Fujiwara Seika (藤原惺窩)

Seika FUJIWARA (February 18, 1561 - October 19, 1619) was a Confucian scholar from the Sengoku period (Period of Warring States) to the early Edo period. His father was Tamezumi REIZEI of the Reizei family, a noble renowned for Kado (poem versification). His alias was Susumu REIZEI. His Azana (Chinese courtesy name) was Renpu. His other pen names were Hokuniku Sanjin, Siryushi and Kohanka. He was born in Hosokawa no sho, Miki-gun (Mino-gun), Harima Province (the current Miki City, Hyogo Prefecture) which was the territory of the Shimo-Reizei family.

He was born the son of the Shimo-Reizei family. However, as he was not the first son, he went to Edo and entered into the Shokoku-ji Temple to be a Zen priest where he learned the Shushigaku (the teachings of Chu His). He tried to travel to Ming to learn Confucianism in China, but he failed to go. Later, after interaction with the Korean Confucian Hang KANG, he spun Confucianism off as the Kyogaku-ha School by systematizing it. Until then Confucianism was a part of general education amongst priests of the (Kyoto) Five Zen Monasteries. Kyogaku-ha was founded on Shushigaku, but a wider subsumption, such as accepting Yomeigaku (the teachings of Wang Yang-ming), was its characteristic. Notable amongst his followers were the following four: Razan HAYASHI, Kassho NABA, Seigo MATSUNAGA and Kyoan HORI. They were called the Seimon Shitenno (for heavenly kings of Seika FUJIWALA's followers). He was a connoisseur of waka (31 syllable poems) and also of Japanese classics. Additionally, he lectured Confucianism to Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI and Ieyasu TOKUGAWA. Ieyasu requested Seiko to serve as an officer, but he declined and recommended Razan HAYASHI, one of his followers.

Since his father and his older brother, from his birth home of the Shimo-Reizei house, were brought to ruin by the attack of the Bessho clan (the Daimyo or territorial lord in the Sengoku period in the Harima Province), he put up his younger brother as the new head of the family and exerted himself in the reconstruction of the Shimo-Reizei family. He never became head of the Shimo-Reizei family, but his son, Tamekage, did.