Taiki (台記)

Taiki is a diary of FUJIWARA no Yorinaga, Uji-sadaijin (Minister of the Left). It is also called "Ukaiki" or "Kaiki."

This is a record written by Yorinaga, the mastermind of the Hogen War, for 19 years between 1136 and 1155. The handwritten original was lost. It is an excellent historical document that describes Sekkan-ke (the families which produced the Regent and the Chief Adviser to the Emperor) at the dawn of the Hogen War and ancient practices at that time. Incidentally, this diary is also considered a valuable material to study the sexual mores of court nobles at that time, because it reveals that Yorinaga was quite active in sodomizing chigo (boys who served noblemen), maibito (dancers), samurai and court nobles including MINAMOTO no Yoshikata.

In addition, he recorded about observing a parrot, when a parrot and a peacock were presented to FUJIWARA no Tadamichi. Yorinaga wrote that the parrot could talk well because it had a tongue that looked like that of human. He also assumed that the bird talked in Chinese because it was brought from China, and that was why Japanese couldn't understand what it said. It makes this diary a rare document of observation of a parrot in Japan in the Heian period. To return to the subject, with many anecdotes, "Taiki" is a document of the height and downfall of a lone and gifted politician that gave us a racy description of the government of the time.

[Original Japanese]