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An abbreviation of sei-i taishōgun, which is customarily translated as "barbarian-subduing generalissimo." Shoguns were military dictators whose regimes dominated the Japanese polity for most of Japanese history between 1192 and 1867. Their regimes were known as bakufu or "tent governments," a term commonly translated as shogunate. There were three shogunates: the first (1192-1333) situated in Kamakura, the second (1338-1573) in the Muromachi district of Kyoto, and the third (1603-1867) in Edo (now Tokyo). The latter is perhaps the most well-known, with Tokugawa Ieyasu beginning a line of descendants in 1600 that controlled Japan until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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