Chapter

The Destruction of Precedent

Thomas Donald Conlan

in From Sovereign to Symbol

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199778102
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919079 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199778102.003.0006
The Destruction of Precedent

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Chapter 4 explains the Kannō Disturbance of 1350–52, and how Kitabatake Chikafusa took advantage of division within the Ashikaga bakufu to kidnap the Northern emperors and steal their regalia of office. In spite of his emphasis on the importance of the objects of regalia in determining legitimacy, he also relied on rituals to assert the Southern Court monarch's primacy but lacked the requisite knowledge to perform these rites. His kidnapping of the Northern emperors and theft of their regalia proved so unprecedented that they caused an epistemological rift and discredited the notion of precedent as a means of legitimacy. Chikafusa did not encounter success, but was forced to flee the capital and he perished in the mountain village of Anō.

Keywords: precedent; regalia; Northern Court; Kitabatake Chikafusa; epistemological rift; legitimacy; Southern Court; Ashikaga bakufu; Ashikaga Tadayoshi

Chapter.  6579 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Buddhism

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