Minamoto no Hiromasa (源博雅)

MINAMOTO no Hiromasa (918 – November 13, 980): Heian period noble and court musician. Prince Royal of Imperial Prince Katsuakira, grandchild of Emperor Daigo. Mother was the daughter of FUJIWARA no Tokihira. His highest position achieved was Hisangi (adjunct royal adviser) with a court rank of Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank), Kogonomiya gon no daibu (Provisional Master of the Empress's Household), and as such was called Hakuga no sanmi (Junior Third Rank Hiromasa). A master of instrumental gagaku ancient court music.

Became a commoner and was granted the surname "Minamoto." In 934 conferred the court rank of Jushii (Junior Fourth Rank). Became Nakatsukasa no taifu (Senior Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Central Affairs) in 947. In 959 became Uhyoe no kami (Captain of the Right Division of Middle Palace Guards). In 965 became Sachujo (Middle Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards). In 974 was Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) and Kotaigogu gon no daibu (Provisional Master of the Empress Dowager's Household).

A gifted gagaku (traditional ancient court music) player, he learnt traditional court music. Imperial Prince Atsumi taught him Eikyoku (ancient traditional sung ballads), Emperor Daigo the "so" (the predecessor to the "koto" type of Japanese harp), MINAMOTO no Osamu taught biwa (Japanese lute), OISHI no Minekichi taught the fue (Japanese flute), Minekichi`s child Tomikado and YOSHIMINE no Ikumasa taught him the Hichiriki (Japanese shawm). His forte was the O-hichiriki (larger member of the Japanese shawm family of traditional gagaku instruments), whereas he was not fond of dancing and singing.

In 951 he played the Wa-gon (Japanese harp) for the Emperor at a private dinner. In 966, at the command of Emperor Murakami he prepared a compilation called 'Shinsen Gakufu' (Choshukyo Chikufu) (lit. New compilation of sheet music (hoshukyo Chiku Scores)) that are also known as 'Hakuga no Fuefu' (lit. 'Advanced sheet music for flute'). The works composed by 'Chogeish' are performed even to this day.

In 960, he participated as a member of the judging panel in the 'Tentoku imperial poetry contest' and played a role in reciting the poems; however, an incident took place whereupon becoming stage-struck in front of the Emperor, he made the error of proceeding to read a poem different in title from the one announced.

He is often mentioned in stories in the 'Konjaku Monogatari' (Tales of Konjaku), including: a famous flute from an ogre of Suzakumon gate mentioned in '2 Leaves,' a famous Biwa (lute) searched for at Rashomon gate in 'Genjou,' in Sekiwake's poem 'Osaka Barrier,' in which after 3 years of commuting the protagonist is finally taught the esoteric biwa pieces 'Ryusen' (flowing spring) and 'Woodpecker.'
Also, legend has it that he could handle his drink and was apparently also said to be a heavy drinker.

Details of his personal traits are noted in the 'Shoyuki' Diary by FUJIWARA no Sanesuke: 'apparently accomplished in both letters and ensemble music.'
However he was also deemed to be the laziest fool that ever lived.

In a novel by Baku YUMEMAKURA "Onmyoji " (The Sorcerer) and Manga comic version "Onmyoji" by Reiko OKANO, Hiromasa appears as the partner of the main character, ABE no Seimei. Hiromasa is portrayed by the well-known Japanese actor Tetta SUGIMOTO in the NHK television drama "Onmyoji" (The Sorcerer), and played by Hideaki ITO in the films "Onmyoji" (The Sorcerer) and "Onmyoji II" (The Sorcerer II) directed by Yojiro TAKITA.