Dynastic family that dominated Japanese court government in the 9th–12th centuries. The family maintained a close relationship to the imperial family by marrying its daughters to emperors so that their grandsons and nephews became emperors. The Fujiwara acted as regents for child emperors and later created the post of kampaku, or chancellor, essentially a regent for an adult emperor. Fujiwara Michinaga (966–1028), who married three daughters to emperors and a fourth to an heir apparent, epitomized Fujiwara power and glory; his ascendancy marked the height of the Heian period, during which Murasaki Shikibu wrote The Tale of Genji. The family's power at court waned after Michinaga and was eliminated in the 12th century. See also Sugawara Michizane.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Fujiwara family, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up Fujiwara family? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.