Military rule of the country by a hereditary shogun, as opposed to rule by the imperial court and the emperor. There have been three periods of bakufu government in Japanese history: Minamoto Yoritomo established the Kamakura bakufu (see Kamakura period) at the end of the 12th century, Ashikaga Takauji established the Muromachi bakufu (see Muromachi period) in the early 14th century, and Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Edo bakufu (see Tokugawa period) at the beginning of the 17th century. The Edo bakufu was the most successful, a time of peace and prosperity that lasted over 250 years. See also daimyo; Hojo family; jito.
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