Fujiwara no Kanetaka (藤原兼隆)

FUJIWARA no Kanetaka (985–1053) was Kugyo (a Court noble) during the Heian Period. He was born the second son of Kanpaku (a chief advisor to the Emperor) FUJIWARA no Michikane. Kanetaka's mother was the daughter of FUJIWARA no Takazu. His wives included the daughter of MINAMOTO no Sukeyoshi and the daughter of FUJIWARA no Nobutaka (commonly known as Daini no Sanmi and her mother was Murasaki Shikibu). Kanetaka's children included FUJIWARA Kanefusa (Chugu no suke (Assistant Master of the Consort's Household)). He was appointed to Shonii Chunagon (Senior Second Rank, vice-councilor of state). His mnemonic name was Awata saemon no kami (captain of the Left Division of Outer Palace Guards).

Since his older brother commonly known as Fukutari gimi died young, Kanetaka was raised as the heir. His father Michikane was appointed as Kanpaku in 995 but died suddenly in less than two weeks after his appointment. Thereafter, power shifted to his uncle FUJIWARA no Michinaga. FUJIWARA no Korechika and his brother FUJIWARA no Takaie, who were also nephews of Michinaga, rebelled against their uncle, but Kanetaka, making no such move, pursued his career as Michigana's close aide. In 1002, Kanetaka was promoted to Jusanmi Uchujo (Junior Third Rank, Middle Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards) joining Kugyo, subsequently advancing to Sangi (Councilor) in 1008, Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank) in 1013, Saemon no kami in 1021, Chunagon in 1023, and Shonii in 1024 at a steady rate. Kanetaka resigned from the post of Chunagon in 1035 and entered priesthood in 1046.

The violent side of Kanetaka was described in "Shoyuki" (Diary of FUJIWARA no Sanesuke) with the related episodes including having Umaya no toneri (stable keeper) at his residence beaten to death in 1013, and destroying and looting the house of Sanesuke's female servant in the following year. Additionally, in "Okagami" (The Great Mirror), it is alleged that Kanetaka was instrumental in Imperial Prince Atsuakira's declining the appointment as the crown prince.

Further, according to the historical genealogy, Kanetaka was likened to the ascendant of the Utsunomiya Clan, but opinion is divided on this account and it is not certain.

[Original Japanese]