What Was the Role of the Shogun?

The role of the Japanese shogun was to act as the top military leader. It was the emperor who first granted this title. The establishment of the position saw the beginning of the rule of shoguns for over 700 years in Japan.

During the Heian period, the military slowly became more influential than the court officials and the government. In 1192, the emperor appointed Minamoto Yoritomo, a military leader, as the first shogun. Yoritomo established his capital in the far east of Kotyo. This saw the succession of other shoguns and led to their 700-year rule. Power was inherited from father to son, although at times, rebels would overthrow the existing shogun.