Fujiwara no Akinobu (藤原顕信)

FUJIWARA no Akinobu (994-May 14, 1027) was a noble in the Heian period. He was the third son of FUJIWARA no Michinaga and his mother was MINAMOTO no Akiko. His homyo (a name given to a person who enters the Buddhist priesthood) was Chozen.

He grew weary of the world and visited Gyoen of Gyogan-ji Temple (Ko-do) on February 19, 1012 when he was filling the post of Uma no kami (Captain of the Right Division of Bureau of Horses). He was impressed by the teachings, immediately had his head shaved, and became a priest in Mudo-ji Temple, Mt. Hiei. His parents, who felt hopeful about his future, are said to have been extremely disappointed ("Okagami" (The Great Mirror)).

However, some said that his becoming a priest was caused by an incident which had occurred two months before. It was found out that FUJIWARA no Michimasa, son of FUJIWARA no Korechika; FUJIWARA no Yorimune (Takamatsu Sanmi no chujo), son of Michinaga; and his younger brother were speaking ill of others at the funeral hall in Kitano where they were sent to ("Shoyuki" (the diary of FUJIWARA no Sanesuke) on January 17, 1012. Although "Shoyuki" didn't disclose who the brother of Yorimune was, Akinobu was the only brother who could have been with Michimasa and Yorimune. Four days later, on January 21, when Emperor Sanjo expressed to Michinaga his intention to appoint Akinobu Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain) which became vacant due to FUJIWARA no Michito's promotion to Sangi (councilor), Michinaga declined to accept it, saying Akinobu is 'lack of knowledge' which would invite 'public censure' ("Gonki" (FUJIWARA no Yukinari's Diary). The cause for Michinaga's decline is considered to have been the incident on January 17, and at the same time Akinobu, who was described as 'lack of knowledge' by his father in the presence of the Emperor, was rife with anxiety about his own future, which led to his becoming a priest.

After then, while he moved from Mudo-ji Temple to Ohara (Kyoto City) where he devoted himself to ascetic training (September 11, 1014 entry of "Mido Kanpakuki" (FUJIWARA no Michinaga's Diary), he realized he had a limited life expectancy and after he confined himself in Konpon main temple of Enryaku-ji Temple for two weeks, he died of disease in Mudo-ji Temple (Vol. 15 of "Eiga Monogatari", the Tale of Glory).

[Original Japanese]