Fujiwara no Tadamichi (藤原忠通)

FUJIWARA no Tadamichi (February 19, 1097 - March 20, 1164) served as regent, chief advisor to the Emperor, and Grand Minister in the later part of the Heian period. He was the first son of FUJIWARA no Tadazane. His mother, MINAMOTO no Moroko, was a daughter of MINAMOTO no Akifusa, who had served as Minister of the Right. His legal wide (Kita no mandokoro) was named Muneko, and she was a daughter of FUJIWARA no Munemichi, who had served as a Gon Dainagon (provisional major councilor). His sons were Kakuchu Motozane KONOE (his mother Nobuko was a daughter of MINAMOTO no Kunizane, who had served as a Gon Chunagon), MATSUDONO no Motofusa (his mother Toshiko was a daughter of MINAMOTO no Kunizane), Kanezane KUJO (his mother Kaga was a daughter of FUJIWARA no Nakamitsu, who had served as a Taiko taigo miya taishin), FUJIWARA no Kanefusa (who was to become a Grand Minister, and whose mother was same as Kanezane's, Shinen, and Jien (their mother was also the same as Kanezane's). His daughters were Emperor Sutoku's wife Chugu Seiko (Kokamonin, her mother was Tadamichi's legal wife FUJIWARA no Muneko), Emperor Nijo's wife Chugu FUJIWARA no Ikushi (her mother, Toshiko, was a daughter of MINAMOTO no Akitoshi, who had served as Ueno no kami, and she may have been adopted), and his adopted daughter Emperor Konoe's wife Chugu Teishi (Kujoin, the daughter of the brother, Grand Minister FUJIWARA no Koremichi, of his legal wife, Muneko).

Biography
In 1121, he became a head of the Fujiwara clan and was appointed to the post of Kanpaku (chief advisor to the emperor), serving Emperor Toba in place of his father, Tadazane. He served as Sesho (regent) and Kanpaku under three more emperors: Emperor Sutoku, Emperor Konoe, and Emperor Goshirakawa. His tenure of 37 years in the posts of Sesho and Kanpaku was the second longest; FUJIWARA no Yorimichi had held the posts for a total of 50 years.

It is said that his father, Tadazane, loved his younger son Yorinaga so much that he pressured Tadamichi to cede the positions of Sesho and Kanpaku to Yorinaga.

In fact, as Tadamichi had not been blessed with an heir for many, he adopted Yorinaga, who was 23 years younger than him, in 1125. However, when he had passed the age of 40 years he his wives gave birth to sons, whereupon he renounced the adoption of Yorinaga so as to pass the posts along to his real sons.

Tadamichi was at odds with Tadazane and Yorinaga regarding the inner palace (harem) of Emperor Konoe.

On New Years of 1150, Yorinaga sent his adopted daughter, FUJIWARA no Tashi, to the inner palace as bride-to-be, three months after which Tadamichi also sent his adopted daughter, FUJIWARA no Teishi, to the inner palace. Tadamichi's machinations on the inner palace were the last straw for Tadazane and Yorinaga, and that same year Tadazane severed his relationship with Tadamichi, forcing him to cede the title of Ujinochoja (head of the Fujiwara clan) to Yorinaga; however, Tadamichi countered by interfering in Tashi's relationship with the emperor, and when Emperor Goshirakawa ascended the throne in 1155, Tadamichi was reinstated to his former posts. This series of incidents were one cause of the Hogen Disturbance. After the Hogen Disturbance, Tadamichi regained the title as head of Fujiwara clan; however, because the former head, Yorinaga, had been disgraced and was now dead, the Fujiwara clan was stripped of its autonomous status, and the appointment was made by senji (Imperial letter). In addition, the official residences that were in the possession of Tadazane and Yorinaga, including those for the regent and advisors, as well as their privately owned residences were to be forfeited; however, as Tadamichi had imposed upon Tadazane to cede possession of the official and private residences to him, Tadamichi was at length able to avert their confiscation. In 1158, Tadamichi ceded the post of Kanpaku to his son Motozane KONOE, then became a Buddhist priest, assuming the name Enkan, in 1162.

When Tadamichi had become head of the Fujiwara clan, the situation was somewhat adverse in that the Sekkan seiji (regency politics) had lost its viability, he was in conflict with his father and brother, and he did not produce a son to be his heir until much later. However, he was able to survive under these circumstances by crafting alliances with Cloistered Emperor Toba and the Taira clan, with whom had originally been foes, and lived through the Hogen Disturbance and the Heiji Revolt, when FUJIWARA no Shinzei had exercised the real power. Until the end of the Edo bakufu and the beginning of the Meiji period, Tadamichi's direct descendants, in principle, had a monopoly on the posts of kanpaku (chief advisors to the emperor) and sessho (regent).

He was a good poet and an expert calligrapher, who was sometimes called "Hosshoji sama." As to his works, there is a collection of his Chinese style poetry) entitled, "Hosshoji Kanpaku shu", and a collection of his other poetical works entitled, "Tadamichi shu."
Waka

Hyakunin Ishu (100 poems by 100 famous poets)

As I row out into the wide open sea, the foaming crests of far off waves appear as one with the clouds shining in the sky.' (Hosshoji no nyudo, the former Kampaku Grand Minister)

Reputation as a Calligrapher
He founded the Hoshoji school of calligraphy. This school is noted for its vivacious style, combining bold, round and powerful strokes.

