Fujiwara no Masamitsu (藤原正光)
FUJIWARA no Masamitsu (956-April 7, 1013) was a court noble in the mid-Heian Period.
His father was Kanpaku (chief adviser to the Emperor) FUJIWARA no Kanemichi
The highest rank he achieved was Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) Sangi Okura-kyo (Royal Advisor and Minister of Treasury).
He was born the sixth son of Kanemichi, and his mother was the daughter of FUJIWARA no Aritoshi. His grandfather, FUJIWARA no Morosuke, was the Minister of the Right at that time and an important figure in the Imperial Court. However, Masamitsu's future was not still promising, because Morosuke's elder brother was gripping power in the higher post as the Minister of the Left, and Kanemichi, who was the second son, had not been appointed a court noble at that time. Moreover, Morosuke died in 960, while he was still in the post of Minister of the Right.
However, with the death of Sessho (regent) Sanemichi in 968, Kanemichi's elder brother FUJIWARA no Koretada took the post of Sessho, and Emperor Enyu also took over the throne in 969. In this large-scale personal shuffle, Masamitsu was appointed Tenjobito (a high-ranking courtier allowed into the Imperial Palace) at age 13, thanks to Masamitsu serving as a minor officer, while the new Emperor was the Imperial Prince. In addition, he was appointed Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) Omi no shojo (provincial junior secretary of Omi Province), and, as he was a son of Kanemichi's late years, Kanemichi's promotion also benefited his start as an official.
After Koretada's death, Kanemichi received exceptional treatment and was assigned to Kanpaku in 973, only four years after taking the post of Sangi. Following this assignment, Masamitsu was also appointed to Jiju (a chamberlain), and subsequently to Sakone no shosho (minor captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards) as well as Omi no suke (assistant governor of Omi Province). Afterwards, he was also promoted three times in five years and promoted to Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade). However, Kanemichi died in 977 after only five years' tenure in the post of Kanpaku, and his promotions started to get stacked.
During this period, it seems that Masamitsu sought a close association with Kanemichi's younger brother FUJIWARA no Kaneie, who had been on bad terms with Kanemichi. In 984, when Kaneie's grandson Imperial Prince Yasuhito became the Crown Prince, Masamitsu was allowed into the Crown Prince's palace. Masamitsu was appointed Kotaigogu gon no suke (provisional assistant master of the Empress Dowager's household), when the Crown Prince was enthroned to become Emperor Ichijo and the Emperor's mother FUJIWARA no Senshi became Kotaigo (Empress Dowager); this shows that he was recognized as one of the Kaneie's close retainers. The promotion in the same year, in which he was ranked Jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank), also seems to have been attributable to this relationship. His tenure in the position of Kotaigogu gon no suke finished after five years, when Senshi entered the priesthood with Emperor Enyu's death in 991, but the next year he was appointed to Sakone no chujo (middle captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards).
Owing to an epidemic, in 996, when a drastic shuffle of court personnel including Kugyo (the top court officials) was carried out, FUJIWARA no Michinaga came to take leadership as the Minister of the Left and Masamitsu's elder brother FUJIWARA no Akimitsu sat next to Michinaga as the Minister of the Right. In April of that year, Masamitsu was appointed to Kurodo no to (head chamberlain), the second-tier position after Kugyo, and two year later, in 998, he was entrusted to be Okura-kyo (Minister of Treasury), as well. Check "Michinaga, as he did with Michinaga"; it seems that one of these "Michinaga"s should be changed. According to the diary of FUJIWARA no Sanesuke, on the occasion of the investiture of the Empress (Kogo) of Emperor Sanjo, FUJIWARA no Seiko, Masamitsu threw a piece of tile to a messenger who visited him to ask for his presence in the investiture ceremony, as Masamitsu was a sympathizer of Michinaga, the father of Chugu (the second consort of the Emperor) Fujiwara no Kenshi, who antagonized Empress Seiko. His reaction was quite contrasting to that of FUJIWARA no Tokimitsu, one of his elder brothers, who served to facilitate the withdrawal of FUJIWARA no Teishi, the second consort of Emperor Ichijo (Chugu), from the Imperial Palace as Shokei (a high-ranking court noble) when Michinaga blocked her path. This anecdote shows the difference between the two brothers in how to keep the distance with Kaneie and his son Michinaga, who were the mainstay of politics at that time.
Afterwards, he became a member of the high-ranked aristocracy, being appointed to Sangi in February 1004, and ranked Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) in November of the same year. However, after that, without enjoying any outstanding promotion, he died at the age of 58 in 1014, prior to the assignments of Akimitsu and Tokimitsu.
In 'Makura no Soshi' (the Pillow Book), there is an episode that begins with the phrase, 'there is no other quick-eared person like Okura-kyo (Minister of Treasure),' and it is said that 'Okura-kyo' referred to Masamitsu. In this story, Sei Shonagon wrote that when she was talking with a person next to her in such a low voice that even her conversation partner needed to ask her to repeat what she said, Masamitsu, who was seated far away, did not fail to catch their dialogue.