Fujiwara no Shigenori (藤原成範)

FUJIWARA no Shigenori (1135-May 3, 1187) was Kugyo (the top court officials) who lived in the end of the Heian period. He was a son of FUJIWARA no Michinori whose other name was Shinzei. His mother was FUJIWARA no Asako who was called Kii no tsubone. His official court rank was Shonii (Senior Second Rank) Minbusho (Ministry of Popular Affairs) Chunagon (vice-councilor of state). His name Shigenori, that is, 成範 in Chinese characters, was originally written as 成憲.

As his father Shinzei grabbed power after the Hogen War, he was gradually promoted and became an official of Konoefu (the Headquarters of the Inner Palace Guards) through other positions such as kokushi (provincial governors) of Totomi Province and Harima Province. He got engaged with a daughter of TAIRA no Kiyomori and seemed to be full of promise, but when his father Shinzei was killed in the Heiji War in 1159, the situation got worse. After the war, Shinzei was accused of being responsible for the war and his sons were also all exiled for being implicated in it, among whom Shigenori was exiled to Shimotsuke Province. It is said that he changed his imina (personal name) to Shigenori (成範) at this time.

He was pardoned in 1160, became Sangi (councilor) in 1174, and was promoted to Chunagon in 1183. During this period, he had served Emperor Goshirakawa as a close adviser, and when the Cloistered Emperor was confined in Toba-dono Palace at the time of the Coup of the Third Year of Jisho, he was allowed to see the Cloistered Emperor with his bothers such as FUJIWARA no Naganori and Joken.

When MINAMOTO no Yoshitsune seceded from his brother MINAMOTO no Yoritomo in 1185, he was suspected of communicating with Yoshitsune. However, in general, he did not show up in the political arena so much, but was distinguished mainly in cultural activities such as waka (a traditional Japanese poem of thirty-one syllables). His waka were selected for "Senzaishu" (Collection of a Thousand Years) and "Shin Kokinshu" (Japanese literary anthology), and it is highly possible that he was the writer of "Karamonogatari" (a narrative literature based on Chinese tales). It is said that he was also called 'Sakuramachi (cherry town) chunagon' because he loved cherry blossoms and planted many cherry trees in his residence.

Kogo, who was loved by the Emperor Takakura and delivered the Imperial Princess Hanshi (Bomonin), was Shigenori's daughter.

[Original Japanese]