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Ashikaga Yoshimasa

(1436-90). The eighth shogun of the Muromachi shogunate (1338-1573); ruled 1449-74. A succession dispute between his younger brother and son erupted into the Onin War in 1467, which ended inconclusively 10 years later, destroying the shogunate's authority and inaugurating the century of civil strife known as the Sengoku period (1467-1568). On January 7, 1474, Yoshimasa, who cared little for affairs of state and devoted most of his time to the arts, abdicated in favor of his son and retired to the Higashiyama section of Kyoto, where he built the villa that later become the temple Ginkakuji. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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