Ashikaga Yoshiharu

Ashikaga Yoshiharu (足利 義晴, April 2, 1511 – May 20, 1550) was the twelfth shōgun of the Ashikaga shogunate who held the reins of supreme power from 1521 through 1546 during the late Muromachi period of Japan.[1] He was the son of the eleventh shōgun Ashikaga Yoshizumi.[2] His childhood name was Kameomaru (亀王丸).

  • May 1, 1521 (Daiei 1, 25th day of the 3rd month): After the tenth shogun Ashikaga Yoshitane and Hosokawa Takakuni struggled for power over the shogunate and Yoshitane withdrew to Awaji Island, the way was clear for Minamoto-no Yoshiharu to be installed as shogun.[3]
  • 1521 (Daiei 1, 6th month): Yoshiharu enters Kyoto.[1]
  • 1526 (Daiei 6, 12th month): Shōgun Yoshiharu invited archers from neighboring provinces to come to the capital for an archery contest.[4]

Not having any political power and repeatedly being forced out of the capital of Kyoto, Yoshiharu retired in 1546 over a political struggle between Miyoshi Nagayoshi and Hosokawa Harumoto making his son Ashikaga Yoshiteru the thirteenth shogun.

  • May 20, 1550 (Tenbun 19, 4th day of the 5th month): Yoshiharu died.[5]

From a western perspective, Yoshiharu is significant, as he was shogun in 1543, when the first contact of Japan with the European West took place. A Portuguese ship, blown off its course to China, landed in Japan.


  • Father: Ashikaga Yoshizumi
  • Mother: Hino Akiko
  • Wife: Keijuin (1514–1565),
  • Concubines:
    • Oodate Tsuneoki's daughter
  • Children:
    • Ashikaga Yoshiaki by Keijuin
    • Ashikaga Yoshiteru by Keijuin
    • Ashikaga Shuko (d. 1565)
    • Shiratori Yoshihisa (d. 1547)
    • daughter married Takeda Yoshimune
    • daughter married Miyoshi Yoshitsugu
    • daughter married Karasume Kosen
    • Nun in Hyokoji temple

Events of Yoshiharu's bakufu

Significant events shape the period during which Yoshiharu was shōgun:[6]

  • 1521 – Hosokawa Takakuni has Yoshiharu appointed shōgun.[1]
  • 1526 – Kasai rebels, Miyoshi rebels: Go-Nara succeeds.[1]
  • 1528 – Yoshiharu driven out by Miyoshi Nagamoto.[1]
  • 1533 – Ikkō rebellion.[1]
  • 1536 – Go-Nara enthroned.[1]
  • 1538 – Dissension in Koga Kubō's family.[1]
  • 1546 – Yoshiharu flees to Ōmi; his son, Yoshiteru, appointed shōgun in exile.[1]

Eras of Yoshiharu's bakufu

The years in which Yoshiharu was shōgun are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[7]


  1. Ackroyd, Joyce. (1982). Lessons from History: The Tokushi Yoron, p. 332.
  2. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 370., p. 370, at Google Books
  3. Titsingh, p. 371., p. 371, at Google Books
  4. Titsingh, p. 373., p. 373, at Google Books
  5. Titsingh, p. 379., p. 379, at Google Books
  6. Ackroyd, p. 331.
  7. Titsingh, pp. 370–378., p. 370, at Google Books


  • Ackroyd, Joyce. (1982) Lessons from History: The Tokushi Yoron. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press. ISBN 9780702214851; OCLC 7574544
  • Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Nihon Ōdai Ichiran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 585069
Preceded by
Ashikaga Yoshitane
Ashikaga Yoshiharu

Succeeded by
Ashikaga Yoshiteru

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