List of rulers of Japan

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The rulers of Japan have been its Emperors, whether effectively or nominally, for its entire recorded history. These include the ancient legendary emperors, the attested but undated emperors of the Yamato period (early fifth to early 6th centuries), and the clearly dated emperors of 539 to the present. Political power was held in various eras by regents and shoguns, and since 1946 has been exercised exclusively by the Prime Minister as leader of a representative government.

Period Nominal rulers Effective powers c
Foundation–Heian period Emperors,
660 BC (traditional)–present
Soga clan, 530s–645
Fujiwara clan, 850s–1070
Taira clan, 1160s–1185
Kamakura period Kamakura shoguns, 1192–1333
Regents of Kamakura Shogunate, 1203–1333
Kenmu Restoration Emperor Go-Daigo, 1333–1336
Ashikaga Takauji, 1333–1336
Muromachi period Ashikaga shoguns, 1338–1568 (1573)
Northern Court Emperors, 1336–1392
Sakai Kubō (Hosokawa and Miyoshi clan), 1527–1532
Regional daimyōs, during Sengoku period
Azuchi–Momoyama period Oda Nobunaga, 1568–1582
Toyotomi Hideyoshi, 1582–1598
Five Commissioners, 1585–1600
Council of Five Elders, 1598–1600
Edo period Tokugawa Shoguns, 1603–1867
Tairō of Tokugawa Shogunate, 1636–1865
Edo (Tokyo)
After Meiji restoration Emperors, 1867–1947
Kido Takayoshi, 1867–1877
Saigō Takamori, 1867–1873
Ōkubo Toshimichi, 1867–1878
Prime Ministers, 1885–present
Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, 1945–1952

See also[edit]