Iki no Karakuni (壱伎韓国)

IKI no Karakuni (dates of birth and death unknown) lived during the Asuka period in Japan. The reading in the old Japanese syllabary characters is the same. His kabane (hereditary title) was Fubito. In the Jinshin War of 672, he became commander of the army of Otomo no Miko (Prince Otomo who has been called Emperor Kobun after the Meiji period), and advanced to Yamato (Yamato Province) from Kochi (Kawachi) Province, however was defeated in the Battle of Ashiike.

The Iki clan were immigrants to ancient Japan. His status at the outbreak of the Jinshin War is unknown, however soon after the outbreak, by the end of June (in old lunar calendar), he had become suoreme commander of the large force gathered in Kochi (Kawachi). At the same time, in Yamato (Yamato Province), the east of Kochi (Kawachi), OTOMO no Fukei raised an army supporting Oama no Miko (Prince Oama, later became Emperor Tenmu) and occupied Yamato-no-miyako (the old capital of Asuka). Against them, the followers of Otomo no Miko ordered ONO no Hatayasu to move the force from the north, and IKI no Karakuni to move the force from the west, to advance to Yamato-no-miyako from the two directions. Fukei, who had planned to head north, led his main force and attacked Hatayasu's force, and gave small troops to SAKAMOTO no Takara and other commanders to deal with Karakuni's force.

Probably about July 3, the Karakuni's force advanced eastward from both roads of Otsu and Tajihi. Takara and his troops saw that in the distance from Takayasu-no-ki Castle, and went down to the west of Ega-no-gawa River to fight against the Karakuni's troops. Karakuni defeated those enemy's troops, however, at that time, he knew Kochi no kuni no Mikotomochi-no-kami (provincial governor of Kochi [Kawachi] Province) KUME no Shioko had been gathering soldiers to join the force of Oama no Miko. When Karakuni learned this plan he tried to kill Shioko. Shioko committed suicide. The Karakuni's force began to advance again probably on the 5th, and the Takara's troops retreated without fighting. Karakuni went over the mountain by Osaka-no-michi route to enter Nara Basin.

ONO no Hatayasu, one of his cooperators defeated the Fukei's main troops on the 4th at Mt. Nara (in present Nara City), the north of Yamato-no-miyako. Hatayasu headed south and reached to the point to see Yamato-no-miyako from the distance, however he learned the defense was too strong and retreated. The Fukei's force received reinforcements from Mino Province and rallied, then headed to fight against the Karakuni's force.

Their battle took place by Ashiike. At this time, a brave soldier Kume ran ahead of the Fukei's cavalry, and they ran into the Karakuni's troops. The Karakuni's soldiers ran away and Karakuni himself left the force and ran away by himself. Fukei ordered Kume to shoot Karakuni, however the arrow missed him. Karakuni managed to run away, however he could not rally his soldiers again. There is no further description of IKI no Karakuni in the record.

[Original Japanese]