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Title: Jizamurai  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Japanese historical terms, Government of feudal Japan, Titles
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The jizamurai (地侍) were lords of smaller rural domains in feudal Japan.[1] They often used their relatively small plots of land for intensive and diversified forms of agriculture.

One of the primary causes for the rise in the number of smaller land holders was a decline in the custom of primogeniture. Towards the end of the Kamakura period, inheritance began to be split among a lord's sons, making each heir's holdings, and thus their power, smaller.

Over time, many of these smaller fiefs came to be dominated by the Shugo, Constables who were administrators appointed by the shogunate to oversee the provinces. Resentful and mistrustful of the interference of government officials, they banded together into leagues called ikki. The uprisings that resulted, particularly when the Shugo tried to seize control of entire provinces, were also called ikki; some of the largest and most famous took place in Wakasa province in the 1350s.


  1. ^ Harold Britho, 'The Han', in John Whitney Hall, ed., The Cambridge History of Japan, volume 4: Early Modern Period (Cambridge UP, 1988), 183-234,


  • Sansom, George (1961). "A History of Japan: 1334-1615." Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
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