Kamakura Period (1185 – 1333)

The fight between the 15-year old Minamoto no Yoritomo and Bekkei. Bekkei was a priest who collected 999 swords from people he defeated. However he lost against Minamoto, the pair then became friends and fought together until they died.
  • Two clans, The Taira and Minamoto, became very powerful with the help of their samurai armies. There was an inevitable clash and the Minomoto clan won.
  • Minamonoto Yoshitomo established a new shogunate in Kamakura called Bakufu (the tent government/ the military government).
  • The impact of Buddhism peaked.
  • This is the period when the Japanese castles flourished, and the feudal system became common.
  • The Rinzai school of Zen buddhism was born and influenced the life of the samurai.
  • It is said that the fear of death was reduced because of Zen buddhism.
  • Some scholars claim that Zen buddhism was only the religion of the samurai when it was first introduce to Japan in 1191.
  • Zen was Born in the Shaolin temple in China so it naturally has a close connection to martial arts.

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