Northern Fujiwara

The Northern Fujiwara (奥州藤原氏 Ōshū Fujiwara-shi) were a Japanese noble family that ruled the Tōhoku region (the northeast of Honshū) of Japan during the 12th century as their own realm.[1] They succeeded the semi-independent Emishi families of the 11th century who were gradually brought down by the Minamoto clan loyal to the Imperial Court in Kyoto. Ultimately they were conquered by the Kantō samurai clans led by Minamoto no Yoritomo.[1] The Ōshū Fujiwara were one of the four great clans during the Heian period — the other three were the Minamoto, the Taira, and the Tachibana.

Northern Fujiwara
Home provinceTōhoku region
Parent houseFujiwara clan
FounderFujiwara no Kiyohira (清衡)
Final rulerFujiwara no Yasuhira (泰衡)
Founding year12th century
The Mōtsū-ji. Portrait of Oshu-Fujiwara clan, three generations.
The domain of the Oshu-Fujiwara clan in Japan (1183)

During the 12th century, at the zenith of their rule, they attracted a number of artisans from Kyōto and created a capital city, Hiraizumi, in what is now Iwate Prefecture.[1] They ruled over an independent region that derived its wealth from gold mining, horse trading and as middlemen in the trade in luxury items from continental Asian states and from the far northern Emishi and Ainu people. They were able to keep their independence vis-a-vis Kyōto by the strength of their warrior bands until they were overwhelmed by Minamoto no Yoritomo in 1189.[2]

Below is a family tree of the Fujiwaras who show up most frequently in historical accounts.    

Tsunekiyo (経清)
Kiyohira (清衡)[3]
Koretsune (惟常)Motohira (基衡)[4]
Hidehira (秀衡)[5]
Kunihira (国衡)Yasuhira (泰衡)[2]Tadahira* (忠衡)Takahira (高衡)

*a.k.a. Izumi (no) Saburo

(Adopted kin are not shown.)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Esashi Fujiwara no Sato Archived 2013-01-02 at the Wayback Machine (in Englsh)
  2. ^ a b LOUIS FREDERIC (2008). "O Japão". Dicionário e Civilização. Rio de Janeiro: Globo Livros. pp. 223–224. ISBN 9788525046161.
  3. ^ James T. Araki (1964). The Ballad-Drama of Medieval Japan. California: University of California Press. pp. 172–178. Kiyohara no Kiyohira.
  4. ^ Três gerações dos Fujiwara de Oshu Archived 2012-10-06 at the Wayback Machine (in Japanese)
  5. ^ Louis Frédéric Nussbaum (2005). Fujiwara no Hidehira. Harvard University Press. p. 202. ISBN 9780674017535.