Taira no Kanemori
Taira no Kanemori was a middle Heian period waka poet and Japanese nobleman. He is designated as a member of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals and one of his poems is included in the famous anthology Hyakunin Isshu, he was a member of the Taira clan. Kanemori's poems are included in several official poetry anthologies from the Heian Era. A personal collection known as the Kanemorishū remains, his daughter Akazome Emon was a distinguished waka poet, though she is reckoned as the daughter of her adoptive father, Akazome Tokimochi. E-text of his poems
Sugawara no Michizane
Sugawara no Michizane known as Kan Shōjō or Kanke, was a scholar and politician of the Heian Period of Japan. He is regarded as an excellent poet in Kanshi poetry, is today revered in Shinto as the god of learning, Tenman-Tenjin, he was born into a family of scholars, who bore the hereditary title of Ason which predated the Ritsuryō System and its ranking of members of the Court. His grandfather, Sugawara no Kiyotomo, served the court, teaching history in the national school for future bureaucrats and attained the third rank, his father, Sugawara no Koreyoshi, began a private school in his mansion and taught students who prepared for the entrance examination to the national school or who had ambitions to be officers of the court, including his own son Michizane. Michizane passed the entrance examination, entered Daigaku, as the national academy was called at the time. After graduation he began his career in the court as a scholar as a prestigious senior sixth rank upper in 870, his rank coincided with his role as a minor official in the Court bureaucracy under the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
By 874 Michizane had reached the fifth rank, served under the Ministry of War before being transferred to a more desirable role in the Ministry of Popular Affairs. His training and skill with Classical Chinese language and literature afforded him many opportunities to draft edicts and correspondences for officials in the Court in addition to his menial duties. Records show at this time he composed three petitions for Fujiwara no Yoshifusa as well as the Emperor. Michizane took part in receiving delegations from the Kingdom of Parhae, where Michizane's skill with Chinese again proved useful in diplomatic exchanges and poetry exchange. In 877, he was assigned to the Ministry of the Ceremonial, which allowed him to manage educational and intellectual matters more than before. In addition to his offices at the court he ran the school the Kanke Rōka. In 877, he was promoted to professor of literature at the academy, Later, he was appointed Doctorate of Literature the highest professorial office at Daigaku.
This office was considered to be the highest honor. In 886, Sugawara was appointed to be governor of Sanuki Province. Modern research shows that many bureaucrats in the Court, if they lacked sufficient clout, were assigned at least one term in a remote province, Michizane was no exception. During his four-year tenure in the province, Michizane's informal poetry increased, up to 26% of his poetry still extant was composed in this narrow time. Among his duties, based on limited records, was to tour the province, recommend outstanding individuals to the Court, to punish as needed. In 887, Michizane had to petition the Buddhas and the Shinto kami to help relieve a drought at the time. Records of the time imply. While serving as governor, a political conflict arose between Emperor Uda and Fujiwara no Mototsune called the Akō Incident in 888 over Mototsune's unclear role in the Court after Emperor Uda's ascension. Michizane, defending the court scholars sent a letter of censure to Mototsune, gained the favor of Emperor Uda.
With his term as governor completed in 890, Michizane returned to the Court in Kyoto. In Emperor Uda's struggles to restore power to the Imperial Family, away from the Fujiwara, a number of officials from non-Fujiwara families were promoted to key positions, including Imperial offshoots in the Minamoto family and Sugawara no Michizane. In a rapid series of promotions beginning in 891, Michizane rose to the senior third rank in 897. According to one document signed by Michizane in 894, he held the following posts in the Court: Ambassador to the Tang Dynasty. Consultant Assistant Investigator of the Records of Outgoing Officials Junior Fourth Rank Lower Major Controller of the Left Supernumerary Senior Assistant Minister of Ceremonial Assistant Master of the Crown Prince's Household He was appointed ambassador to China in the 890s, but instead came out in support of abolition of the imperial embassies to China in 894, theoretically in consideration for the decline of the Tang Dynasty. A potential ulterior motive may have lain in Michizane's complete ignorance of spoken Chinese.
