A branch of a powerful Japanese family, the Taira. After Minamoto Yoritomo's death they provided regents for puppet shoguns, nominated by themselves. From 1219 the regency was hereditary, and the country prospered under them until c.1300. They refused tribute to Kublai Khan and executed his envoys. His two invasions, though failures, weakened Hojo power. Vassals the Hojo were unable to reward for their victories turned against them. From 1331 there was war between the regent's forces and those attempting to restore imperial rule under Go-Daigo. Their power ended (1333) when Ashikaga Takanji, a Hojo vassal, defected to the emperor and another vassal took Kamakura. The last regent and his family committed seppuku (ritual suicide).
Subjects: World History.