Fujiwara no Kunitsuna (藤原邦綱)

FUJIWARA no Kunitsuna (1122 - April 8, 1181) was a court noble during the late Heian period. His father was FUJIWARA no Morikuni, Uma no gon no suke (Asst. Provisional Captain of the Right Division of Bureau of Horses), while his mother was the daughter of FUJIWARA no Kinnaga, Sani (courtier without a post). His children were Yasusue (a real son of TAKASHINA no Nakachika), Shigekuni, Motoyoshi, Kiyokuni (adopted as the son of TAIRA no Kiyomori), FUJIWARA no Nariko (Emperor Rokujo's menoto - a woman providing breast-feed to a highborn baby), FUJIWARA no Kuniko (Emperor Takakura's menoto and FUJIWARA no Nariyori's wife), FUJIWARA no Hoshi (Emperor Antoku's menoto and TAIRA no Shigehira's wife), and FUJIWARA no Tsunako (TAIRA no Tokuko's menoto).

Belonging to the FUJIWARA no Yoshikado line of the FUJIWARA clan, a lower-ranking government official class, he served as Daigaku-ryo (Bureau of Education under the ritsuryo system) and Kurodo (Chamberlain) but distinguished himself as a Keishi (household superintendent) of FUJIWARA no Tadamichi. While he was serving as Zuryo (the head of the provincial governors) of the Provinces of Izumi, Echigo, Iyo, and Harima, he made a fortune and received an exceptional promotion to Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain) in 1165. He had his four daughters become the menoto of three Emperors--Rokujo, Takakura, and Antoku--and the Empress Takakura, Tokuko and contributed to their upbringing using his great wealth. He strengthened ties with the Taira clan and acted as a guardian for Shirakawa dono (TAIRA no) Seishi (the wife of Motozane KONOE, Kanpaku - chief adviser to the Emperor). When Motozane died in 1166, he was successful in having many territories of the Sekkan-ke (line of regents and advisers) inherited to Seishi. Kanezane KUJO criticized this in an entry in Gyokuyo (the name given to his diary) that he made on February 23, 1179, in which he said: "He is willingly trying to extinguish the line of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan". He was promoted to Gon Dainagon (a provisional chief councilor of state), a member of the court nobles; it was the first time for his family line to be advanced to such a high position since FUJIWARA no Kanesuke had been promoted during the early Heian Period. Kiyomori's adoption of Kunitsuna's son showed how greatly he trusted Kunitsuna, and Heike Monogatari (the tale of the Heike) described Kunitsuna as follows: "He is deeply involved with TAIRA Dajo-daijin (Grand minister of state) and he has great ambition."

Among many Teitaku (residences) he owned, the Tsuchimikado Higashinotoin-tei (residence) that was used for a Gosho (Palace) of the Emperor Goshirakawa and for a Satodairi (a temporary palace) of the Emperors of Rokujo and Takakura, while the Gojo-tei (residence) was used for a Satodairi for Emperor Takakura. He accompanied the retired Emperor Takakura's visit to Itsukushima and Fukuhara-kyo (Capital of Fukuhara), the planned capital relocation site, as the closest aide. When Emperor Takakura died,. he was given sofuku (white clothes) for mourning. Among court nobles, treated in such a way, were only Kunitsuna and four other nobles--TAIRA no Munemori, TAIRA no Tokitada, FUJIWARA no Takasue, and Michichika TSUCHIMIKADO.

Before long Kiyomori died, and FUJIWARA no Kunitsuna died on February 23, 1181 as if following Kiyomori.
Hearing of his death, Kanezane wrote in Gyokuyo (Kanezane KUJO's diary), February 23, 1179) as below:
Kunitsuna was from a humble background but he was generous of heart. He did not judge people based on their occupation, only on their progress. It is certain that he will be missed by many.

Record of office and rank

Date: according to the Gregorian calendar
In 1135 (age 14)
On February 8: Monjosho (student of literary studies in the Imperial University)
Zoshiki (low-level functionary) in Kurododokoro (the Chamberlain's Office)

In 1149 (age 27)
On January 7: Rokui no Kurodo (Chamberlain of Sixth Rank)

In 1149 (age 28)
On April 9: Shuri gon no suke (Provisional assistant master in the Office of Palace Repairs)
December 25: Uemon no shojo

In 1150 (age 29)
On January 29: kebiishi (police and judicial chief)

In 1151 (age 30)
On January 6: Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade)
On February 2: Totoumi-gon-no-kami
On December 4: Chugu shojo (Junior Secretary in the Office of the Consort's Household)

In 1154 (age 33)
On January 23: Iki no kami (governor of Iki Province)

In 1155 (age 34)
On December 25: Chugu Gon no taijo (Provisional Senior Secretary in the Office of the Consort's Household)

In 1156 (age 35)
On September 17: Izuminokami Guard

In 1157 (age 36)
On August 9: Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) (Return from Higashi Sanjo-dono Palace to Takamatsu-dono Palace)
On October 22: Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) (Building of Shuhosha)
On October 29: Jushiinoge (Junior Forth Rank, Lower Grade) (Building of Taikenmon)

In 1158 (age 37)
On October 21: Jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade) (gyoko (royal visit) to Uji)

In 1159 (age 38)
On January 6: Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) (Building Hasshoro - corridor)

In 1160 (age 39)
On January 21: concurrently served as Moku no kami (chief of the Bureau of Carpentry)
On February 28: Echigo no kami (Governor of Echigo Province)

In 1161 (age 40)
On April 3: Iyo no Kami (Governor of Iyo Province)
On August 12: Ukyo no daibu (Master of the Western Capital Offices)

In 1162 (age 41)
On January 27: Harima no kami (governor of Harima Province)
Remained in the position of Ukyo no daibu

On February 19: Chugu no suke (Assistant Master of the Consort's Household)
Remained in the position of Ukyo no daibu and Harima no kami

In 1165 (age 44)
On July 18: Resigned from Harima no kami
On July 25: Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain)

In 1166 (age 45)
On January 12: Appointed to Sangi, Councilor
Remained in the position of Ukyo no daibu

On June 6: Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank)
On August 27: Resigned from Sangi, Councilor
On October 6: Received the treatment as Sangi (even though he had resigned from Sangi previously)
On October 10: Togu Gon no daibu (Provisional Master of the Crown Prince's Quarters)
On November 3: Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank) (Togu (the Crown Prince) gyokei - visit of imperial person)

In 1167 (age 46)
On January 30: Suo no Gon no kami (Provisional Governor of Suo Province)

In 1168 (age 47)
On February 19: Resigned from Togu Gon no daibu (Emperor Takakura's accession to the throne)
On December 23: Gon Chunagon (a provisional vice-councilor of state)

In 1169 (age 48)
On January 6: Junii (Junior Second Rank)

In 1171 (age 50)
On April 21: Shonii (Senior Second Rank)

In 1175 (age 54)
On November 28: Chunagon (vice-councilor of state)

In 1177 (age 56)
On April 24: Gon Dainagon (provisional chief councilor of state)

In 1179 (age 58)
On July 12: Resigned from Gon Dainagon

In 1181 (age 60)
On February 3: Entered into priesthood

[Original Japanese]