Matsudono Moroie (松殿師家)

Moroie MATSUDONO (1172 - November 11, 1238) was a Court noble in the end of Heian Period through the early Kamakura Period. He was a third son of Motofusa MATSUDONO. His mother was Tadako (menoto (a woman providing breast-feed to a highborn baby) of the Emperor Antoku), a daughter of Daijo-daijin (the Grand minister of state) Tadamasa KAZANIN. FUJIWARA no Takatada FUJIWARA no Iefusa, Gyoi and Jitsuson were his half brothers with the same father.

Kazanin family, his mother's family, had a connection with both the Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa and TAIRA no Kiyomori and maintained its influence based on the balance of power between them. Against this political backdrop, Moroie, though he was a third son, was treated as a legitimate son and was promoted to Gon Chunagon (a provisional vice-counselor of state) in 1179 when he was only eight years old. Although the above was in line with the intention of the Cloistered Emperor who took Motofusa's wish into consideration, Kiyomori, who had been leery for some time about the acts of Cloistered Emperor's inner circle, had an uneasy feeling and this incident became one of the causes for the so-called 'Coup of the Third Year of Jisho' that occurred in the same year. As a result, Motofusa and Moroie, father and son, were removed from their posts and fell from power. Motomichi KONOE (a nephew of Motofusa), who was pro-Taira Family, was appointed to Kanpaku (chief advisor to the Emperor) in place of Motofusa and gained power.

Four years later in 1183, Motofusa went into action seeking to regain political power in the face of the situation where the Taira Family ran away to western Japan and MINAMOTO no Yoshinaka came up to Kyoto. After gaining Yoshinaka's trust by submitting his daughter, FUJIWARA no Ishi, as his concubine, he succeeded in appointing Moroie, who was then only 12 years old, to the position of Junii (Junior Second Rank), Sessho (Regent), Naidaijin (the minister of interior), and Toshi choja (a head of the Fujiwara Family) in Novenmber of the same year and recovered from Motomichi the initiative inside Sekkan-ke (the families which produced regents).

In January of the following year, however, Motofusa clan again fell from power after Yoshinaka was killed in battle where he fought against MINAMOTO no Noriyori and MINAMOTO no Yoshitsune. After being in office only a few months, Moroie lost his post, retired from the world and never returned to official posts for nearly half a century afterwards. It is said that he once tried to recover his lost power base by adopting Dogen, his maternal nephew who was famous for his gift, but eventually the attempt ended in failure.

Record of office and rank
May 22, 1178: He celebrated the attainment of manhood and was conferred Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade). He was allowed kinjiki (literally "forbidden colors", seven colors traditionally reserved for the imperial family and the nobility) and shoden (access to the imperial court). July 1: He was appointed to Sakonoe no shosho (Minor Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards). Date is unclear: He was promoted to Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) and remained in the same position of Sakonoe no shosho. Date is unclear: He was allowed Genjo (allowing the access to the imperial court again). November: He was appointed to Sakonoe no chujo (Middle Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards).

March 6, 1179: He concurrently assumed the position of Harima gon no kami (Provisional Governor of Harima Province). April 26: He was promoted to Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) and remained in the same position of Sakonoe no chujo cum Harima gon no kami. November 14: He was promoted to Jusanmi (Junior Third Grade) and remained in the same position of Sakonoe no chujo. November 16: He was appointed to Gon Chunagon (a provisional vice-councilor of state) and remained in the same position of Sakonoe no chujo. November 28: He was promoted to Shosanmi (Senior Third Grade) and remained in the same position of Gon Chunagon cum Sakonoe no chujo. December 14: He was removed from office.

September 20, 1183: He was appointed to Gon Dainagon (a provisional chief councilor of state). January 12, 1184: He became Sessho (a regent) by the imperial proclamation. He became Toshi choja by the imperial proclamation. He concurrently assumed the position of Naidaijin (Minister of the Center). January 29: He was promoted to Junii (Junior Second Grade) and remained in the same position of Sessho, Naidaijin and Toshi choja.

February 26, 1184: He was promoted to Shonii (Senior Second Grade) and remained in the same position of Sessho, Naidaijin and Toshi choja. March 13: He resigned from the position of Sessho, Toshi choja and Naidaijin.

September 28, 1232: He entered into the Buddhist priesthood.
Homyo (a name given to a person who enters into the Buddhist priesthood): Daishin

November 18, 1238: He died at the age of 67. His posthumous name was Tennoji.