Fujiwara no Sukemasa (藤原佐理)

Career

He held positions within Konoefu (the Headquarters of the Inner Palace Guards), Sangi (councilor), Hyobukyo (Minister of Hyobusho Ministry of Military) and Dazai no daini (Senior Assistant Governor-General of the Dazai-fu offices), before being conferred Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank). He was known as a calligrapher, especially in cursive script calligraphy, and wrote on shikishigata (colored-paper) on a folding screen for Daijoe (banquet on the occasion of the first ceremonial offering of rice by the newly-enthroned emperor) for Emperor Enyu, Emperor Kazan and Emperor Ichijo. He was considered to be one of the three best calligraphers among ONO no Michikaze and FUJIWARA no Yukinari, and his flowing and dynamic calligraphy style was called 'Saseki' style. Some letters such as 'Shikaishi' (national treasure), 'Rirakujo' (Leaving the capital) (national treasure) still exist in the form of autographs. In "Okagami" (The Great Mirror), Sukemasa was written as "Nyodeijin" which meant a sloppy man, because he made a lot of mistakes while drunk. It is said that he was very sloppy with work and lacking in common sense. Therefore, most his letters left such as 'Rirakujo' were apologetic letters.

Official Career
On January 31, 961, Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade)
On December 18, 961, Jiju (chamberlain)
On September 13, 962, Uhyoe no Gon no suke (provisional assistant captain of the Right Division of Middle Palace Guards)
On February 25, 966, Uhyoe gon no shosho
On March 12, 967, Omi no suke (assistant governor of Omi Province)
On Nobember 26, 967, Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade)
On December 20, 968, Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade)
On October 20, 969, Kurodo (Keeper of imperial archives)
On November 6, 969, Utchuben (First Assistant Controller of the Right)
On December 26, 970, Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade)
On January 9, 972, Satchuben (First Assistant Controller of the Left)
On June 17, 972, Kuranokami
On January 7, 975, Jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade)
On November 15, 975, director of Kii Province
On July 31, 977, Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade)
On November 25, 978, Sangi (councilor)
On March 5, 979, Sanuki no kami (director of Sanuki Province)
On Nobember 8, 981, refused the promotion to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) (his son Yorifusa was conferred Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade)).
On March 3, 982, director of Iyo Province
On March 19, 983, director of Kageyu
On March 9, 984, director of Mimasaka Province
On September 11, 984, Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank)
On December 23, 989, resigned director of Kageyu.
On January 2, 990, director of Harima Province
On March 4, 990, Hyobukyo (minister of war)
On February 19, 991, Dazai no daini (top position of Dazaifu), (resigned Sangi and Hyobukyo)
On June 16, 991, Kogogu gon no daibu (Minister of Empress household agency)
On April 24, 992, Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank).
In 993, resigned Kogogu gon no daibu (Minister of Empress household agency)
On November 18, 995, discharged Dazai no daini. On May 18, 997, Taikotaigo gu gon no daibu (Minister of Empress dowager's household agency). On March 1, 998, Hyobukyo (minister of war).

True Autograph

Shikaishi (national treasure, Kagawa History Museum): "Kaishi" means transcription of Chinese poetry or waka (classic Japanese poem) in certain format in the calligraphic sense of the term. His work is the only example of shikaishi written during the Heian era in existence.

Letter "Rirakujo", (national treasure, Hatakeyama Memorial Museum): an apologetic letter written by Sukemasa at the age 48, on his way to Dazai-fu (he was appointed as Dazai no daini), in the letter, he asked FUJIWARA no Shigenobu who was the son of his sister to intercede with Sessho FUJIWARA no Michitaka for Sukemasa, because he left Kyoto without saying goodbye. His calligraphy style had a sense of speed with cursive script and individual.

Letter "Onmei jo": Sannomaru Shozokan (The Museum of the Imperial Collections)
Letter "Onnaguruma jo" Kuninomoushifumi cho (Shogei Bunka In): an apologetic letter written in 982, during the tenure of Sukemasa as governor of Iyo Province, Sukemasa wrote Kanpaku FUJIWARA no Yoritada through FUJIWARA no Tamemasa who was a vassal of Yoritada. He apologized for his failures including his failure towards his duty towards documents, what he had left before Yoritada in the event of new year banquet, and that he missed accompanying FUJIWARA no Junshi who was a daughter of Yoritada when she entered the Imperial Palace as court lady for Emperor Enyu.

Letter "Kyokajo"
Letter "Tonoben jo"