Fujiwara no Momokawa (藤原百川)

FUJIWARA no Momokawa (732 - August 28, 779) was a statesman in the Nara period. He was the eighth son of FUJIWARA no Umakai who was from the Ceremonial House of the Fujiwara clan. He was a younger brother of FUJIWARA no Hirotsugu. He was originally called "Odamaro".

During the era of Empress Koken, he supported and restored the Fujiwara clan by using his wits, who had lost their authority after the Rebellion of Fujiwara no Nakamaro. It is said that Momokawa worked behind the scenes of the plot of Usa Hachiman-gu oracle in 769 by working with FUJIWARA no Nagate to stop the succession to the Imperial Throne. At that time, Momokawa cleverly acted in a changing political world such as continuing sending money secretly to WAKE no Kiyomaro who was exiled for the plot of the oracle ("Momokawa den [the biography of Momokawa]") while he was officially at the center of the administration of Emperor Shotoku and Dokyo as Naiju no Taifu (Senior Assistant Minister of Royal Pages).

After Emperor Shotoku passed away without selecting Crown Prince in 770, he worked together with his brother FUJIWARA no Yoshitsugu to enthrone Emperor Konin by overcoming the opposition from parties including Udaijin (Minister of the Right) KIBI no Makibi. This was the restoration of the emperor descended from Emperor Tenchi who had been discontinued since the Jinshin War, and is thought to have been unexpected for Emperor Konin. Therefore, he gained the strong trust of the Emperor and played an important role. Around that time, he changed his name to Momokawa.

In 772, Imperial Princess Inoe (Shotoku's sister) was deprived of Empress for suspicion of cursing, and her son, Imperial Prince Osabe also became the deposed Crown Prince. As a result, an emperor descended from the Emperor Tenmu was going to be discontinued. Regarding the deposition of Imperial Prince Osabe, "FUJIWARA No Momokawa den (the biography of FUJIWARA no Momokawa)" in "Kugyobunin (directory of the successive Imperial officials)" says that the Minister (Momokawa) always thought of Emperor Kanmu. When the wise man was living in seclusion, Momokawa contracted a friendship with him. When Emperor Konin was enthroned, Momokawa arranged for the Crown Prince. At that time, Imperial Prince Osabe who was later demoted to a commoner was the second heir to the throne. Clever schemes were devised and Imperial Prince Osabe was deposed in the end. Emperor Kanmu became Crown Prince. Momokawa served the Crown Prince to the best of his ability.

Imperial Prince Yamanobe (later Emperor Kanmu) was nominated and then formally installed as Crown Prince in 773. For Emperor Kanmu whose mother was TAKANO no Niigasa, a immigrant from Paekche (ancient Korea), this seemed to be unexpected and Momokawa gained even more trusted from the Emperor.

In 779, he died with the concurrent posts of an official of Shikibu-sho (the Ministry of Ceremonial) and an imperial guard with Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank). In 782, Junii Udaijin (Minister of the Right with Junior Second Rank) was conferred posthumously on him. When Emperor Junna (the third prince of Emperor Kanmu whose mother was FUJIWARA no Tabiko, a daughter of Momokawa) was enthroned in 823, Momokawa was given Shoichii Daijo-daijin (Grand Minister with Senior First Rank) as the maternal grandfather of the Emperor.