Fujiwara no Kanemitsu (藤原兼光)

FUJIWARA no Kanemitsu (1146 - May 29, 1196) was a Kugyo (top court official) during the end of Heian period. He was the child of FUJIWARA no Sukenaga, Gon Chunagon (provisional vice-councilor of state) in the Hino line of the Fujiwara clan. His mother was the daughter of MINAMOTO no Suekane. His children were Sukezane HINO (the ancestor of the Hino family) and Yorisuke HIROHASHI (the ancestor of the Hirohashi family).

Judging from the issuance of Gakumonryo (the scholarship for Monjosho who study at Daigaku-ryo in the Heian period) for Kangakuin (educational institutions) in 1156, he seemed to learn Kidendo (the study of the history) in Daigaku-ryo (Bureau of Education under the ritsuryo system). After becoming Monjo tokugosho (Distinguished Scholars of Letters) two years later and successfully passing taisaku (one of the examination for adopting government officials under the Ritsuryo legal codes) in 1160, he became Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade), Shuri no suke (assistant officer of the Office of Palace Repairs) concurrently with Ukone no shosho (Minor Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards) and was conferred Shisenji (imperial decrees issued when appointing kebiishi [a police and judicial chief] and Hoheishi [an imperial messenger to a Shinto shrine]). He was appointed to Jibushoyu (junior assistant minister of the Ministry of Civil Administration) in 1163, and was admitted to access to the Imperial Court the next year. In 1166, he became Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) Togu gakushi (Teacher of the Classics of the Crown Prince) while serving as Jibushoyu. After appointment to Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) the next year, he became Kurodo (Chamberlain) as well as Bicchu gon no suke (acting assistant governor of Bicchu Province) in 1168 and resigned Togu gakushi. He was appointed to Ushoben (Minor Controller of the Right) in 1170 and Sashoben (Minor Controller of the Left) in 1172. He also served as Ben no Betto (a second principal having a high rank in the government) of Kangakuin as well as Uchuben (Middle Controller of the Right) in 1179, in addition, concurrently served as Zo-Todaiji-chokan (the director for the construction of Todai-ji Temple) and then promoted to Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade). He was promoted to Sachuben (Middle Controller of the Left) in 1181 and became Zo-Kofuku-ji chokan (the director for the construction of Kofuku-ji Temple). He was promoted to Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) in 1182 and was appointed to Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain) for Emperor Antoku the next year. However, he continued to serve as Kurodo no to for Emperor Gotoba without following Emperor Antoku to leave for the west, and became Sangi (councilor) as well as Udaiben (Major Controller of the Right) later. In 1184, he became Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) Sadaiben (Major Controller of the Left) with concurrently serving as Omi no gon no kami (Provisional Governor of Omi Province). He was ranked with Kugyo earlier than FUJIWARA no Takafusa who was In no Kinshin (the Retired Emperor's courtier) and was said to promote to Kugyo soon; this promotion is said to be backed by his mother-in-law, TAKASHINA no Eishi (Tango no tsubone) favored by the Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa. He was appointed to Kageyu no kami (chief investigator of the records of outgoing officials) in 1185, and Gon Chunagon (a provisional vice-councilor of state) the next year. He concurrently served as Uhyoe no kami (Captain of the Right Division of the Middle Palace Guards) in 1190 as well as Kebiishi no betto (Superintendent of the Imperial Police) in 1191, and transferred to Uemon no kami (Captain of the Right Division of Outer Palace Guards) to make an effort to restore the security in Kyoto. He resigned Uemon no kami and Kebiishi no betto in 1194 and was conferred Junii (Junior Second Rank) the next year. However, he entered into the priesthood in May 18, 1196 because of illness with a tumor (indirectly referring to cancer) and soon died.

He served as Jidoku (imperial tutor) for the Emperor Takakura and the Emperor Gotoba, while as a waka poet, his wakas were selected for three kinds of chokusen wakashu (anthology of Japanese poetry compiled by Imperial command) including "Senzai waka shu" (Collection of a Thousand Years) and "Shinkokin Wakashu" (New Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry). Besides, the diary "姉言記" ("Kanemitsu-kyo ki" - a journal of FUJIWARA no Kanemitsu) was left. With the excellent scholarship, he was given important positions both in the Heike government and Goshirakawa-insei (the government of the Retired Emperor Goshirakawa) as a government official (esp. one of low to medium rank) with rich practical experiences.