Fujiwara no Kiyohira
Biographical Information
Name(s) Fujiwara no Kiyohira
Age ~72
Sex Male
Status Samurai, Founder of Hiraizumi/ Northern Fujiwara Dynasty
Height Unknown
Culture Japanese-Emishi
Date(s) 1056-1128
Site Chuson-ji
Current Location
Location Oshu City, Japan
Catalog #

Fujiwara no Kiyohira is a mixed Japanese-Emishi samurai of the late Heian period (794-1185) who founded the Hiraizumi (Northern Fujiwara) Dynasty. He was the son of Fujiwara no Tsunekiyo who was apart of the Hidesato branch of the Fujiwara clan known for their fighting ability. His mother is the daughter of Abe no Yoritoki who's name is unknown. There was a lot of controversy regarding the birth of Fujiwara no Kiyohira surrounding his birth parents. His father was a mid-level bureaucrat at Fort Taga, or present-day Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture and played an important role in their political structure at the time. After he married his Emishi wife, he left his job in order to move to the Iwate prefecture and live with his wife, thus, considered a traitor to Japanese authorities.

Fujiwara no Kiyohira spent the beginning of his life immersed in a community constantly at war with Japanese central authorities. He was born during the Nine Years War (Zenkunan War) and participated significantly the Three Years War (Gosannen War) later on in his life. He lost majority of his relatives as a result of war. His father was beheaded but Japanese officials and these tragic events would shape Fujiwara no Kiyohira's life. Despite suffering many losses, including his son and wife during the Three Years War, he was ultimately victorious in that war and later settled in Fort Toyota.


Chuson-ji is a museum that was first created in 1100 by Fujiwara no Kiyohira. His mummy is placed in the central altar and surrounding him are other mummies who were previous leaders in the Hiraizumi era.


Chūson-ji | Museums in Japan. (n.d). Ivcs.net. Retrieved 23 March 2016, from http://www.ivcs.net/2014/chuson-ji/

Sansom, George (1958). A History of Japan to 1334. Stanford University Press. p. 249-252.

The History of Hiraizumi. (n.d.). Hiraizumi.or.jp. Retrieved 23 March 2016, from http://hiraizumi.or.jp/en/history/index.html

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