Fujiwara no Tadazane (藤原忠実)

FUJIWARA no Tadazane (1078 - August 7, 1162) was a court noble of the late Heian era. Eldest son of FUJIWARA no Moromichi. His mother was Matako, daughter of FUJIWARA no Toshiie. His "Palace Journal" diary remains. His children were: FUJIWARA no Tadamichi, FUJIWARA no Yorinaga, and FUJIWARA no Taishi (Yasuko). Grandchildren included: FUJIWARA no Kanezane, Jien, and others. Other names he used were Chisokuindono (Master Chisokuin) and Zenko.

At the end of the "Eiga Monogatari" (Tales of Power and Glory) sequel (Vol. 40 'Murasaki-no' (Purple field)) the scene is set with Tadazane, at the time the then 15-year-old Chunagon (vice-councilor of state), having returned to Kyoto to organize the Kasuga-matsuri festival at Kasuga-taisha Shrine. Yet again things end with the Fujiwara clan Sekkan in an air of anticipation at Tadazane's side. However, in reality, Tadazane was 22 in 1099 when his father Moromichi died suddenly and he became Sessho (Regent) at a tender age (younger than his great grandfather, who had taken on the role at 26 years), and as he had not even served as a Minister, he did not become Kampaku (Chancellor) and was confined to private audiences, and his grandfather FUJIWARA no Morozane, who was already retired, had no remaining influence to support Tadazane, leading to a decline in the power of the Sekkan-ke (family eligible to be Regents). He could not make up his own mind about what to do about MINAMOTO no Yoshichika's misconduct, even the Red Robe issue involving Todai-ji Temple priests, further exposing his lack of political maturity. For this reason the Regent's household came to be entirely overshadowed by Insei (rule by retired emperor), and for the rest of his life Tadazane left to pursue dreams of a restoration of the "splendor" of the Regent household. Tadazane's first wife was Ninshi, daughter of MINAMOTO no Toshifusa; however, due to the premature death of a child, their marriage was dissolved. Afterwards, MINAMOTO no Akifusa's daughter, MINAMOTO no Moroko (who was 8 years older than Tadazane), became Tadazane's legal wife and had by that stage already given birth to a child (the cloistered Imperial Prince Kakuho) by the Retired Emperor Shirakawa. According to the historical narrative work "Ima Kagami" (The Mirror of the Present), Moroko caught Tadazane's eye from early on, made a request to her grandmother, MINAMOTO no Yoshiko, and Moroko shifted from the Retired Emperor.

In 1100 he became Minister of the Right and in 1105 was appointed Emperor Horikawa's Kanpaku (Chief Adviser to the Emperor). In 1107, the greatest danger to Tadazane and the Sekkan (regent) family crisis coincided with the enthronement of Emperor Toba. The enthronement of Emperor Toba was assisted by FUJIWARA no Kinzane (of the Kanin House of the Fujiwara clan), who held ambitions regarding the Sekkan (regent) position based on maternal claims. For a time Emperor Shirakawa also lost his focus; however, due to opposition of MINAMOTO no Toshiaki, who was the Incho Betto (the head of the Imperial agency), the ambitions were thwarted, and while also severe on Tadazane, the position of Regent was able to be preserved. In 1108, the Jimoku (process to appoint ranks and positions) was handled by TAIRA no Masamori but, along with the 'Saigebon' (lowest) rank in the nobility, many Juryo (Provincial Governor) appointments, including those of the likes of the 'key province' Inaba Province, were vassals of the Cloistered Emperor; however, the person who backed the Jimoku was no other than Tadazane himself and the Cloistered Emperor was decidedly subordinate. In 1113 he again involved himself as Kampaku but the position was as weak as ever, and, in perpetual petitions as head of the Fujiwara family, he had no impact in attempts to persuade Kofuku-ji Temple. His errors were compounded when Hokumen samurai protecting him aimed to visit the capital and confronted the general public at Kofuku-ji Temple, leading to tragic bloodshed. To resolve the situation, the family of Regents formed ryo-shoen (private estates) in various regions and planned to restructure the basis of the economy, but this drew the attention of the Cloistered Emperor, who curtailed expansion of the estates. Around that time, according to the Cloistered Emperor there was talk of marriage between Tadazane and FUJIWARA no Shoshi (Kinzane's daughter); however, the Kanin House of the Fujiwara clan, hating Tadazane, declined and the engagement was broken off. As an aside, in 1117 Shoshi was taken as a bride by Emperor Toba. Tadazane was shocked, and in 1120 started moves to have his own daughter FUJIWARA no Taishi marry Emperor Toba.

