Ashikaga Yoshitane

Ashikaga Yoshitane (足利 義稙, September 9, 1466 – May 23, 1523), also known as Ashikaga Yoshiki (足利 義材), was the 10th shōgun of the Ashikaga shogunate who headed the shogunate first from 1490 to 1493[1] and then again from 1508 to 1521 during the Muromachi period of Japan.[2]

Yoshitane was the son of Ashikaga Yoshimi and grandson of the sixth shōgun Ashikaga Yoshinori. In his early life, he was named Yoshiki (sometimes translated as Yoshimura), and then Yoshitada[3] including the period of when he is first installed as shōgun; however, he changed his name to Yoshitane in 1501 in a period when he was temporarily exiled, and it is by this name that he is generally known today.[4]

The 9th shōgun Ashikaga Yoshihisa died in 1489 on a battlefield of southern Ōmi Province. Yoshihisa left no heir; and Yoshitane became Sei-i Taishōgun a year later.[5]


  • Father: Ashikaga Yoshimi
  • Mother: daughter of Uramatsu Shigemasa
  • Wife: Seiyun'in
  • Concubine: daughter of Yamana Toyoshige
  • Children:
    • Takewakamaru
    • a daughter
  • Adopted Son: Ashikaga Yoshitsuna

Events of Yoshitane's bakufu

Significant events which shaped the period during which Yoshitane was shōgun:[3]

In 1493, Yoshitane lost in a power struggle against Hosokawa Masamoto and was formally replaced by the eleventh shōgun, Ashikaga Yoshizumi.[6]

In 1508, with the support of Ōuchi Yoshioki, Yoshitane regained the position of Sei-i Taishōgun from Yoshizumi.[7]

Eventually, after a further power struggle with the Hosokawa clan and Hosokawa Takakuni, Yoshitane was forced to withdraw to Awaji Island. He died in Awa province, on the island of Shikoku.[8]

Hosokawa Takakuni arranged for the replacement of Yoshitane with the twelfth shōgun, Ashikaga Yoshiharu.[8]

Yoshitane's heirs and successors

Shōgun Yoshitane adopted the son of Yoshizumi who was his cousin, Ashikaga Yoshitsuna and he designated Yoshitsuna as his heir and as his anticipated successor as shogun.[9] However, when Yoshitane died prematurely, he was not succeeded by who he had chosen; rather, his father's newly designated heir was accepted by the shogunate as shōgun Yoshizumi.[10]

In other words, after the death of his son, shōgun Yoshimasa adopted the son of his brother, Yoshimi. After the death of his adopted son, Yoshimasa adopted the son of another brother, Masatomo. Shogun Yoshimasa was succeeded by shōgun Yoshihisa (Yoshimasa's natural son), then by shōgun Yoshitane (Yoshimasa's first adopted son), and then by shōgun Yoshizumi (Yoshimasa's second adopted son). Yoshizumi's progeny would become shōguns in due course.[10]

Eventually, the great-grandson of Yoshitane would be installed as a puppet shōgun for a brief period, but external power struggles would unseat him, and the Ashikaga dynasty of shōguns would end.[10]

Eras of Yoshitane's bakufu

The years in which Yoshitane was shogun are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[11]


  1. Titsigh, Issac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 361–362., p. 361, at Google Books
  2. Titsingh, pp. 367–371., p. 367, at Google Books
  3. Ackroyd, p. 331.
  4. Titsingh, p. 364., p. 364, at Google Books
  5. Titsingh, p. 361., p. 361, at Google Books
  6. Titsingh, p. 362., p. 362, at Google Books
  7. Titsingh, p. 366–367., p. 366, at Google Books
  8. Titsingh, p. 370., p. 370, at Google Books
  9. Ackroyd, p. 385 n104; excerpt, "Some apparent contradictions exist in various versions of the pedigree owing to adoptions and name-changes. Yoshitsuna (sometimes also read Yoshikore) changed his name and was adopted by Yoshitane. Some pedigrees show Yoshitsuna as Yoshizumi's son, and Yoshifuyu as Yoshizumi's son."
  10. Ackroyd, p. 298.
  11. Titsingh, pp. 352–372., p. 352, 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 5850691.
Preceded by
Ashikaga Yoshihisa
Ashikaga Yoshitane

Succeeded by
Ashikaga Yoshizumi
Preceded by
Ashikaga Yoshizumi
Ashikaga Yoshitane

Succeeded by
Ashikaga Yoshiharu
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