Fujiwara no Sanesuke

Fujiwara no Sanesuke 藤原実資 (957-1046) was the son of Consultant (sangi 参議) Fujiwara no Tadatoshi 藤原斉敏, but was adopted and raised by his better known grandfather, Fujiwara no Saneyori 藤原実頼 (900-970). Due to his powerful family connections he had a successful court career, passing through the positions of Head Chamberlain (kurōdō no tō 蔵人頭), Consultant (sangi 参議), Provisional Middle Councillor (gon-chūnagon 権中納言), Major Captain of the Inner Palace Guards, RightDivision (ukon’efu daishô 右近衛大将), Provisional Major Councillor (gon-dainagon 権大納言) and finishing as Minister of the Right (udaijin 右大臣) at Junior First Rank.

He is chiefly remembered now for the diary, Shōyūki 小右記 he kept from 978-1032 covering his fifty years of imperial service. Stretching to 61 volumes it is considered one of the most important records of court events and practices from the period, although, like all the male diaries of the time, it lacks literary merit. In the world of poetry, he was the sponsor of ‘Head Chamberlain Sanesuke’s Poety Competition’ (kurōdō no tō sanesuke no uta awase 蔵人頭実資歌合) which remains extant and compiled a personal collection of which only fragments remain.

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