Japan’s Heian age (794–1185) witnessed unprecedented production in the cultural sphere, resulting in such famous literary works as the Genji monogatari, religious constructions such as the Byōdōin in Uji, as well as the impressive monastic complexes of Enryakuji, Onjōji, Tōji, and Kōyasan. But these accomplishments occurred in the context of a socio-political environment that changed considerably from the emperor-centered state that was envisioned in the Nara period. In short, the emperor, who had during the move from Nara in 784 and the following half-century maintained direct control of the imperial court, came to share much of that power, if not most of it, with high-ranking nobles. Furthermore, the late Heian period saw military aristocrats and their followers become influential in the capital, ushering in first a diarchy between the Heian court and the Kamakura shogunate (1185–1333) and then a rule dominated by warriors in the Ashikaga age (1336–1573). The challenge for historians, then, has been to reconcile the cultural accomplishments of the Heian and Kamakura periods with these changes in the socio-political structures, while not succumbing to the creation of a simplistic narrative that overemphasizes one group over another.