Fujiwara no Masaki (藤原真先)

FUJIWARA no Masaki (year of birth unknown - October 21, 764) was a Kugyo (high court noble) in the Nara period. The 2nd son of FUJIWARA no Nakamaro. His mother was FUJIWARA no Ohira (a daughter of FUJIWARA no Fusasaki). EMI no Masaki. The last name, Masaki ('真先'), is also written using Chinese characters '執弓'.

His father, Nakamaro, was highly trusted by Empress Koken, and in 757, Nakamaro's nominee, later Emperor Junnin, became Crown Prince, and Nakamaro was promoted to Shibinaiso (comparable with Daijin [Minister]). In the same year, Masaki became Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade).

In 758, Empress Koken handed her throne to Prince Oi (Emperor Junnin). Nakamaro was appointed to Taiho (Minister of the Right) and he was given another name, EMI no Oshikatsu. Also Masaki was promoted to Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) Hyobu Taiyu (Commissioner of War) and Kokushi (Provincial Governor) of Yamato Province.

In 759, he was promoted to Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade). In 760, Nakamaro became Taishi (Grand Minister) and rose to the highest rank (possible for the subject) in the country. In 761, Masaki became Jushiijo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade) and Azechi (Inspector of the Provincial Government) of Mino Province, Hida Province and Shinano Province. In March 762, Masaki was appointed to Sangi (Councilor) with his younger brothers, FUJIWARA no Kusumaro and FUJIWARA no Asakari. In December of the same year, he became Shoshiinojo (Senior Fourth Rank Upper Grade) Dazai no sochi (Governor-General of the Dazai-fu offices).

The occasion that Empress Koken had been partial to Dokyo and had stripped Emperor Junnin of the reins of government heightened Nakamaro's sense of crisis. In October 764, Nakamaro raised a rebellion and escaped from Heijo-kyo Capital. Also Masaki and his family followed his father and moved into Omi Province. Nakamaro family was based in the old castle of Sanbi (Takashima County, Omi Province) and fought against the Imperial army, but were defeated. In October 21, Masaki and his family were killed with sword by Imperial army at the lakeside of Biwa Lake.
(FUJIWARA no Nakamaro's War)

It used to use the Chinese characters '藤原真光' for his name in most cases, but the result of recent study has determined that it really was '藤原真先'.

[Original Japanese]