Kiyohara no Motosuke (清原元輔)

KIYOHARA no Motosuke (908 - June 990) was a poet and a scholar who lived during the Heian period. His father was KIYOHARA no Harumitsu, the governor of Shimotsuke Province (some people believe his father's name was Akitada, but this is thought to be a mistake caused by the confusion with the father of FUJIWARA no Motosuke), and his grandfather is KIYOHARA no Fukayabu, a senior officer of the Office of the Imperial Household (some people believe he was Motosuke's father). He was the father of KIYOHARA no Munenobu and Sei Shonagon. The Ogura Anthology of One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets includes poems of Fukayabu, Motosuke, and Sei Shonagon.

He assumed various positions, such as the governor of Kawachi Province and the governor of Higo Province, and he was given the rank of Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) in March 980. He started to work on the compilation of the "Gosenwakashu" (Later Collection of Japanese Poetry) as one of the Nashitsubo no Gonin (five key members of the imperial bureau of poetry) in November 951. He had his own poem collection named "Motosuke-shu" (the collection of Motosuke's poems), and his poems were selected for various anthologies of Japanese poetry compiled by Imperial command such as the "Shui Waka Shu" (Collection of Gleanings). He was regarded as one of the 36 Immortal Poets (the thirty-six major poets selected by FUJIWARA no Kinto). One story in "Makuranososhi" (The Pillow Book) has it that Sei Shonagon was allowed not to make poems when she started to work at the Imperial Court, as she said she did not want to make any poems because her poems might bring shame on her father, and this story tells that Motosuke was such a great poet.

It is said he was bald-headed.

[Original Japanese]