It frequently happens that social conversations turn to topics which everyone can comment upon, such as sport. Some of us, however, actually know nothing of professional football or basketball and thus have nothing to say. How dreadful! Should a similar occasion arise when others discuss their favorite political figures of Heian Japan, the Fujiwaras, tell them your favorite is Michinaga. Being a fan of Michinaga is like being a modern day Yankees fan. It’s a safe bet.
But won’t others thus mock such a choice, calling you a winner picker? Maybe. But like being a Yankees fan, (“What’s wrong with a few national championships? I like teams that don’t suck!”) being a fan of Michinaga no Fujiwara is easy to defend. “I really admire the way he consolidated imperial power through bridal politics,” you’ll say, easily rebuffing your opponents’ skepticism. “After all, who could force his own nephews Korechika and Takaiye into exile quite like Michinaga? He held complete control over the imperial court of Heian Kyo. ” They’ll have nothing to say in reply. Pick the obvious winner. Michinaga.