Matsudono Motofusa (松殿基房)

Motofusa MATSUDONO (1145 - February 8, 1231) was a Kugyo (court noble), who lived between the end of the Heian period and early Kamakura period. His official name was FUJIWARA no Motofusa. He was an ancestor of the Matsudono family. His father was FUJIWARA no Tadamichi, who had possessed the title of Kanpaku (chief advisor to the Emperor) (Motofusa was the second son). His mother was Toshiko, a daughter of MINAMOTO no Kunizane, who had the title of Gon Ghunagon (provisional middle councilor). He was the younger son of Motozane KONOE and the older brother of Kanezane KUJO. His children were FUJIWARA no Tadataka (Sadaijin (Minister of the Left)), FUJIWARA no Iefusa (Gon Chunagon), FUJIWARA no Moroie (Naidaijin (Great Minister of the Center) and Sessho (regent)), Ishi (the concubine to MINAMOTO no Yoshinaka, later became the concubine of MINAMOTO no Michichika, and the mother of Dogen), Priest Gyoi, and Priest Jisson.

Biography
At the same time as when he went through the Genpuku ceremony (Coming of Age ceremony) in August 1156, he earned the court rank of Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade). He gained the Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) and became the Ggon Chunagon (provisional middle councilor) the following August. He was assigned to the high positions of Naidaijin, Udaijin (Minister of the Right), Sadaijin (Minister of the Left), and when his older brother, Motozane, died early and his son, Motomichi KONOE, was still young, Motofusa became the sessho for Emperor Rokujo. He continued to serve as the Sessho when Emperor Takakura ascended to the throne in place of Emperor Rokujo in March 1168 to become Daijo daijin (Prime Minister) in January 1171 and Kanpaku in December 1172.

He seemed to bear a grudge over the fact that most of the estate of his late brother was taken away by the wife of Motozane after his older brother Motozane passed away, and when TAIRA no Seishi and TAIRA no Shigemori died in 1179, he schemed with the Retired Emperor Goshirakawa and carried out a anti-Taira clan policy in order to confiscate the inherited land without a consultation with TAIRA no Kiyomori. Kiyomori was infuriated over this matter and proceeded to the capital with his army and triggered coup d'état in November of the same year. Motofusa could not resist against the military force of Kiyomori, and was dismissed from his position as the anti-Taira clan kugyo (court noble) and was demoted to Dazai no gon no sochi (provisional governor-general of the Dazai-fu, in present day Kyushu). He went through shukke (became a Buddhist monk) in Bizen Province and was forgiven to stay at the same place. He was finally pardoned in December 1180.

After the death of Kiyomori, the Taira clan weakened fast, and the capital fell due to the attacks by MINAMOTO no Yoshinaka, and Motofusa schemed to regain the political power he lost at Kiyomori's time by presenting his daughter, Ishi, as the concubine of Yoshinaka.

By having the support of power of Yoshinaka, he was able to promote his son, FUJIWARA no Moroie, as the Sessho and Naidaijin in November of the same year.

When Yoshinaka was killed by MINAMOTO no Yoshitsune and others in January 1184, Motofusa had to retire from the politics without a question, and Moroie was also dismissed from his position
(However, his eldest son Tadataka remained as Sadaijin until 1211).

He later participated as the Choro (elder) during ceremonies and official events at the Imperial Court. He passed away at the great age of 87 on February 8, 1231. His Hogo (posthumous Buddhist name): Nakayamain. Or, it was Bodaiin.

His appearance was pale in color and thin, his facial shape was nice and was handsome.

Denka noriai Incident

The most famous episode involving Motofusa was the famous 'Denka noriai incident' in "Heike Monogatari" (Tale of the Heike).

The line of carts of Motofusa undergoing the palace visit came across the second son of TAIRA no Shigemori, TAIRA no Sukemori, returning from the hawk hunt on December 2, 1170. The followers of Motofusa, who were offended by Sukemori not performing the geba no rei (step down the horse and bow), forcefully dragged down Sukemori and put him in shame. His grandfather, TAIRA no Kiyomori, who heard this, attacked the parade of Motofusa, who was traveling to attend the palace for Kakan no gi (headgear wearing ceremony) and Genpuku Ceremony of Emperor Takakura on December 7, dragged down the attendants of Motofusa from the horse to cut off the Tabusa (place where hair is gathered together atop the head), and torn off the bamboo screen of the cow carriage in revenge, that Motofusa could not attend the palace and faced a huge embarrassment. Shigemori, who heard this, dismissed samurai who were involved and made Sukemori to repent for his sins by undergoing confinement in Ise Province. People, who heard this, became angry over the evil deeds of the Taira family but praised Shigemori at the same time.

