Fujiwara Shikike (the Ceremonial House of the Fujiwara clan) (藤原式家)

Fujiwara Shikike is a sub branch of Fujiwara family, started by FUJIWARA no Umakai, the third son of Udaijin (Minister of the Right) FUJIWARA no Fuhito. The name of Shikike originated from the fact that Umakai was appointed as Shikibukyo (Minister of the Ministry of Ceremonial).


Umakai, founder of the Fujiwara Shikike, was promoted to sangi (councilor) after the Conspiracy of Nagayao and led the government during the Emperor Shomu's era with other brothers, but he died of smallpox which spread in 737. FUJIWARA no Hirotsugu, the eldest son of Umakai and was demoted to Dazai no shoni (Junior Assistant Governor-General of Dazai-fu offices) after his father's death, rose in revolt in Kyushu, known as the Rebellion of FUJIWARA no Hirotsugu in 740, but was killed in defeat. Due to these situations, Fujiwara Shikike had been subordinate to the so-called Fujiwara Nanke (Southern House of the Fujiwara clan) led by FUJIWARA no Toyonari and FUJIWARA no Nakamaro, as well as the Fujiwara Hokke (Northern House of the Fujiwara clan) led by FUJIWARA no Nagate, during the eras of Emperor Koken and Emperor Shotoku.

FUJIWARA no Yoshitsugu and FUJIWARA no Momokawa, younger brothers of Hirotsugu, were successful in helping Emperor Konin to succeed Emperor Shotoku, and rose in the heart of the government instead of Dokyo and KIBI no Makibi. Yoshitsugu and Momokawa also each married their daughters, FUJIWARA no Otomuro and FUJIWARA no Tabiko, to Imperial Crown Prince Yamanobe (who later became Emperor Kanmu) and directed Kokyu (empress's residence) policies. Both Yoshitsugu and Momokawa died before the enthronement of Emperor Kanmu, but Otomuro became empress and gave birth to Emperor Heizei and Emperor Saga while Tabiko became mother of Emperor Junna, building the base of prosperity of the Fujiwara Shikike during the early Heian period. During the Emperor Kanmu period, family members of Fujiwara Shikike were appointed to important positions; FUJIWARA no Tamaro, the forth son of Umakai, was promoted to Sadaijin (Minister of the left) which was practically the highest position among vassals, while FUJIWARA no Tanetsugu, son of Umakai's third son FUJIWARA no Kiyonari, was in charge of building Nagaoka-kyo (Japan's short-lived eighth century capital).

FUJIWARA no Otsugu, son of Momokawa and younger brother of FUJIWARA no Tabiko (nyogo [a consort of an emperor]) of Emperor Kanmu), took charge of building Heian-kyo (the ancient capital of Japan in current Kyoto) and proposed to suspend punitive expedition to Ezo after he was promoted to sangi at the age of 29. During the Emperor Heizei era, FUJIWARA no Otsugu worked on political reforms, including establishment of the system of inspecting local governments, and rose to higher positions during the era of Emperor Junna (emperor after Saga) as uncle of Emperor (mother of Emperor Junna was FUJIWARA no Tabiko, sister of Otsugu), eventually was appointed to Udaijin (Minister of the Right) and Sadaijin (Minister of the Left) in a row.

However, Fujiwara Shikike gradually went under and was overwhelmed by Fujiwara Hokke after the era of Emperor Saga, partly due to the extinction of the Yoshitsugu family (maternal relatives to Emperor Heizei and Emperor Saga) caused by the death of FUJIWARA no Takumi, the only son of Yoshitsugu. Furthermore, the Kusuko Incident, a failed rebellion by FUJIWARA no Nakanari and his sister Kusuko who was a daughter of Tanetsugu and held power as naishi no tsukasa (a female palace attendant) for Emperor Heizei, as well as the rise of FUJIWARA no Fuyutsugu from Fujiwara Hokke who won trust of Emperor Saga and TACHIBANA no Kachiko, also led to the decline of Shikike.

In addition, Hokke family won deep trust of the Retired Emperor Saga and Empress Dowager, shown by the fact that Fuyutsugu's son, FUJIWARA no Yoshifusa, got married with MINAMOTO no Kiyohime, Imperial princess of the Retired Emperor Saga, while Shikike family failed to produce influential figures due to incidents such as the death of FUJIWARA no Ieo, the eldest son of Otsugu.

