The shoguns who led the second of Japan's three military regimes, from 1338 to 1573. The period is known as the Ashikaga Shogunate, named after the name of its ruling house; but it is also named the Muromachi Shogunate, named after the Muromachi district of Kyoto. Under the Ashikaga family, the shoguns greatly expanded the scope of military rule, asserting authority over most of Japan's political and military affairs, including the conduct of foreign relations, leaving to the emperors little more than a ritualized residual sovereignty. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)
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