Taira no Tsunetaka (平経高)

TAIRA no Tsunetaka (1180-July 1255) was Kugyo (the top court officials) in the middle of the Kamakura period. He was a son of TAIRA no Yukinori who was Jibu taifu (Senior Assistant Minister of the Ministry of the Civil Administration). His official court rank was Shonii (Senior Second Rank) Minbukyo (Minister of Popular Affairs). He wrote a diary, "Heikoki" (The Diary of TAIRA no Tsunetaka). His son was TAIRA no Tsuneuji.

Career

In his childhood, he was adopted by Tsunefusa YOSHIDA as a son, but in February 1190 he returned to the TAIRA clan and got Joshaku (peerage). In the following year, he changed his name from Tokihira to Tsunetaka. He became Kurodo (Chamberlain) in May 1209, and Ushoben (Minor Controller of the Right) in January 1211. In February 1220, he became Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain) of the Emperor Juntoku from Udaiben (Major Controller of the Right). In January 1225 he was conferred to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank). He was assigned to Sangi (councilor) in February 1226, and Shonii in 1238. In February 1240, he became Minbukyo and was in charge of all the governance of Kyoto City.

He was taught by SUGAWARA no Tamenaga and famous for a broad knowledge about chogi (ceremony at Imperial Court) and kuji (public duties) and as a professional of government practices, and according to Yorisuke HIROHASHI, he himself was proud of it (in the section of October 8, 1229, "The Diary of Lord Yorisuke"). In addition, he worked actively as a close adviser of Michiie KUJO and his children (Norizane KUJO, Yoshizane KUJO, Sanetsune ICHIJO, his daughter's husband Kanetsune KONOE), and made efforts to promote a benevolent policy centering 'assignment, giving peerage (加爵) and various lawsuits' (in the section of March 12, 1240 in "Heikoki"). Moreover, he was relied on by Sadamichi TSUCHIMIKADO who was a political enemy of Michiie because of his broad knowledge, so that he served as a liaison bridge between Sadamichi and Sekkan-ke (the families which produced regents and advisers). On the other hand, he sometimes expressed antipathy against the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) because he was promoted by the Emperor Juntoku, and he acted as a guardian for the Imperial Prince Masanari and Prince Tadanari. These are described in "Heikoki" and there is also a description that he was delighted with the death of Tokifusa HOJO who was rensho (assistant to regents) as a curse of the Retired Emperor Gotoba, saying that 'Kanto begins to decline finally!' (in the section in February 25, 1240).

However, when Michiie KUJO fell from power in the series of political turmoil since Miya-sodo (ailed attempt at rebellion) in 1246 and the Retired Emperor Gosaga began Insei (rule by a retired emperor) supported by the Kamakura bakufu, he was kept out of the political arena and retired from office in 1250 in frustration.