Kamakura Period 1185-1333

Kamakura Jidai doesn’t get enough LOVE people!!!

Japanese history and culture

The Kamakura period 1185 to 1333 is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance of the Kamakura Shogunate; officially established in 1192 by the first Kamakura shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo. The era of the imperial courts of the Heian period were drawing to a close and feudalism was on the rise. Buddhism also began to appeal to the common people and started to gather many followers unlike the Mt Hiei monasteries that became too political in its teachings.

The Kamakura period ended in 1333 with the destruction of the shogunate and the short reestablishment of imperial rule under the Emperor Go-Daigo by Ashikaga Takauji, Nitta Yoshisada, and Kusunoki Masashige.

The Kamakura period is also said to be the beginning of the Japanese Middle Ages which also includes the Muromachi period and the beginning of the Japanese Feudal Period which lasted until the Meiji Restoration.

Bakufu and the Hojo…

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The First Noble Truth

The First Noble Truth of Buddhism is that life is duhkha (Sanskrit; in Pali, dukkha). Duhkha is any of a number of negative things: pain, misery, anxiety, suffering, dissatisfaction…the list goes on and on. Basically, the First Noble Truth is that “Life Sucks.”

I’ve been able to accept the First Noble Truth in an abstract way for quite some time. Shitty things happen. That’s life. The world sucks. Life sucks. However, a few days ago, I was having a minor anxiety attack for no real reason at all. Why was I feeling so shitty, when I’m so much better off than everyone else I know? Why was I unhappy when I had no reason to be?

Then, the First Noble Truth hit me in the face.

Life is duhkha.

And my anxiety melted away.

The First Noble Truth made me accept that there will be times when I am not OK…and that’s OK. It’s to be expected. It’s OK to not be OK! You know why? Because that’s how life is. Life is duhkha.

A Quick Reference for Buddhism

The Four Noble Truths
1. The Truth of Suffering:
2. The Truth of the Origin of Suffering
3. The Truth of Cessation of Suffering
4. The Truth of the Path of Liberation from Suffering

The Eightfold Path
1. Right View
2. Right Intention
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration

The Four Dharma Seals*
1. Impermanence
2. Suffering
3. Emptiness
4. Nirvana

The Three Marks of Existence
1. Impermanence
2. Suffering
3. Nonself

* Sometimes (2) is omitted, thus making Three Dharma Seals.

A Quick Word

What is all this fuss about “nature”? What is it, even? Nature eats her young, her frail, her elders. Nature is cruel. Are you “nature-centric”? Good for you. I am not; I simply affirm that she exists. I affirm that death exists, and birth, but I am the bringer of culture to Man, I am she who brought you letters and art and warmth from the cold harsh winters that made you starve your young on hillsides. What is so wonderful about “nature” that made you do that?

– Saraswati, on the romanticizing of nature