Fujiwara Clan - Fission

Fission

During the 13th century, the Fujiwara northern house (Hokke) was split into the five regent houses: Konoe, Takatsukasa, Kujō, Nijō and Ichijō. They had a "monopoly" to the offices of sesshō and kampaku, and served in turn. The political power had shifted away from the court nobility in Kyoto to the new warrior class in the countryside. However, Fujiwara princes remained close advisors, regents and ministers to the emperors for centuries, even until the 20th century (Prince Konoe and Morihiro Hosokawa). As such, they had a certain political power and much influence, as often the rival warriors and later bakufu sought their alliance. Empress Shōken, wife of Emperor Meiji, was a descendant of the Fujiwara clan and, through Gracia Hosokawa, of the Minamoto clan.

Until the marriage of the Crown Prince Hirohito (Emperor Shōwa) to Princess Nagako of Kuni (posthumously Empress Kōjun) in January 1924, the principal consorts of emperors and crown princes had always been recruited from one of the Sekke Fujiwara. Imperial princesses were often married to Fujiwara lords - throughout a millennium at least. As recently as Emperor Shōwa's third daughter, the late former Princess Takanomiya (Kazoku), and Prince Mikasa's elder daughter, the former Princess Yasuko, married into Takatsukasa and Konoe families, respectively. Likewise a daughter of the last Tokugawa Shogun married a second cousin of Emperor Shōwa.

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