Miyoshi Kiyoyuki (三善清行)

Kiyoyuki (also called Kiyotsura) MIYOSHI (847-January 16, 919 or January 15, 919) was a scholar of the Chinese classics in the middle Heian period. His azana (a name received upon reaching adulthood) was Sanyo, and he also went by Zensoko. He was the third son of Ujiyoshi MIYOSHI, Awaji no kuni Kokushi (the governor of Awaji Province). He was Jushii (Junior Fourth Rank) and Sangi (councillor). He was an intellectual filled with a sense of justice not yielding to authority, which was said to have prevented his promotion.

Brief Personal History

He studied under KOSE no Fumio. After entering the Daigaku-ryo (Bureau of Education under the ritsuryo system), he studied Kidendo (the study of the histories) and became a monjosho (student of literary studies in the Imperial University) at the age of 27. The next year, he became a monjo tokugosho (distinguished scholar of letters) and passed Horyakushiki (the examination of Chinese classics) at the age of 37. Kiyoyuki once failed the examination for recruiting government official in which SUGAWARA no Michizane served as an examiner, and subsequently he had conflicts with Michizane at every opportunity.

He was appointed to Dainaiki (senior secretary of the Ministry of Central Affairs) in 887 and swept aside the theory of TACHIBANA no Hiromi by lecturing with FUJIWARA no Sukeyo and KI no Haseo in the Ako Controversy the next year. He became Bitchu no suke (assistant governor of Bitchu Province) in 893. In 900, he gave a letter to SUGAWARA no Michizane who was increasingly isolated in the Imperial Court, conflicting with FUJIWARA no Tokihira in order to advise him to resign, but Michizane refused due to their longstanding feud. Kiyoyuki's concern soon became reality and Michizane was demoted to Dazai gon no sochi (provisional governor-general of the Dazai-fu offices) in the Shotai Incident. Kiyoyuki was pointed out for his involvement in the political change because Kiyoyuki pointed out to Tokihira that all of the students of SUGAWARA no Kiyokimi, a grandfather of Michizane, would be punished and the Imperial Court would come to a standstill if all parties related to Michizane were involved, and he imposed the penalty only on the relatives of Michizane and close advisers of the Retired Emperor Uda, and because Kiyoyuki succeeded to Daigaku no kami (director of the Bureau of Education) due to the downfall of SUGAWARA no Takami, a legitimate son of Michizane.

With a good knowledge of Onmyodo (way of Yin and Yang) and Tenmondo (ancient astrology), he marked the beginning of kakumeikanmon and Shinyukaigen by proposing to change the name of the era to 'Engi,' noting that the year 901 was the year for Shinyu-kakumei (revolution in Kanototori of the Chinese astrological calendar) according to Shinisetsu. He participated in compilation of "Engi Kyakushiki" (regulations and laws of the Engi era). He concurrently served as Monjo hakase (professor of literature), Daigaku no kami and Shikibu no taifu (senior assistant minister of the Ministry of Ceremonial), which were called the three important posts for Confucian scholars. After he addressed "Ikenfuji Junikajo" (Twelve Opinions) at the request of the Imperial court in 914, he was promoted to Sangi at the age of 71 while serving as Kunaikyo (Minister of the Sovereign's Household).

His important works included "Enchin Osho-den"(The Biography of Monk Enchin), "FUJIWARA no Yasunori-den" (The Biography of FUJIWARA no Yasunori) and "Ikenfuji Junikajo." He excelled in Chinese poetry. He wrote "Yoshiie Hiki," the collection of anecdotes.

Record of Offices and Ranks Held

Date according to old lunar calendar

In 873, he became Monjosho.

In 874, he became Monjo tokugosho.

On February 29, 877, he was appointed to Echizen Shosakan (junior inspector of Echizen Province).

On January 21, 880, he was transferred into Harima no gon no shosakan (provisional junior inspector of Harima Province).

On January 11, 884, he was transferred into Daigaku no shojo (junior secretary of Bureau of Education).

On January 16, 886, he was transferred into Shonaiki (an official working at Nakatsukasa, Ministry of the Central Office).

On January 7, 887, he was awarded Jugoinoge (junior fifth rank, lower grade). On February 2, he was appointed to Dainaiki.

On January 30, 891, he was transferred into Higo no suke (assistant governor of Higo Province).

On January 11, 893, he was transferred into Bitchu no suke.

On January 2, 896, he was promoted to Jugoinojo (junior fifth rank, upper grade) while retaining his position as Bitchu no suke.

In 897, he returned to Kyoto due to expiration of his term in Bitchu no suke.

In 900

On February 20, he was appointed to Gyobu no taifu (senior assistant minister of Justice).

On May 15, he was transferred into Monjo hakase.

On October 11, he advised Udaijin (minister of the right), SUGAWARA no Michizane to resign.

In 901

In January, he doubled as Ise no Gon no suke (provisional assistant governor of Ise Province).

On March 15, he doubled as Daigaku no kami.

On January 7, 902, he was promoted to Shogoinoge (senior fifth rank, lower grade), while retaining his positions as Daigaku no kami, Monjo hakase and Ise no Gon no suke.

On February 26, 903, he doubled as Shikibu shoyu (junior assitant of the Ministry of Ceremonial). Because of this service, he was honored to hold the post of three offices (Shikibu shoyu, Daigaku no kami and Monjo hakase).

In 904

In January 7, he was promoted to Jushiinoge (junior fourth rank, lower grade) while retaining his posts of three offices and position as Ise no Gon no suke.

On May 28, he resigned Daigaku no kami.

In 905

On January 11, he transferred into Shikibu gon no taifu (provisional senior assistant minister of the Ministry of Ceremonial). He doubled as Bitchu gon no kami (provisional governor of Bitchu Province). He retained his position as Monjo hakase.

In August, he also was put in charge of compilation of "Engi Kyakushiki."

He resigned Monjo hakase before January, 910.

On April 22, 914, he transferred into Shikibu no taifu.

On January 7, 915, he was promoted to Jushiijo (junior fourth rank, upper grade) while retaining his position as Shikibu no taifu.

In 917

On January 29, he was appointed to Sangi.

On May 20, he doubled as Kunaikyo.

In 918

On January 13, he doubled as Harima gon no kami (provisional governor of Harima Province).

He died on December 7 (which appeared in Nihonkiryaku, abbreviated history of Japan; December 6 in Kugyo Bunin, directory of the successive Imperial officials). He died at the age of 72.

[Original Japanese]