Fujiwara no Muneko (藤原領子)

FUJIWARA no Muneko (dates of birth and death unknown) was a woman during the late Heian period. She was a high court woman official, who was known as Kenshunmonin Minbukyo no tsubone (Woman Director of the Popular Affairs Office) or Tonoin no tsubone (Woman Official). She was a Chief Councillor of State and FUJIWARA no Akitoki's daughter. Her mother is unknown, but is believed to have been TAIRA no Tadamori's daughter. Muneko was TAIRA no Tokitada's second wife. FUJIWARA no Yukitaka was her brother.

She started her official career as a high court official serving TAIRA no Shigeko (Tokitada's younger sister and Emperor Goshirakawa's court lady) and was called Minbukyo (Minister of Popular Affairs) (Kenshunmonin Minbukyo no tsubone). She is believed to have met TAIRA no Tokitada for the first time when starting her official career. She subsequently became Tokitada's second wife and gave birth to TAIRA no Tokimune and TAIRA no Nobuko, and several other children. She later became a court official serving TAIRA no Tokuko (Empress of Emperor Takakura), calling herself Tonoin no tsubone. When Tokuko gave birth to Imperial Prince Tokihito (later Emperor Antoku) in 1178, Muneko served the prince as his wet nurse, renaming herself Sochi no tsubone.

TAIRA no Tokiie (Tokitada's first wife's son) was among the court officials who were discharged from their official positions and exiled to remote islands after TAIRA no Kiyomori's coup d'etat (Coup of the Third Year of Jisho) in December 1179. Rumor has it that Muneko deliberately slandered Tokiie, who was her stepchild, in order to put him into a difficult situation.

She was appointed as Naishi no suke (a court lady of the first rank) in April 1179 and was given the title of Sochi no tenji then Sochi no suke. In June of the same year, she was awarded Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade and was eventually promoted to the rank of Junior Third Grade. In 1181, she became a Buddhist priest after the death of Emperor Takakura. In 1183, she fled from Kyoto along with her husband, was captured by Minamoto's samurai in the Battle of Dannoura, and returned to Kyoto in May, 1185. Her life after that is unknown.

[Original Japanese]