Fujiwara no Kaneie

Fujiwara no Kaneie

Fujiwara no Kaneie

Fujiwara no Kaneie (藤原 兼家) was a member of the Fujiwara Clan, more specifically the Hokke Branch of this clan.

Living from 929-990AD he was the son of Fujiwara no Morosuke1 and was the older brother of Fujiwara no Kanemichi who was his rival.2 He was father to Fujiwara no Michitaka, Fujiwara no Michikane, Fujiwara no Michinaga, Fujiwara no Michitsuna, Fujiwara no Senshi, Fujiwara no Suishi and Fujiwara no Chōshi.2 He married his daughter Senshi to Emperor En’yu and was the husband of the author of the Kagerō Nikki (Fujiwara no Michitsuna no Haha).1 He also adopted his brothers son Fujiwara no Michinobu.3

He held numerous positions during his lifetime. In 969 we see the Emperor Reizei giving him the position of chunagon, with Kaneie recieving the positions of dainagon in 972, udajin in 978,2 sesshō in 989 as well as dajō daijin and kampaku in 990.1

When his brother Koretada died in 972 the posiiton he held of sesshō passed to Kanemichi. When he also died in 977 the position should have passed to Kaneie. However, prior to his death Kanemichi had Kaneie demoted and appointed Fujiwara no Yoritada as sesshō.

After marrying his daughter off she gives birth to the future Emperor Ichijo, Kaneie gains control of the imperial succession and has his grand-nephew Emperor Kazan abdicate with Ichijo installed instead. And so Kaneie became sesshō and later kampaku. Kaneie would see to it that his sons careers advanced during his life.2

Kaneie also went by the names of Hōkō-in Daijin and Higashi-sanjō-dono.1


1. Louis Frederic, translated by Kathe Roth (2002) “Japan Encyclopedia”. London: Harvard University Press.
2. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.
3. MacMillan, P. (2018) ”One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each: A Treasury of Classical Japanese Verse”. St. Ives: Penguin Classics.

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Fujiwara no Kaneie