Saionji Kinaki (西園寺公晃)

Kinaki SAIONJI (西園寺 公顕, 1274 - March 15, 1321) was a Kugyo (high court noble) in the late Kamakura period. He worked mainly for four emperors from Emperor Fushimi (the 92nd generation) to Emperor Hanazono (the 95th generation), and rose up to Juichii Udaijin (Junior First Rank, Minister of the Right) in official court rank. His father was Daijo-daijin (Grand Minister) Sanekane SAIONJI. His mother was the daughter of Naidaijin (Minister of the Interior) Morotsugu KAZANIN. His older brother was Sadaijin (Minister of the Left) Kinhira SAIONJI and younger brother Daijo-daijin Kanehide IMADEGAWA. His daughter, Enshi SAIONJI, was the legal wife of Kanpaku (Chief Adviser to the Emperor) Michihira NIJO.

In 1288, he was raised to the peerage. After that, he was promoted successively, and in 1290, he was appointed as Sangi (Councilor) to rank with Kugyo. In 1292, he was appointed as Chugu Gon no Daibu (Provisional Master of the Consort's Household) for Shoshi SAIONJI, a Chugu (empress or one of consorts of the emperor) of Emperor Fushimi. He served her until Emperor Fushimi abdicated the throne in 1298. In the same year, he was appointed as Gon Dainagon (Provisional Major Councilor). In 1307, he was appointed as Togu Gon no Daibu (Provisional Master of the Crown Prince's Quarters) for Crown Prince Tomihito Shinno (Imperial Prince, and later Emperor Hanazono), but the next year, he resigned his position because the prince was enthroned. In 1310, he was appointed as Ukone no Daisho (Major Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards). In 1311, he was appointed as Umaryo gogen (Inspector of the Right Division of Bureau of Horses), but in 1312, he resigned his post. In 1315, he was promoted to Juichii. In 1316, he was appointed as Naidaijin. Moreover, in 1317, he was appointed as Udaijin but resigned his position.

While, as a kajin (waka poet) of the Kyogoku school of poetry, he had 24 poems of his own adopted in Chokusen wakashu (anthologies of Japanese poetry compiled by Imperial command) subsequent to Shingosen Wakashu (New Later Collection of Japanese poems), it is said that he had little political ability, and it is recorded in the articles of March 26 and 27 of the first year of Bunpo era (in the old lunar calendar, that is, May 15 and 16 of 1317 in the Gregorian calendar) of "Hanazono Tenno Shinki" (The Records of Emperor Hanazono) that when Kinaki was in charge of writing Omagaki (a list of candidates) of Agatameshi no jimoku (ceremony for appointing local officials), because he didn't know the manner, he learned it from the husband of his daughter, Michihira NIJO, in the presence of Emperor Hanazono, and that the emperor who wrote these records was indignant at their behaviors.