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Kamakura Period (1186-1332 A.D.)

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At the end of the twelfth century, Shogun Yoritomo took the reigns of central Japan.


The Mikados were allowed to retain a look of authority, but all real power had now passed to the military caste.


The Shoguns remained in power until 1335 A.D.


Learning languished during this time while war and warlike accomplishments were extolled and intellectual culture was diminished. Other unfavorable conditions included a breakdown in relationships with China and Korea. However, Buddhism continued to flourish. In fact, most of the Mikados became monks after a few years of reign, as did many of the persons in their courts.


At this time there were 3000 monasteries and it was the Buddhist monks who preserved learning. There were no significant writings during this period and many of the literary works involved tales of war.