Michizane, as the nominated ambassador to China, would have been presented with a potential loss of face had he been forced to depend on an interpreter. Within the abdication of Emperor Uda, Michizane's position became vulnerable. In 901, through the political maneuverings of his rival, Fujiwara no Tokihira, Michizane was demoted from his aristocratic rank of junior second to a minor official post at Dazaifu, in Kyūshū's Chikuzen Province, died in exile. After Michizane's death and drought spread and sons of Emperor Daigo died in succession; the Imperial Palace's Great Audience Hall was struck by lightning, the city experienced weeks of rainstorms and floods. Attributing this to the angry spirit of the exiled Sugawara, the imperial court built a Shinto shrine called Kitano Tenman-gū in Kyoto, dedicated it to him, they posthumously restored his title and office, struck from the record any mention of his exile. This was not enough, 70 years Sugawara was deified as Tenjin-sama, or kami of scholarship.
Today many Shinto shrines in Japan are dedicated to him. Emperor Uda stopped the
Emperor Yōzei was the 57th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Yōzei's reign spanned the years from 876 through 884. Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name was Sadaakira Shinnō. Yōzei was the oldest son of Emperor Seiwa, his mother was the Empress Fujiwara no Takaiko, known after Seiwa's abdication as the Nijō empress. Yōzei's mother was the sister of Fujiwara no Mototsune, who would figure prominently in the young emperor's life. In ancient Japan, there were the Gempeitōkitsu. One of these clans, the Minamoto clan are known as Genji, of these, the Yōzei Genji are descended from the 57th emperor Yōzei. Yōzei had nine Imperial children, born. Yōzei was made emperor when he was an unformed young boy. 869: Yōzei was born, he is named Seiwa's heir in the following year. 18 December 876: In the 18th year of Emperor Seiwa's reign, he ceded his throne to his son, which meant that the young child received the succession. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Yōzei formally acceded to the throne.
20 January 877: Yōzei was formally enthroned at age 8. However, the new residence being constructed for the emperor had not been completed. 877: Ambassadors from Baekje arrived in the province of Izumo. 877: There was a great drought. It rained. 883: In his early teens, Yōzei spent time alone. In time, these amusements became more dangerous, he himself executed criminals. When he became angry, he sometimes chased. Fujiwara no Mototsune, the Kanpaku, used every possible opportunity to turn Yōzei towards more seemly conduct, but the emperor closed his ears to all remonstrances. 884: The extravagant and dangerous habits of the emperor continued unabated. At one point, Mototsune came to the court and discovered that Yōzei had arranged a bizarre scenario for his diversion: He ordered some men to climb high into trees, he ordered others to use sharp lances to poke at these men in trees until they fell to their deaths; this extraordinary event convinced Motosune. Mototsune reluctantly realized. Shortly thereafter, Mototsune approached Yōzei and remarked that it must be boring to be so alone, Mototsune suggested that the emperor might be amused by a horse race.
Yōzei was attracted to this proposition, he eagerly encouraged Mototsune to set a time and place for the event. It was decided that this special amusement for the emperor would take place on the 4th day of the 2nd month of Gangyō 8. 4 March 884: The pretext of a special horse race enticed the emperor to leave his palace. Yōzei traveled in a carriage, surrounded by a heavy guard; the carriage was redirected to Yo seí in palace at Ni zio, a town situated a short distance to the south-west of Miyako. Mototsune confronted the emperor, explaining that his demented behavior made him incapable of reigning, that he was being dethroned. At this news, Yōzei cried sincerely, which did attract feelings of compassion from those who witnessed his contrition. According to scanty information from the Imperial archives, including sources such as Rikkokushi, Nihon Sandai Jitsuroku, Emperor Yōzei murdered one of his retainers, an action that caused massive scandal in the Heian court. Japanese society during the Heian era was sensitive to issues of "pollution," both spiritual and personal.
