Fujiwara no Kanesuke

Fujiwara no Kanesuke
Kanesuke by Kanō Naonobu.

Fujiwara no Kanesuke

Fujiwara no Kanesuke (藤原 兼輔) was a member of the Fujiwara Clan, more specifically the Hokke Branch of the family. He lived from 877-933AD.

He was the son of Fujiwara no Toshimoto and ancestor to Fujiwara no Tametoki and Murasaki Shikibu.3

During his life he was known as the Middle Councellor of the Embankment as he resience was alongside the Kamo River and is known to have had longtime associations with the compilers of the Kokinshū Ki no Tsurayuki and Oshikochi no Mitsune.1 He received the rank of chūnagon in 930AD.4

Literarily we can find him in many of the Tales of Yamato and was included in Kintō’s Thirty Six Poetic Geniuses. He has 57 (553) poems in the Imperial Anthologies as well as a private collection of poetry1 by the name Kanesukeshū which includes 125 poems.34

One of his poems (No.27) can be found in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu and goes as follows:

Japanese text2
Romanized Japanese1
English translation1
みかの原
わきてながるる
泉川
いつ見きとてか
恋しかるらむ
Mika no hara
wakite nagaruru
Izumigawa
itsu miki tote ka
koishikaruran
When did you first spring into view?
Like the Field of Jars
divided by the River of Springs,
I am split in two - so deeply flows
the river of my love for you.

Footnotes

1. MacMillan, P. (2018) ”One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each: A Treasury of Classical Japanese Verse”. St. Ives: Penguin Classics.
2. Suzuki, H. et al. (1997) ”Genshoku: Ogura Hyakunin Isshu”. Tokyo: Bun’eidō.
3. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.
4. Louis Frederic, translated by Kathe Roth (2002) “Japan Encyclopedia”. London: Harvard University Press.

Thirty Six Poetic Geniuses
Lady Ise * Yamabe no Akahito * Ariwara no Narihira * Ki no Tomonori * Sarumaru Taifu * Ono no Komachi * Fujiwara no Kanesuke * Fujiwara no Atsutada * Fujiwara no Toshiyuki * Minamoto no Muneyuki * Minamoto no Shitagō * Kiyohara no Motosuke * Sakanoue no Korenori * Ōnakatomi no Yoshinobu * Fujiwara no Okikaze * Fujiwara no Asatada

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