Japan's Emperors During the Samurai Years
At the same time the Samurai were roaming the countryside, there were emperors making changes in the nation's history. From around 1200 until the 1330s, a simpler form of feudalism was established in Japan.
This new organization of government began when Minamato Yoritomo was elected shogun of Japan. He established the Kamakura Bakufu, the new form of government in 1192. During this period, the samurai not only worked on their warrior skills, but they also cultivated and refined their love of the arts including haiku poetry. For this reason, the members of the aristocratic class would develop their warrior skills, so the two became intertwined.
Once allegiance was sworn to Shogun Yoritomo and his government, the Japanese medieval period began. The Kamakura period came to an end when the Mongols invaded Japan.
The Muromachi period began in approximately 1330. Unfortunately, Ashikaga Takauji had a difficult time holding authority in the nation. Instead, the landowners, known in Japan as the daimyo, began to take power and contradict the rule of the legitimate shogun. As a result of this, in 1467 war broke out.
This was known as the Onin War. During the course of this war, Kyoto was burned to the ground. Following this war, there was a period of more than one hundred years where different families were at war with one another for control over the country.
Following the period of strife, in around 1570, Oda Nabunaga took power. Nabunaga was a warlord, and as such, he worked hard to unify Japan under his rule. He had Azuchi Castle constructed as a symbol of the reunification of Japan.
Following this period of military rule (the shogun following Nabunaga invaded the neighboring country, Korea) was the Edo period. The Edo period was characterized by two and a half centuries of peace for Japan. However, once this period ended, there were many reforms in Japanese cultural, political, and economical life.