Minamoto no Moronaka (源師仲)

MINAMOTO no Moronaka (1116 - May 16, 1172) was a noble and poet who lived in the late Heian period. He was the third son of MINAMOTO no Morotoki (a son of MINAMOTO no Toshifusa, who was Sadaijin (minister of the left), and the author of "Choshuki") who was Gon Chunagon (a provisional vice-councilor of state) and from Murakami-Genji (Minamoto clan). His mother was a daughter of MINAMOTO no Morotada and a nyobo (court lady ('nyo') who was provided with a private room ('bo') in her workplace) to FUJIWARA no Shoshi.
He was ranked at Junii (Junior Second Rank) and named 'Fushimi Minamoto Chunagon.'
His wife was a daughter of Iwashimizu Betto (Head of the Iwashimuzu Hachiman Shrine) Kosei and MINAMOTO no Masanaka was his son.

He took part in Insei (cloister government) by the Retired Emperor Goshirakawa and played an important part as an influential court official, but, as he confronted with FUJIWARA no Shinzei, he moved toward FUJIWARA no Nobuyori, who was a political opponent of Shinzei. In the course of development of a plan for armed uprising to overthrow Shinzei, he was deeply involved in the plot as seen by the fact that he offered his fief in Fushimi to Nobuyori in exchange for being trained in martial arts.

In 1159, together with Nobuyori and MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo, he raised an army as planned (Heiji War). In confining Retired Emperor and Josaimonin in Dairi (Imperial Palace), he played a role in preparing vehicles for transporting them under guard.

In the beginning, the course of the war ran in Nobuyori's favor, but the situation drastically changed as FUJIWARA no Korekata and FUJIWARA no Tsunemune deserted, switching sides to the enemy and made the Emperor Nijo escape from Dairi, and the Retired Emperor escaped and Nobuyori and his allies were driven into the corner as a rebel army. Reportedly, Moronaka, who saw the situation, held in his hand Yata no Kagami (the eight-span mirror), which was one of the three sacred emblems of the imperial family as a measure for self-protection taking surrender into consideration.

After having seen the defeat of Nobuyori and Yoshitomo, he kept the sacred mirror in this residence in Aneyakoji Higashi no Toin and he himself appeared to Rokuhara. However, they did not acknowledge his actions in protecting Yata no Kagami, and so his punishment was not reduced and he was exiled on March 31, 1160 to Shimotsuke Province. The waka he made on his way to his exile location on this occasion was taken into "Senzai Wakashu" (the seventh imperial anthology).

In 1166, he was pardoned and came back to Kyoto on March 29. He returned to Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank) same as before the War and he was promoted to Junii (Junior Second Rank) next year. He remained Sani (courtier without post) and he was never appointed to any official post. On May 16, 1172, he died at the age of fifty-seven.