The same criticism, however, seems to apply with not less justice to his immediate predecessors in the post of ministers of the Right, Tachibana no Moroe and Fujiwara no Toyonari; to the minister of the Left, Fujiwara no Nagate; to the second councillor, Fujiwara no Matate, and to the privy councillors, Fujiwara no Yoshitsugu, Fujiwara no Momokawa, and Fujiwara no Uwona.

When her dance is concluded, the fairy, wafted away by the sea-breeze, floats past the pine-grove to Ukishima and Mount Ashidaka, over Mount Fuji, till she is seen dimly like a cloud in the distant sky, and vanishes into thin air. A noble of the court enters, and proclaims himself to be Tachibana Michinari.

To be skilled in calligraphy; to be well versed in the classics; to be capable of composing a sonorous decree or devising a graceful couplet such accomplishments constituted a passport not only to high office but even to the love of women. Tachibana Hiromi was one of the leading literati of his era. He rendered into most academical terms the Emperor's intentions towards Mototsune.

Just forty-five years previously, Hayanari, another illustrious scholar of the Tachibana family, had been among the victims of the false charge preferred against the Crown Prince, Tsunesada, by the Fujiwara partisans. Mototsune may well have been desirous of removing from the immediate neighbourhood of the throne the representative of a family having such a cause of umbrage against the Fujiwara.

A school and hospital, founded by Fujiwara Fuyutsugu in 825, received an Imperial endowment. At almost exactly the same time the Bunsho-in was founded by Sugawara. The Sogaku-in was founded in 831 by Arihara Yukihara. In 850 the consort of the emperor Saga built the Gakkwan-in for the Tachibana family; and in 841 the palace of Junna became a school.

At the same time, it is only just to note that he found ready coadjutors among the jealous schoolmen of the time. Rival colleges, rival academies, and rival literati quarrelled with all the rancour of medieval Europe. The great luminaries of the era were Sugawara Michizane, Ki no Haseo, Koze no Fumio, Miyoshi Kiyotsura, and Tachibana Hiromi. There was little mutual recognition of talent.

Kiyotsura abused Haseo as a pundit inferior to any of his predecessors. Michizane ridiculed Fumio's panegyric of Kiyotsura, The pupils of these men endorsed their teachers' verdicts. Ajnong them all, Tachibana Hiromi occupied the most important position until the day of his downfall. He practically managed the affairs of the Court under Yozei, Koko, and Uda.

To be able to adapt the Chinese ideographs skilfully to the purposes of written Japanese was a feat achieved by comparatively few. Much richer, however, is the realm of poetry. The compiler's name is not known certainly; he is believed to have been either Tachibana no Moroe or Otomo no Yakamochi. Old manuscripts and popular memory were the sources, and the verselets total 4496, in twenty volumes.

But who among them was ready to yield life for duty? The question was answered by Tachibana, the youthful wife of the chief, who was in the boat with her lord. With a hurried farewell, the devoted woman sprang into the wild waves, which in a moment swept her far away. It was an acceptable sacrifice.

It was drafted by Tachibana Hiromi, a ripe scholar, whose family stood as high on the aristocratic roll as did that of the Fujiwara themselves. At that time literary attainments conferred immense prestige in Kyoto.