Fujiwara no Atsumoto (藤原敦基)

FUJIWARA no Atsumoto (1046-1106) was a court official and a composer of Chinese poems during the late Heian period. His family belonged to Fujiwara Shikike (a sub branch of the Fujiwara family) and his father was FUJIWARA no Akihira, a Monjo hakase (professor of literature). His mother was a daughter of TAIRA no Saneshige, the Awa no kuni no kami (Governor of Awa Province). His brothers included FUJIWARA no Atsumitsu and Meisen, and his children included FUJIWARA no Reimei and FUJIWARA no Shigeaki. Atsumoto held the rank of Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade), was a Monjo hakase and the Kozuke no suke (Assistant Governor of Kozuke Province).

Atsumoto not only served close to Emperor Goshirakawa from the time the emperor was a crown prince, but also worked as Keishi (household superintendent) under FUJIWARA no Morosane. Starting from the position of Monjo tokugosho (Distinguished Scholars of Letters) and promoted to Kurodo (Chamberlain), Atsumoto finally became a Monjo hakase in 1088. He excelled in his studies like his father and showed outstanding talent, particularly in composing Chinese poems. He was so highly praised for his innate talents in literature, it was said that no poet was not a pupil of Atsumoto. Included in his works were "The Kokushi Kosho" and "The Chukaruirin," in addition to books such as "Honcho Zoku Monzui" (Literary Essence of Our Court, Continued) and "Honcho Mudaishi" (An anthology of Chinese verses).

Praised as the two greatest masters in the arts of pen and sword, Atsumoto and MINAMOTO no Yoshiie held mutual respect for each other. Atsumoto's daughter married MINAMOTO no Yoshikuni who was a son of Yoshiie.

[Original Japanese]