Fujiwara Shike (Four families of the Fujiwara clan) (藤原四家)

Fujiwara Shike, also called four families of the Fujiwara clan, means the four family lines founded by four sons of FUJIWARA no Fuhito.

Fujiwara Nanke (the Southern House of the Fujiwara clan): Founded by FUJIWARA no Muchimaro (680-737). Fujiwara Hokke (the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan): Founded by FUJIWARA no Fusasaki (681-737). Fujiwara Shikike: Founded by FUJIWARA no Umakai (ca. 694 - 737). Fujiwara Kyoke (the Western House of the Fujiwara clan): Founded by FUJIWARA no Maro (695 - 737).

Since FUJIWARA is a kabane (hereditary title), and not a family name nor a last name, there was no 'Fujiwara-ke' (Fujiwara family) among court nobles before the Meiji period. Fujiwara Shike does not mean Fujiwara family, but a wholesome name of four family lines: 'Nanke,' 'Hokke,' 'Shikike,' and 'Kyoke' of the Fujiwara clan.