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The Tokugawa shogunate (徳川幕府) was the feudal military government that ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868. It was founded by Tokugawa Ieyasu three years after his victory at the Battle of Sekigahara, ending the tumultuous Sengoku period. Tokugawa's reunification of Japan was aided by the Japanese Brotherhood of Assassins,[1] who would continue to support them for years. For much of its existence, the capital of the shogunate was Edo. The Tokugawa shogunate was also marked by a long period of peace with only a few serious rebellions and incidents that briefly threatened its power such as the Siege of Osaka in 1615 and the Shimabara Rebellion in 1637, though none were able to seriously cripple the shogunate.[2]

After more than two centuries of sociopolitical calm, pressures for the conservative regime to industrialize in the face of Western advances weakened the Tokugawa. The climax came when Templars who had infiltrated Emperor Meiji's inner circle pushed for the dissolution of the shogunate. Unable to prevail against the Imperial forces in the Boshin War, political authority was at last returned to the Chrysanthemum Throne in 1868. This spelled not only the end of Tokugawa rule but also closed the chapter on the age of samurai.[3]

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