The Tokusei uprising during the Kakitsu era (嘉吉の徳政一揆)

The Tokusei uprising during the Kakitsu era was a peasant uprising to demand Tokuseirei (ordering return of land sold and dissolution of debts) and occurred in Kyoto and its surroundings such as the Omi Province in 1441(the first year of the Kakitsu era). It was also called the peasant uprising of Kakitsu era.


In the political turmoil after the assassination of Shogun Yoshinori ASHIKAGA in the Kakitsu War, the farming population lead by bashaku (shipping agents who used horses) in Omi Sakamoto in Kyoto rose up in rebellion to demand 'daihajime-no-tokusei (acts of virtuous government requested at shogun replacement)' (Tenkaichido no Tokuseirei (a debt cancellation order for all throughout the country)), which was directed by jizamurai (local samurai) and lead to an uprising by tens of thousands of people. The uprisings mainly enveloped Kyoto, but not the surrounding regions.

Events leading up to the uprising

June: Yoshinori was assassinated.

August: Bashaku in Omi rose up in rebellion, and the Rokkaku clan, shugo (provincial constable), promulgated Tokuseirei.

September: To-ji Temple and Kitano-sha Shrine were occupied, and Tanbaguchi and Nishi-hachijo were blocked. Enryaku-ji Temple opposed the promulgation of Tokuseirei, causing bashaku in Omi ruled by Enryaku-ji Temple to break away from the uprising, even turning against it as the uprising further occupied Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

The army of uprisers cut off communication between Kyoto and outside areas, and then attacked sake shops, doso (pawnbrokers and moneylenders), and temples. Under the direction of the jizamurai, order was brought to the uprising forces, while robberies were monitored.

From the shogunate which set out to settle the situation by spreading Tokuseirei exclusively for the farming population, the uprisers demanded that Tokuseirei be issued throughout the country including the court nobles and samurai in order to obtain support from the ruling classes. Besides, shugo daimyo (Japanese territorial lord as provincial constable) who had learned that kanrei (shogunal deputy) Mochiyuki HOSOKAWA ordered that troops be dispatched to protect the doso in exchange for 1,000 kan bribe from the doso, blocked the dispatch of the troops. The situation fell into a further state of confusion. The new shogun Yoshikatsu ASHIKAGA accepted the demand and issued Tokuseirei throughout the Yamashiro Province which ordered the return of things that had been pawned no more than 20 years prior (Order for the Acts of Virtuous Government in Kakitsu era). The Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) which had not issued official Tokuseirei against the peasant uprising of the Shocho era was forced to issue Tokuseirei this time, which significantly damaged the prestige of the government.