Asukai Masaari (飛鳥井雅有)

Masaari ASUKAI (飛鳥井 雅有, 1241 - February 28, 1301) was a Kuge (court noble) and Kajin (waka poet) in the Kamakura period, and was the family head of the Asukai family which was ranked as the House of Urin (the fourth highest status for court nobles). His original name was Masana. His father was Norisada ASUKAI. His mother was a daughter of Sanetoki HOJO, but according to "Sonpibunmyaku" (a text compiled in the fourteenth century that records the lineages of the aristocracy) a daughter of MINAMOTO no Sadatada. He had a son named Masaaki. He also had a adopted son named Masataka.

He was entrusted as a member of Kanto Shiko Unkaku Shodaibu as well as his father Norisada by the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), and worked in Kyoto and Kamakura.

He was born in Kamakura in 1241. The next year, he was raised to the peerage for the first time. In 1251, he changed his name, and was appointed as Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) and Jiju (Chamberlain). After that, he got promoted to upper ranks, and in 1278, he was appointed as Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank), and in 1289, he was raised to Junii (Junior Second Rank).

In 1291, he assumed the post of Sangi (Councilor). Then, after holding the post of Hyobukyo (Minister for Military Affairs), in 1295, he was appointed as Minbukyo (Minister for Popular Affairs), and in 1298, he was promoted to Shonii (Senior Second Rank). On February 28, 1301, he passed away. His age at death was 61. Masataka, who was a son of Masaari's younger brother Motonaga and adopted son of Masaari, succeeded to the Asukai family.

In August (or September) 1293, he was designated as senja (compiler) of Chokusenshu (anthology of poems collected by Imperial command) with three others, Tameyo NIJO, Tamekage KYOGOKU, and Takahiro KUJO. But this plan was stopped before being completed. The poems compiled in this plan appeared for the first time in "Shokukokin Wakashu" (Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry, Continued). The number of the poems selected for Chokusenshu was 72 in total.

He compiled "Rinjo Wakashu" as his Shikashu (private poetry collection). He wrote diaries and accounts of travels such as "Butsudo no Ki", "Saga no Kayoiji", "Haru no Miyamaji", "Mogami no Kawaji", "Miyakoji no Wakare", and so on. He also wrote a book about Kemari (Japanese ancient Imperial court game like kick-ball) with the title "Naige Sanji Sho".

[Original Japanese]