Ariwara no Yukihira (在原行平)

ARIWARA no Yukihira (818 - September 6, 893) was a Japanese poet and a court noble who lived in the Heian period.

He was also called Zai Chunagon (middle counselor). He was the second son of the Imperial Prince Abo who was a son of the Emperor Heizei. ARIWARA no Narihira was Yukihira's younger brother. His mother was not known; there is a view that his mother was the Imperial Princess Itonai (Narihira's mother), who was a daughter of the Emperor Kanmu, but, judging from his year of birth, it cannot be the historical fact. Both brothers assumed the status of subject and took the name of ARIWARA. He was nine years old at that time.

His daughter, Bunshi was a Koi (consort) of the Emperor Seiwa and she was the mother of the Imperial Prince Sadakazu.

Among the sons of the Imperial Prince Abo who died suddenly after the Jowa Incident, and as a government official at that time, he was promoted rather favorably as he brought his ability for civil administration into full play. In 840, he was appointed to a Kurodo (emperor's secretary) for the Emperor Ninmyo and worked as a Jiju (chamberlain). In the Emperor Montoku's era, by jimoku (ceremony to appoint officials) in January 855, he was promoted to Jushiige (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) and he assumed the position of Inaba no kuni no kami (the governor of Inaba Province). His waka (thirty-one-syllable Japanese poem) taken into Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (The Ogura sequence of one hundred poems by one hundred poets) was made on his way to Inaba Province on this occasion. After two years, he returned to Kyoto and, then successively assumed various positions of kyokan (official of the Capital) and chihokan (local official). According to "Kokin Wakashu" (Collection of Ancients and Modern Poems), he was obliged to confine himself to his house in Suma during Emperor Montoku's era. The reasons for his confinement are not known (The Noh chant "Matsukaze" recorded the legend that he loved women divers, Matsukaze and Murasame, who were sisters, when he was exiled to Suma.). It is also recorded that he made suma-goto, which is single-string zither, with blocks of wood that had drifted ashore in order to distract himself from his loneliness during his stay in Suma. In the Emperor Seiwa's era, he was promoted to Jushiijo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade) in 862. He served as the Kurodo no To (chief official of the emperor's secretaries) and was promoted to Chunagon (middle counselor) during the era of the Emperor Yozei. His nicknames "Yukihira Chunagon" and "Zai Chunagon" came from this position. Later, he served as Minbukyo (Taxation Minister) and the Dazai Gon no Sochi (chief of the Dazaifu) and retired in 887 at the age of seventy. At that time, his rank was Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank).

As a poet, eleven waka of Yukihira were chosen for "Kokin Wakashu" and other collections and he held Minbukyo Yukihira utaawase (waka-matching) (Zai Minbukyo-ke utaawase) in the middle of 880s
This is the oldest utaawase that we can see in history.

In 881, he established a daigakubesso, which was called Shogakuin, as a gakumonsho (school) for the Arihara clan. Shogakuin occupied a town that was located to the east of Suzaku-oji and the north of Sanjo-oji and was used to provide residences to and educate children who wanted to enter daigakuryo and it was well known together with Kangakuin of the Fujiwara clan. Shogakuin was changed to Nanso (the Southern school of the daigakuryo) in the Emperor Daigo's era.

Career as an Official

Lunar calendar used for the dates.

In January 840, assumed the position of Kurodo. In December. He resigned from the Kurodo.

On January 9, 842, ranked at Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade)
On February 7, assumed the position of the Jiju.

On February 10, 846, promoted to Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade). On February 16, assumed the position of Uhyoe no Suke (assistant minister of the Right Division of the Headquarters of the Middle Palace Guard). On August 26, transferred to the position of Sakonoe Shosho (minor captain of the Left Division of the Headquarters of the Inner Palace Guard).

On February 22, 853, promoted to Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and retained his position as Sakonoe shosho.
On March 3, also assumed the position of the Bicchu Gon no Suke (acting assistant governor of Bicchu Province)

On April 18, 854, also assumed Bicchu no Suke (assistant governor of Bicchu Province)
Removed from Bicchu Gon no Suke.

On February 2, 855, promoted to Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade)
On February 10, assumed the position of Inaba no kami (governor of Inaba Province)

On February 21, 857, transferred to the position of Hyobu no Taifu (senior assistant minister of the Ministry of Military)
On May 3, transferred to the position of Sama no kami (the chief of Left Division of Bureau of Horses).

On February 23, 859, transferred to the position of Harima no kami (the governor of Harima Province).

On July 1, 860, transferred to the position of Takumi no kami (the head of Bureau of Skilled Artisans).
On September 18, transferred to the position of Sakyodaibu (a master of the Office of the Left Side of the Capital)

On February 13, 862, promoted to Jushiijo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade).
On February 19, assumed the position of Shinano no kami (the Governor of Shinano Province)

On March 7, 863, transferred to the position of Okura Taiyu (a senior assistant minister of the Ministry of Treasury). Retained his position as Shinano no kami.

On March 1, 864, also assumed the position of Bizen Gon no kami. Removed from Shinano no kami. On April 21, transferred to the position of Sahyoe no kami. Retained his position as Bizen Gon no kami.

On January 31, 866, promoted to Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) and retained his position as Sahyoe no kami.

On June 24, 868, also assumed the position of Bicchu no kami (the governor of Bicchu Province).

On February 21, 870, promoted to the Sangi (Royal Advisor). On March 6, also assumed the position of the Kebiishi no Betto (a police and judicial chief). Retained his position as Sangi, Sahyoe no kami and Bicchu no kami.

In 871, removed from Bicchu no kami.

On October 5, 872, also assumed the position of Kurodo no To (Dual appointment as the Sangi and the Kurodo no To was a rare case.)
On October 9, also assumed the position of Saemon no kami (captain of Headquarters of Outer Palace Guard). Removed from the Sahyoe no kami.

On January 14, 874, promoted to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) and also assumed the position of Dazai Gon no Sochi. Retained his position as Sangi. Removed from the Kebiishi no Betto, Kurodo no To and Saemon no kami.

On Nobember 30, 877, also assumed the position of the Jibukyo (Civil Administration Minister). Retained his position as Sangi and Dazai Gon no Sochi.

On March, 878, removed from Dazai Gon no Sochi.

On November 9, 879, also assumed the position of Bicchu no Kami.

On June 3, 880, also assumed the position of Omi no kami. Removed from Bicchu no kami.

On February 5, 882, transferred to the Chunagon. On March 20, promoted to Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank). Retained his position as Chunagon.

On May 3, 883, also assumed the position of the Minbukyo (Taxation Minister).

On March 14, 885, also assumed the position of Mutsu Dewa Azechi (investigator of Mutsu and Dewa Province).

On May 23, 887, resigned from the Chunagon, Minbukyo and Mutsu Dewa Azechi and retired.

On September 6, 893, he died. He was seventy-five years old. At that time, he was the former Chunagon with Shosanmi rank.