I've never been satisfied with this template, but I can't quite see how to improve or replace it with something better -- compare Template:Tokugawa chronology (Japan).
The weakness and strength of this format seem to me to be opposite sides of the same coin -- the "error" which resulted in the data being "scrunched" together forces the visual scan to attempt to grasp the whole at once rather than assembling the whole from its discrete elements -- see Visual analytics.
Military theorist Carl von Clausewitz stressed the significance of grasping the fundamentals of any situation in the "blink of an eye" (coup d'œil). In a military context, the astute tactician can immediately grasp a range of implications and can begin to anticipate plausible and appropriate courses of action. Clauzewitz' conceptual "blink" represents a tentative ontology which organizes a set of concepts within a domain -- see Military taxonomy.
My intent was to present relevant information in a form which can be scanned at a glance, focusing attention on the array - forcing an overview perspective
It is not uncommon for Japanese historical figures to be known by more than one name in the course of a lifetime. In his early life, he was named Ashikaga Yoshiki which is sometimes translated as Ashikaga Yoshimura; and then his name was Ashikaga Yoshitada<:ref>Ackroyd, Joyce. (1982). Lessons from History: The Tokushi Yoron, p. 331.</ref> -- including the period of when he is first installed as shogun. The more important fact is that this shogun changed his name to Ashikaga Yoshitane in 1501 in a period when he was temporarily exiled, and it is by this name that he is generally known today.<:ref>Titsigh, Issac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 364., p. 364, at Google Books</ref>
Restatement: This historical figure is today known by the name Ashikaga Yoshitane; and few sources will not conflate the names as a conventional gesture which is intended to enhance the emphasis on chronology rather than nomenclature. In my opinion, it is appropriate to mention the other names in the article about this Ashikaga leader; however, multiple names do not need to be mentioned in this template.
I would argue for simplifying the template. Please note that Ashikaga Yoshiki and Ashikaga Yoshimura and Ashikaga Yoshitada are each redirects to Ashikaga Yoshitane --Tenmei (talk) 13:49, 2 August 2010 (UTC)