However, action undertaken without permission during the Cloistered Emperor's absence was fatal. The Cloistered Emperor's rage knew no bounds and private audiences were halted. Private audiences were used to show documents to the Emperor for his perusal, and being deprived of this duty was actuality equivalent to being dismissed as Kampaku. An astonished FUJIWARA no Munetada came running and was told by Tadazane he had 'run out of luck' (Munetada's "Chuyu-ki" chronicle). At that time, the Cloistered Emperor intended to make Tadazane's uncle, FUJIWARA no Ietada, his Kampaku, but due to opposition by FUJIWARA no Akitaka, in 1121 his eldest son FUJIWARA no Tadamichi became Kampaku. Afterwards it was inevitable that Tadazane spend 10 years under house arrest in Uji City. Furthermore, it was during this period of house arrest that his second son FUJIWARA no Yorinaga was born.

In 1129 Cloistered Emperor Shirakawa died and the commencement of government by Retired Emperor Toba bought with it a revival in the world of politics. By Tadazane having his own daughter Kunshi as consort to Retired Emperor Toba, his alliance with the Retired Emperor would be seen by all. Kunshi changed her name to Yasuko, and in exceptional circumstance as Empress; moreover, by imperial proclamation, became Koyoin (Lady Koyo). Whether it was because Tadazane's prior fall from grace was regretted or not, Retired Emperor Toba became increasingly close to his favorite consort, Tokushi, as well as his favorite vassal, Ienari, and made an effort to revive the house of Regents. However, as Kampaku, Tadamichi also had to deal with pride: the father-son relationship gradually deteriorated. Tadazane singularly favored his quick-witted second son Yorinaga and feared that his heir, Tadamichi, would not produce a son. With this Tadazane worked towards having Tadamichi adopt Yorinaga, and Tadamichi adopted Yorinaga in 1125; however, with the birth of a son to Tadamichi in 1143, the link with Yorinaga was severed, and because of this, antagonism ensued between Tadamichi and an angry Tadazane. In particular, what disturbed Yorinaga was: when Yorinaga made efforts to have his adopted daughter (FUJIWARA no Tashi) taken as a bride by Emperor Konoe, Tadamichi as well had his adopted daughter (FUJIWARA no Teishi) married off. For that reason, in 1150 Tadamichi was stripped of his role of head of the family, which was then transferred to Yorinaga. In 1151, following efforts by Tadazane, Yorinaga received a command to appear at a private audience and was supposedly in the unusual situation of being Kampaku and having a private audience. However, Emperor Konoe died childless in 1155 and Emperor Goshirakawa, who was supported by Tadamichi, was enthroned, leading to Yorinaga losing standing. Tadazane intervened on behalf of Koyoin (Lady Koyo), which diffused some of the Cloistered Emperor's anger, but, this ended up being a mistake when Koyoin died.

