Fujiwara no Norisue (藤原範季)

FUJIWARA no Norisue (1130 - 1205) was a court noble who lived from the end of the Heian period to the early Kamakura period. He was the Keishi (household superintendent) for Kanezane KUJO. He was the progenitor of the Urinke-ranked Takukura family of the Southern House of the Fujiwara clan. He was a trusted vassal of Emperor Goshirakawa.

His father was FUJIWARA no Yoshikane of the Southern House of the Fujiwara clan. His mother was a daughter of Tametoki TAKASHINA. FUJIWARA no Norikane was his elder brother and his foster father as well. His wife was Noriko, a daughter of TAIRA no Motomori. His daughter was FUJIWARA no Shigeko (Shumeimonin), a nyoin (a consort with the same rank as that of a retired emperor) of Emperor Gotoba and the mother of Emperor Juntoku.

His father, Yoshikane, died in 1139, and he was adopted by his elder brother, Norikane. He was promoted to Daizen no suke (the title of a person who was in charge of meals in the court) from Monjo-tokugosho (distinguished scholars of letters). He raised MINAMOTO no Noriyori, a son of MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo, who was ruined in the Heiji War, together with his own son, FUJIWARA no Norisuke. Norikane died in May of 1165, and he then raised Norikane's children. He was successively appointed to head posts of provincial governments, such as Governor of Omi Province, Vice-Governor of Hitachi Province and Vice-Governor of Kozuke Province. He became Shikibu Gon no sho (Provisional Junior Assistant Minister of Ceremonial) in 1175. He was appointed Governor of Mutsu Province in February of 1176. In April of the same year, he was appointed to Chinju-fu shogun (commander-in-chief of the defense of the north), replacing FUJIWARA no Hidehira, and moved to Mutsu. He returned to the capital before November 1178. In 1186, he came into contact with MINAMOTO no Yoshitsune who was hiding in Kofuku-ji Temple and sheltered him. It was found out that he had sheltered Yoshitsune and he was dismissed from his post in December. He was given Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) in 1196. He was given Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) on January 30, 1198. During the Kennin War, which started in 1201, FUJIWARA no Takahira, one of the ring-leaders, temporarily took refuge in his residence. He was given Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank) in November of 1202. He was given Junii (Junior Second Rank) in February 1203. He was appointed to Shikibu Gon no sho (Provisional Junior Assistant Minister of Ceremonial). He died in May 1205. He was posthumously awarded the title of Sadaijin (Minister of the Left) and Juichii (Junior First Rank).

He took Noriyori under his wing and brought him up, although what their connection was is unknown. In addition, perhaps according to instructions from Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa, he assumed the posts of Governor of Mutsu Province and that of Chinju-fu shogun in succession and, because of connections with the Oshu-Fujiwara clan, took Yoshitsune under his wing. However, his son, Norisuke, was active in hunting down and killing Yoshitsune, and when Yoshitsune fled the capital for Kyushu, he led Noriyori's men, who were in the capital at that time, in pursuit.

[Original Japanese]