Episode 321 – The Regent

This week, take a deep dive with me into the life of one of the regents of the Heian Era, Fujiwara no Tadahira, as we try and figure out just what it looked like to try and rule over Heian Japan on a day to day level.


The translation and commentary I used for this episode all came from:

Piggott, Joan R. and Yoshida Sanae, Teishinkoki: What Did a Heian REgent Do? The Year 939 in the Journal of Regent Fujiwara no Tadahira


A Hyakunin Isshu card of Fujiwara no Tadahira (Teishin). His poem is number 26.
Taira no Masakado.
If you’re wondering where you’ve heard of Masakado before, he was the rebel whose severed head supposedly developed magic powers; we did an episode on him way back when the podcast began. Here’s an Utagawa Kuniyoshi print of him haunting fools as a giant skeleton.
A modern reprint of the Teishinkokisho. It’s only thanks to preservations like these that we have the document, and most Heian diaries were not so well preserved.
A sketch of Tadahira in his courtier outfit.

2 thoughts on “Episode 321 – The Regent”

  1. Excellent show! Really enjoyed the explanation of what a regent did. Helps to fill in one of the blanks from The Tale of Genji, which focused on the domestic lives of these kinds of characters.
    One correction, you called said “Fujiwara no Michizane” when you meant Sugawara no Michizane (菅原 道真).

    1. Whups! Don’t even know how I brainfarted that one since I have it down right in the notes. Thanks for the catch!

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