Fujiwara no Akinaka

Fujiwara no Akinaka (藤原 顕仲; 1059–1129) was a Japanese nobleman and waka poet of the Heian period.

LifeEdit

Fujiwara no Akinaka was born in Kōhei 2 (1059 in the Gregorian calendar).[1] He was the third son of Sukenaka (ja),[1] a member of the Saneyori lineage (実頼流) of the Northern Branch of the Fujiwara clan.[2] He was later adopted by Fujiwara no Motoie (died 1093) [ja],[1] the governor of Mutsu Province.[3] His mother was a daughter of Minamoto no Tsuneyori [ja].[2]

He is known as Suke Akinaka (佐顕仲)[1] to distinguish him from Minamoto no Akinaka [ja].[2] He had various other names,[1] such as Katsumata no Hyōe no Suke (勝間田兵衛佐),[1] by which name the Fukuro-zōshi [ja] calls him.[2] The latter name is a derived from a combination of his court position, Sahyōe-no-suke, and a famous poem he composed at the Shirakawa-den Gyokai (白河殿御会) on Katsumata Pond (勝間田池 Katsumata-no-ike):[2]

Japanese text[2] Romanized Japanese English translation
勝間田の
池も緑に
見ゆるかな
岸の柳の
色にうつりて
Katsumata no
ike mo midori ni
miyuru kana
kishi no yanagi no
iro ni utsurite

He was close friends with Minamoto no Toshiyori and Fujiwara no Mototoshi,[2] and in addition to being a respected poet he was also known for his skill as a calligrapher and musician,[2] but was unable to attain success due to his relatively low birth.[2] By the end of his career, he had risen to the Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade.[1] He held the position of Assistant Head of Left Military Guards (左兵衛佐 sahyōe-no-suke).[1]

According to the Chūyūki [ja],[2] Akinaka died on the third day of the first month of Daiji 4 (31 January 1129).[1] He was 71 (by Japanese reckoning).[2]

PoetryEdit

The first uta-awase contest in which he took part was the Sakon no Gon-Chūjō Toshitada Ason-ke Uta-awase (左近権中将俊忠朝臣家歌合) in Chōji 1 (1104).[2] He took part in the following poetic gatherings:

He was one of the poets of the Horikawa-in Ontoki Hyakushu Waka (堀河院御時百首和歌).[1]

According to the Yakumo Mishō [ja],[2] he was disappointed with the Kin'yōshū,[1] and in Daiji 1 (1126)[2] compiled his own anthology, the Ryōgyokushū (良玉集),[1] which is no longer extant.[1]

18 of his poems were included in imperial anthologies from the Kin'yōshū on.[1]

One famous poem of his, in which he laments his lack of success at court, is the following from the first book of miscellaneous poems in the Kin'yōshū:[2]

Japanese text[2] Romanized Japanese English translation
年ふれど
春に知られぬ
埋木は
花の都に
住むかひぞなき
toshi furedo
haru ni shirarenu
mumoregi wa
hana no miyako ni
sumu kai zo naki

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

Works citedEdit

  • Furuya, Takako (1983). "Fujiwara no Akinaka" 藤原顕仲. Nihon Koten Bungaku Daijiten 日本古典文学大辞典 (in Japanese). 5. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten. p. 266. OCLC 11917421.
  • "Fujiwara no Akinaka" 藤原顕仲. Nihon Jinmei Daijiten Plus (in Japanese). Kodansha. 2015. Retrieved 2018-09-02.