Deaths were the worst acts of pollution possible, warranted days of seclusion in order to purify oneself. Since the Emperor was seen as a divine figure and linked to the deities, pollution of such extreme degree committed by the highest source was seen as ruinous. Many of the high court officials construed Emperor Yōzei's actions as exceeding the bounds of acceptable behavior, as justifiable cause for the emperor to be forcibly deposed. In Kitabatake Chikafusa's 14th-century account of Emperor Yōzei's reign, the emperor is described as possessing a "violent disposition" and unfit to be a ruler. In the end, when Fujiwara no Mototsune, Sesshō, Daijō Daijin, decided that Yōzei should be removed from the throne, he discovered that there was general agreement amongst the kuge that this was a correct and necessary decision. Yōzei was succeeded by his father's uncle, Emperor Kōkō. Yōzei would address courtiers he would meet with the greatest rudeness, he became furious. He garroted women with the strings of musical instruments and threw the bodies into a lake.
While riding on horseback, he directed his moun
Sarumaru no Taifu known as Sarumaru no Dayū was a waka poet in the early Heian period. He is a member of the Thirty Six Poetic Sages, but there are no detailed histories or legends about him. There is a possibility; some believe him to have been Prince Yamashiro no Ōe. The following waka is attributed to him, a classic autumn poem: This poem is the 215th poem of the Kokin Wakashū, was incorporate into Fujiwara no Teika's famous Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, as number 5. Papinot, Edmond. Historical and geographical dictionary of Japan. Tokyo: Librarie Sansaisha
Emperor Kōkō was the 58th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Kōkō reigned from 884 to 887. Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name was Komatsu-tei, he would be identified sometimes as "the Emperor of Komatsu". This resulted in the Emperor Go-Komatsu adopting this name. Tokiyatsu Shinnō was the third son of Emperor Ninmyō, his mother was Fujiwara no Sawako. Kōkō had 41 Imperial sons and daughters; the first kampaku Fujiwara no Mototsune was influential in the process by Kōkō became emperor. At the time Emperor Yōzei was deposed, Prince Tokiaytsu was Governor of Hitachi and Chief Minister of Ceremonies According to Kitabatake Chikafusa's 14th-century account, Mototsune resolved the problem of succession by going to visit Tokiyatsu-shinnō, where the kampaku addressed the prince as a sovereign and assigned imperial guards; the prince signaled his acceptance by going into the imperial palanquin, which conducted him to the emperor's residence within the palace.
Curiously, he was still wearing the robes of a prince when he decided to take this ride into an unanticipated future. February 4, 884: In the 8th year of Emperor Yōzei's reign, the emperor was deposed. March 23, 884: Emperor Kōkō is said to have acceded to the throne. 885: The era name was changed accordingly in 885. During his reign, Kōkō revived many ancient court rituals and ceremonies, one example is the imperial hawking excursion to Serikawa, initiated in 796 by Emperor Kanmu; this ritual event was revived by Kōkō after a lapse of 50 years. January 11, 886: Kōkō traveled to Seri-gawa to hunt with falcons, he much enjoyed this kind of hunting, he took time for this kind of activity. September 17, 887 仁和三年八月二十六日 -->: Kōkō died at the age of 57. The actual site of Kōkō's grave is known; this emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine at Kyoto. The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Kōkō's mausoleum, it is formally named Kaguragaoka no Higashi no misasagi. Kugyō is a collective term for the few most powerful men attached to the court of the Emperor of Japan in pre-Meiji eras.
