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After the instatement of the Muromachi bakufu (started by Ashikaga Takauji), the Japenese government was significantly weaker than the previous Kamakura bakufu, mostly due to the state of civil war that the nation was in. However, that changed when Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1368 - 1408), a third generation shogun came to power, and instilled order.

One of the most significant changes that Yoshimitsu brought about was the dramatic increase in the amount of power that constables held. Yoshimitsu allowed for constables to become daimyos (rulers of their respective regions). In the beginning, this proved to be a fair, and reasonable decision, for a balance of power between shoguns and daimyos was maintained. However, as time progressed, the daimyos, and their followers, were able to gain power over the shogun.

While ruling, Yoshimitsu was also able to reunify the Northern and the Southern Courts, after they were separated by Ashikaga Takauji. Despite his best efforts, though, this was only temporary, and conflict once again ensued, seeing as the Northern Court was able to maintain control over the throne.

The Onin War was a result of succession problems that originated with the Ashikaga family, and ultimately resulted in the end of the authority of the bakufu. This war had left the capital city of Kyoto in ruins, and led to a century long period of anarchy.

Yoshimitsu was not only associated with war and conflict, though. He is also well known for constructing the Kinkaku (Golden Pavilion) in 1397, after dedicating himself to a life of religion. The Golden Pavilion is located on Kitayama, a mountain in the northeastern portion of Kyoto.


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