Tokudaiji Saneyoshi (徳大寺実能)

Saneyoshi TOKUDAIJI (1096- October 13, 1157) was a court noble during the latter half of the Heian period. His father was FUJIWARA no Kinzane. His mother, FUJIWARA no Mitsuko, was the daughter of FUJIWARA no Takakata, the Governor of Tajima Province, and she was a wet nurse to Emperor Horikawa and Emperor Toba. He was a half brother to FUJIWARA no Shoshi [Tamako], and he became the patriarch of the Tokudaiji family. In 1147, he established Tokudai-ji Temple and was known as the Tokudaiji no Sadaijin (Minister of the Left of Tokudaiji).

He was awarded Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) in 1104. In 1118, when Shoshi became the Chugu (Empress) to Emperor Toba, he was appointed Chugu Gon no suke (Provisional Assistant Master of the Consort's Household), and when Shoshi was awarded with an ingo (a title of respect given to close female relatives of the Emperor or a woman of comparable standing), Taikeimonin, Saneyoshi was appointed Taikeimonin no betto (Secretary of the office of Taikeimonin). He was treasured as an older brother for Shoshi, and after being appointed Gon Chunagon (a provisional vice-councilor of state) in 1122, he was successively promoted to the posts of Sahyoe no kami (Captain of the Left Division of the Middle Palace Guards), Uemon no kami (Captain of the Right Division of Outer Palace Guards) and Kebiishi no betto (Superintendent of the Imperial Police). He had his eldest daughter, Yukiko, 22 year old at the time, marry FUJIWARA no Yorinaga, 14 year old at the time, which strengthened ties with the line of regents and advisers. In 1136 he was awarded Shonii (Senior Second Rank) and was appointed Gon Dainagon (a provisional chief councilor of state); however, the Kanin line (of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan) entered a period of recession due to the resignation of Emperor Sutoku in 1141 and Taikeimonin joining nunnery in 1142.

The central person in the Kanin line was his older step-brother, Saneyuki SANJO. Saneyoshi, who received support from Yorinaga, opened the post of Daijo daijin (Grand minister of state) to Saneyuki, and he became the Naidaijin (minister of the center) in 1150. In 1155, when his daughter Yukiko passed away, he quickly separated himself from Yorinaga and approached Bifukumonin, and was appointed Togu no Fu, the head tutor of Emperor Nijo's son. He became Sadaijin (minister of the left) in September 1156. He was then promoted to Juichii (Junior First Rank) in February of 1157, then joined priesthood in August of the same year with the Homyo (Dharma Name), Shinri. He died in the small temple building (Tokudai-ji-Temple) of the Ninna-ji Temple in October. He maintained a friendly relationship with Saigyo, who is well-known as a poet.