Heian Period

In Kyoto, the court enjoyed a relatively long period of peace and political strength lasting nearly 400 years, until 1185. One of the most influential groups of the Heian era was the aristocratic Fujiwara family. The Fujiwaras succeeded in dominating the royal family by marrying female clan members to emperors and then ruling on behalf of the offspring of these unions when they assumed the throne. Not only did the powerful aristocratic Fujiwaras control the politics of this era, but they also dominated the cultural milieu. Fujiwara courtiers encouraged an aura of courtly sophistication and sensitivity in all of their activities, including the visual and literary arts, and even religious practice

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