Fujiwara no Atsutada (藤原敦忠)

FUJIWARA no Atsutada (906 - April 18, 943) was a court noble and poet in the mid-Heian period. He was the third son of FUJIWARA no Tokihira, Honin Sadaijin (the Minister of the Left). He was a Gonchunagon (Provisional Middle Counselor) ranked Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank). He was regarded as one of the medieval 36 Immortal Poets. He was commonly known as Biwa-Chunagon or Honin Chunagon.


In 929 he was promoted to Sangi (Director of Palace Affairs) from Kurodogashira (Chief Chamberlain) and took the office of Gonchunagon with Jusanmi in 932.

He was known for his good looks, together with poetic and musical talent. His verses in 'Gosen Wakashu' (the Later Collection of Japanese Poetry) and 'Yamato Monogatari' (the Tale of Yamato) are those of zotoka (poetic correspondence with the beloved), which he exchanged with many lady poets, including Imperial Princess Gashi (daughter of Emperor Daigo who became Saigu or Consecrated Princess of Ise). His works were selected for the imperial anthologies from 'Gosen Wakashu' onwards. He compiled the private anthology 'Atsutada-shu' (the Selected Verses of Atsutada).
He was such a great musician that after his death, the elders, seeing MINAMOTO no Hiromasa the musician of the day enjoy the popularity at court concerts, lamented, 'we never thought a mediocre musician like him could ever be respected in the way of music while Atsutada was alive.'
This episode is recounted in "Okagami" (A Japanese Historical Tale).

In Nishisakamoto in Mt. Hiei he had a villa where water was drawn from the Otowa-gawa River (in Kyoto Prefecture).

[Original Japanese]