The Decline and Fall of Heian Japan — An Overview

Hungry Ghost Scroll (late-12th century)

At the very end of the eighth century, Emperor Kammu and the Japanese Court moved to a new site — Heiankyo (‘Capital of Peace and Tranquility,’ present-day Kyoto). The power and influence of Emperor Kammu, one of the few powerful emperors in the entire history of Japan, did not last much beyond his reign. Just as the Soga Clan had dominated the ancient Japanese Court, so too the Fujiwara Clan came to…