The Mikohidari Family (御子左家)

The Mikohidari family was one of the principal families of the Fujiwara clan, whose founder was FUJIWARA no Nagaie, the sixth son of FUJIWARA no Michinaga of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan. The reason why the family was named Mikohidari was that Nagaie, who inherited Mikosa-tei, the residence of Imperial Prince Kaneakira, Emperor Daigo's son, was called Mikosa Minbukyo (Minister of Popular Affairs in the Mikosa-tei). The Mikohidari family came to be known for its tradition of waka poetry after FUJIWARA no Toshinari (or Shunzei) and his son, FUJIWARA no Sadaie (or Teika), were widely recognized as outstanding waka poets during the late Heian to early Kamakura period. From that time, the Mikohidari family dominated the world of waka poetry in Japan for a long time. Sadaie's son, FUJIWARA no Tameie's family was also celebrated as a family of kemari (a type of football played by court nobles in ancient Japan) and its traditional style of kemari was known as the Mikohidari style. During the late Kamakura period, the three sons of Tameie, who struggled over the inheritance of family property and as a result, each formed different families: the Mikohidari family (known also as the Nijo family) (the Nijo school of poetry), which represented the major family line, the Kyogoku family (the Kyogoku school of poetry), which represented the minor family line, and the Reizei family (the Reizei school of poetry). The Nijo and Kyogoku families perished by the Nanbokucho Period and the Reizei family (the Kami-Reizei and Shimo-Reizei families) alone has remained to this day.