A city located in the Kanagawa prefecture. Was the former de facto capital of Japan as the seat of the Shogunate and of the Regency.
Kamakura’s time as the capital of Japan lasted from 1192 to 1333. In 1185 Minamoto no Yoritomo defeated his rivals, the Taira family. Following that he spent the next few years establishing a military government. In 1192 the imperial count gave Yoritomo the title of seii tai shogun, shortened to shogun it means “barbarian-subduing generalissimo.” This was a form of official recognition of the Kamakura government by the imperial palace. After Yoritomo’s death in 1199 power was passed to the Hojo family, they remained in power until the end of the Kamakura period in 1333.
Durning the Kamakura period Buddhism experienced a growth in popularity, because of this today Kamakura city is home to many temples. Some of note include; Engakuji a zen temple founded in 1282. Tokeiji is well know for being a former women’s refuge. Hasedera temple belongs to the Jodo sect of Buddhism and is well known for its statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. Perhaps Kamakura is best know for its Daibutsu (giant Buddha statue.) Finished in 1252 the Kamakura Daibutsu is the second largest statue of the Buddha in Japan.
Because of its rich history and its proximity to Tokyo Kamakura is a popular tourist destination for both foreigners and Japanese.