Nanke (Fujiwara)

The Nanke (藤原南家, Fujiwara Nanke, lit. southern house of Fujiwara) was a cadet branch of the Fujiwara clan. It was founded by Fujiwara no Muchimaro.[1] Muchimaro had three brothers: Fusasaki, Maro and Umakai. These four brothers are known for having established the "four houses" of the Fujiwara.[2]

Fujiwara Nanke
藤原南家
Japanese crest Sagari Fuji.svg
Mon: Sagarifuji
Home provinceYamato Province, Yamashiro Province
Parent houseFujiwara clan
TitlesVarious
FounderFujiwara no Muchimaro
Founding year8th century
Cadet branches

The name Nanke ("southern house") comes from the fact that Muchimaro's mansion was located south of the mansion of his younger brother. The Nanke served in the imperial court, but many of Fujiwara no Tamenori's descendants later became samurai families such as Itō, Nikaidō, Sagara and Kudō.[3]

Nara periodEdit

The founder of Fujiwara Nanke, Fujiwara no Muchimaro, was the eldest son of Fujiwara no Fuhito. Shortly after the beginning of Nara period, Muchimaro became the head of Ministry of Civil Services in 718. When Fuhito died in 720, Prince Nagaya was at the highest rank in the state government. Prince Nagaya was grandson of Emperor Tenmu, but not a son of Fujiwara family, he was therefore seen as a threat by Muchimaro and his three brothers. After successfully removing Prince Nagaya in 729, Muchimaro rose to Dainagon, "Counselor of the first rank". In 734, he was promoted to Udaijin or "Minister of the Right", and in 737, he was made Sadaijin or "Minister of the Left".[4]

Nanke further prospered in the Nara period as Nakamaro, the second son of Muchimaro, gained the trust of Empress Kōken and was given the name Emi no Oshikatsu.[5]

Tachibana no Naramaro, who was unhappy about Nakamaro's monopolization of power, plotted a conspiracy to replace Nakamaro and to overthrow the Empress, but Nakamaro settled the rebellion and established dictatorship. However, Nakamaro was killed during Fujiwara no Nakamaro Rebellion after he attempted to overthrow the Imperial Family and become the emperor, after which Hokke replaced Nanke as the leading house of Fujiwara.[5]

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