Fujiwara no Tsugutada (藤原継縄)

FUJIWARA no Tsugutada (727 – August 27, 796) was a courtier from the late Nara period to the early Heian period. He was the grandchild of Sadaijin (minister of the left) FUJIWARA no Muchimaro, who was the founder of the Southern House of the Fujiwara clan. He was the second son of Udaijin (minister of the right) FUJIWARA no Toyonari. Shonii (Senior Second Rank), Udaijin. Posthumously awarded Juichii (Junior First Rank). He was called Momozono Udaijin or Nakayama.

From birth to the FUJIWARA no Nakamaro War

He became Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) in 763 at the age of 37 and was appointed the Governor of Shinano Province. When the FUJIWARA no Nakamaro War occurred in 764, he became the Governor of Echizen Province at the same time his father, Toyonari, returned as Udaijin after being shunted off as Dazai ingai no sochi (ex-officio governor general of Dazai-fu, Kyushu Government Office). FUJIWARA no Nakamaro was planning on an escape via the Hokuriku-do Road and Echizen was a strategically important place and hence this is thought to be an order due to military reason.

Dokyo Government, Reign of Emperor Konin

Under the Dokyo government, he continued to be promoted and in 766, he became Sangi (royal advisor) and was promoted to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) in 771 after the succession of Emperor Konin. He later was jointly appointed to military positions such as Sahyoe no kami (Captain of the Left Division of Middle Palace Guards), Hyobu-kyo (chief of Hyobu). In 780, after promotion to Chunagon (vice-councilor of state), the chief of the Emishi KOREHARI no Azamaro rebelled in Mutsu Province and murdered the Azechi (inspector of the provincial government) KI no Hirozumi (Hoki War), and Tsugutada was appointed as Seito Taishi (great general who subdues the eastern barbarians) to settle this rebellion. However, Tsugutada refused to leave Kyoto stating lack of preparation as a reason and was finally excused from his post as Taishi (the post was given to FUJIWARA no Oguronomaro). However, he did not receive any reprimands or demotions.

Reign of Emperor Kanmu

After the succession of Emperor Kanmu, FUJIWARA no Tanetsugu was assassinated in 785, and Kanmu's Empress FUJIWARA no Otomuro and wife, FUJIWARA no Tabiko died in succession and the power of the Ceremonial House of the Fujiwara clan declined. Therefore he was steadily promoted and after becoming Dainagon (chief councilor of state), he further jointly held Nakatsukasa-kyo (Minister of the Ministry of Central Affairs) and Sakyo no daibu (Master of the Eastern Capital Offices). In 790 he reached the position of Udaijin and also was Kotaishi fu (an official in charge of education of the Crown Prince) and Chue no daisho (Major Captain of the Imperial Guard). An important event during the time he was at the top of the Daijokan (Grand Council of State) was that he abolished the national soldier system and placed Kondei ('stalwart youth') in 792. It is said that he was deeply involved in the move to Heiankyo in 794. He is considered as an editor of the "Shoku Nihongi" (Chronicle of Japan Continued) but only part of it was finished while he was alive so it is thought that he was in fact involved in only a small part. He is said to be one of the politicians who had the personal trust of Emperor Kanmu and that Kanmu frequently visited his residence because his wife was from a immigrant family and Kanmu's mother, TAKANO no Niigasa, is said to be from a immigrant family originally from Kudara (Paekche). At one event, he had the Kudaranokonikishi clan perform Kudara-gaku (music of Paekche). According to the koden (memorial records) in "Nihon Koki" (Later Chronicle of Japan), he was an ordinary man, but had a good personality. He was posthumously given Juichii (Junior First Rank).

[Original Japanese]