Fujiwara Clan

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Definition

The Fujiwara clan (Fujiwara-shi) was a powerful extended family group which dominated all areas of Japanese government during the Heian Period (794-1185). Founded by Fujiwara no Kamatari in 645 CE, male members held on to key official positions, many acting as regents to the emperor, and ensured their daughters married into the imperial line. By the 12th century CE, Fujiwara power declined as successive emperors abdicated in favour of their own chosen heir while still maintaining their hold on power in retirement. The Fujiwara were ultimately replaced by the rival Taira and Minamoto clans.

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