Nakatomi Clan

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Nakatomi Clan

The Nakatomi Clan (The Intercessors1– 中臣氏) are known to have been the Hereditary Chief Custodians of Shinto and Rituals claiming descent from the Shinto kami Ameno Koyane.2 

They are said to have an ancestor by the name of Ōkashima.4

It is said they worshiped the kami Takemikazuchinoo invoking him in Hymn prayers recited at their clan shrine in Kasuga.1

During the reign of Emperor Kinmei both this Clan and the Mononobe Clan were against the acceptance of Buddhism. A religion which the Soga Clan wished Japan to adopt.

By the reign of Empress Kōgyoku this Clan had grown a hatred towards the Soga Clan due to their overarching political control of the Imperial Family, having placed numerous Emperors of their choice on the throne and so the then head of the clan Nakatomi no Kamatari aided in the destruction of the Soga Clan.

Between the 4th and 7th Centuries they, with the Imbe Clan oversaw the Yamato Court.3

During the reign of Emperor Kōtoku in the 7th Century, this clan alongside the Imbe Clan and Urabe Clan were tasked with overseeing the Shinto department known as the Jingikan.

Kamatari under the reign of Emperor Tenji had his family name changed to Fujiwara and so a new clan was born.2

Members of the House


1. Yasumaro. O, translated by Gustav Heldt. (2014) “Kojiki. An Account of Ancient Matters”. New York: Columbia University Press.
2. Martin, P. (1997) “The Chrysanthemum Throne” Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing Limited.
3. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.
4. Varley, H.P (1980) “A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa.” New York: Columbia University Press.

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