Muromachi Period (1333 AD – 1568 AD)

A short-lived restoration of imperial rule from 1333 to 1338 under Go Diago who was overthrown by Ashikaga Takauji who became on firm footing after the conflicts of several decades but later lost control over the feudal coalition. Japan lost unity, which they were enjoying for centuries.

This led the country plunged into a century of Onin war (1467 – 1568) called Sengoku period which brings disintegration of central government. Japan had split into 66 separate provinces, each governed by a regional feudal lord called a daimyo. Oda Nobunga broke the power of feudal lords. Ultimately Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a great general, restored the peace and the Unification of Japan was completed in 1590. He launched two terrible invasions of Korea during 1592-1597, but failed due to the strong resistance of China and Korea. Hideyoshi was brilliant general, wise statesman and enthusiastic pattern of art. He turned enemies to allies and forged a lasting national unity based on the common interests. It is said that old Nobunaga united Japan and Hidoyshi founded modern Japan.

Tokugawa Ieyasu consolidated his work of pacifying and uniting Japan on sound footings. It was during this transitional period of civil wars, many of Japan’s most famous castles were built. Christianity was introduced, but under the kingdom of Hideyoshi, prosecution of Christians began with the beginning of a crackdown on foreign influences in Japan. During this period the austere disciplines of bushido found expressions in aesthetic and religious activities. The creation of number of plays and dramas – Noh based on dead heroes, a highly stylized performance with singing and instrumental music, became popular. In Muromachi period, the art of intricate gardening and ikebana reached a high level of refinement in the history of Japanese art. Painting also touched its high artistic level and produced best-known painters, Shubun and Sesshu, two Buddhists monks

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