Fujiwara no Mitsuie (藤原光家)

FUJIWARA no Mitsuie (1184 - date of death unknown) was a court noble and waka poet during the early Kamakura period. He was the first son of FUJIWARA no Teika. His mother was a daughter of FUJIWARA no Sueyoshi. One of his children was Kenho, a Buddhist priest. He was first named Sadatsugu, and changed the name to Kiyoie (in 1199) and then to Mitsuie. His hogo (Buddhist name) was Joshobo. He was awarded the rank of Jugoi (Junior Fifth Rank) and was appointed as Jiju (chamberlain).


Although she was from the Rokujo Toke (Rokujo Fujiwara family), which competed with the Mikohidari family, his mother was not gifted with the capabilities of political operations and ceremonies of the Imperial Court or waka poetry, and when she participated in Dairi Utaawase (Poem contest in the Palace) on September 17, 1215, her father, Teika, severely criticized her waka with saying that 'her waka was awfully out of line with the waka poetry rules and was terribly ashamed.'
In addition, his father divorced his real mother in the Kenkyu era (1190 to 1199) and remarried a daughter of Sanemune SAIONJI. Furthermore, by reason that Kintsune SAIONJI, a brother of Teika's second wife, began to play an important role in the Imperial Palace as the father-in-law of Michiie KUJO, and adopted FUJIWARA no Tameie, son of Teika and his second wife, Tameie came to be treated as a legitimate son of Kintsune, which put Mitsuie in a delicate position.

Therefore, after being appointed as Provisional Governor of Kaga Province in 1202, Mitsuie served Imperial Princess Akiko, Yoshisuke KUJO, who was under the protection of Princess Akiko, and Noriie KUJO, who became an adopted heir of Yoshisuke. However, when Yoshimichi KUJO and Yoshitsune KUJO consecutively died, Yoshisuke KUJO, who was under the patronage of Hachijoin, came to occupy a central position in the Kujo family, which caused changes to the position of Mitsuie. After Mitsuie was allowed to access the Imperial Court in 1211, he obtained a position as close adviser to Yoshisuke, like appointment of Usazukai (Imperial messenger to Usa-jingu Shrine), and reduced the gap with Tameie.

But, when Yoshisuke KUJO died in 1218, the Kujo family came to be led by Michiie KUJO, nephew of Yoshisuke and older brother of Noriie, (whose lawful wife was a cousin of Tameie, young parternal half-brother of Mitsuie), and this situation suppressed the positions of Noriie KUJO and Mitsuie who served him. By reason that Hachijoin had already died and Jien, another guardian of Noriie, also died in 1225, Noriie entered into priesthood in October 1225 prior to the death of Jien, and Mitsuie, who intended to enter into priesthood after the death of Yoshisuke, also became a priest on October 16, 1225 and called himself Joshobo.
Having been informed of this in a report from Noriie, Teika took a stance that Mitsuie, who lost a person to serve due to extinction of the Kujo family of the Hachijo line, had no choice but to seclude himself from the world, as he described in "Meigetsuki" (Chronicle of the Bright Moon) that 'this seclusion from the world must have been most reasonable.'
Ironically, Tameie was assigned to Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain) in December (old calendar) of the same year).

The article dated June 3, 1233 in "Meigetsuki" mentioned that Teika and Joshobo (Mitsuie) talked about a future of Joshobo's daughter who was born prior to his entry to priesthood, but anything about Mitsuie is unknown except that he wend down to Kyushu thereafter.

No poems created by Mitsuie are found in any imperial anthologies of poetry in Japanese, but only the private collection of Mitsuie's poems, called "Joshobo-shu," has been handed down to the present day.