Standard Article

Nanbokuchō Wars (1331–1392)

  1. Thomas D. Conlan

Published Online: 13 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444338232.wbeow436

The Encyclopedia of War

The Encyclopedia of War

How to Cite

Conlan, T. D. 2011. Nanbokuchō Wars (1331–1392). The Encyclopedia of War. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 NOV 2011


The wars of the Southern and Northern Courts (Nanbokuchō lasted from 1331 until 1392, and resulted in profound changes in Japan. Although these wars did not witness any significant innovations in tactics, as mounted archers continued to dominate the battlefield, their indeterminacy allowed for logistical improvements, as regional magnates appointed to the office of shugo gained the ability to use half of a province's taxes for military supplies, starting in 1351. This ability to half-tax, or hanzei, set the stage for the rise of regional military power for the next two and a half centuries, as these regional magnates, known increasingly as daimyō, managed to sustain regional armies indefinitely.


  • fourteenth century;
  • eastern asisa;
  • war