But, in 1518, he was recalled to his province by an attack from the shugo of Izumo, and by financial embarrassment resulting from his own generosity in supplying funds to the Crown and the shogun. Hosokawa Takakuni now became kwanryo, exercising his authority with a high hand.
Originally appointed for administrative and fiscal purposes only, the shugo said jito acquired titles of land-ownership from the beginning of the Ashikaga era. To plunder and annex a neighbouring province became thenceforth a common feat on the part of these officials.
The Ashikaga shugo ultimately became leading magnates, for they wielded twofold authority, namely, that derived from their power as owners of broad estates, and that derived from their commission as shogun's delegates entitled to levy taxes locally.
So long as a high constable or a tandai was loyal to the Bakufu, the latter received the appointed quota of imposts; but in times of insurrection, the shugo or tandai appropriated to his own purposes the proceeds alike of the buke-yaku and the hyakusho-yaku. Not merely inequalities of wealth operated to produce political unrest.
The comparatively small areas of land within which the jito officiated soon came to be recognized as their private domains, but after the Onin commotion this system underwent a change, the jito becoming vassals of the shugo. Many, however, held their original position until the middle of the sixteenth century.
In the days of Yoshinori's shogunate, there were twenty-two shugo in the country, and seven of them administered three provinces or more, each. The provincial governors appointed by the Southern Court disappeared, for the most part, during the War of the Dynasties, and on the restoration of peace the only one of these high officials that remained was Kitabatake of Ise.
The provincial governors, at the outset purely civil officials, occasionally developed military capacity and rivalled the hereditary shugo in armed influence, but such instances were rare. *Murdoch's History of Japan.
Shugo there still existed, and jito and kokushi; but neither high constable nor land-steward nor civil governor acted as practical representative of any Central Government: each functioned for his own hand, swallowing up for his own use, or for inclusion in some local fief, the manors which had once been the property of the State or of the Court nobility.
As for the provinces, the main purpose kept in view by the new Government was to efface the traces of the shugo system. But in many cases civilian governors would have been powerless in the face of the conditions that had arisen under military rule, and thus the newly nominated governors included Ashikaga Takauji, governor of Musashi, Hitachi, and Shimosa.
Another reads, 'Mihojinja-sho-gwan-jo-ju-go-kito- shugo, signifying that the Deity of the temple Miho-jinja granteth fully every supplication made unto him. Everywhere, as we proceed, I see the white arrows of prayer glimmering above the green level of the grain; and always they become more numerous.