Yorinaga drew close to Emperor Sutoku and in 1156 the Hogen Disturbance broke out. Yorinaga's defeat was known of by Tadazane, who escaped from Uji to Nanto (the southern capital at Nara). Gravely wounded, Yorinaga sought a face-to-face meeting, but Tadazane declined and Yorinaga died disappointed. This was a distressing choice to make in order to avoid Yorinaga being implicated in criminal matters. After the hostilities he was charged with crimes but, due to intervention by Tadamichi, he escaped the charges and from then on led a secluded life at Chisoku-in Temple. However, this was also not just because of filial love: it is said that Tadamichi was fearful that the hereditary house of Regents rights held by Tadazane would be forfeited as part of the assets of a criminal. Also, because the estates personally held by Tadazane, together with the estates of Yorinaga, had been made "mokkanryo" (territory confiscated by Kamakura bakufu for committing a crime) by decree of the warrior-counselor Shinzei, who came from the Southern House of the Fujiwara clan, various provinces were confiscated by Provincial Governors, but, as it had been a condition that Tadazane transfer all his property to Tadamichi, forfeiture was avoided.

Whether it is because of these circumstances or not, Tadamichi's son Jien describes in "Gukansho" (The Future and the Past) that after his grandfather Tadazane passed away he became a revengeful ghost that haunted them (Tadamichi's descendants).
Jien describes how Tadazane was 'a vindictive person.'

January 23: Genpuku (coming of age ceremony), conferred court rank of Jugoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade). Permitted to wear clothing of colors restricted to nobility.

February 29: appointed Jiju (Chamberlain). March 19: Transferred to Ukone no Gon no shosho (Provisional Minor Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards). July 2: Transferred to Ukone no chujo (Middle Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards).
January 5: Promoted to Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) and retained his position as Ukone no chujo. March 1: Promoted to Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade), and retained his position as Ukone no chujo. March 18: Concurrently served as Iyo no Gon no kami (Provisional Governor of Iyo Province).
February 10: Promoted to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) and retained his position as Ukone no chujo, Iyo no Gon no kami. May 24: Promoted to Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank), and retained his position as Ukone no chujo, Iyo Gon no kami.
March 12: Transferred to Gon Chunagon (a provisional vice-councilor of state), and retained his position as Ukone no chujo.
February 9: Promoted to Junii (Junior Second Rank), and retained his position as Gon Chunagon, and Ukone no chujo.
April 21: Concurrently served as Sakone no daisho (Major Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards) and ceased being Ukone no chujo.
May 27: Promoted to Shonii (Senior Second Rank), and retained his position as Gon Chunagon, and Sakone no daisho.
May 14: Transferred to Gon Dainagon (a provisional councilor of state), equivalent to Sakone no daisho.
November 7: Proclaimed Fujiwara toshi choja (head of the whole Fujiwara family).
August 31: Transferred to Minister of the Right, and retained his position as Sakone no daisho.
September 27: Concurrently served as togu no fu (an official in charge of education of the Crown Prince) to Imperial Prince Munehito, later to become Emperor Toba.
January 19: Proclaimed Kanpaku (Chancellor). Retained his position as Udaijin and Togu no fu.

April 23: Resigns as Togu no fu
August 16: Ceases being Kanpaku, proclaimed Sessho (Regent). Effectively deputy to Juichii (Junior First Rank), Sadaijin (Minister of the Left), MINAMOTO no Toshifusa. For that reason, no proclamation made to the top position.

April 16: Promoted to Juichii (Junior First Rank) and retained his position as Udaijin. Takes the lead role.

December 15: Resigns as Udaijin. January 10, 1113: Proclaimed Dajo daijin (Prime Minister). Retained his position as Sessho.

June 6: Resigns as Dajo daijin (Prime Minister). February 10, 1114: Ceases to be Sessho, proclaimed Kanpaku.
December 11: Nairan (a preliminary inspection of official documents submitted from the Great Council of State to the Emperor) halted.
February 13: Retained his position as Nairan. February 18: Resigns as Kanpaku.
February 9: Retained his position as private audiences again. September 6: Declines Nairan.
July 27: Conferred the title of Jugo (honorary rank next to the three Empresses: Great Empress Dowager, Empress Dowager, and Empress). November 20: Becomes a Buddhist priest. Assumes the Buddhist religious name Enri.

August 7: Passes away. Age at death: 85.

[Original Japanese]