Fujiwara no Toshinori (藤原俊憲)

FUJIWARA no Toshinori (1122-1167) was a scholar and retainer of the Imperial Court in the late Heian period. He was the eldest son of the monk Shinzei, whose real name was FUJIWARA no Michinori. His mother was a daughter of TAKASHINA no Shigenaka. He was adopted by Sangi (councilor) FUJIWARA no Akinari. He was a Sangi with the rank of Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade).

Due to the talent and intelligence that he had inherited from his father, Shinzei, he was given government positions while still young, serving as Daigaku no Gon no Suke (Provisional Assistant Director of the Bureau of Education) and Togu Gakushi (Teacher of the Classics to the Crown Prince) amongst others and, following the Hogen War in 1156, he was appointed Ushoben (Minor Controller of the Right).
Afterward, backed by his father's power, he successively held various important posts and when he concurrently held the posts of Sashoben (Minor Controller of the Left), Kurodo (Chamberlain), Saemon no Gon no Suke (Provivsional Assistant Captain of the Left Division of the Outer Palace Guards) and Togu Gakushi, TAIRA no Nobunori wrote in the December 3, 1157 entry of his diary "Heihanki," that Toshinori was 'one of a kind.'

He was promoted to Sangi in 1159 and in the same year, the Heiji War broke out. His father, Shinzei, was killed and then after the war, Shinzei's sons were made to take responsibility and banished. Toshinori was relieved of his positions and exiled to Echigo Province (and later to Awa Province), and taking that opportunity, he became a priest and took the name Shinjaku. He was recalled the following year, 1160, but he never again held any prominent posts and died in 1167.

"Gukansho" (Jottings of a Fool), "Kojidan" (Talks of the Past) and "Zoku Kojidan" (Talks of the Past, continued) contained anecdotes about his talent for writing and the August 23, 1184 entry in FUJIWARA no Kanezane's diary "Gyokuyo" refers to Toshinori's prediction that 'war will not cease as long as the Retired Emperor Goshirakawa holds power' as a 'proverb of a wise man.'
His literary works include "Shinnin Benkan-sho" and "Kanjuhisho," and his waka (a traditional Japanese poem of thirty-one syllables) were selected for "Senzai Wakashu" (Collection of a Thousand Years) and "Shin Chokusen Wakashu" (New Imperial Anthology of Japanese Poetry).

[Original Japanese]