Ōkura Bakufu (大蔵幕府 or 大倉幕府) (also called Ōkura Gosho (大蔵御所) is the name of shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo's first government. It took its name from the location in Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture, where Yoritomo's palace used to stand. Ōkura in Kamakura is defined as the area comprised between Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū, the Asaina Pass, the Namerigawa river and the Zen temple of Zuisen-ji.1 The complex extended approximately from the Mutsuura Kaidō to the tomb of Minamoto no Yoritomo, and from the Nishi Mikado River (or Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū) to the Higashi Mikado river (about 800x600 meters).2 A black stone stele marks the center of the area where Yoritomo's government used to stand and carries the words:3
820 years ago in 1180 Minamoto no Yoritomo built his mansion here. Consolidated his power, he would later rule from it, and his government was therefore called Ōkura Bakufu. He was succeeded by his sons Yoriie and Sanetomo, and this place remained the seat of the government for 46 years until 1225, when his wife Hōjō Masako died. It was then transferred to Utsunomiya Tsuji (宇津宮辻).
Erected in March 1917 by The Kamakura-machi Seinendan
In 1213 Wada Yoshimori rebelled against the Hōjō regents in the so-called Wada Kassen and his famous son Asahina Yoshihide stormed into the Ōkura Bakufu, burning it into the ground. It was later rebuilt. Many powerful Gokenin had their mansions in Ōkura, which was therefore one of the most important parts of medieval Kamakura.1 The palace gave their names also to at least two other Kamakura neighborhoods, Nishi Mikado and Higashi Mikado. The two names mean respectively "Western Gate" and "East Gate", from the name of the nearest Ōkura Bakufu gate. The area now called Nikaidō (二階堂) used to be called Higashi Mikado, and the name is still sometimes used.4 Kita Mikado still exists as well but does not constitute a chō.
- Kamakura Shōkō Kaigijo (2008). Kamakura Kankō Bunka Kentei Kōshiki Tekisutobukku (in Japanese). Kamakura: Kamakura Shunshūsha. ISBN 978-4-7740-0386-3.
- Shirai, Eiji (1976). Kamakura Jiten (in Japanese). Tōkyōdō Shuppan. ISBN 4-490-10303-4.
- Shin'ichirō Takahashi (2005). Buke no koto, Kamakura (in Japanese). Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppansha. ISBN 4-634-54210-2.
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