Taira no Kanemori

Taira no Kanemori (d. 990) was the son of the Governor of Chikuzen (chikuzen no kami 筑前守),Taira no Atsuyuki 平篤行. His court career was unremarkable, progressing through the positions of Provisional Governor of Echizen (echizen gon-kami 越前権守), Assistant Governor of Yamashiro (yamashiro no suke 山城介), Senior Inspector (daikenmotsu 大監物) in the Ministry of Central Affairs and ending as Governor of Suruga (suruga no kami 駿河守) with the respectable, but not stellar, rank of Junior Fifth, Upper Grade.

He is chiefly remembered now as a poet, and seems to have been much in demand, as many of his extant poems are ones composed for folding screens in aristocratic dwellings. He also participated in numerous poetry competitions during his life, with a famous anecdote relating that Mibu no Tadami 壬生忠見, after losing to Kanemori in the ‘Fourth Year of Tentoku Imperial Palace Poetry Competition’ (tentoku yo nen dairi uta awase 天徳四年内裏歌合) in 960, promptly died of vexation. He was also reputed to be the true father of Akazome Emon 赤染衛門, although the truth of this is, of course, impossible to establish.

Kanemori is one of the major poets of the Shûishû, having 38 of his poems included in the collection, and has been judged one of the ‘36 Poetic Sages’(sanjû rokkasen 三十六歌仙) of his time.

The following poems by Kanemori are on WakaPoetry.net:

SIS I: 15  SIS V: 269  GSIS VII: 426  SKS I: 3
SKS VII: 201

'Simply moving and elegant'