Minamoto no Yoshiari (源能有)

MINAMOTO no Yoshiari (845 - July 11, 897) was an aristocrat and politician who lived in the Heian period. He was the son of Emperor Montoku. It is said that his biological mother was from the Tomo clan and he was the first son of the Emperor. His sobriquet was Konin no otodo.

Although he was older than the other son of Emperor Montoku, Imperial Prince Korehito (Emperor Seiwa), he was ruled out as a candidate of heir since his biological mother was not of the Fujiwara clan. Though he was a member of the imperial family and maintained a first degree relationship, he was given the family name of Minamoto following the practices of the times and he became subject of the state. Most of Yoshiari's brothers walked the same road and their descendants were called Montoku-Genji (Minamoto clan).

Yoshiari was known as a person of ability who was familiar with rites and government practices of the Imperial Court, after he was first given the rank of Jushii (Junior Fourth Rank) in 862, he gradually distinguished himself in the national political arena and supported his younger brother, Emperor Seiwa and the subsequent Emperor Yozei well. His ability was valued by FUJIWARA no Mototsune and he married his daughter. After that, he was promoted to the rank of Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank) and held positions such as Saemon no kami (captain of the Left Division of Outer Palace Guards), Sakone no daisho (Western Commander), Okura kyo (Minister of the Treasury), Kebiishi Kebiishi Betto (a director of the police and justice department), Minbu kyo and Azechi (supervisor of local politics). In addition, he won Emperor Uda's esteem and was assigned to serve as Fusen jokyo, a commander who led dajokanpu (official documents from the Grand Council of State) 28 times, and from the fact that he served as the president of Senkokushisho (an organization which edits national history books) when the editing of "Nihon Sandai Jitsuroku" (sixth of the six classical Japanese history texts) began even though there were 2 other senior commanders like MINAMOTO no Toru and FUJIWARA no Yoshiyo, also in 895, he submitted a personnel proposal for promotion in rank (generally, both of these roles were played by Regents and Chancellor Ichinokami - Minister of the Left), Yoshiari pushed forward the peaceful era of Kanpyo as a factual administration after FUJIWARA no Mototsune died. In the end of the year, he was assigned to serve as a Gokinai Shokoku Betto (a director of the five central provinces), then in the following year of 896, he assigned TAIRA no Suenaga as a Momikushi (an inspector of local politics) of Yamashiro Province and according to his report, Yoshiari came up with policies covering farmers such as dajokanpu which banned illegal expansion of territory by Ingu oshin ke (imperial families and aristocrats who had strong connection with the Emperor). In the same year, he was promoted to the position of Udaijin (Minister of the Right), Sahyoe no kami and director of Kaga and Mino Provinces, it was his gokkan (the highest official rank) and he died of illness next year. His age at death was 53. He was given the rank of Zo shoichii (Senior First Rank, posthumously conferred) on July 23, 897.

He was friendly with SUGAWARA no Michizane and Michizane created a Chinese poem about the time when Michizane transplanted his bamboos at Yoshiari's residence at his request along with an epitaph for Yoshiari, these poems were included in Michizane's poetry book called "Kanke bunso." Also, Emperor Uda described the shock at Udaijin (Yoshiari)'s death in "Kanpyo goikai" (instructions to one's descendants).

Later, Yoshiari's male descendants produced MINAMOTO no Suezane who fought bravely in the Hogen War. As for female descendants, his daughter, MINAMOTO no Shoshi (Akiko) got married to FUJIWARA no Tadahira and gave birth to FUJIWARA no Morosuke and another daughter, MINAMOTO no Karako got married to Imperial Prince Sadazumi and gave birth to MINAMOTO no Tsunemoto. In the other words, his bloodline was descended to two big families: the regent family after Morosuke and the Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan) after Tsunemoto.

[Original Japanese]