Fujiwara Clan

Fujiwara Clan
Mon of the Fujiwara Clan

Fujiwara Clan

The Fujiwara Clan (藤原氏) is a descendant of the Nakatomi Clan and came into existence after Nakatomi no Kamatari had his family name changed by Emperor Tenji for the aid and assistance his lieutenant had given him prior to his reign.1

In the 7th Century, this clan began to eclipse the Imbe Clan, leading Imbe no Hironari to desperately try and claim back some fame for his Clan by publishing the Kogo Shūi.2

The 8th century sees the Clan backing Empress Genmei’s claim to the throne as the mother of her son (Emperor Monmu), was a daughter of Fujiwara no Fubito. His daughter Asukabehime, would ensure this Clan gained much higher ranking positions at court after receiving the title of ‘Great Retired Empress Consort’ after her husband Emperor Shōmu abdicated. They also played a pivotal role in engineering the ascension of Emperor Shōmu by surrounding him with advisers, attendants and tutors.3

One of those to receive a high ranking position was Fujiwara no Nakamarō who would eventually help orchestrate the Emperor Junnin to take the throne. However, eventually after a plot to replace Junnin with a new candidate after Nakamarō steals the Privy Seal in 764AD, he is captured with his wife, exiled and killed by Empress Kōken.3

Members of the House

Members from Descendant Houses


1. Martin, P. (1997) ”The Chrysanthemum Throne”. Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing Limited.
2. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.
3. Tsurumi, P. (1981) “Early Female Emperors” Historical Reflections Vol.8 No.1 pp.41-49.

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