When FUJIWARA no Motohira was building a large temple at Motsu-ji Temple, he asked Tadamichi for a sample of his calligraphy to frame and hang at Kondo Enryaku-ji Temple (which later burned down). Motohira made the request for the calligraphy through the Ninna-ji Temple, as he was concerned that people like him, from the Oshu-Fujiwara clan, would be taken for crude frontiersmen by people in Kyoto, and that Tadamichi might not be inclined to grant his request.
When Tadamichi found out who the request actually came from, he tried to have his calligraphy returned, but his efforts ended in failure. (According to the "Azuma Kagami," the framed calligraphy in Enryaku-ji Temple was written by Kanpaku Tadamichi, and the calligraphy on the paper strips was written by FUJIWARA no Norinaga.)

Official Career
The year 1107
April 26 (lunar calendar): After he celebrated his Genpuku ceremony (first wearing of the hakama), the court rank of Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) was conferred on Tadamichi. He was permitted to wear prohibited colors.

June 18 (lunar calendar): He became chamberlain. November 25 (lunar calendar): He was appointed to the post of Ukone no Gon no shosho (Provisional Minor Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards). December 8 (lunar calendar): He was appointed to the post of Ukone no chujo (Middle Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards). December 29 (lunar calendar): Promoted to the court rank of Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade), retained post of Ukon no chujo.
The year 1108 (the name of era was changed from Kasho to Tennin)
January: Appointed as Harima gon no kami (provisional governor of Harima Province), concurrently held with his other post. December 20 (lunar calendar): Promoted to the court rank of Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade), retained his posts as Ukone no chujo and Harima gon no kami.
The year 1110
February 25 (lunar calendar): Promoted to the court rand of Jusani (Junior Third Rank), retained his posts of Ukone no chujo and Harima gon no kami. May 13 (lunar calendar): Promoted to Shosani (Senior Third Rank), retained his posts of Ukone no chujo and Harima gon no kami.
The year 1111
January 23 (lunar calendar): Appointed to the post of Gon Chunagon (Provisional Middle Counselor), retained the post of Ukone no chujo. February 1 (lunar calendar): Promoted to the court rank of Junii (Junior Second Rank), retained the posts of Gon Chunagon and Ukone no chujo.
The year 1112
March 18 (lunar calendar): Promoted to the court rank of Shonii (Senior Second Rank), retained the posts of Gon Chunagon and Ukone no chujo.
The year 1115
January 29 (lunar calendar): Appointed to the post of Gon Dainagon (provisional major counselor). April 16 (lunar calendar): Appointed to the post of Naidaijin (minister).
The year 1119
February 6 (lunar calendar): Appointed to the post of Sakone no daisho (Major Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards), concurrently held with his other posts.

The year 1121
March 5 (lunar calendar): Appointed to the post of Kanpaku (chief adviser to the Emperor). Appointed as head of the Fujiwara clan. Retained the post of Naidaijin (minister). He was not promoted, as he was next in rank to the Juichii (Junior First Rank) gyo Minister of the Right, MINAMOTO no Masazane.

The year 1122
December 17 (lunar calendar): Promoted to the court rank of Juichii (Junior First Rank), appointed to the post of Sadaijin (minister of the left). Retained the post of Kanpaku and status as head of Fujiwara clan. His was next in rank to Grand Minister Juichii (Junior First Rank), MINAMOTO no Masazane.

The year 1123
January 28 (lunar calendar): Resigned as Sesho, appointed to the posit of Kanpaku. He retained the post of Minister of the Left. He was one rank above the Daijo daijin Juichii (Junior First Rank), MINAMOTO no Masazane. He might have been promoted one court rank, but it is not clear.

The year 1128
December 17 (lunar calendar): Appointed to the post of Daijo daijin. He retained the post of Sesho.

The year 1129
April 10 (lunar calendar): Resigned the post of Daijo daijin. July 1 (lunar calendar): Resigned as Sesho, appointed to the post of Kanpaku.
The year 1141
December 7 (lunar calendar): Resigned as Kanpaku, appointed to the posit of Sesho.
The year 1149
October 25 (lunar calendar): Appointed to the post of Grand Minister. Retained the post of Sesho.

The year 1150
March 13 (lunar calendar): Resigned as Grand Minister.
September 26 (lunar calendar): Relinquished status as head of Fujiwara clan (ceded to Junior First Rank, Minister of the left, FUJIWARA no Yorinaga.)
December 8 (lunar calendar): Resigned as Sesho, and appointed to Kanpaku.
The year 1156
July 11 (lunar calendar): Appointed as head of Fujiwara clan (due to the death of Junior First Rank, Minister of the left, FUJIWARA no Yorinaga, on this day.)
The year 1158
August 11 (lunar calendar): Resigned as Kanpaku.
The year 1162
June 8 (lunar calendar): Took the tonsure and entered the Buddhist priesthood, assuming the name Enkan.
The year 1164
February 19 (lunar calendar): Died. He was 68 years old.

Works in which FUJIWARA no Tadamichi is portrayed

"Yumiharizuki" (quarter moon) (1955, directed by Santaro MARUNE, featuring Reiji TSUMURA)
"Shin Heike Monogatari" (Tale of Heike, movie) (1955, directed by Kenji MIZOGUCHI, featuring Hisao TOAKE)
"Shin Heike Monogatari" (Tale of Heike) (long-running historical drama series on NHK TV, 1972, featuring Yasumi HARA)