Fujiwara no Yoshino (藤原吉野)

FUJIWARA no Yoshino (786 - September 10, 846) was a court noble who lived in the early Heian period,
He was born as the first son of FUJIWARA no Tsunatsugu of Fujiwara Shikike (a sub branch of Fujiwara family). It is said that his mother was the younger sister of Tsunatsugu of a different mother.

He had close relations with the Emperor Junna, who had a mother from Fujiwara Shikike and was the same age as Yoshino (Some say that he was a foster brother to the Emperor Junna.), and devoted his life to the Emperor. He distinguished himself by bringing satisfactory results as Suruga no kuni no kami (the governor of Suruga Province). After enthronement of the Emperor Junna, he was called back to the capital and worked actively as a close aide to the Emperor Junna and, in 825, he was appointed to the kurodo no to (chief official of the emperor's secretaries) and helped the Emperor Junna in executing his policies. After only two years, he was selected to a sangi (royal advisor), and, four years thereafter, he worked as chunagon (middle counselor), ukonoe taisho (major captain of the Right Division of the Headquarters of the Inner Palace Guard) and togu no daibu (a master of the Crown Prince's palace), concurrently.

When the Emperor Junna abdicated the throne in favor of the Emperor Ninmyo, Yoshino was promoted to Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank) chunagon, but he devotedly followed the Retired Emperor Junna. Reportedly, when the Retired Emperor Junna fell into critical condition in 840 and expressed his dying wish out of consideration for feeling of his elder brother, the Emperor Saga and the Emperor Ninmyo 'Please scatter my ashes to show that I leave no ambition in this world,' Yoshino desperately tried to stop him but, after the Retired Emperor died before long, he tearfully executed the instruction. At this point of time, he considered to retire from active stage of politics and serve the Crown Prince Tsunesada, who was the son of the Retired Emperor, but, being persuaded by the Emperor Ninmyo, he stayed in the position of the chunagon.

In July 842, however, the Imperial Prince Tsunesada and Yoshino were suddenly suspected of treason. The Imperial Prince Tsunesada was disinherited and Yoshino was demoted to the dazai no gon no sochi (acting governor-general of Government Headquarters in Kyushu) ('Jowa Incident'). Three years later, he was confined in Yamashiro no kuni (Yamashiro Province) and died of illness a disappointed person. He excelled in scholarship and was generous and trusted by a large number of persons.

Brief Personal History

Before 813, Kura no kami (officer in the togubo).

813, the mino shojo (a junior secretary of Mino Province).

816, Togu shoshin (an official of the Crown Prince's (later, Emperor Junna's) Quarters)

819, Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) Suruga no kami (the governor of Suruga Province)

823, Nakatsukasa no shoyu (Junior Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Central Affairs) and, then, Sakone no shosho (Minor Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards) and Iyo no kami (the governor of Iyo Province)

824, Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) and sashoben (minor controller of the left)

826, kurodo no to, and in the same year Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade)

827, Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade); assumed Ise no kami (the governor of Ise Province), Kogogu daibu (Master of the Empress's Household) and Uhyoe no kami (Captain of the Right Division of Middle Palace Guards), concurrently

826, Sangi (councillor)

828, Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade)

832, gon-chunagon, togu no daibu and ukonoe taisho

833, Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank); on the occasion of the Emperor Junna's abdication, resigned as the togu no daibu and ukonoe taisho

834, chunagon

840, the Retired Emperor Junna died.

842, demoted to the dazai no gon no sochi (Jowa Incident).

845, dismissed as the dazai no gon no sochi and confined.

846, died at the age of 61

[Original Japanese]