Awataguchi Tadayoshi (粟田口忠良)

Born in 1164, and died June 23, 1225, Tadayoshi AWATAGUCHI was a top Court official living from the last days of the Heian period to the early Kamakura period. He was the second son of Motozane KONOE, who rose to Sessho (Regent). His mother was the daughter of FUJIWARA no Akisuke, who became Sakyo no daibu (Master of the Eastern Capital Offices). He had an older half brother Motomichi KONOE. His Court rank & title reached Shonii (Senor Second Rank) & Dainagon (chief councilor of state). His pseudonym was Narutaki Dainagon. He changed his family name into Awataguchi, and he became the founder of the Awataguchi family.

In 1180, he underwent "genpuku" (the coming-of-age ceremony for boys) and received the investiture of Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade). Thereafter, he was appointed to Jusanmi, Hisangi (Junior Third Rank, non-Counselor) in 1183, Chunagon (vice-councilor of state) in 1189, Gondainagon (provisional chief councilor of state) in 1191, and in the end Dainagon (chief councilor of state) in 1202, but he resigned from Dainagon in 1204. He became a Buddhist priest in 1221, and four years later of 1225, he passed away.

He is said to have been a thin, gentle person, and his activities were mainly those of a poet rather than those on the center stage of politics. His 69 Japanese poems were selected to be included in the "Chokusenshu" (anthology of Japanese poems collected by Imperial command), and one of his poems was also selected to be a part of "Shin Hyakunin-Isshu" (New Anthology of One Hundred Japanese Poems by One Hundred Poets). When Tadayoshi came near to being deprived of his position of Dainagon because of his long-term neglect of work at Court, he expressed his feelings by exchanging Japanese poems with his brother Motomichi, and "Kokon chomon ju" (A Collection of Tales Heard, Past and Present) includes this anecdote.

[Original Japanese]