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Historical Biographies
Name:Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1436-1490) 
URL  
CountryJAPAN 
Added to JGarden11/28/2004 
Last Updated11/28/2004 
DescriptionYoshimasa (1436-1490) was the 8th Ashikaga shogun. He was eager to retire but did not have a son, so persuaded his brother to leave the priesthood and become his successor. A year later he succeeded in fathering a son and subsequently broke his word to his brother. This was the beginning of the Onin War (1467-1477). The war reduced Kyoto to a smoking ruins, the Emperor to poverty, and resigned thousands of warriors to death. After the war, Yoshimasa had the Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) constructed in 1482-1483. This was a much more modest wood structure than his grandfather, Yoshimitsu's more extravagent Golden Pavilion.

Yoshimasa was also partly responsible for the famous Ryoanji gardens, though only indirectly. The general he had appointed as advisor to his brother, Hosokawa Katsumoto, had willed his estate to become a Zen monastery upon his death. Both Hosokawa and his father-in-law, Yamana Sozen, were killed in the Onin War. 







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