Fujiwara no Morouji (藤原師氏)

FUJIWARA no Morouji (around February 20, 913 - August 23, 970) was a Court noble who lived in the mid-Heian period. He was the fourth son of Kanpaku (chief adviser to the Emperor) FUJIWARA no Tadahira. His mother was MINAMOTO no Shoshi, a daughter of MINAMOTO no Yoshiari. FUJIWARA no Morosuke and FUJIWARA no Morotada were his brothers from the same mother, and FUJIWARA no Saneyori was his brother from a different mother. He was called Momozono Dainagon (Dainagon: chief councillor of state) after the name of his residence Momozono-dai (Momozono Mansion) and the highest official rank he was conferred. He was also called Biwa Dainagon.

In January 928, he was conferred a peerage at the age of 16. He was appointed chamberlain in 929, promoted to Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) by chugu-gokyu (a kind of pension paid to the second consort of an emperor) in 934, and finally was appointed the position of Dainagon of Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank). The highest official rank conferred on Morouji was Dainagon whereas elder brothers Saneyori and Morosuke and younger brother Morotada advanced to Daijin (minister). After Morotada, who was seven years younger than Morouji, was appointed Gon Chunagon (provisional vice-councilor of state) in 948, Morouji always had a lower appointment. Besides, when his nephew FUJIWARA no Koretada (Morosuke's son) was appointed Gon Dainagon (provisional chief councilor of state) in 967, Morouji, who was Chunagon (vice-councilor of state) at that time, had a lower appointment than his nephew. Those things tell that Morouji had been unfortunate in his official rank promotion. "Uji Shui Monogatri" (a collection of the Tales from Uji) records that he died on the second day of the banquet ceremony held in celebration of his appointment to Konoe Daisho (Major Captain of the Palace Guards), but other historical materials including "Kugyoubunin" (directory of court nobles) and the like do not mention his appointment to Konoe Daisho. "Kuya-rui" describes that Morouji made a pledge of fideity in this world and the next with Kuya, and "Kuya-rui," "Kojidan" (Talks of the Past), and the like describe that Kuya wrote an official letter to Enma Daio (the King of Hell) when Morouji died. "Kagero Nikki" (The Gossamer Years) describes that Morouji had a villa in Uji but it ran down after his death.

He was an excellent waka (31-syllable Japanese poem) poet, described as an honorary Kasen (master poet) in "Waka Iroha Shu" (Collection of Japanese Verse, A to Z), and his eleven works are included in anthologies of poem such as "Gosen Wakashu" (Later selected collection of Japnese poetry), "Shin Kokin Waka Shu" (New Collection of Ancient and Modern Poems), and the like. He also edited a private collection of poems "Ama no Tekora Collection."

Career as an Official

* Dates are from the old calendar
Mainly according to the description in "Kugyoubunin."

On November 11, he served concurrently as Kotaishi fu (an official in charge of education of the Crown Prince).

[Original Japanese]