Fujiwara no Sanetsune (藤原実経)

FUJIWARA no Sanetsune (December 29, 998 - August 30, 1045) was a court noble during the mid-Heian period. He was the eldest son of Dainagon (chief councilor of state) FUJIWARA no Yukinari. He was promoted to Shoshiinojo (Senior Fourth Rank Upper Grade), and Kokushi (Provincial Governor) of the Omi Province.


There is an entry in the "Gonki" (FUJIWARA no Yukinari's diary) regarding the birth of FUJIWARA no Sanetsune which mentioned that although his mother had a difficulty during her placental stage of labor, she managed to give safe delivery of the baby with the help of a Kanshusozu. On April 22, 1006, Sanetsune was admitted to the court at the age of nine. Three years later, he celebrated his attainment of manhood on January 7, 1010. His Kakan (crowning of a young man at a genpuku ceremony) was performed by FUJIWARA no Tadanobu, and he was presented with a horse from FUJIWARA no Michinaga for his celebration. Sanetsune served as Konoefu shi (an Imperial Guard) for the Kamo Festival, with the title of Ukone no shosho (Minor Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards) in 1012. Three years later, he was appointed to Jushiijo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade) with the aide of his father's 書額功. He assumed posts such as Minbusho (Ministry of Popular Affairs) and palace staff when Emperor Goichijo ascended to the throne.

When he served as Tajima no kuni no kami (Governor of the Tajima Province) in 1021, he was accused, along with seven members of the Gunji (local magistrates), for falsely accusing Buddhist priest Koretomo, who was assumed to be a shokan (an officer governing a shoen (manor)) of Koichijo-in estate in the Tajima Province, of killing a government official of the kokufu (provincial office). Although the charge of killing the shokan proved false, both parties were subject to disciplinary actions given that the Buddhist priest Koretomo did commit a crime (assaulting?). According to the lunar calendar, Sanetsune received a one-month suspension from work on June 2 (which was in effect until July 3).

He is known to have presented influential persons with gifts, such as presenting 50 silk hiki to FUJIWARA no Chifuru's father, FUJIWARA no Sanesuke, for Chifuru's chakumo ceremony (a ceremony for girls to wear 'mo' (a sort of skirt) for the first time) in 1024. After the death of Sanetsune's father, he was appointed to Omi no kuni no kami (Governor of the Omi Province) after serving as Shurishiki (Office of Palace Repairs). In 1032, farmers in the Omi province appealed against his illegal actions. However, he continued serving as the Omi no kami (Governor of the Omi Province).
Three years later, he participated in Kayanoin Suikaku Uta-awase (Kayanoin's poetry contest) held under FUJIWARA no Yorimichi, as `Uho (a style of Japanese court dance and music) Omi no kami.'

[Original Japanese]