Fujiwara no Sugane (藤原菅根)

FUJIWARA no Sugane (856-November 8, 908) was an aristocrat and scholar of the early Heian Period. He was a member of the Southern House of the Fujiwara clan, and the grandson of FUJIWARA no Kuromaro and the child of FUJIWARA no Yoshihisa, who had the title of Uhyoe no kami (Captain of the Right Division of Middle Palace Guards). His Azana (a popular name) is 右生. His titles were Jushii (Junior Fourth Rank) and Sangi (councilor). He was rewarded with Jusanmi Rank (Junior Third Rank) posthumously.

Career

He was assigned to be monjosho (student of literary studies in the Imperial University) in 884. He was assigned to be Inabanokuni jo (an official of Inaba Province) in same year and was reassigned to Shonaiki (an official working at Nakatsukasa (Ministry of the Central Office)). He passed the taisaku (one of the examinations for adopting government officials under the Ritsuryo legal codes) in 890. He became the Togubo jidoku (one who read manuscripts for the Crown Prince) of investiture of the Crown Prince Imperial Prince Atsugimi in 893 with a recommendation from Michizane SUGAWARA and lectured on "Kyokurei," "Rongo Analects," and "History of the Later Han Dynasty" to the crown prince. He was given the rank (official court rank) of Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) with the recommendation of Michizane. When Crown Prince Atsugimi ascended to throne as Emperor Daigo, he was permitted to undergo shoden (visit the imperial court) and became Shikibu shoyu (Junior Assistant of the Ministry of Ceremonial) in Kageyushi (Board of Discharge Examiners) and Monjo hakase (professor of literature) in 899 to lecture "Shiki" (the Chinese Historical Records) before the emperor. He became the Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain) in Sakone no shosho (Minor Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards) in a following year.

He took sides with FUJIWARA no Tokihira and Sadakuni in the Shotai Incident that occurred on February 21, 901 and stopped retired Emperor Uda, who was trying to visit the Imperial Palace in order to demote SUGAWARA no Michizane, just before the Imperial Palace. However, there is a view that he just carried out this duty under the command of FUJIWARA no Tokihira or Emperor Daigo, as this was a famous story written in "Okagami" (The Great Mirror), "Kanke bunso" (an anthology of Chinese-style poetry by SUGAWARA no Michizane), a story of Sugane dying from the curse of Michizane after carrying out his revenge for the embarrassment of being slapped by Michizane before the audience in the imperial court in "Kitano Tenjin Engi" (History of Kitano Tenjin Shrine), the story of how he swore friendship with Michizane but KI no Haseo, who was Sadaiben (major controller of the left) and jiju (a chamberlain), also stopped the visit of the retired emperor besides Sugane in "Fuso Ryakki" (A Brief History of Japan), and "Choshuki" (diary of MINAMOTO no Morotoki) written by later generations mentioned that the Cloistered Emperor Uda was banned from visiting without permission while the emperor is present. He took responsibility of stopping the visit of the retired emperor and was temporarily demoted to Dazai no daini (Senior Assistant Governor-General of the Dazai-fu offices) on the following day but was reassigned to his former position and Shikibu shoyu (Junior Assistant of the Ministry of Ceremonial) without being sent off to the Kyushu region, and held the additional post as the Gon Sachuben (Provisional Middle Controller of the left).

He was reassigned to be Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain) after given the rank of Jushinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) in 903 and held the additional position of Shikibu gon no taifu (Provisional Senior Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Ceremonial) and Togu no suke (Assistant Master in the Crown Prince's Quarters) in the following year. He was assigned to be Sangi (Councilor) in 908 but died the same year from being struck by lightening. A descendant of Sugane, his son, Motokata, who climbed from monjosho to Dainagon (chief councilor of state) and others did not follow (his great grandson and the grandson of Motokata or FUJIWARA no Yasusuke was famous bandit) but Monjo hakase (professor of literature) was picked from the Southern House of the Fujiwara clan with him as the forerunner.