Japanese clans

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This is a list of Japanese clans. The old clans (gōzoku) mentioned in the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki lost their political power before the Heian period, during which new aristocracies and families, kuge, emerged in their place. After the Heian period, the samurai warrior clans gradually increased in importance and power until they came to dominate the country after the founding of the first shogunate.

Ancient clan names[edit]

There are ancient-era clan names called Uji-na (氏名) or Honsei (本姓).

Imperial Clan[edit]

Mon of The Imperial House

Four noble clans[edit]

Gempeitōkitsu (源平藤橘), 4 noble clans of Japan:

Mon of the Minamoto clan
Mon of the Taira clan
Mon of the Fujiwara clan
Mon of the Tachibana clan

Noble clans[edit]

Aristocratic family names[edit]

From the late ancient era onward, the family name (Myōji/苗字 or 名字) had been commonly used by samurai to denote their family line instead of the name of the ancient clan that the family line belongs to (uji-na/氏名 or honsei/本姓), which was used only in the official records in the Imperial court. Kuge families also had used their family name (Kamei/家名) for the same purpose. Each of samurai families is called "[family name] clan (氏)" as follows and they must not be confused with ancient clan names. The list below is a list of various aristocratic families whose families served as Shugo, Shugodai, Jitō, and Daimyo

Mon of the Akita clan
Mon of the Asano clan
Mon of the Hōjō clan
Mon of the Honda clan
Mon of the (Mino) Ikeda clan
Mon of the Itō clan
Mon of the Maeda clan
Banner with the Mon of the Matsumae clan
Mon of the Mori clan (森氏)
Mon of the Takeda clan
Mon of the Toki clan
Mon 'Mitsuboshi ni ichimonji' of the Watanabe clan


Zaibatsu were the industrial and financial vertically integrated business conglomerates in the Empire of Japan, whose influence and size allowed control over significant parts of the Japanese economy from the Meiji period until the end of World War II.

Sacerdotal clans[edit]


Ryukyuan people are not Yamato people, but the Ryukyu Islands have been part of Japan since 1879.

Mon of the Ryukyu Kingdom

Ryukyuan dynasties:

Toraijin (渡来人)[edit]

Torajin is used to describe migrants in many contexts, from the original migration of a Yamato peoples to more recent migrants. According to the book Shinsen Shōjiroku compiled in 815, a total 326 out of 1,182 families in the Kinai area on Honshū were regarded as people with foreign genealogy. The book specifically mentions 163 were from China, 104 such families from Baekje, 41 from Goguryeo, 9 from Silla, and 9 from Gaya. These families are considered notable, although not inherently noble.[4][5]





  • Arara clan (荒荒氏)
  • Hirata clan (辟田氏) – descended from Tsunugaarashito (都怒我阿羅斯等), a prince of Gaya.
  • Karabito clan (韓人氏)
  • Michita clan (道田氏)
  • Ōchi clan (大市氏) – descended from Tsunugaarashito (都怒我阿羅斯等), a prince of Gaya.
  • Tatara clan (多多良氏) – descended from Tsunugaarashito (都怒我阿羅斯等), a prince of Gaya.
  • Toyotsu clan (豊津氏)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nelson, John K. (2000). Enduring Identities: The Guise of Shinto in Contemporary Japan, pp. 67–69.
  2. ^ Cranston, Edwin A. (1998). A Waka Anthology, p. 513.
  3. ^ Grapard, Allan G. (1992). The protocol of the gods, p. 42.
  4. ^ Saeki, Arikiyo (1981). Shinsen Shōjiroku no Kenkyū (Honbun hen) (in Japanese). Yoshikawa Kōbunkan. ISBN 4-642-02109-4.
  5. ^ "渡来人と赤穂". The KANSAI Guide - The Origin of Japan, KANSAI (in Japanese). Retrieved 2022-09-14.