Imperial Court in Kyoto

Premodern Japan
Imperial seal of Japan
Part of a series on the politics and
government of Japan during the
Nara and Heian periods

Chancellor / Chief Minister
Daijō-daijin
Minister of the LeftSadaijin
Minister of the RightUdaijin
Minister of the CenterNaidaijin
Major CounselorDainagon
Middle CounselorChūnagon
Minor CounselorShōnagon
Eight Ministries
CenterNakatsukasa-shō  
CeremonialShikibu-shō
Civil AdministrationJibu-shō
Popular AffairsMinbu-shō
WarHyōbu-shō
JusticeGyōbu-shō
TreasuryŌkura-shō
Imperial HouseholdKunai-shō

Front view of Kyoto Imperial Palace

The Imperial Court in Kyoto was the nominal ruling government of Japan from 794 AD until the Meiji period (1868–1912), after which the court was moved from Kyoto (formerly Heian-kyō) to Tokyo (formerly Edo) and integrated into the Meiji government. The shogunate system came after the Imperial Court, with Minamoto no Yoritomo being the first to establish the post of the shōgun as hereditary, in 1192.

Since Minamoto no Yoritomo launched the shogunate, true power was in the hand of the shōguns, who were mistaken several times for the Emperors of Japan by western countries.