Ashikaga Clan

Ashikaga Clan

The Ashikaga clan (足利氏, Ashikaga-shi?) was a prominent Japanese samurai clan which established the Muromachi shogunate and ruled Japan from roughly 1336 to 1573.

The Ashikaga were descended from a branch of the Minamoto clan, deriving originally from the town of Ashikaga in Shimotsuke province (modern-day Tochigi prefecture).

For about a century the clan was divided in two rival branches, the Kantō Ashikaga, who ruled from Kamakura, and the Kyōto Ashikaga, rulers of Japan. The rivalry ended with the defeat of the first in 1439. The clan had many notable branch clans, including the Hosokawa, Imagawa, Hatakeyama (after 1205), Kira, Shiba, and Hachisuka clans. After the head family of the Minamoto clan died out during the early Kamakura period, the Ashikaga came to style themselves as the head of the Minamoto, coopting the prestige which came with that name.

Another Ashikaga clan, not related by blood, and derived instead from the Fujiwara clan, also existed.

Read more about Ashikaga Clan:  Clan Heads, Family Tree

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