Fujiwara no Mitsuyoshi (藤原光能)

FUJIWARA no Mitsuyoshi (1132 - March 30, 1183) was a nobleman during the end of the Heian period. He was the son of Shonagon (lesser councilor of state) FUJIWARA no Tadanari from the Mikohidari line of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan. Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank), Sangi (councilor).

He was conferred an official rank in 1146, to Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) in 1164, and appointed to the Shimotsuke Province in 1165. He was active as a trusted vassal of the government by the Retired Emperor Goshirakawa. He was appointed to Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) of Konoefu (the Headquarters of the Inner Palace Guards) in 1167, and in the following year he was appointed to Kogo no miya gon no suke (Provisional Assistant Master of the Empress's Household) and conferred from Jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade) to Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade). He was appointed to Konoefu (the Headquarters of the Inner Palace Guards) in 1171 and to Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain) in 1176. After he was appointed to Kotaigogu gon no daibu (Provisional Master of the Empress Dowager's Household) in 1177, he also filled the position of Uhyoe no kami (Captain of the Right Division of Middle Palace Guards) in 1179 and also the position of Sangi (councilor) in November 1179, but was dismissed as a result of Coup of the Third Year of Jisho in the following month. It is said that in between July - August 1180, Mongaku, who had met MINAMOTO no Yoritomo of the Izu Province, visited Mitsuyoshi, who was in Fukuhara-kyo (Capital of Fukuhara), and pressured Mitsuyoshi to mediate for MINAMOTO no Yoritomo and convince Emperor Goshirakawa to issue inzen (a decree from the Retired Emperor) to hunt down and kill TAIRA no Kiyomori. "Gukansho" (Jottings of a Fool) denies this and asserts it as a fallacy, but for example "The Tale of the Heike" includes it as one of famous scenes. In 1181, Mitsuyoshi was appointed to his previous position Sangi and conferred to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank), and also filled the positions of Hyoe-fu (Headquarters of the Middle Palace Guards) and Tanba Province in the following year. He was promoted to Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank) in 1183, but fell ill and entered into priesthood, and died soon thereafter.


One of the portraits known as the three portraits in Jingo-ji Temple is said to be a portrait of FUJIWARA no Mitsuyoshi, but there is recently a theory that the portrait is of the Second Shogun Yoshiakira ASHIKAGA of the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun).

[Original Japanese]