In general, this elite group included only three to four men at a time. These were hereditary courtiers whose experience and background would have brought them to the pinnacle of a life's career. During Kōkō's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included: Kampaku, Fujiwara no Mototsune, 836–891. Daijō-daijin, Fujiwara no Mototsune. Sadaijin, Minamoto no Tōru. Udaijin, Minamoto no Masaru. Naidaijin Dainagon, Fujiwara no Yoshiyo Dainagon, Fujiwara no Fuyuo The years of Kōkō's reign are more identified by more than one era name or nengō. Gangyō Ninna Consort: Princess Hanshi Toin-Kisaki, Imperial Prince Nakano's daughter First Son: Minamoto no Motonaga, die before Emperor Kōkō's succession Twelfth son: Imperial Prince Koretada Thirteenth Son: Imperial Prince Koresada Fifteenth Son: Imperial Prince Sadami Emperor Uda Fourth Daughter: Imperial Princess Tadako, married to Emperor Seiwa Fifth Daughter: Imperial Princess Kanshi Eighth Daughter: Imperial Princess Yasuko, married to Emperor Yōzei Sixteenth Daughter: Imperial Princess Ishi, married to Emperor DaigoConsort: Fujiwara no Kamiko, Fujiwara no Mototsune's daughter Consort: Fujiwara no Genjiko, Fujiwara no Yamakage's daughter Consort: Taira no Motoko/Tōshi, Taira no Yoshikaze's daughter Court Attendant: Shigeno no Naoko Fourth Daughter: Imperial Princess Shigeko, 23rd Saiō in Ise Shrine 884–887Court Attendant: Sanuki no Naganao's daughter Ninth Son: Minamoto no Motomi Court Attendant: Fujiwara Motoko Court lady: Sugawara no Ruishi, Sugawara no Koreyoshi's daughter Court lady: Princess Keishin, Prince Masami's daughter Seventh Daughter: Imperial Princess Bokushi, 8th Saiin in Kamo Shrine 882–887Court lady: daughter of Tajihi clan Minamoto no Kanshi/Ayako Court lady: A daughter of Fuse clan Twelfth Son: Shigemizu no Kiyozane, given the family name "Shigemizu" by the Emperor in 886Court Attendant: Fujiwara no Kadomune's daughter married Minamoto no Noboru Thirteenth Son: Minamoto no Koreshige, Minamoto no Noboru‘s son Second Son: Minamoto no Kaneyoshi Third son: Minamoto no Nazane Fourth Son: Minamoto no Atsuyuki Fifth Son: Minamoto no Seiyoshi Sixth Son: Minamoto no Chikayoshi Seventh son: Minamoto no Ototsune Eighth Son: Minamoto no Koretsune Tenth Son: Minamoto no Sadatsune Eleventh Son: Minamoto no Narikage Fourteenth Son: Minamoto no Kuninori Sixteenth Son: Minamoto no Kosen Seventeenth Son: Minamoto no Tomosada First Daughter: Minamoto no Osoko Second Daughter: Minamoto no Reishi Third Daughter: Minamoto no Onshi/Kusuko Sixth Da
Mibu no Tadami
Mibu no Tadami was a middle Heian period waka poet and Japanese nobleman. He is designated as a member of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals, his father Mibu no Tadamine was a distinguished poet. His poems are included in several imperial poetry anthologies. E-text of his poems in Japanese
Abe no Nakamaro
Abe no Nakamaro, whose Chinese name was Chao Heng, was a Japanese scholar and waka poet of the Nara period. He served as the Tang jiedushi of Annam, he was a descendant of Prince Hikofutsuoshi Makoto, the son of Emperor Kōgen and first son of Abe no Funamori. As a young man he was admired for having outstanding academic skills. In 717-718, he was part of the Japanese mission to Tang China along with Kibi no Makibi and Genbō, they returned to Japan. In China, he passed the civil-service examination. Around 725, he took an administrative position and was promoted in Luoyang in 728 and 731. Around 733 he received Tajihi Hironari. In 734 he tried to return to Japan but the ship to take him back sank not long into the journey, forcing him to remain in China for several more years. In 752, he tried again to return, with the mission to China led by Fujiwara no Kiyokawa, but the ship he was traveling in was wrecked and ran aground off the coast of Vietnam, but he managed to return to Chang'an in 755; when the An Lushan Rebellion started that year, it was unsafe to return to Japan and Nakamaro abandoned his hopes of returning to his homeland.
He took several government offices and rose to the position of Governor-General of Annam between 761 and 767, residing in Hanoi. He returned to Chang'an and was planning his return to Japan when he died in 770, he was a close friend of the Chinese poets Li Bai and Wang Wei, Zhao Hua, Bao Xin, Chu Guangxi. From his literary work he is most famous for a poem filled with intense longing for his home in Nara. One of his poems was included in the anthology Hyakunin Isshu and in the Kokin Wakashū. Abe's place in Japanese cultural history is confirmed in Hokusai's Hyakunin Isshu series of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. Japanese missions to Imperial China Japanese missions to Tang China McMillan, Peter. One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each: A Translation of the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231143998. Media related to Abe no Nakamaro at Wikimedia Commons