Fujiwara no Tameto (藤原為任)

FUJIWARA no Tameto (year of birth unknown - 1045) was a nobleman in the mid Heian period. He was a son of FUJIWARA no Sumitoki. He attained the rank of Shoshii (Senior Fourth Rank) and was appointed Kokushi (Governor) of Iyo Province.


After serving as Umanosuke (Assistant Captain, Right Division of the Bureau of Horses) and Shonagon (Lesser Councilor of State), he was made Ushoben (Minor Controller of the Right) with the rank of Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) in 991 when his half sister, Seishi, who had been under his protection since their father's death, entered into court as a bride of Crown Prince Okisada (later Emperor Sanjo). However, his rank was always lower than that of his younger brother, Michito, who had been acknowledged as a legitimate son. Although he was appointed Kurodo (Chamberlain) in 995, he was unhappy about his slow promotion, and in 1006, when he was Minbu Taifu (Senior Assistant Minister of Popular Affairs), his name was removed from the record because he did not attend his office for more than a year.

After the enthronement of Emperor Sanjo, FUJIWARA no Seishi was expected to made Empress, but Nairan-sadaijin FUJIWARA no Michinga attempted to thwart it by scheming to have his daughter FUJIWARA no Genji enter into court. However, even Michinaga could not ignore the fact that Seishi's position was similar to a lawful wife and that she had given birth to three imperial princes, so he compromised for the time being by having Seishi as Empress and Genji as Chugu (the second consort of the Emperor), but he kept exerting pressure on Seishi and her supporters. Later on, a rumor went around that Tameto was cursing Michinaga. In 1012 when Seishi visited the Imperial Palace, Tameto, who was looking after Seishi in his own house, was still at the rank of Jushii (Junior Fourth Rank) in the Empress Consort's Household Agency (Kogogushiki), so Michito, who had become a Court noble the previous year by being promoted to Sangi (councilor) and Shuri no Daifu (Master of the Office of Palace Repairs) with the rank of Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank), took charge. After that, when the Emperor encouraged Michinaga to promote Michito, Michinaga pointed out that Seishi's guardian was in fact Tameto and that Michito just happened to stand in for him. If Michito had been conferred a court rank for his service in sending Seishi to the Imperial Palace, it would have meant that Michito was rewarded for Tameto's achievements, and therefore Michinaga criticized the emperor's stance, saying 'it would be like the people of Iga pretending to be the people of Ise' (which was considered to have the social status of a big province). Consequently, Tameto was awarded the rank of Jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade). He also joined forces with FUJIWARA no Sanesuke and played a role similar to that of keishi (household superintendent).

In 1013, Tameto was appointed Kami (Governor) of Iyo Province, which at the time was considered to be one of the wealthiest provinces. However, following the abdication of Emperor Sanjo, Seishi's son, Imperial Prince Atsuaki's renouncement of his claim to the title of Crown Prince and Seishi's death, it appears that he retired as Kami of Iyo with the rank of Jushiinojo, the highest positions he reached, and sometime between 1024 and 1027 at the latest he entered the priesthood. The "Sonpibunmyaku" (a text compiled in the fourteenth century that records the lineage of the aristocracy) simply states that he was killed by an arrow in 1045. What he did in his final years and the details leading up to his murder remain unknown.

[Original Japanese]