was a title, commonly translated as "Governor," given to certain officials in feudal Japan. They were each appointed by the shogun to oversee one or more of the provinces of Japan. The position gave way to the emergence of the daimyō (feudal lords) in the late 15th century, as shugo began to claim power over lands themselves, rather than serving simply as governors on behalf of the shogunate.
The post was initially created in 1185, by Minamoto no Yoritomo
, in order to aid
the capture of Yoshitsune
with the additional motivation of extending the rule of the
shogunate government throughout Japan. The shugo
progressively supplanted the existing kokushi
, who were appointed by the Imperial Court
. Officially, the gokenin
in each province were supposed to serve
, but in practice, the relationship between them
was fragile, as the gokenin
were vassals of the shogun as
often stayed for long periods in the capital, far
from their province, and were sometimes appointed shugo
for several provinces at the same time. In such cases, a delegate
, or shugodai
Over time, the powers of some shugo
Around the time of the Ōnin War
(1467-1477), conflicts between shugo
became common. Some
lost their powers to subordinates such as the
, while others strengthened their grip on their
territories. As a result, at the end of the 15th century, the
beginning of the Sengoku period
power in the country was divided amongst lords of various kinds
, and others), who came to be
Famous Shugo and Daimyo clans of the Muromachi period
Below is a list of the some of the major clans that produced shugo
and daimyo during the Muromachi period, as well as the regions over
which they ruled.
- Frederic, Louis (2002). "Japan Encyclopedia." Cambridge,
Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
- Sansom, George (1961). "A History of Japan: 1334-1615."
Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.