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Useful Notes / Fujiwara

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The crest of the Fujiwara.
Before the time of the Samurai, one faction reigned supreme. Founded in the Asuka period by Nakatomi no Kamatari, the Fujiwara clan was the most powerful Kuge clan in Heian Japan. The family ruled as regents practically from day one, and even after the Shoguns came they still held the titles of Sesshō (a regent for a child emperor) and Kampaku (chief advisor to the emperor, but in practice they were regents). In fact, the only other Sekkan (a nickname for both titles) families in existence are the Toyotomi and the Imperial house. They accomplished this by marrying daughters to the Imperial family, who would give birth to the emperors, who would then be raised by their mothers and have loyalty to their Fujiwara grandfathers. Everything was running smoothly... until as was the norm at the time, the emperors would often retire early and enthrone their younger sons. Then when Go-Sanjo became emperor and was not related by blood or marriage, the Fujiwara's power weakened. When he died and his successor decided to Abdicate the Throne in favor of his son, a new faction was beginning to take control. The Cloistered rule (named after emperors who joined Buddhist communities, thus becoming "cloistered") had begun. This led to the rise of the Taira, then the Minamoto, and with them, the samurai. They would see another reign under the sun thanks to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who ruled as Kampaku (his most famous title being Taiko, a name for retired regents) for a while, but that was short-lived, and even then he eventually started his own clan. Most members of the clan belonged to one of four branches, the Shikike, Nanke, Kyoke, and the big one, the Hokke. The Hokke later spawned the five regent houses: Konoe, Takatsukasa, Kujō, Nijō and Ichijō. The Fujiwara were one of the four noble houses, alongside the Minamoto, Taira, and Tachibana clans.

The clan legally ceased to exist in 1875 like other historical clans of Japan, when Japanese law imposed the house names as clan members' legal surnames. As a result, modern people of the Fujiwara surname usually have nothing to do with historical Fujiwara, but rather commoners who picked up that as a surname under the same reform.

The Fujiwara clan in fiction:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Hikaru no Go features the spirit of the deceased go legend, Fujiwara no Sai, who guides the main character and teaches him go.
  • As a Setting Update of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, one of the main characters in Kaguya-sama: Love is War is Chika Fujiwara, the student council secretary at a high school for the wealthy and famous. While she's normally a nice girl (if somewhat weird), she can be quite the cunning politician when she wants to be. Most fans theorize even that she's Obfuscating Stupidity and secretly manipulating Shirogane and Kaguya for her own amusement due to her status as a perpetual Spanner in the Works in their Battle of Wits.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi and its sequel UQ Holder! feature members of the Konoe clan, who are descended from the Fujiwara clan. The heiress of the Konoe clan, Konoka, is a rich Ojou and powerful mage, and invokes in her Intimate Healing ritual the name of the ancient Fujiwara clan to completely restore her target's wounds.

    Video Games 
  • AkaSeka has stand-ins for Fujiwara no Teika, Michinaga, Fuhito and Kamatari (though the last one goes with the Nakatomi family name in this version).
  • Touhou Project has Fujiwara no Mokou, an immortal girl with fire powers. Her father was one of the suitors rejected by Kaguya in The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, and Mokou vowed to avenge her father's humiliation, impulsively murdering an innocent man to obtain immortality and battle Kaguya on an even footing. While her family is long dead (she's at least 1300 years old), fanworks sometimes speculate on her pre-immortality relatives (according to the wiki, she could be an Emperor's granddaughter).

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