Tachibana no Toshitsuna (橘俊綱)

TACHIBANA no Toshitsuna (1028 - September 2, 1094) was a government official and poet during the late Heian period. He was an adopted son of Toshitsuna TACHIBANA who was the Sanuki no kami (governor of Sanuki Province). His biological father was Chancellor FUJIWARA no Yorimichi. He was granted Shoshiinojo (Senior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade) and Shuri no daibu (Master of the Office of Palace Repairs). He was called Fushimi Shuri no daibu (Master of the Office of Palace Repairs of Fushimi).


Toshitsuna and FUJIWARA no Morosane were brothers with the same parents. However, Toshitsuna was put up for adoption in consideration for his father's legal wife, Princess Takahime and his half brother, FUJIWARA no Michifusa. He consecutively filled the post of Kokushi (provincial governor) of Tamba Province, Harima Province, Sanuki Province, Omi Province, and Tajima Province. Due to his bloodline, Toshitsuna was unable to receive a rank higher than Shoshiinojo. His residence in the Nishi no Toin-Tei Premises, however, became the birthplace for the son of FUJIWARA no Kenshi (Chugu (Empress) of Emperor Shirakawa) in 1079 due to his family origin and financial strength.

Having a deep knowledge of landscape gardening, Toshitsuna became the leading candidate to author the "Sakutei-ki, "the oldest book concerning gardens in Japan. Toshitsuna himself designed the garden of his second residence in Fushimi. which was highly praised in "Chuyuki" (diary of FUJIWARA no Munetada) as "a graceful garden with simple elegant water and stones." In "Imakagami" (The Mirror of the Present), it is described how Toshitsuna lavishly showed hospitality to his brother FUJIWARA no Morosane during a visit to his second residence in Fushimi, and in response to Emperor Shirakawa, there was discussion regarding whether or not Toshitsune's second residence was more gracious than the Toba Rikyu (Toba Imperial Villa) built for the retired emperor.

Toshitsuna was also a remarkable poet, participating in Empress Kanshi's Spring and Autumn Uta-awase as a poet in 1056 and in Dairi Uta-awase (a palace poetry contest) as a teacher in 1078. Additionally, he often held poetry contests and poetry readings at his residence. In particular, Toshitsuna's second residence in Fushimi was a meeting place for contemporary poets, including Noin, MINAMOTO no Tsunenobu, and FUJIWARA no Michitoshi. A total of twelve of his poems were selected for Chokusen Wakashu (Anthology of Japanese Poetry Compiled by Imperial Command), including "Goshui Wakashu" (Later Gleanings of Japanese Poems).


According to "Uji Shui Monogatari" (a collection of the Tales from Uji), Toshitsuna was insulted by the Daiguji (supreme priest) of Ise-jingu Shrine while Toshitsuna was a priest of Owari Province called Sungo, but he was reborn as a son of the Kanpaku (chief adviser to the Emperor) and had revenge against the Daiguji of Atsuta-jingu Shrine.

"Jikkinsho" (Miscellany of Ten Maxims) and other books also include anecdotes regarding Toshitsuna.

[Original Japanese]