Fujiwara no Kadonomaro (藤原葛野麻呂)

FUJIWARA no Kadonomaro (755 - December 11, 818) was a court noble from the Nara period to the former half of Heian period. He was the eldest son of Dainagon (chief councilor of state) FUJIWARA no Oguromaro. He was a Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank) Chunagon (vice-councilor of state).


Because his sister became a consort of Emperor Kanmu, he was highly honored and in 785 was conferred the rank of Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and made Mutsu no Suke (assistant governor of Mutsu Province) before going on to successively hold positions including Shonagon (lesser councilor of state), Togu no Daibu (Master of the Crown Prince's Quarters), Udaiben (Major Controller of the Right), and Dazai no Daini (Senior Assistant Governor-General of the Dazai-fu offices). He was also appointed Zogushi (palace construction officer) of Heian-kyo (the ancient capital of Japan in current Kyoto), and in 793, he allocated residential land in the new capital to government officials. In 801, he was appointed Kento-shi (Japanese envoy to Tang Dynasty, China) and traveled to Tang Dynasty China with Saicho and Kukai in 804. He was granted an audience with Emperor Dezong (Tang Dynasty) and in the following year of 805, he witnessed the death of Emperor Dezong and accession of Emperor Shunzong. He returned to Japan in August of the same year and was awarded the rank of Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) for his achievements as an ambassador.

When Emperor Heizei was enthroned in 806, Kadonomaro's role as Togu no Daibu while the emperor was Crown Prince saw him promoted to the position of Gonsangi (a provisional deputy councilor) and then Sangi (councilor) while he also served as Shikibukyo (Minister of the Ministry of Ceremonies). When the post of Sangi was temporally abolished in the following year of 807, he was appointed Tokai-do Kansatsu-shi (Inspector of the Tokai Circuit). He was subsequently appointed a trusted vassal of the emperor and the year 808 was made Chunagon before being conferred the rank of Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank) in the following year of 809.

When the Kusuko Incident broke out in the year 810, both he and FUJIWARA no Saneo warned Retired Emperor Heizei not to raise an army but this was not heeded. Although Kadonomaro was a relative of FUJIWARA no Kusuko, he was found not to be guilty and later also served as Minbukyo (Minister of Popular Affairs). He was also involved in the compilation of the "Konin" kyakushiki code (amendments to penal and administrative law compiled in 820) with FUJIWARA no Fuyutsugu and AKISHINO no Yasuhito under Emperor Saga.

After his death, his son Tsunetsugu was appointed chief of the Japanese envoy to Tang Dynasty China (the last Kento-shi to have actually visited Tang Dynasty China) in 834.

[Original Japanese]