- Five regent houses
The Five regent houses (五摂家; "go-seike" or "go-sekke") is a collective term for those five families of
Fujiwara clan, who were regarded entitled to the position of "Sekkan" in the Imperial Court of Kyoto, Japan, and monopolized the position between 12th and 19th century. The five houses are Konoe, Takatsukasa, Kujo, Ichijō and Nijō.
clanhad also other families, but traditionally only these five were eligible for regentship. They were the most politically powerful families among the kuge(court officials).
As the imperial clan claimed to descent from the goddess
Amaterasu, in the Fujiwara tradition the clan descended from another ancient kami, Ame-no-Koyane. Apparently, only these two clans were left in the modern era to claim kami descent.
Partly based on that kami descent, tradition required that emperors may marry only from Fujiwara and imperial family itself - the view was that an empress must descend from gods, too. Thus, with the exception of
Tokugawa Masako, wife of the Emperor Mizunoo, all Empresses of that long period were of the clans that formed the Sekke or from branches of the imperial family itself.
* [http://www.harimaya.com/o_kamon1/kuge_html/kuge_1.html Sekke Kamon] The
Kamonof the five regent houses
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