Fujiwara no Toshiie (藤原俊家)

FUJIWARA no Toshiie (1019 - December 29, 1082) was a top court official and a waka poet in the middle of the Heian period. He was the son of FUJIWARA no Yorimune who became Udaijin (Minister of the Right). Toshiie himself reached Shonii (Senior Second Rank) and the title of Udaijin. So he called himself Omiya Udaijin. He was the ancestor of the Nakamikado line of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan, and his descendants gave birth to nine Tosho-ke (the hereditary families of high-ranking court nobles), including the Nakamikado family (also called the Matsunoki family) and the Jimyoin family.

Official ranks and titles

November 10, 1031: He was given Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade), and February 16, 1032: He was appointed to Jiju (Chamberlain).

February 25, 1032: He was given Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade).

February 13, 1033: He was given Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade).

March 7, 1034: He was appointed to Ukone no chujo (Middle Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards).

In 1034, he was deprived of his rank and position for having his guard hit FUJIWARA no Tsunesuke, his mother's cousin.

February 28, 1035: He was appointed anew to Bingo no gon no kami (the provisional governor of Bingo Province), and November 25 of the same year: He was appointed to Kurodo (Chamberlain).

May 21, 1036: He was appointed to Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain), and August 10 of the same year: He was given Jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade), and December 3 of the same year: He was given Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade).

August 6, 1038: He was appointed to Sangi (Royal Advisor), and January 24, 1039: He was given Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank).

February 26, 1039: He was given Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank).

October 1, 1041: He was given Junii (Junior Second Rank).

January 19, 1049: He was appointed to Gon Chunagon (a provisional vice-councilor of state).

March 17, 1049: He was given Shonii (Senior Second Rank).

January 16, 1016: He was appointed to Uemon no kami (Captain of the Right Division of Outer Palace Guards).

July 14, 1065: He was appointed to Gon Dainagon (a provisional chief councilor of state), and December 4 of the same year: He was appointed to Minbukyo (Minister of Popular Affairs).

March 6, 1076: He was appointed to Azechi (the inspector of the provincial government).

September 6, 1080: He was appointed to Udaijin (Minister of the Right).

Folklore and record

It is said Toshiie's voice carried so well that he could chant Japanese poetry skillfully, and Kokon Chomonju (A Collection of Tales Heard, Past and Present) written by TACHIBANA no Narisue says that his chants sometime tempted a master of Japanese dancing named O no Masakata to dance in perfect harmony.

Toshiie's name also appears in 'Saoyama,' which is a program of the art of Noh, and the content is introduced below:
When Toshiie and his entourage visited Kasuga-taisha Shrine, they found something like a white cloud on Mt. Sao. The white stuff turned out to be clothes, and Toshiie asked to women airing the clothes if these had some story. Then the women answered that the clothes were the special ones picked up in a certain Japanese poem as its topic. For celebrating Nara mountains, their beautiful scenery, the blessings of the deity of Kasuga-taisha Shrine and the prosperity of the Imperial family, they would show the deity's dance, they said, and then they disappeared. Afterward, the goddess of Saoyama (Mt.Sao) appeared in the dream of Toshiie and others, and played Kagura (a musical dance).

[Original Japanese]