Ariwara being a grandson of the Emperor Saga, a member of the Saga Genji received the nomination of chief commissioner; but in the year 1140, the minister of the Right, Masasada, a member of the Murakami Genji, was appointed to the office, and thenceforth it remained in the hands of that house.
Founded by Fujiwara Fuyutsugu, minister of the Left, in the year 821, and endowed with a substantial part of his estate in order to afford educational advantages for the poorer members of the great family, this institution rivalled even the Imperial University, to be presently spoken of. Next in importance was the Shogaku-in of the Minamoto, established by Ariwara Yukihira in the year 881.
Thenceforth, whenever a sovereign's offspring was numerous, it became customary to group them with the subject class under a family name. Nevertheless, to be divested of the title of "Prince" did not mean less of princely prestige. Such nobles were always primi inter pares. The principal uji thus created were Nagaoka, Yoshimine, Ariwara, Taira, and Minamoto.
Heijo died in 824, at the age of fifty-one. *His family was struck off the roll of princes and given the uji of Ariwara Asomi. It is memorable in the history of the ninth century that three brothers occupied the throne in succession, Heijo, Saga, and Junna. Heijo's abdication was certainly due in part to weak health, but his subsequent career proves that this reason was not imperative.
In that pastime he was frequently joined by Ariwara no Narihira, who, as a grandson of the Emperor Heijo, possessed a title to the succession more valid than even that of the disappointed Koretaka. In the celebrated Japanese anthology, the Kokin-shu, compiled at the beginning of the tenth century, there are found several couplets from the pens of Koretaka and Narihira.
Mention has already been made of Ariwara no Narihira, a grandson of the Emperor Heijo and one of the most renowned among Japanese poets. He was a man of singular beauty, and his literary attainments, combined with the melancholy that marked his life of ignored rights, made him a specially interesting figure. He won the love of Taka, younger sister of Fujiwara Mototsune and niece of Yoshifusa.