Otomo no Tabito (大伴旅人)

OTOMO no Tabito (665 - September 4, 731) was a politician and poet of the early Nara period. His father was OTOMO no Yasumaro and his mother was KOSE no Iratsume. He had a son named OTOMO no Yakamochi. OTOMO no Sakanoue no Iratsume, another major poet of the Manyoshu (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves), was his younger paternal half-sister.

714: His father Yasumaro passed away. 718: Appointed to Chunagon (vice-councilor of state). 720: Appointed to Inspector of Yamashiro and later, as Seihayato jisetsutaishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the Hayato people"), suppressed an uprising of the Hayato people. Between 724 to 729, he served as Dazai no sochi (Governor-General of the Dazaifu offices) in Dazaifu, Kyushu where he formed Chikushi Kadan (a poetry circle in Chikushi Province [Tsukushi Province]) with YAMANOUE no Okura. 730: Appointed to Dainagon (a chief councilor of state) and returned to Kyoto and was promoted to Shonii (Senior Second Rank) in 731, the following year, but died of illness soon afterwards. Politically, he was known to be in the Prince Nagaya's faction.

His Chinese-style poems were included in a collection of Chinese verse "Kaifuso" (Fond Recollections of Poetry) and 78 waka (Japanese-style poems) were selected for the "Manyoshu" (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves), most of which were written in the years after he became Dazai no sochi. His set of 13 tanka poems in praise of sake liquor (Nos. 0338 to 0350 of Kokka taikan [index to anthology of waka poems]) indicates that he was a great lover of sake.

[Original Japanese]