Fujiwara no Mototsune

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Fujiwara no Mototsune
Fujiwara no Mototsune.jpg
Mototsune by Kikuchi Yōsai
DiedFebruary 25, 891
FamilyFujiwara Hokke
FatherFujiwara no Yoshifusa

Fujiwara no Mototsune (藤原 基経, 836 – February 25, 891), also known as Horikawa Daijin (堀川大臣), was a Japanese statesman, courtier and politician of the early Heian period.[1]

He was born the third son of Fujiwara no Nagara, but was adopted by his powerful uncle Fujiwara no Yoshifusa, who had no sons. Mototsune followed in Yoshifusa's footsteps, holding power in the court in the position of regent for four successive emperors.

Mototsune invented the position of kampaku regent for himself in order to remain in power even after an emperor reached maturity. This innovation allowed the Fujiwara clan to tighten its grip on power right throughout an emperor's reign.

Mototsune is referred to as Shōsen Kō (昭宣公) (posthumous name as Daijō Daijin).


  • 864 (Jōgan 6): Mototsune was named Sangi
  • 866 (Jōgan 8): Chūnagon
  • 870 (Jōgan 12, 1st month): He became Dainagon[2]
  • 872 (Jōgan 14): He was named Udaijin[1]
  • 876 (Jōgan 18): He was named Sesshō[1]
  • 880 (Gangyō 4): He was named Daijō Daijin[1]
  • 884 (Gangyō 8): Mototsune was the first to receive the title Kampaku.[1]
  • 890 (Kanpyō 2, 14th day of the 12th month): retire from Kampaku
  • February 25, 891 (Kampyō 3, 13th day of the 1st month): Mototsune died at the age of 56.[3]


This member of the Fujiwara clan was the son of Fujiwara no Nagara, who was one of the brothers of Fujiwara no Yoshifusa. Mototsune was adopted as son and heir of Yoshifusa.[4] In other words, Yoshifusa was Mototsune's uncle, and father through adoption.[5]

He was married to Princess Sōshi (操子女王), daughter of Imperial Prince Saneyasu (son of Emperor Ninmyō).

Their children were

He was also married to a daughter of Imperial Prince Tadara (son of Emperor Saga).

They had a son.

  • Kanehira (兼平) (875–935) – Kunai-Kyō (宮内卿)

The other children were

  • Kamiko (佳美子) (d. 898), consort of Emperor Kōkō
  • Yoshihira (良平)
  • Shigeko (滋子), married to Minamoto no Yoshiari (son of Emperor Montoku)
  • daughter, married to Imperial Prince Sadamoto (son of Emperor Seiwa), and mother of Minamoto no Kanetada (源兼忠)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Fujiwara no Mototsune" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 206, p. 206, at Google Books; Brinkley, Frank et al. (1915). A History of the Japanese People from the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era, p. 203., p. 203, at Google Books
  2. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 119., p. 119, at Google Books; see "Fousiwara-no Moto tsoune", pre-Hepburn romanization
  3. ^ Titsingh, p. 127., p. 127, at Google Books
  4. ^ Brinkley, p. 237., p. 237, at Google Books
  5. ^ "Yoshifusa Mototsune", in Encyclopædia Britannica; retrieved 2011-07-24
  6. ^ Nussbaum, "Fujiwara no Tokihira" in p. 210, p. 210, at Google Books.
  7. ^ Nussbaum, "Fujiwara no Nakahira" in p. 207, p. 207, at Google Books.
  8. ^ Nussbaum, "Fujiwara no Tadahira" in p. 209, p. 209, at Google Books.


  • Brinkley, Frank and Kikuchi Dairoku. (1915). A History of the Japanese People from the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era. New York: Encyclopædia Britannica. OCLC 413099
  • Hioki, S. (1990). Nihon Keifu Sōran. Kōdansya. (Japanese)
  • Kasai, M. (1991). Kugyō Bunin Nenpyō. Yamakawa Shuppan-sha (Japanese)
  • Kodama, K. (1978). Nihon-shi Shō-jiten, Tennō. Kondō Shuppan-sha. (Japanese)
  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128
  • Owada, T. et al. (2003). Nihonshi Shoka Keizu Jinmei Jiten. Kōdansya. (Japanese)
  • Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Nihon Ōdai Ichiran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691