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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Daughter of Fujiwara Fuyutsugu


THE

events that now occurred require to be prefaced by a table:

/ | Heijo | | Saga--Nimmyo (m. Jun, / Prince Michiyasu | daughter of < (Emperor Montoku) Kwammu < Fujiwara Fuyutsugu) | | / | Junna (m. Masa, < Prince Tsunesada | daughter of Saga)

In the year 834, Junna abdicated in favour of his elder brother Saga's second son, who is known in history as Emperor Nimmyo. The latter was married to Jun, daughter of Fujiwara Fuyutsugu, and had a son, Prince Michiyasu. But, in consideration of the fact that Junna had handed over the sceptre to Nimmyo, Nimmyo, in turn, set aside the claim of his own son, Michiyasu, and conferred the dignity of Prince Imperial on Prince Tsunesada, Junna's son. A double debt of gratitude was thus paid, for Tsunesada was not only Junna's son but also Saga's grandson, and thus the abdications of Saga and Junna were both compensated. The new Prince Imperial, however, being a man of much sagacity, foresaw trouble if he consented to supplant Nimmyo's son. He struggled to avoid the nomination, but finally yielded to the wishes of his father and his grandfather.

While these two ex-Emperors lived, things moved smoothly, to all appearances. On their demise trouble arose immediately. The Fujiwara family

perceived its opportunity and decided to profit by it. Fujiwara Fuyutsugu had died, and it chanced that his son Yoshifusa was a man of boundless ambition. By him and his partisans a slander was framed to the effect that the Crown Prince, Tsunesada, harboured rebellious designs, and the Emperor, believing the story--having, it is said, a disposition to believe it--pronounced sentence of exile against Prince Tsunesada, as well as his friends, the celebrated scholar, Tachibana no Hayanari, and the able statesman, Tomo no Kowamine, together with a number of others. It is recorded that the sympathy of the people was with the exiles.

These things happened in the year 843. The Fujiwara sought a precedent in the action of their renowned ancestor, Momokawa, who, in 772, contrived the degradation and death of the Crown Prince Osabe on a charge of sorcery But Momokawa acted from motives of pure patriotism, whereas Yoshifusa worked in the Fujiwara interests only. This, in fact, was the first step towards the transfer of administrative power from the Throne to the Fujiwara.

FRESH COMPLICATIONS ABOUT THE SUCCESSION

Another table may be consulted with advantage:

Emperor Heijo--Prince Aho--Ariwara no Narihira | > / | | Aritsune--a daughter | | / Ki no Natora < | Shizu--a daughter | | > Prince Koretaka Emperor Montoku | / Emperor Montoku | | > Prince Korehito Fujiwara Yoshifusa | | (Emperor Seiwa) Princess Kiyo > Aki (Empress Somedono) | (daughter of Saga) | / /


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