interior section) and the Inho (camera section), a division which grew more accentuated when Kameyama's son ascended the throne as Go-Uda, in 1274. Go-Fukakusa

declared that he would leave his palace and enter a monastery were such a wrong done to his children. Thereupon Kameyama--now cloistered Emperor--submitted the matter to the Bakufu, who, after grave deliberation, decided that Go-Fukakusa's son should be named Crown Prince and should reign in succession to Go-Uda. This ruler is known in history as Fushimi.

Shortly after his accession a sensational event occurred. A bandit made his way during the night into the palace and seizing one of the court ladies, ordered her to disclose the Emperor's whereabouts. The sagacious woman misdirected him, and then hastened to inform the sovereign, who disguised himself as a female and escaped. Arrested by the guards, the bandit committed suicide with a sword which proved to be a precious heirloom of the Sanjo family. Sanjo Sanemori, a former councillor of State, was arrested on suspicion, but his examination disclosed nothing. Then a grand councillor (dainagori) charged the cloistered Emperor, Kameyama, with being privy to the attempt, and Fushimi showed a disposition to credit the charge. Kameyama, however, conveyed to the Bakufu a solemn oath of innocence, with which Fushimi was fain to be ostensibly content. But his Majesty remained unconvinced at heart. He sent to Kamakura a secret envoy with instructions to attribute to Kameyama an abiding desire to avenge the wrongs of Go-Toba and wipe out the Shokyu humiliation. This vengeful mood might find practical expression at anytime, and Fushimi, warned the Bakufu to be on their guard. "As for me," he concluded, "I leave my descendants entirely in the hands of the Hojo. With Kamakura we stand or fall."

How much of this was sincere, how much diplomatic, it is not possible to determine. In Kamakura, however, it found credence. Sadatoki, then regent (shikken), took prompt measures to have Fushimi's son proclaimed Prince Imperial, and, in 1298, he was enthroned as Go-Fushimi. This evoked an indignant protest from the then cloistered Emperor, Go-Uda, and after some consideration the Kamakura regent, Sadatoki, suggested--"directed" would perhaps be a more correct form of speech--that thenceforth the succession to the throne should alternate between the two families descended from Go-Fukakusa and Kameyama, the length of a reign being limited to ten years. Nominally, this arrangement was a mark of deference to the testament of Go-Saga, but in reality it was an astute device to weaken the authority of the Court by dividing it into rival factions. Kamakura's fiat received peaceful acquiescence at first. Go-Uda's eldest son took the sceptre in 1301, under the name of Go-Nijo, and, after seven years, he was succeeded by Fushimi's son, Hanazono, who, in twelve years, made way for Go-Uda's second son, Go-Daigo.


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