Fujiwara no Michinaga and his Diary

Fujiwara no Michinaga (藤原道長 966-1027), a member of the powerful Fujiwara family in the Heian period (794-1185), became a major behind-the-scenes power by judiciously marrying his daughters to succeeding Emperors. His period in power saw the greatest flowering of Japan's aristocratic culture. For more information on Fujiwara no Michinaga, see the Britannica article.

Fujiwara no Michinaga's diary is known as the 'Mido Kanpakuki' (御堂関白記). Fourteen out of 36 volumes are still extant. The diary was written in what was known as a 具注暦 (guchūreki or 'annotated calendar'), a type of calendar widely used in the Heian period. Under the date for each day, the guchureki carried detailed astrological information on the constellations, the Chinese zodiac, and lucky and unlucky days, followed by several lines of space for writing, making it popular for diary-writing among the court nobles.