Kiyokawa was born in 706 as a son of the powerful Fujiwara Clan.
As an ambassador to China, he represented his country well, such that in 752, he was told by Emperor Xuanzong: "I have heard that there is a virtuous ruler in your country. Now having observed your distinctive manner of walking and bowing, I would name Japan a country of ritual, righteousness, and gentlemen." The Chinese Emperor later had portraits made of Kiyokawa and his two deputies, and composed a poem on the ambassador's departure.
- Wang, Zhenping. Ambassadors from the Islands of Immortals: China-Japan Relations in the Han-Tang Period, Association for Asian Studies and University of Hawai'i Press, HI, 2005.