Abe no Uchimaro (阿倍内麻呂)

ABE no Uchimaro (year of birth unknown, (old calendar) May 3rd, 649) was a statesman during the Asuka Period. He was the son of ABE no Toriko. He was appointed as Sadaijin (minister of the left) during the Taika Reforms. In the Nihonshoki, he is considered to be the same person as ABE no Maro or as ABE no Kurahashimaro. The Kon family of Japan is considered to be the descendant of Uchimaro.

In 624, minister SOGA no Umako demanded the cession of Katsuragi Prefecture (a local ruling family in the Yamato Katsuragi area in Yamato Imperial dynasty) from Emperor Suiko, and Uchimaro and AZUMI no Muraji were sent to report to the Emperor. Emperor Suiko refused this demand.

When Emperor Suiko passed away in 628, Emperor Jomei and Prince Yamashiro no Oe became the dominant candidates for the succession to the Imperial Throne. Minister SOGA no Emishi discussed the matter with Uchimaro and sought for opinions from his retainers at his residence. Opinions were split between the retainers, but Uchimaro asserted that Prince Tamura was indeed Emperor Suiko's true wish. Emishi had his mind set on Prince Tamura too, and as a result, Prince Tamura (Emperor Jomei) was enthroned.

In 645, the first year of the era of Taika, SOGA no Iruka was assassinated by Emperor Tenchi and FUJIWARA no Kamatari; Iruka's father, Emishi, committed suicide and the Soga clan was destroyed (this incident is known as 'Isshi no hen' or otherwise known as 'The Murder in the Year of Isshi'). Emperor Kogyoku abdicated the throne, and a new government was inaugurated as Emperor Kotoku was enthroned. Uchimaro was appointed as Sadaijin (minister of left) and SOGANOKURA-YAMADA no Ishikawamaro was appointed as Udaijin (minister of right) and was each granted a monetary award. It is believed that Uchimaro played a central role in the new government as the leader who represented the local rulers, by marrying off his daughter Otarashihime to Emperor Kotoku (as Princess) who gave birth to Prince Arima. His other daughter, TACHIBANA no Iratsume, was wedded off to Emperor Tenchi (as Princess) and gave birth to Princess Asuka and Princess Nitabe.

In 648, Uchimaro performed a Buddhist memorial service by receiving four Buddha statues at Shitenno-ji Temple.

In 649, Uchimaro passed away. Emperor Kotoku mourned for Uchimaro by coming to the Suzaku-mon Gate, and beginning with the Retired Emperor Kogoyoku and the Crown Prince, all the retainers wailed his death.

Right after this, ISHIKAWA no Maro was tipped off for his treasonous act and was forced to take his life.

[Original Japanese]