Fujiwara no Tomokata (藤原朝方)

FUJIWARA no Tomokata (1155 - March 29, 1201) was a Kugyo (top court official) from the late Heian period to the early Kamakura period. He served two generations of the Cloistered Emperors, Cloistered Emperor Toba and Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa. His father, FUJIWARA no Tomotaka (Gon Chunagon [provisional vice-councilor of state]), was a member of the branch family of the Kajuji family of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan. His mother was the daughter of HAMURO no Akitaka (Chunagon [vice-councilor of state]), who was called 'Dainagon (chief councilor of state) at night,' fully using his power. He was called Sanjo Dainagon and Tsutsumi Dainagon.

In between December 1141 - January 1142, he was appointed Rokui no Kurodo (Chamberlain of Sixth Rank) by hogandai (an administrative official of the Retired Emperor's Office) of Toba-incho (the Retired Emperor Toba's Office), and was conferred Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade). After that, he served as the Awaji no kuni no kami (Governor of Awaji Province), Oe no kuni no kami (Governor of Oe Province), Benkan (officials of the Dajokan), and so on. He gained the trust of Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa since he was serving as betto (chief officer) in Toba-in (cloister government by the Retired Emperor Toba), and after being appointed as betto in Goshirakawa-incho (the retired Emperor Goshirakawa's Office), also, he made success as one of the biggest aides of the Cloistered Emperor (In no Kinshin). He was appointed as Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain) and Udaiben (Major Controller of the Right) in 1166, was further appointed as Sangi (councilor) in between December 1175 - January 1176, and was counted as one of the Kugyo. In between October - November 1177, he was appointed Gon Chunagon (a provisional vice-councilor of state), and from May 1183, he was officially appointed Chunagon (vice-councilor of state). In between December 1183 - January 1184, MINAMOTO no Yoshinaka made coups against Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa, and Tomokata was temporarily removed from the post because of pressure from Yoshinaka. However, of course, since the removal was not caused from the loss of trust of the Cloistered Emperor, he was immediately re-appointed to the post right after Yoshinaka was destroyed by the Kamakura army.

In between January - February 1187, he was appointed as Azechi (inspector of the provincial government) of Mutsu Province and Dewa Province, and in between October - November 1188, his position was raised to Gon Dainagon (a provisional chief councilor of state). However, he was suspected by MINAMOTO no Yoritomo of agreeing with MINAMOTO no Yoshitsune, and because of pressure from Yoritomo, he again was temporarily removed from the position. He soon regained his position with the protection of Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa, but before long, he fell ill and became a priest on March 28, 1201. He died on the next day, March 29, 1201. He died at the age of 67. He was also known for being noshoka (master of calligraphy).

[Original Japanese]