Sugawara Clan

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Sugawara Clan
Mon of the Sugawara Clan

Sugawara Clan

The Sugawara Clan (菅原氏) is a decendant of the Haji Clan which came into existence in 781AD.12

The change occoured when Haji no Sukune Furuhito took a petition to court on the 15th day, 6th month of 781; bringing with him 15 other members of the Haji Clan.

The petition was given over to Emperor Kanmu stating that the clan ancestor Nomi no Sukune had been the creator of the haniwa, and that they have overseen their creation to be used in funerals. Now their roles had changed and they only took charge of funerals instead of funerary item creation. As this was not what their ancestor would have wanted they asked for their name to be changed to Sugawara which was the area in which they now dwelt.

The Emperor granted this petition and so the Sugawara clan was established. This particular event is recorded in the Nihongi but not the Kojiki.

In later centuries the clan were to be important confucian scholars at court. The family remained middle ranking court officials, like they had been when called the Haji.1



1. Borgen, R. (1975) “The Origins of the Sugawara. A History of the Haji Family”. Monumenta Nipponica. Vol.30 No.4 pp.405-422
2. Louis Frederic, translated by Kathe Roth (2002) “Japan Encyclopedia”. London: Harvard University Press.

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