Fujiwara no Sukefusa (藤原資房)

FUJIWARA no Sukefusa (1007 - March 2, 1057) was a Kugyo (Court noble) in the mid Heian period. He was the first son of FUJIWARA no Sukehira. His mother was a daughter of FUJIWARA no Tomoakira. His lawful wife was a daughter of MINAMOTO no Tsunesuke. His sons were FUJIWARA no Sukemune, FUJIWARA no Kinfusa and others. He was promoted to Shosanmi Sangi (Senior Third Rank, Councilor) and Togu Gon no daibu (Provisional Master of the Crown Prince's Quarters), and he wrote the diary "Shunki" (Spring Tale).

He was born as a grandchild of Udaijin (Minister of the Right) FUJIWARA no Sanesuke and he was appointed to Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) at the age of 9, then he celebrated his attainment of manhood at the age of 13 and in the same year he became Sahyoe no suke (Assistant Captain of the Left Division of Middle Palace Guards) and Kokushi (an officer of local government) in Sanuki Province, and two years later in 1021 he doubled as Jiju (Chamberlain). His grandfather Sanesuke had great expectations of Sukefusa and Sukefusa won Sanesuke's favor (for example, Sanesuke borrowed usai no ishiobi (a kimono belt with rhinoceros stones) from his political enemy FUJIWARA no Michinaga for the sake of Sukefusa who participated in Hakuba no sechi-e (a seasonal court banquet) held in that year) and eventually Sukefusa inherited Yusoku kojitsu (knowledge of court rules, ceremony, decorum and records of the past) of the Ononomiya Line. He got married at the age of 17 and he was appointed to Ukone no shosho (Minor Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards) and later Sakone no shosho (Minor Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards).

In 1025, at the age of 19, he doubled as Kurodo (Chamberlain) and Togu kurodo (Chamberlain for the Crown Prince) while he served as Sakone no shosho (Minor Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards). In 1033 he was appointed to Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) and he took this occasion to resign as Kurodo. However, at the end of the year he was attacked by a Kurodo and kajin (waka poet) FUJIWARA no Tsunehira in the court and it is said that it was a conflict between close aides to the Emperor Goichijo. In the following year, he was appointed to Kokushi (an officer of local government) in Omi Province, which was Yomei no suke (it refers to an important post of Kenkan (high rank officials) in this context), then in the year after that, he doubled as Sakone gon no chujo (Provisional Middle Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards).

In 1038, at 32 years old, Sukefusa was appointed to Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain) of the Emperor Gosuzaku (since he doubled as Sakone gon no chujo, he became Tono Chujo (the first secretary's captain)). However, in the political conflicts (such as the Decree Restricting the Expansion of Private Estates, personnel affairs of Tendai-zasu (head priest of the Tendai sect), issue of installation of Kaidan (Buddhist ordination platform) in Mii-dera Temple) between the Emperor Gosuzaku and Kanpaku (chief adviser to the Emperor) FUJIWARA no Yorimichi, Kanpaku Yorimichi and his entourage turned violently hostile to Kurodo no to Sukefusa who served the Emperor and engaged in government affairs and it resulted in casting a deep shadow over Sukefusa's later life. "Shunki" (Spring Tale) written during this period contains Sukefusa's suffering and strong antipathy to Yorimichi. In 1040 he doubled as Sakyo no daibu (Master of the Eastern Capital Offices) and he has served as Kurodo no to until he was promoted to Sangi (councilor) in 1042, but during this period his relationship with Yorimichi deteriorated considerably (it is said that such a situation was also deeply related to the fact that he remained in the position of Sangi and he was never promoted to a higher rank). In addition, in 1044 he was appointed to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) and became a Kugyo (Court noble).

In 1045 when the Emperor Gosuzaku passed away and the Emperor Goreizei ascended the throne and his younger parental half-brother Imperial Prince Takahito (later the Emperor Gosanjo) became Kotaitei (the younger brother of an Emperor who is heir apparent), Sukefusa as well as FUJIWARA no Yoshinobu (Togu no daibu (Master of the Crown Prince's Quarters)) were appointed to Togu Gon no daibu (Provisional Master of the Crown Prince's Quarters) and ordered to assist Kotaitei. Yorimichi did not want Imperial Prince Takahito, who was remotely related to Sekkan-ke (the families which produced regents), to ascend the throne and he waited for the birth of a prince of the Emperor Goreizei and wanted to replace him with Imperial Prince Takahito. Meanwhile, although Yoshinobu was younger parental half-brother of Yorimichi, he tried to put Imperial Prince Takahito at the forefront to reduce the influence of Yorimichi. Due to his position, Sukefusa had to establish a relationship with Yoshinobu to oppose Yorimichi who had a conflict with Sukefusa. Then Sukefusa as well as Yoshinobu took the position that they kept a check on Yorimichi. However, since he had no economic base (the Ononomiya family has been driven to economic ruin because his grandfather Sanesuke left little property to the adopted son Sukehira (Sukefusa's father) and he left his property to his biological daughter and her husband FUJIWARA no Kaneyori (a son of FUJIWARA no Yorimune, a nephew of Yorimichi and Yoshinobu)), he could not secure enough political power to oppose Yorimichi. In addition, he had been sickly since his childhood and he was also overwhelmed by Yorimichi in this regard. In 1051 he was appointed to Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank), but he died of disease at the young age of 51 (meanwhile, his father Sukehira was alive at that time and later he became Dainagon (chief councilor of state)).

[Original Japanese]