Monday, March 26, 2012

Who were the Fujiwara regent families??? And where are they now?

Who are the Fujiwara?

This is a rather complicated question, as Japanese history, like most histories, is a tangled web; however, this is a question that has been inadequately framed by extant Western scholarship, though I have been able to draw from the works that are available in English many insightful points in piecing together a big picture view from my own perspective, so to speak.

The long and short of it, however, is that they are people from families (the former so-called Fujiwara regent families) that have been part of a Japanese aristocracy founded on a theocratic basis in the past, and feel entitled to a position of privilege in society supported by the public coffers, like the very limited number of family members of the Imperial Family that receive a public stipend. 

TheFujiwara regent families consisted of five families, and have not been called Fujiwara for hundreds of years now, with the five family names being: Konoe, Ichijo, Nijo, Takatsukasa, and Kujo. Those five families were all derived from the northern branch of the Fujiwara clan (for lack of a better term).

Their stronghold would appear to be Kyoto, to which they would also seem to think they have some hereditary claim. Perhaps it is because of this pseudo aristocratic standing that they feel entitles to that the intelligence service of the UK is highly active here. It could be that the UK has a substantial crop of such people itself, and is trying to support their counterparts here to bolster their position in British society.

The fact that there was a religious (and I use the term loosely, no offense meant to the Shinto religion per se) basis for their claims to position of privilege in Japanese society is more than enough of a grounds for their being an element with which the Freemasons would want to cultivate a relationship and integrate into the international network they seem to have aimed at subverting political systems everywhere using religion as a key component in some form or another.

First of all, the northern branch of the Fujiwara was the branch that ruthlessly attained political dominance during the Heian Period, from whence they assumed hereditary title to the regent offices of Kanpaku and Sessho. They have their origins in a court intrigue during the Asuka period involving an assasination in front of the sitting Empress during a ceremonial and celebratory gathering.

The office of Sessho had originally only been held by a member of the Imperial family and encompassed the role of assisting an child emperor before he came of age or an empress. Subsequently, the Fujiwara succeeded in implementing the office of Kanpaku, whereby a regent could serve as a proxy of the emperor, effectively wielding power.

The Fujiwara had basically evolved from the Nakatomi, a priest caste within the semi-theocratic early government system which was centered on rites associated with the Japanese myths found in the Kojiki, etc. They opposed the introduction of Buddhism, conspired with another group—the Mononobe—in the old order with a joint military/priests-of-superstition and attacked the supporters of Buddhism. That is an involved tale, not to be dealt with in any detail here.

In brief, there were a number of deities in Japanese mythology associated with drawing Amaterasu (the sun goddess) out of a cave, and with assisting the descent from heaven of the grandchild of the sun goddess to govern Japan, basically, and families that traced their genealogy to such deities had a part to play in the ritualized commemoration of such mythically incidents in the formation of the polity. There were a fair number of such families early on, but they gradually decreased in number, in a number of cases due to the political machinations of the Fujiwara. The most famous incident is probably that relating to the conflict with ritualist/liturgists the Imibe, whom the Fujiwara attempted to displace and supplant, which is well documented thanks to a successful appeal to the judicial system and then to the Emperor by the leader of the Imibe.

What the Fujiwara managed to attain for themselves was not only a status that granted them the same sort of hereditary office in the theocratic pantheon as the Emperor, they took total control of the government, and displaced all other members of the Shinto priest caste as well as the nobility. As I recall, the families of the Ariwara, Tachibana and others from the relatively early nobility were victim to the machinations of the Fujiwara. That is subject matter that I am just recalling off the top of my head from years ago though, and subject matter which I will have to revisit to provide a more accurate and thorough account.

At any rate, the Fujiwara were basically driven from power later in the Heian Period, first by the Heike, and then decisively relegated from all positions of political authority by the Minamoto—Minamoto-no-Yoritomo, to be specific.  

Minamoto-no-Yoritomo left Kyoto to establish a new administrative center, new government, if you will, in Kamakura—the Kamakura Shogunate. He left the Emperor in place in court in Kyoto to perform the traditional ceremonial role and carry on cultural tradition. Minamoto-no-Yoritomo was, in fact, related to the Imperial family, and had basically been disenfranchised to some extent due to the machinations of the Fujiwara. Again, this is all rather involved history of which I am only partially in comprehension, but even that is far beyond the scope of this discussion.