However, according to "Gyokuyo" (Diary of Kanezane KUJO) and "Hyakurensho" (a record of the Kamakura period), the incident happened on August 23 of the same year, and the parade of Motofusa came across the onna guruuma (female carriage) while he was going to the Hossho-ji Temple in order to attend the Hokke hakko (ceremonial series of eight lectures on the eight scrolls of the Lotus Sutra). The followers of Motofusa accused the rudeness of onna guruma and used violence. Once Motofusa learned that the owner of the carriage was Sukemori, he sent a messenger to Shigemori with an apology and said that he will hand over the criminals. Angered Shigemori refused the offer and apology and chased away the messengers. Motofusa, who feared Shigemori, disowned the followers who were involved to the confusion, and tried to dissolve the anger of Shigemori by handing over the ring leaders to Kebiishi (statutory office in the Heian and Kamakura periods). However, Shigemori did not calm his anger and gathered soldiers to prepare for a retaliation. Motofusa, who learned about this confined himself within his palace and did not undergo even the palace visit. However, he had to attend the Kakan no gi of the Emperor as Sessho, and he was attacked by military soldiers of Shigemori during the palace visit of December 7, and the Kakan ceremony was postponed since Motofusa could not attend. The reason why Motofusa became Daijodaijin in December of the same year was because Kiyomori recommended him with a feeling of apology.

As written above, what is mentioned in Heike Monogatari was to portray Shigemori as the one of the Taira clan who could determine what's right and wrong and was just a fiction to spice up the story.

Career
Date = old lunar calendar
September 22, 1156: He underwent Genpuku and was promoted to the court rank of Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade). October 1: He was assigned to be Sakonoe gon shosho (Lesser General of the Left Guard). October 10: He was reassigned to be Sakonoe no gon chujo (major general of the inner palace guards, left division). January 17, 1157: He gained the rank of Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) and retained his position as Sakonoe no gon chujo.

March 13, 1157: He gained the rank of Jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade) and held the additional post of the Harima gon no kami (Lord of Harima Province). He retained his position as Sakonoe no gon chujo. August 9: He gained the rank of Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) and stayed as Sakonoe gon chujo and Harima gon no kami. September 15: He was permitted to wear Kinjiki (forbidden colors). September 21: He gained the rank of Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) and retained his position as Sakonoe gon chujo. October 1: He was reassigned to Gon chunagon (provisional middle councilor) and retained his position as Sakonoe gon chujo. October 3: He gained the rank of Shosanmi (Senior Third rank) and retained his position as Gon chunagon and Sakonoe gon chujo.

April 8, 1158: He gained the rank of Junii (Junior Second Rank) and retained his position as Gon chunagon and Sakonoe gon chujo.

January 29, 1159: He gained the rank of Shonii (Senior Second Rank) and retained his position as Gon chunagon and Sakonoe gon chujo. The era changed to Heiji, and on January 19, 1160, he was declared by imperial proclamation as Tachibanashi choja (chieftain of the Tachibana family, filling two positions of the Fujiwara clan).

April 13, 1160: He was reassigned to be Gon dainagon (Provisional Major Councilor). September 19: He was reassigned to be Naidaijin. September 22: He held an additional post as Sakonoe no taisho (general of the inner palace guards, left division).

October 10, 1161: He was reassigned to be Udaijin. October 12: He retained his position as Sakonoe no taisho.

December 15, 1164: He was reassigned to be Sadaijin. December 18 of the same year: He retained his position as Sakonoe no taisho.

August 31, 1166: He was declared by imperial proclamation as Sessho and Toshi choja (chieftain of the Fujiwara family). He retained his position as Sadaijin and Sakonoe no taisho. September 20: He resigned from Sakonoe no taisho. The era changed to Ninnan, and he retired from Sadaijin on December 5, 1166.

March 11, 1167: He gained the rank of Juichii (Junior First Rank) and retained his position as Sessho and Toshi choja.

January 28, 1171: He was declared by imperial proclamation as Daijo daijin and retained as Sessho.

June 4, 1171: He retired from Daijo daijin.

January 19, 1173: He stopped being the Sessho and was declared by imperial proclamation as Kanpaku. He was also declared by imperial proclamation as Jun sessho (Vice Sessho).

December 24, 1179: He was dismissed from his official posts. December 25: He was exiled to Dazai no gon no sochi and was sent to Dazai-fu (local government office in Kyushu region). December 28: He became a priest and gained the Homei (priest name) of Zenkan. He was exiled to the Bizen no kuni (Bizen Province) instead.

December 27, 1180: He returned to Kyoto and resided in the land of Saga region.

February 8, 1231: He passed away. He died at the age of 87 and gained the go (byname) of Nakayamain or Bodaiin.