The absence of a effective central authority in the capital of Japan had lasted until the warlord Oda Nobunaga's armies entered Kyoto in 1568, re-establishing the Muromachi Shogunate under the puppet shogun Ashikaga Yoshiaki to begin the Azuchi-Momoyama period. Ashikaga Yoshihide, the fourteenth shogun, was deposed without ever entering the capital.
Most historians consider 1573 to have been the year in which the Ashikaga shogunate ended. The power of the Ashikaga was effectively destroyed in August 27, 1573 when Oda Nobunaga drove Yoshiaki out of Kyoto. Yoshiaki became a Buddhist monk, shaving his head and taking the name Sho-san, which he later changed to Rei-o In.
Some note that Yoshiaki did not formally relinquish his empty title; and for this reason, the empty shell of the shogunate could be said to have continued for several more years. Despite a renewed central authority in Kyoto and Nobunaga's attempt to unify the country, the struggle for power among warring states continued until unification and final peace was achieved long after his assassination in 1582.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the general who would later unite Japan, had wanted Yoshiaki to accept him as an adopted son. Yoshiaki refused.