Minamoto no Morofusa (源師房)

MINAMOTO no Morofusa (1008 - March 20, 1077) was a kuge (court noble) and kajin (waka poet) in the mid Heian period. He was a founder of Murakami-Genji (Minamoto clan). He was a son of Imperial Prince Tomohira, the prince of the Emperor Murakami. He was a Chuinryuso (patriarch of a religious school). He was Udaijin (the Minister of the Right) with Juichii (Junior First Rank). He called himself Tsuchimikado udaijin. His childhood name was Manjunomiya.


He was first called (Prince) Sukesada, and after he had lost his father Imperial Prince Tomohira early, became a Yushi (another child considered as one's own) of FUJIWARA no Yorimichi, who was the husband of his elder sister Princess Takahime (however, at that time, Yushi were considered to be virtually same as an adopted child.)
He celebrated his attainment of manhood on December 26, 1020, was given the family name Genji, was demoted from nobility to subject, and changed his name to Morofusa. He married FUJIWARA no Takako, fifth daughter of FUJIWARA no Michinaga and Yorimichi's half sister) to build a close relationship with the Fujiwara clan, and became udaijin (minister of the right) in 1069 to form a basis for the Murakami-Genji to go into politics. He was assigned to Daijo-daijin (Grand minister of state) on February 17, 1077, but he became a priest and died on the same day.

While he was highly educated, he was also good at Chinese poetry and waka (a traditional Japanese poem of thirty-one syllables), and ten of his poems were chosen in Chokusen wakashu (anthology of Japanese poetry compiled by Imperial command) including "Goshui Wakashu" (4th imperial anthology). His books include "Joijimokusho" and "Doyuki" (diary written by classical Chinese).
It is said that, FUJIWARA no Michinaga, who loved Morofusa's talent, said 'I can have Morofusa succeed Sekkan-ke (the families which produced regents) if Yorimichi does not have a boy.'


I want to bank up the lower Shirakawa River; spring has gone away with the river water. ("Goshui Wakashu," poem number 146)
I dozed off while I was waiting for the morning moon to only dream of the brow of the hill I was viewing. ("Kinyo Wakashu" (Kinyo Collection of Japanese poems), poem number 214)

[Original Japanese]