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Title: Shikken  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hōjō Tokimune, Kamakura, List of state leaders in 1326, Hōjō Sadatoki, Rensho
Collection: Government of Feudal Japan, Japanese Historical Terms, Positions of Authority, Regents of Japan
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Not to be confused with an Imperial Regent of Japan or Sesshō and Kampaku

The Shikken (執権) was the de-facto military dictator of Japan (not including the independent Northern Fujiwara) from 1199 to 1256 during the Kamakura era. The title of Shikken continued to exist after 1256 as 2nd in command to the Tokuso, but by the Muromachi period the position, though not abolished did not even figure into the top ranks. The position was ceased to exist after the Muromachi period.


  • Etymology 1
  • Shikken as Supreme Ruler (1199-1256) 2
  • Shikken as Tokuso subordinate (1256-1333) 3
  • Muromachi Shikken (1333-?) 4
  • List of shikken 5
  • references 6
  • See also 7


The word shikken derives from kanji characters 執 and 権 literally meaning taking authority.

Shikken as Supreme Ruler (1199-1256)

Though officially a Regent for the Shogun in the Kamakura shogunate in Japan, on paper a Shikken derived power from the shogun, in reality the actual shogun had been reduced to a figurehead in a similar marginalizing manner just as the emperor and imperial court earlier had been reduced to figureheads by the shogun.[1] Both the posts of Shikken and Tokuso were monopolized by the Hōjō clan.[1]

Hōjō Tokimasa, who was the father-in-law of the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo, father of Hōjō Masako, became the first shikken in 1203, after Yoritomo's death. The shikken was the chief of the mandokoro at that time. Tokimasa became the de facto ruler of the shogunate (Japan) by monopolizing decisions for the young shoguns Minamoto no Yoriie and Minamoto no Sanetomo, executing whoever got in his way, family or not. Tokimasa's own grandson Minamoto no Yoriie and great grandson were murdered on Tokimasa's orders, a year after he replaced the second shogun Minamoto no Yoriie with Sanetomo.

Tokimasa's son Yoshitoki strengthened the post of shikken by integrating it with the post of chief of Samurai-dokoro, after annihilating the powerful Wada clan, who had dominated the latter position. The shikken became the highest post, controlling puppet shoguns in practice. In 1224, Yoshitoki's son Hōjō Yasutoki set up the position of rensho (cosigner), or assistant regent.

Shikken as Tokuso subordinate (1256-1333)

Hōjō Tokiyori separated the two posts of tokuso (initially head of the Hōjō clan) and shikken in 1256. He installed Hōjō Nagatoki as shikken while designating his son Tokimune to succeed as tokusō. Effective power was moved from shikken to tokusō. Tokimune, cotemporaneous with Mongol invasions of Japan, at one point occupied all 3 powerful posts of tokuso, shikken, and rensho for himself.

Muromachi Shikken (1333-?)

List of shikken

  1. Hōjō Tokimasa (r. 1199–1205)
  2. Hōjō Yoshitoki (r. 1205–1224)
  3. Hōjō Yasutoki (r. 1224–1242)
  4. Hōjō Tsunetoki (r. 1242–1246)
  5. Hōjō Tokiyori (r. 1246–1256)
  6. Hōjō Nagatoki (r. 1256–1264)
  7. Hōjō Masamura (r. 1264–1268)
  8. Hōjō Tokimune (r. 1268–1284)
  9. Hōjō Sadatoki (r. 1284–1301)
  10. Hōjō Morotoki (r. 1301–1311)
  11. Hōjō Munenobu (r. 1311–1312)
  12. Hōjō Hirotoki (r. 1312–1315)
  13. Hōjō Mototoki (r. 1315–1316)
  14. Hōjō Takatoki (r. 1316–1326)
  15. Hōjō Sadaaki (r. 1326)
  16. Hōjō Moritoki (r. 1326–1333)


  1. ^ a b 「執権 (一)」(『国史大辞典 6』(吉川弘文館1985年) ISBN 978-4-642-00506-7)

See also

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