(redirected from Bakufu)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to Bakufu: Ainu, Bushido, daimyo


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 ?
Laver, Japan's Economy by Proxy in the Seventeenth Century: China, the Netherlands and the Bakufu (London: Cambria Press, 2008), p.
If the bakufu government of the Tokugawa era modeled its attitude according to the slogan sonnojoi ('revere the Emperor, expel the barbarians'), (30) leading to the isolation of the country for two hundred years, the Meiji government promoted the politics of immediately opening Japan, in all possible forms, its ambition being to fortify the power of the new state by possessing western technology and assuming the model offered by western institutions.
214; Ronald Toby, State and Society in Early Modern Japan: Asia in the Development of the Tokugawa Bakufu (Princeton, N.
Andrew Eisenberg has also compared Gao Huan's regime to a bakufu, or "Tent Government, an alternate term for the shogunate; see A.
In (1868), the Japanese leader; Tokugawa Bakufu was overthrown--the commencement of the Meija Restoration.
Following the collapse of the Tokugawa bakufu and the establishment of the Meiji state, the Japanese government sought recognition by and acceptance into the European "society of states," while the Korean court was primarily concerned with its status within the region, still dominated by China.
The Shoganate, also known as the Tokugawa or Edo Bakufu because its power base was Edo, now Tokyo, relegated the Emperor of Japan to the role of titular head of state with largely ceremonial and religious duties in his capital at Kyoto.
Mori Takasue (1755-1801), who was daimyo of the Saeki domain in Kyushu and a bibliophile, built up a large collection, including many Korean editions, which was later donated to the Bakufu.
27) Both the Tokugawa Jikki and the Edo Bakufu Nikki report the loss of Taiwan to Zheng.
Japanese who sought to meet the Dutch in either Nagasaki or Edo needed permission from the Tokugawa bakufu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (the shogun's government).
Hellyer states from the beginning that his book seeks to challenge the assumption that "a single, powerful central government, the Tokugawa bakufu, acted reflexively based upon an ideology of seclusion to protect Japanese tradition in the face of western modernity" (p.
Their great success came to an abrupt end in 1614 when the Bakufu government began the full proscription and persecution of the religion.