Nakatomi Clan - Asuka Period

Asuka Period

As a result of the Nakatomis' ritual position and role in the Asuka period, they were among the chief advocates of conservatism in the controversy over the introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the 6th century. However, by the time of Nakatomi no Kamatari, in the early 7th century, the clan had switched sides, possibly as a result of their loyalty and close connection to the Imperial family; following Prince Shōtoku, likely the most famous advocate of Buddhism in all of Japanese history, and later Prince Naka no Ōe, the Nakatomi helped eliminate the Soga clan, powerful and very active supporters of Buddhism, and of the current administration of the time (see Isshi Incident).

The clan soon came to be opposed by a number of other clans which vied for power and prestige at Court, and for influence over the Imperial succession. It is said however, that despite being overshadowed by others in terms of pure material wealth, the head of the Nakatomi clan was, in the mid-7th century, the most powerful man in Japan. Even into the 8th century, members of the Nakatomi clan maintained their important ritual position, becoming hereditary heads of the Jingi-kan (Department of Rites) established by the Code of Taihō in 701.

Read more about this topic:  Nakatomi Clan

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