Mino no Okimi (美濃王)

Mino no Okimi (date of birth and death unknown) lived in the Asuka period in Japan. In old Japanese syllabary characters, he is called "Mino no Ohokimi". 御野王、三野王、弥努王、美努王 are all pronounced the same. He was a member of the Imperial family, but his pedigree record is unknown. He supported Prince Oama (Emperor Tenmu) during the Jinshin war in 672 and played a role in pro-imperial family politics during the Reign of Emperor Tenmu. During the same period, there was another person with the name Mino no Okimi (the name of the Mino no Okimi that is the subject of this article is written in Japanese kanji as 美濃王, while that of the other Mino no Okimi is written as 美努王) who remained neutral during the Jinshin war, and opinions vary as to which "Mino no Okimi" is referred to in the various documentary records of that time.

Achievements of Mino no Okimi

When the Jinshin war broke out, Prince Oama who was in Yoshino no miya palace, didn't have any armed forces, so the Prince first sent envoys to take up arms in Togoku (the eastern part of Japan, particularly Kanto region) and headed for that direction. Prince Oama summoned Mino no Okimi to Toda (Uda-gun, Yamato Province) and Mino no Okimi agreed to join the prince's party. No records were found about Mino no Okimi's acts in the domestic warfare afterwards.

On February 1, 674, Mino no Okimi was appointed as an Officer of Takechi-daiji Temple Construction together with Ki no Katamaro. Takechi-daiji Temple was the predecessor of Daian-ji Temple. Mino no Okimi's rank was shoshi (which corresponds to Jusanmi, Junior Third Rank of Taiho Code) at this time. His name is recorded as "御野王" (Mino no Okimi) in "Daianji Garan Ruki narabini Shizaucho" (The History of Daian-ji Temple and the record of the estates).

On May 12, 675, Mino no Okimi was dispatched to worship the god of the wind in Tateno, Tatsuta with SAEKI no Hirotarii. Currently it is in Sango-cho, Tateno, Nara Prefecture. In the Reign of Emperor Tenmu, two festivals worshipping Tatsuta wind god and Hirose no ohoimi no kami (広瀬大忌神) were very important and recorded in "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan) every year, and the first appearance of these festivals were in the year 675. This is also the first appearance of Fuchin festival (festival for appeasing the anger of the god the god of wind) (風鎮祭) which was taken place in Tatsuta-taisya today. Mino no Okimi's rank was still shoshi at that time.

On April 13, 681, Emperor recorded and decided the genealogy of the imperial family and various matters in the ancient period. It is viewed as the beginning of the compilations of "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan). Imperial Prince Kawashima Osakabe no Miko, Hirose no Okimi, Takeda no Okimi, Kuwata no Okimi, Mino no Okimi, KAMITSUKENU no Michi, INBE no Kobito, AZUMI no Inashiki (安曇稲敷), NANBA no Okata (難波大形), NAKATOMI no Oshima and HEGURI no Koobito received imperial decrees.

Emperor Tenmu often dispatched his vassals to various cities to investigate with a view to construct new capital during his reign. Mino no Okimi was one of the member of investigation group and ordered to go to Shinshiro (新城) together with a chief of the office of the Imperial palace to investigate topography on April 16, 682. On March 22, 684, he was sent to Shinano province with UNEME no Chikura and ordered to investigate topography. After returning from Shinano province, Mino no Okimi submitted a drawing of Shinano Province on July 1, 684.

On October 17, 685, Emperor Tenmu dispatched Miyako no Okimi (宮処王), Hirose no Okimi, Naniwa no oji, Takeda no Okimi and Minu no Okimi to the capital and Kinai region (provinces surrounding Kyoto and Nara) to inspect arms people owned.

On October 19, 694, jokoshi (another one of four grades of joi, ranks of the Imperial Princes and Shoo, princes without imperial proclamation of the forty-eight grades of cap rank) Mino no Okimi was assigned to Tsukushi no Omikotomochi no Tsukasa no Kami (General of diplomatic facility to entertain foreign envoys)

美濃王・三野王・弥努王・美努王 (all pronounced "Mino no Okimi)

According to "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan), 美濃王, 三野王, 弥努王 and 美努王 were all pronounced Mino no Okimi and lived in the same period. In "Nihonshoki", name of the same person is written in different kanji characters and Mino Province (美濃国) was also written "三野" or "御野" in ancient time. Since there are some parts that old words were replaced by words used at the time of compilation in "Nihonshoki," 美濃王 and 三野王 are different persons with the same name.

The reason why 美濃王 and 三野王 were different person was that 三野王 appeared as a son of Kurikuma no okimi, Tsukushi no Omikotomochi no Tsukasa (a diplomatic facility to entertain foreign envoys) in the Jinshin war. 三野王 was in Tsukushi province with his father who maintained neutrality, where he was in the Jinshin war was far away from where 美濃王 was, that's why 美濃王 and 三野王 were obviously different people.

However, there is no certain evidence proving who was who in a group of the same name afterwards. There are different views for which Mino no Okimi made the abovementioned achievements from Nihonshoki compilation to Tsukushi no Omikotomochi no Tsukasa. Authorities agree that Mino no Okimi who appeared after year 701 was the son of Kurikuma no Okimi.

[Original Japanese]