Natori-dan (army corps in Natori County) (名取団)

Natori-dan refers to Gundan (army corps in ancient Japan) deployed in Natori County, Mutsu Province (later Rikuzen Province), Japan from the early 8th century to the 10th century. An accurate place where it was deployed is unknown. After the ninth century, Natori-dan engaged in the defense of Chinju-fu (Pacification and Defense Headquarters in ancient times) of Isawa-jo Castle.

A Gundan system was enforced under Taiho Ritsuryo (Taiho Code) established in 701. Although the deployment of initial Gundan is unknown, it is natural to consider that Natori-dan was deployed from old times because Kokufu (ancient provincial office/capital) of Mutsu Province was located at Koriyama Ruins in Natori County at that time, and Natori-dan remained in the era of two Gundan stated below. Since the eighth century was the time when a war with Ezo (northerners) got more serious, soldiers in Gundan also participated in the war naturally, but activities of each Gundan was never known.

Activities in the 9th century show a history after the subjection of indigenous inhabitants in eastern Japan was settled by FUNYA no Watamaro for the time being. First of all, the number of soldiers in the Gundan of Mutsu Province was reduced from 4,000 to 2,000 in 811, and only 2,000 soldiers in total, 1,000 each for Tamatsukuri-dan (army corps in Tamatsukuri County, Mutsu Province) and Natori-dan, remained.

However, in August (old calendar) 815, Mutsu Province increased the number of troops and that of soldiers to 4 and 4,000, respectively, and always stationed 1,000 soldiers by having 6,000 soldiers in 6 troops in total work in 6 shifts. It is estimated that Natori-dan dispatched 500 defensive soldiers to Isawa-jo Castle and 100 defensive soldiers to Tamatsukuri fortress, as well as Tamatsukuri-dan and Oda-dan in the north. In concert with this, urushigami monjo (Lacquer documents) excavated from the site of Isawa-jo Castle for which the year of creation is unknown contained Myobo (identification) of personnel requisitioned from Shibata County. Since it is presumable that Shibata County was covered by Natori-dan geographically, it is considered that Myobo was for the Natori-dan stationed at Isawa-jo Castle.

Although the defense of Tamatsukuri fortress was abolished later, it is unknown when the abolishment was implemented. The number of Gundan of Mutsu Province was increased to seven troops with 7,000 soldiers by adding Iwaki-dan, and soldiers were allotted to seven Gundan by increasing 1,000 soldiers in 843. Although the military strength after increasing soldiers of Natori-dan is unknown, Natori-dan continued to defend Isawa-jo Castle.

Thereafter, on May 4, 869, OSAKABE no Mototsugi of Natori-dan was granted Ge-jugoinoge (Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) given to persons outside Kyoto) along with ABENOMUTSU no Nagamune, Gon no tairyo (Provisional Chief Administrative Officer) of Shibata County.

The Engishiki (an ancient book for codes and procedures on national rites and prayers) compiled in the 10th century also specified the deployment of seven troops in Mutsu Province, but there are no historical materials to directly support their activities. Since there were no materials showing the activities by soldiers in Gundan in the Zenkunen War (the Early Nine Years' War) in the 11th century, it is considered that Natori-dan was abolished or lost substance completely before that time.

[Original Japanese]