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One of a line of military commanders who from 1192 until 1867 were generally the actual rulers of Japan, although nominally subordinate to the emperor.

[Japanese shōgun, general, from Middle Chinese tsiaŋkyn (also the source of Mandarin jiāngjūn) : tsiaŋ, to take, bring, undertake, support + kyn, army.]


1. (Historical Terms) (from 794 ad) a chief military commander
2. (Military) (from 794 ad) a chief military commander
3. (Historical Terms) (from about 1192 to 1867) any of a line of hereditary military dictators who relegated the emperors to a position of purely theoretical supremacy
4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (from about 1192 to 1867) any of a line of hereditary military dictators who relegated the emperors to a position of purely theoretical supremacy
[C17: from Japanese, from Chinese chiang chün general, from chiang to lead + chün army]
ˈshoˌgunal adj


(ˈʃoʊ gən, -gʌn)

the title of the chief military commanders of Japan from the 8th to 12th centuries, later applied to the hereditary officials who governed Japan, with the emperor as nominal ruler, until 1868.
[1605–15; < Japanese shōgun, general]
sho′gun•ate (-gə nɪt, -ˌneɪt) n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.shogun - a hereditary military dictator of Japanshogun - a hereditary military dictator of Japan; the shoguns ruled Japan until the revolution of 1867-68
Japanese, Nipponese - a native or inhabitant of Japan
potentate, dictator - a ruler who is unconstrained by law
References in periodicals archive ?
The book also describes his pioneering work with newspapers and looks at how he dealt with his status as a shogunal vassal.
He proved more than capable of fulfilling the shogunal mania for magnificence, creating vivid ensembles of hawks, tigers and landscapes on gold leaf (Fig.
1) The twin seats of shogunal and imperial authority were, furthermore, usually based at widely separate locations on the main island of Japan.
En particular, "el comercio de cuerpos" como una practica legalizada y hasta cierto punto autorizada por el gobierno shogunal hacia finales del siglo XVI.
The 12th-century past was subject to ongoing interpretation in the successive variants of the account, he says, creating ever more detail of shogunal power.
21; this book later became part of the shogunal library.
This four-way EdoSatsuma-Ryukyu-China relationship was incredibly complex, especially since Satsuma was often in the position of trying to increase its profits in the China trade in Japan, something that the shogunal authorities in Edo tried to keep in check for fear that Satsuma might become too wealthy and too powerful.
The second generation is represented by two Kyoto merchant brothers Ogata Korin (1658-1716) and Kenzan (1663-1753), and the third generation by the samurai class artist Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828) who worked in the shogunal city of Edo.
On October 15, 1864, Roches reported to his superiors back in Paris: "I can even add that the roju [roju [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] shogunal elder council] have given me proofs of consideration and trust of which I believe it unnecessary to render account to the department but which give me hope of fruitfully fulfilling the mission which the government of the Emperor [Napoleon III] has entrusted to me" (Sims 1998, 48).
It was their violent behavior, however, especially the murder of a shogunal banner man, which led to the executions of these gang members.
In Tokugawa Japan, the shogunal, daimyo and samurai households were about 6.
Once a year, the senior Dutch representative and a small staff were conducted to the shogunal palace in Edo for an audience that included the exchange of gifts and also sometimes of opinion.