Miyako no Yoshika (都良香)

MIYAKO no Yoshika (834 - March 25, 879) was a literatus and kanshi (Chinese verse) poet who lived in the early Heian period. His father's name was Sadatsugu KUWABARA. His real name was Kotomichi.

After passing the Taisaku (a type of employment examination for officials under Japan's Ritsuryo system), following his posts as Shonaiki (assistant editor) and assistant to the envoy from the Korean kingdom of Bohai, he reached the Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) of Monjo hakase (chief calligrapher of the court) and Dainaiki (chief editor). He showed preeminent literary talent, drafting not only waka and Chinese poems but also quite a few Imperial rescripts and Kanpu (official documents of the Council of State). He participated in the compilation and editing of the 'Nihon montoku tenno jitsuroku' (Record of the Reign of Emperor Montoku of Japan, usually shortened to Montoku Jitsuroku), but died before the work was complete. He is known for several famous literary compositions, including his personal literary collection, the 'Toshi bunshu' (the Miyako clan Literary Collection) as well as Imperial Rescripts and questions for the Taisaku. Also, anecdotes concerning Yoshika can be found in the 'Honcho shinsenden' (Lives of the Spirit Immortals of Japan) and the 'Jikkinsho' (Selected Stories Illustrating the Ten Maxims). His Chinese poems were included in the 'Wakan Roeishu' (Collection of Sung Japanese and Chinese poems) and the 'Shinsen Roeishu' (New Selected Sung Poems), among other anthologies.

His career as a court official
Note: all dates given are according to the old lunisolar calendar.

April 860: He became a specialist in calligraphy (monjo) while a student.

January 16, 868: He was appointed the Gon no Daisakan (major officer) of Harima Province.

February 14, 870: He was transferred to the post of Shonaiki (Assistant Editor).

April 16, 872: He was appointed assistant to the envoy of the Bohai kingdom of Korea. At the time, he was a Shonaiki of Shorokuinojo (Senior Sixth Rank, Upper Grade). It was at this time that he changed his real name to Yoshika. Up until this point, he had been called Kotomichi.

873 (Jogan 15)

January 7: He was invested into Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade). His position as Shonaiki remained unchanged.

January 13: He was transferred to the post of Dainaiki (Chief Editor).

876 (Jogan 18)

February 15: He was also appointed the Gon no suke (Deputy Assistant Governor) of Echizen Province.

April 11: A staging period, he was also given the post of Monjo hakase (Chief calligrapher for the court).

December 25, 877: He was granted the official hereditary title of Ason. Up until this point he had been known as Sukune ("lord", the third-highest of the hereditary titles, just below "Ason").

February 25, 879: He died. He was 46 years old. At that point he was holding three offices simultaneously, the posts of Monjo hakase of the Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade), as well as Dainaiki and Echizen Gon no suke.

[Original Japanese]