Minamoto no Sukekata (源資賢)

MINAMOTO no Sukekata (1113 - April 1, 1188) was a Kugyo (the top court official) and gagakuka (musician of old Japanese court music), who lived during the late Heian period. He was from Uda-Genji (Minamoto clan). He was the son of Kunaikyo (Minister of the Sovereign's Household) MINAMOTO no Arikata, and his mother was the daughter of Governor of Bicchu Province TAKASHINA no Tameie. His sons were MINAMOTO no Michiie, MINAMOTO no Suetoki, MINAMOTO no Kensuke, and others.

He was a master of flute and wagon (Japanese harp), and he was Emperor Goshirakawa's music teacher and close adviser. He hold important positions such as Zuryo (the head of the provincial government) in various provinces, Kunaikyo, and Shurishiki (Office of Palace Repairs). At New Year's of 1161 he was conferred Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank). However, in July 1162, he was exiled to Shinano Province for having cursed Emperor Nijo, and two yeas later he was recalled. There is a famous anecdote related to this occasion as follows: to the Retired Emperor Goshirakawa, who said to him 'As you were living a country life, you have forgotten music, haven't you?' he replied reciting a verse of imayo (popular style of song in Heian period) that originally reads, 'The river along the Kisoji Road which is supposed to be in deep Shinano,' by changing it slightly as, 'The river along the Kisoji Road which surely exists in deep Shinano,' (recorded in "Jikkinsho" [Miscellany of Ten Maxims], "Heike Monogatari" [The Tale of the Heike], etc.). In 1166, he was appointed Sangi (councilor). In 1174, when an imayoawase (competition of poem making) was held, he served as a judge with FUJIWARA no Moronaga. In 1175 he became Chunagon (vice-councilor of state), while holding the position of Azechi (inspector of the provincial government). In 1179, he became Gon Dainagon (provisional major councilor of state), however, due to Coup d'etat of TAIRA no Kiyomori (Coup of the Third Year of Jisho), he was dismissed in December 1179. Afterwards, he recovered the position and raised to Shonii (Senior Second Rank) Gon Dainagon. On May 1, 1182, he entered the priesthood, and took the homyo (a name given to a person who enters the Buddhist priesthood) Enku. In 1188, he died at the age of 76.

Records of offices and ranks held

Date according to old lunar calendar
1123: 11 years old
November 14: Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) (conferred by Imperial Princess Kishi)

1124: 12 years old
January 22: Governor of Tanba Province.

1131: 19 years old
December 24: Governor of Mikawa Province. Also he was in charge of Sahyoe no gon no suke (provisional assistant captain of the Left Division of Middle Palace Guards).

1132: 20 years old
April 10: Saiin no kami (secretary of office of the High Priestess of Kamo-jinja Shrine).

1133: 21 years old
January 5: Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade)

1136: 24 years old
January 22: He was reappointed as governor of Mikawa Province for a second term. He retained his position as Sahyoe no gon no suke.

1137: 25 years old
January 5: Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade).
April 16: Sashosho (minor captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards)
December 16: Governor of Ecchu Province.

1139: 27 years old
January 5: Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade). October 26: Jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade). (In the occasion of kuyo [a memorial service for the dead] held at Seijo-ji Temple, conferred by Zensaiin Imperial Princess Toshi).

1142: 30 years old
January 3: Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade).

1149: 34 years old
January 23: Governor of Bingo Province.

1149: 37 years old
March 18: Kazusa no suke (Assistant Governor of Kazusa Province).

1156: 44 years old
November 28: He resigned as Kazusa no suke.

1157: 45 years old
January 24: Kunaikyo (Minister of the Sovereign's Household).

1158: 46years old
March 13: Shuri no daibu (Master of the Office of Palace of Repairs). He resigned as Kunaikyo.

1162: 49 years old
January 27: Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank)
He retained his position as Shuri no daibu.

1162: 50 years old
June 2: He was removed from office. June 23: He was exiled to Shinano Province. He was expulsed.

1164: 52 years old
June 27: He was recalled to the office.

1165: 53 years old
June 5: He returned to the same position.

1166: 54 years old
July 15: He was appointed as Sangi (Councilor). August 27: He also hold the position of Omi no gon no kami (Provisional governor of Omi Province). October 24: He was permitted taiken (to wear a sword). November 14: Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank).

1179: 58 years old
December 30: Gon Chunagon (a provisional vice-councilor of state)

1173: 61 years old
October 19: Junii (Junior Second Rank).

1174: 62 years old
January 21: He also held the position of Mutsu-Dewa-Azechi (local inspector of Mutsu and Dewa Provinces).

1175: 63 years old
November 28: Chunagon (vice-councilor of state)
November 29: He continued holding the position of Mutsu-Dewa-Azechi.

1176: 64 years old
March 6: Shonii (Senior Second Rank) (conferred by Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa)
December 15: He resigned as Chunagon. He retained his position as Mutsu Dewa Azechi.

1178: 66 years old
April 5: He was reappointed as Chunagon. He retained his position as Mutsu Dewa Azechi.

1179: 67 years old
October 9: Gon Dainagon (provisional chief councilor of state)
He retained his position as Mutsu Dewa Azechi.

November 17: He was removed from office. November 18: He was expelled from Kinai (provinces surrounding Kyoto and Nara). He transplanted to Tanba Province.

1180: 68 years old
July 8: He was remitted. July 13: He entered Kyoto.

1181: 69 years old
He was allowed to enter the Imperial Court. December 4: He was reappointed as Gon Dainagon.

1182: 70 years old
March 8: He resigned as Gon Dainagon. March 20: He entered the priesthood.