From the start of the Kamakura Shogunate through to the Meiji Restoration (i.e., of the Emperor as sovereign), the Imperial Court had only a ceremonial role, with political power being exercised by the Shogunate during times of peace, or warlords during times of strife. During that period, only a member of one of the five Fujiwara regent families could be appointed to the office of Sessho or Kanpaku in the Imperial Court. Moreover, only a member of the Fujiwara regent family could marry a female member of the Imperial family, and the Emperor could only marry females from collateral branches of the Imperial Family or the Fujiwara regent families. That situation basically continued for approximately 1000 years, with very few exceptions.
See the following page on Wikipedia:

Minamoto no Yoritomo failed, however, to build an adequate administrative framework, however, and the hereditary basis of succession to the office of Shogun made for a situation similar to that of intrigue plagued Kyoto, and the family that had served as regents to the Kamakura Shogunate (the Hojo) soon grabbed power themselves after a series of assassinations, injecting members of the Fujiwara regent families back into the political equation.

On the other hand, Minamoto no Yoritom did facilitate the establishment of the first Zen temple in Kyoto, and re-instituted the practice of enlisting the services of meritorious intellectual and religious figures in the sphere of public service, harking back to the reign of Emperor Uda, and thereby setting the precedent that would be followed by successive Shogunal governments, which can therefore be seen to represent a certain degree of rationalization of the political system.

The reign of Emperor Uda, who himself had been given the name Minamoto and thereby once removed from the line of succession only later to be restored to princely status, was the last stand against the encroachment of the Fujiwara on royal prerogative. Emperor Uda had made appointments and promotions to public office on the basis of merit, elevating the likes of luminaries such as Sugawara no Michizane, as well as the most worthy public servant to bear the name Fujiwara (southern branch of the Fujiwara clan) Fujiwara no Yasunori.

Fujiwara no Yasunori was an exemplary model of the Confucian scholar public servant. In one noteworthy incident he exemplified the Confucian ideal of not taking action when the effect was better than taking action in the manner he quelled a rebellion, winning the rebellious people over simply by providing them with rice, demonstrating the benevolence of the government he represented.

One of the reasons that Yasunori is important is because of the manifestation of Confucian societal values in the recorded deeds. That is in stark contrast to the superstition and fear mongering employed by many of those in the northern branch of the Fujiwara to acquire power and go after their rivals--the case of a purportedly new type of fortune telling from the continent being used by Fujiwara no Tokihira against Sugawara no Michizane being a famous example of such an incident.

After intervention by the West, Shinto nativism became a populist political force that served to undermine the authority of the Shogun, with calls to restore the Emperor as the true ruler of the Sacred Land of Japan.

Emperor Komei, whose daughter had married the son of the Shogun, had at first been opposed to any concessions to the Westerners, urged by courtiers in Kyoto to denounce the Shogun’s handling of the scenario, had achieved a more balanced understanding of the situation after sustained efforts, and was working on a plan with the Shogunate for a transition to a new form of government when he inexplicable came down with smallpox. He died before the plan could be implemented, and many believe that he may have been assassinated (Jansen, Sakamoto Ryoma and the Meiji Restoration).

The Shogunate eventually fell, and what came next was not the evolved form of government that Emperor Komei and the Shongunate and his advisors had been planning, but a pseudo constitutional monarchy that elevated the members of the Fujjiwara regent families and other Kyoto courtiers to positions of political power on a par with the former feudal lords (Daimyo) of the Edo Shogunate. The Japanese didn’t adopt a constitution until many years later, and then only a pseudo constitution that could be changed by the Emperor arbitrarily upon the issuing of an edict (i.e., and Imperial Rescript).

To cut a long story short, the Fujiwara and the nativist nationalists proceeded to build a Shinto theocracy, undermining modern reforms wherever possible, leading to militarism and the fascistic so-called State Shinto regime that was the Japanese government at the lead up to WWII.

It would seem that the work of Brits like John Dougill trying to drum of support for the rebel loyalist Meiji Restoration folk hero Sakamoto Ryoma would be aimed at exploiting a sentiment among the disenfranchised members of the former theocratic arm of the so-called Kazoku (華族) aristocracy instituted after the Meiji Restoration by people in the UK who may feel an affinity to the disenfranchised aristocracy mentality.

As an American living here in Kyoto, that is downright threatening activity. And in fact, these are themes that just happen to be part of the agenda of the recently elected mayor of Osaka, Mr. Hashimoto, whom I’ve discussed briefly.

There is a lot of ground covered above in a somewhat speculative manner, but this is just meant to expose some of the research I’m working on, and why I might be a target by such people as Freemasons in the CIA/MI6, etc.

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