Otsugu still eventually maintained the head seat of Taikaku (cabinet) more than 15 years after the death of Fuyutsugu during the eras of Emperors Junna and Ninmyo, while his cousin's son FUJIWARA no Yoshino also left accomplishments as a local officer, and was promoted to Chunagon (vice-councilor of state). However, Yoshino lost his position during the Jowa Incident, and right after the downfall of Yoshino, Otsugu died, making Shikike step aside the center of the politics afterwards.

Thereafter, Fujiwara Shikike produced FUJIWARA no Tadabumi, who put down FUJIWARA no Sumitomo's War, and FUJIWARA no Sukeyo, who was involved with the Ako Incident, but from the middle of the Heian period, only a couple of families managed to keep their lines known as those that rose on the basis of Confucianism, and few could remain until the Kamakura period. However, Endo family, one of the lines of Settsu Watanabe-to Party, represented themselves as descendant of Fujiwara Shikike.


FUJIWARA no Umakai: The third son of FUJIWARA no Fuhito. He was the founder of Fujiwara Shikike.

FUJIWARA no Hirotsugu: The eldest son of Umakai. He raised an army in Kitakyushu, but died in action.

FUJIWARA no Yoshitsugu: The second son of Umakai. He became Naidaijin (minister of the center). He won a fame in suppressing the Rebellion of FUJIWARA no Nakamaro.

FUJIWARA no Kiyonari: The third son of Umakai.

FUJIWARA no Tamaro: The forth son of Umakai. He was Udaijin (Minister of the Right).

FUJIWARA no Tsunate: The fifth son of Umakai.

FUJIWARA no Momokawa: The eighth son of Umakai. He was an influential vassal during the era of Emperor Konin.

FUJIWARA no Kurajimaro: The ninth son of Umakai. He won a fame in suppressing the Rebellion of FUJIWARA no Nakamaro.

FUJIWARA no Otomuro: A daughter of FUJIWARA no Yoshitsugu. She was Empress of Emperor Kanmu, and the mother of Emperor Heizei and Emperor Saga.

FUJIWARA no Sanekazu: A daughter of Yoshitsugu. She was the wife of FUJIWARA no Washitori.

FUJIWARA no Tanetsugu: The eldest son of Kiyonari. He was appointed to Nagaoka-kyo zogushi (construction officer of Nagaoka-kyo) but was murdered.

FUJIWARA no Masako: A daughter of Kiyonari. She was a consort of Emperor Kanmu.

FUJIWARA no Nakanari: The second son of Tanetsugu.
He died in the action during the 'Kusuko Incident.'

FUJIWARA no Kusuko: A daughter of Tanetsugu.
She was the core person of the 'Kusuko Incident.'

FUJIWARA no Otsugu: The eldest son of Momokawa. He was Sadaijin (Minister of the left).

FUJIWARA no Tabiko: Momokawa's daughter. She was a consort of Emperor Kanmu. And the mother of Emperor Junna.

FUJIWARA no Tadanushi: A child of FUJIWARA no Kurajimaro. He was the husband of Kusuko.

FUJIWARA no Yoshino: A grandchild of Kurajimaro. He fell down in the Jowa Incident.

FUJIWARA no Genrimaro: A grandchild of Tanetsugu.

FUJIWARA no Sukeyo: A great-grandchild of Tanetsugu. He was a Confucian scholar.
Well-known by the 'Ako Controversy.'

FUJIWARA no Tadabumi: A great-grandchild of Otsugu. He became Seito taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the eastern barbarians").

FUJIWARA no Nochio: A grandchild of Sukeyo. He was a waka poet as well as a composer of Chinese poems.

FUJIWARA no Nakafumi: A descendant of Kurajimaro. He was a waka poet.

Raigo: A monk of Tendai sect, and a descendant of Kiyonari. He was known for a legend of a vengeful spirit (vindictive ghost).

FUJIWARA no Akihira: A descendant of Kurajimaro. He was a Confucian scholar and a composer of Chinese poems. An editor of "Honcho monzui" (Anthology of waka poems and prose written in classical Chinese). Also an author of "Meigo Orai" (Meigo's Correspondence) and "Shinsarugoki" (a kind of textbook about manners and cultures of Kyoto in Heian period).

FUJIWARA no Atsumoto: A child of Akihira. He was a Confucian scholar and a composer of Chinese poems.

Meisen: A child of Akihira. He was a master of flute.

FUJIWARA no Narimitsu: A grandchild of Akihira. He was a composer of Chinese poems.

[Original Japanese]