The Nijo Family (二条家)

The Nijo Family is one of the sekke (regent) houses and a kuge (court nobility).


The Fujiwara clan was of the House of Kujo line, of the House of Fujiwara North
The family name came from the fact that the second son of Michiie KUJO, Yoshizane NIJO, referred to the house in Nijo-Kyogoku as Nijo Palace during the Kamakura period. The family rank was inferior to the Konoe and Ichijo families but was equal to Kujo and Takatsukasa families. The crest was the Nijo wisteria. The stipend during the Edo period was 1700 koku. The family was ranked as a prince after the Meiji Restoration.

The Nijo Family was accorded a personal name by the Ashikaga Shogun Family and the Tokugawa Shogun Family over generations, and is considered to be the number-one sympathizer of bakufu among the five sekke (regent) houses. The House of Nijo was also the house from which the last kanpaku (senior regent in history), Nariyuki NIJO, was produced.

The Nijo Family was once schismatized during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan), but it regained power under Yoshimoto NIJO, who was on the Northern Dynasty (Japan) side. Particularly, after the Muromachi period until Meiji period, the Nijo Family dominated the position that was in charge of "Sokui kanjo (accession to the throne)," which was to offer kanjo (cabalistic ceremony provided to the Emperor-to-be) to the new Emperor at an enthronement ceremony. During the Edo period, Motohiro KONOE, who was at the time considered to be the most powerful among the sekke families, argued that the Nijo Family should not continue the dominant position in the accession to the throne out of the following two reasons: one being that the code of etiquette for accession should originally come down to all the sekke families, and the other being that the previous family head, Mitsuhira NIJO, had died young, and therefore the code of etiquette had terminated. In reply to the argument, the retired Emperor Reigen reasoned that there should have been a substantial reason why the position had been dominated by the Nijo Family despite the fact that the accession to the throne had come down to the other families, and judged that even if the head of the Nijo Family was not the incumbent regent, chief adviser to the Emperor or minister, only the 'Sokui kanjo' should be administered by the head of the Nijo Family, and that in the case where the family head inherited the Nijo Family while still young, the Emperor (who was the other that knew mysticism of the ceremony) should give instructions to the family head, all of which resulted in the official domination of the position by the Nijo Family.

Because the land of the house in the Edo period was located outside the Kyoto Gyoen (Imperial park), the land, unlike that of the other four sekkan families (sekkanke), did not become a park; today it is within the premises of Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts.

Main figures

Yoshizane NIJO (1216 to 1270)
Kanemoto NIJO (1268 to 1334)
Yoshimoto NIJO (1320 to 1388)

[Original Japanese]