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History Hōjō clan (北条氏)

Hōjō clan (北条氏) – branch of the Taira clan that ruled Japan from Kamakura during the Kamakura period . Not to be confused with the Later Hōjō clan.




The Hōjō clan (北条氏 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 and the Imperial Court in Kyoto , whose authority was largely symbolic. The Hōjō are known for fostering Zen Buddhism and leading the successful opposition to the Mongol invasions of Japan. Resentment of Hōjō rule eventually culminated in overthrowing the clan and establishing the Ashikaga shogunate.

The Hōjō are alleged to have been an offshoot of the Taira of the Kanmu branch, originating in Izu Province. They gained power by supporting the defeat of the Taira by intermarrying with and supporting Minamoto no Yoritomo in the Battle of Dan-no-ura. The Hōjō usurped power when Yoritomo died eighteen years later.

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