Minamoto no Kanemasa (源兼昌)

MINAMOTO no Kanemasa (year of birth and death unknown) was a poet of the middle to late-Heian period. His father was MINAMOTO no Toshisuke.

He was not so favored with promotions, with his highest position as Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade), Kogogushiki (the Queen-consort's Household Agency), and later he became a Buddhist monk. Although the year of his death is unknown, he seems to have been still alive in around 1128. Starting with the Kunizane-kyo ke uta-awase (poetry contest sponsored by the State Counsellor and Middle Captain Kunizane) in 1100, he contributed poems to poetry contests such as the Naidaijin FUJIWARA no Tadamichi ke uta-awase (poetry contests sponsored by the Minister of the Palace FUJIWARA no Tadamichi) in 1115, 1118, and in 1119, and played a major role in Tadamichi's poetry circle, which was subordinate to the Emperor Horikawa's poetry circle. He was one of the composers of 'Horikawa Jiro Hyakushu' (the Second Horikawa Hundred-Poem Sequences), which was completed in 1116.

His poetry was selected for Chokusen wakashu (anthologies of Japanese poetry compiled by Imperial command) including "Kinyo wakashu," "Shika wakashu" (Waka Collection of Verbal Flowers), "Senzai Wakashu" (Collection of Japanese Poems of a Thousand Years), "Shin Chokusen wakashu" (New Imperial Anthology of Japanese Poetry), and "Shin Senzai wakashu" (New Collection of Japanese Poems of a Thousand Years). No personal collection by him has survived today.

Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (the Ogura Anthology of One Hundred Tanka-poems by One Hundred Poets)
How many times did the barrier-keeper at the Suma checking station wake tonight at the sounds of plovers flying from the Awaji-shima Island? ('Kinyo wakashu' Winter, 288)

[Original Japanese]