Hōjō clan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The emblem (mon) of the Hōjō clan
Home province
Parent houseTaira clan
FounderHōjō Tokimasa
Final rulerHōjō Takatoki
Founding year12th century
Ruled until1333

The Hōjō clan (Japanese: 北条氏, Hepburn: Hōjō-shi) was a Japanese samurai family who controlled the hereditary title of shikken (regent) of the Kamakura shogunate between 1203 and 1333. Despite the title, in practice the family wielded actual political power in Japan during this period compared to both the Kamakura shoguns, or the Imperial Court in Kyoto, whose authority was largely symbolic. The Hōjō are known for fostering Zen Buddhism and for leading the successful opposition to the Mongol invasions of Japan. Resentment at Hōjō rule eventually culminated in the overthrow of the clan and the establishment of the Ashikaga shogunate.



The Hōjō are alleged to have been an offshoot of the Taira of the Kanmu branch, originating in Izu Province. On the other hand, modern theories question whether the Hōjō clan was really descended from the Taira clan.[1][2][3]

They gained power by supporting the defeat of the Taira by intermarrying with and supporting Minamoto no Yoritomo in the Genpei War. The Hōjō usurped power when Yoritomo died eighteen years later.

Rise to power[edit]

Hōjō Tokimasa helped Minamoto no Yoritomo, a son-in-law, defeat the forces of the Taira to become Japan's first shōgun. Hōjō Masako, Tokimasa's daughter, was married to Yoritomo. After the death of Yoritomo, Tokimasa became shikken (regent) to the child shōgun, thus effectively transferring control of the shogunate to his clan permanently.[4] Consequently the shōguns became puppets and hostages of the Hōjō.

Early events[edit]

The Imperial court at Kyoto resented the decline in its authority during the Kamakura shogunate, and the clan disliked Emperor Go-Toba. and in 1221 the Jōkyū War broke out between retired Emperor Go-Toba and the second regent Hōjō Yoshitoki. The Hōjō forces easily won the war, and the imperial court was brought under the direct control of the shogunate, while the emperor was exiled "to a remote island off western Japan."[5] The shōgun's constables gained greater civil powers, and the court was obliged to seek the shōgun's approval for all of its actions. Although deprived of political power, the court retained extensive estates in Kyoto.

Several significant administrative achievements were made during the Hōjō regency. In 1225 the third regent Hōjō Yasutoki established the Council of State, providing opportunities for other military lords to exercise judicial and legislative authority at Kamakura. The Hōjō regent presided over the council, which was a successful form of collective leadership. The adoption of Japan's first military code of law—the Goseibai Shikimoku—in 1232 reflected the profound transition from court to militarized society. While legal practices in Kyoto were still based on 500-year-old Confucian principles, the new code was a highly legalistic document that stressed the duties of stewards and constables, provided means for settling land disputes, and established rules governing inheritances. It was clear and concise, stipulated punishments for violators of its conditions, and remained in effect for the next 635 years.

List of Hōjō Shikken[edit]

  1. Hōjō Tokimasa (1138–1215) (r. 1203–1205)
  2. Hōjō Yoshitoki (1163–1224) (r. 1205–1224)
  3. Hōjō Yasutoki (1183–1242) (r. 1224–1242)
  4. Hōjō Tsunetoki (1224–1246) (r. 1242–1246)
  5. Hōjō Tokiyori (1227–1263) (r. 1246–1256)
  6. Hōjō Nagatoki (1229–1264) (r. 1256–1264)
  7. Hōjō Masamura (1205–1273) (r. 1264–1268)
  8. Hōjō Tokimune (1251–1284) (r. 1268–1284)
  9. Hōjō Sadatoki (1271–1311) (r. 1284–1301)
  10. Hōjō Morotoki (1275–1311) (r. 1301–1311)
  11. Hōjō Munenobu (1259–1312) (r. 1311–1312)
  12. Hōjō Hirotoki (1279–1315) (r. 1312–1315)
  13. Hōjō Mototoki (1286-1333) (r. 1315)
  14. Hōjō Takatoki (1303–1333) (r. 1316–1326)
  15. Hōjō Sadaaki (1278–1333) (r. 1326)
  16. Hōjō Moritoki (1295-1333) (r. 1327–1333)
  17. Hōjō Sadayuki (1302-1333) (r.1333)

Aside from the regents above, those who played an important role among the Hōjō clan are:

References in media[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 源平は名門の証しとして威光を保ち続けた (in Japanese). nippon.com. 28 September 2021. Archived from the original on 18 December 2022. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  2. ^ 源氏政権樹立に尽力した「北条氏」のルーツは平氏だった? (in Japanese). Rekishijin. 2 February 2022. Archived from the original on 22 March 2023. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  3. ^ 「平家を捨て源氏に乗り換える」教科書には載っていない北条時政と源頼朝の篤すぎる信頼関係 (in Japanese). Yahoo News. 6 February 2022. Archived from the original on 30 June 2022. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  4. ^ Harrison, John A. "Hōjō family". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  5. ^ Allen, Tony; Grant, R. G.; Parker, Philip; Celtel, Kay; Kramer, Ann; Weeks, Marcus (June 2022). Timelines of World History (First American ed.). New York: DK. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-7440-5627-3.
  6. ^ "Civilization 6's civilizations, leaders and their unique abilities". PCGamesN. July 27, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2016.