Places, Images, Times & Transformations

Kamakura Period

(1185-1333). The Kamakura period corresponds roughly to the span of the Kamakura Shogunate (1192-1333) and is named after the city of Kamakura (located in what is now Kanagawa Prefecture), the seat of the government. Distinguishing characteristics of the period are the rise to political power of the provincial warrior class (bushi) and the establishment of a military government; the emergence of new and strongly proselytizing sects of Buddhism and the spread of Buddhism from the aristocracy to the common people; and a new vitality in literature and the fine arts. These developments also reflect the continued diminution of Chinese cultural influence, a process that had begun in the late 9th century. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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